Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe (Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival 2013)Posted: 02/08/2013
For my first post back, I thought I’d write on something current: the 3rd Annual Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival, which started January 19th and is running until February 14th (that’s next Thursday!). Hot chocolate is always, always a great idea, especially in the chilly Vancouver weather that’s been hitting us lately.
Fortunately, for my meet-up with Enoch, whom I haven’t seen since high school (much to our surprise), the Vancouver sky gods decided to give us beautiful weather– so beautiful that I wouldn’t have minded sitting outside, which was very nearly our fate, since Thierry is often so busy. Luckily enough, a couple vacated their seats just as I was about to head outside to the patio.
Enoch decided to order for us the Hot Chocolate Festival flavour One in a Million ($9.75), which came with a little dish of clotted cream infused with chocolate shavings, a mini chocolate-dipped madeleine, and a mini chocolate bar. This hot chocolate is made with Maranon, the world’s rarest chocolate, and of course we felt pretty special drinking it. This was a lot sweeter and syrupy than I thought it would be, and while it tasted great right off the bat, I found it a little too overwhelming towards the end. I was confused as to how a certain kind of chocolate could be the “rarest in the world” (I hope I’m not the only one), so I did a little bit of research. According to http://www.maranonchocolate.com/, the cacao beans for this chocolate had been lost for 100 years, but had recently been found in Peru, and are 40% white beans. The Madeleine tasted very lemony, which went well with the chocolate dipping, but I thought it was a bit too tiny (it is complimentary though, so I shouldn’t complain). The dark chocolate bar tasted pretty typical to me, but I thought the star of the side dish was the clotted cream. It was incredibly thick and creamy and delicious, we took to scooping up some with our forks and dipping it into our hot chocolate.
Now of course we couldn’t just leave without trying some of the other desserts, and one in particular struck our fancy. The couple next to us had ordered it as well, and it just looked so beautiful and perfect, we had to have it. Here is the Pear Cassis Charlotte ($6.75), a mousse-based cake filled with pear bavaroise and pieces of poached pear, topped with a semi-tart layer of cassis gelee, and then wrapped around with pistachio ladyfingers. I really enjoyed this cake, as all the flavours balanced nicely and it wasn’t too sweet, each bite contained just the right amount of cake and mousse. I would most likely order this again.
One of my other favourites from Thierry are their tuiles, specifically the Almond-Orange Tuile and the Brandy Snap Tuile (both at $7.45/100g). I didn’t get a picture of the Almond-Orange, but pictured here is the Brandy Snap. These are crisp, wafer-thin cookies, one with chopped almonds and orange zest, and the other flavoured with caramel. I love dipping these into their hot chocolates, and even more just by themselves– if they weren’t so costly, I’d probably be buying boxes and boxes to snack on at home.
And lastly, I ordered a few macarons to go– clockwise from the top, we have the Coffee, Pink Praline, and Apple Cinnamon Macaron. I’ve only had macarons from 2 places before (here and Bel Cafe), and I find that at times the ones at Thierry are a little too sweet for my liking, and I prefer jam filled over cream-filled ones. My mom really likes these, however, so I really couldn’t go without getting her some. Of the ones I’ve tried from past visits, my favourite is the lemon– just a little tart, filled with a gelee instead of cream, and a bright, happy yellow– perfect for a rainy day.
So that concludes my visit! I find myself going to Thierry every once in a while when I’m downtown just for old times’ sake (not that my first visit and my first spiked hot chocolate was such a long time ago…), and I really enjoy their pastries. I’ve had the triple chocolate cake and lemon tart as well as the tiramisu recently, and all are pretty well executed in terms of taste and presentation. There are times when I wish the cafe were quieter, as it can be really difficult to have a conversation there if you’re sitting across from someone, but I do like that it’s such a hub for university students and business people in the downtown core. If you haven’t been yet, I would urge you to go, just to try their cakes out! If you do, try to go around 5:30-6pm, as I found it less busy at that time. That way, if you’re catching up and sharing stories, like we were, you can actually hear about the awesome adventures your friends are talking about!
Until next time!
Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe
1059 Alberni St