Time to get busy with bear claws and valrhona. It’s less complicated than it sounds and very, very yummy.
It’s International Chocolate Day and it’s time to get your sweet tooth on, with plenty of Whistler confectionaries and restaurants willing to help out.
“Oh sweet!” said sales associate Drew Weddell of Rogers’ Chocolates, which was founded in 1885 and is the oldest confectioner in Canada.
“The most popular things we are selling are our Victoria Creams, because that is what we are famous for. And we have a new salted Empress Square and it is absolutely delicious. It’s like a salted caramel and has roasted salted almonds in it and it’s dipped in milk chocolate instead of dark and it’s SO delicious. I can’t get enough of it!”
What Weddell has noticed is that many customers seem to need their chocolate in the evenings.
“It’s why we are open later than the other retail stores in the Village. They want their sugar fix after dinner! You’re always making them happy, which is pretty cool,” she said.
Tim McLean of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory said business was a little quieter heading into the fall after a very busy summer.
“A lot of the sweet and semi-savoury stuff people are coming in for, like our chocolate and sea salt or our chocolate, caramel and sea salt, is popular. People are a little more willing to try more unusual things,” Mclean said.
“People tend to say that they need chocolate rather than ‘please can I have’. Some people really do need it.”
Especially the bear claws, which Rocky Mountain is known for.
“I believe they started in Whistler and it is one of our big sellers. The base is cashews, and then it has a big circle of caramel on top and then it’s covered in chocolate. It’s got five cashews on top to represent the claws of the bear,” McLean said.
At Bearfoot Bistro, executive pastry chef Dominic Fortin loves working with chocolate.
“It’s so versatile and every chocolate has a different taste. What I like is chocolate having unique origins, like wine. This is what I like about chocolate and I try to find chocolates with different tastes and pair them with different flavours,” Fortin said.
This has led to some interesting mixes in the kitchen. Bearfoot Bistro has two desserts in particular that stand out for their chocolatiness.
“I like to use a really good milk chocolate from Valrhona, which is a really good chocolate maker in France. It has a really nutty and caramel flavour. We combine that with hazelnuts from Agassiz. We take a square of the milk chocolate and add a hazelnut mousse. We pair it with lemon verbena,” Fortin said.
Another dessert uses a Mexican dark chocolate and pairs it with goat’s milk. “We want an all-Mexican flavour. We make a dark chocolate mousse and goat milk ice cream. In the ice cream we put a cajeta, which is a dolce colicea or caramelized condensed milk. It is the Mexican way of doing it, so it is called a cajeta… and we serve it with Okanagan cherries,” Fortin said.
“It’s pretty out there in flavour and it’s for adventurous people.”
Both Rogers’ Chocolate, located at 4314 Main Street, and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, located at 4293 Mountain Square, are open until 10 p.m. Bearfoot Bistro, 4121 Village Green, is open until 1 a.m.