I have been meaning to try some of the Secret Menu items for a long time now, but I just finally created them on the app for easy future ordering. So far I have only tried two, one chocolate, one not. I just realized that I did not take pictures of either of these, but they did not look too different from the base drinks, so not a huge deal (just not as visually pretty).
Recipe as listed online:
–Java Chip Frappuccino (or double chocolate chip if preferred)
–1 pump of Cinnamon Dolce syrup
–1 pump of Toffee Nut syrup
–Whipped cream blended in
–Top with whipped cream and Cinnamon Dolce sprinkles
I ordered this on my phone, so I was not able to have the whipped cream blended in, and I went with the Double Chocolatey Chip Frap (especially since I feel like S’mores flavored items never taste enough like chocolate).
I felt like the taste was more toffee almost a gingerbread flavor, much more so than s’mores, but very good. I might order this again during the holiday season once I move out West to a warmer climate.
So this is not chocolate in any way, shape, or form, but it is still a fun secret menu item.
Recipe as listed online:
–Optional: Line cup with caramel drizzle
–Ask for a Creme Frappuccino base. Don’t skimp on the fat by asking for skim or 2% milk as whole milk is required for the right consistency
–Add 3 pumps of caramel syrup
–Add 3 pumps of toffee nut syrup
–Top with caramel drizzle
Again, this was ordered on the app, so I did not have them line the cup, and I did go with Soy Milk due to an allergy (I am allergic to rBGH, so not knowing what brand milk any particular Starbucks uses, I go for the safe option). Also, as I could not just ask for a creme base on the app, I created this with the Vanilla Bean Frapp, and modified the vanilla down to one scoop. I think the Vanilla may have helped balance this drink though. This was tasty, and definitely reminiscent of Butterbeer, but it has been over a year since I last had it at Wizarding World of Harry Potter, so I am not sure how close. I might dial back the caramel a little next time, but otherwise, very tasty.
My phone is full of pictures I have taken of chocolate items I have eaten that have never made it onto this blog. I always intend to post them, but life happens and I forget. All I can ever do is apologize and promise to try in the future. And so…I am sorry, I will try to do better in the future.
Last week, Disney released the menus for this years EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. I was there last year (and for Flower and Garden this year and last), and of course I took pictures that never were posted, and by now I have forgotten most of what things tasted like. I should really take notes.
I will be at Food and Wine for a few days in October (I am going for my birthday weekend), so I thought I would share what chocolate items I am most excited for, and hopefully that will give me incentive to post them once I have had them.
The Chocolate Studio
Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel
Sweet Dark Chocolate Raspberry Tar with Whipped Cream
I had both of these last year, and I remember thinking I liked one more than the other, but for the life of me I cannot remember which. For punishment, I must try them both again. Poor me.
Flavors from Fire
Another one I tried last year, and while I cannot remember all of the items I tried, but this one was unforgettable. I am hoping to acquire the recipe for this one, it is amazing.
Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur
Again, I had this one last year, but I cannot remember it. Time to try it again.
The Chocolate Experience hosted by Ghirardelli
Ghirardelli Drinking Chocolate
I think this may have been there before, but I did not know. In Italy, when you order hot chocolate at a cafe, you basically receive a cup of hot melted chocolate and a packet of sugar. It was amazing. I am hoping this will be similar, but I have no idea what to expect.
Shimmering Sips Mimosa Bar
The item itself does not sound earth shattering, but the Pavilion is new, so I am keeping an eye on this one, at least until photos surface so that I can see what it looks like.
Croissant Donut with Chocolate and Marshmallows
I believe this item is new as well, that or it was not so advertised last yar. There is a Chocolate Hazelnut one as well, I might change my decision once I see pictures.
Here are a few items I am not so excited about.
Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream
I really want to be wowed by Belgium, but I remember this one just falling short. Too much waffle, not enough chocolate. I would really like to see Belgium do more with chocolate in the future, as the country is already so known for it.
Much like Belgium, too much baklava, not enough chocolate, but at least I do not think chocolate when I think of Morocco, so the offense is less here.
There are other non-Food and Wine items I am excited to try as well, on this trip or the next (I am going again in November) but perhaps I will make another post with those.
Source: Mental Floss
SEPTEMBER 5, 2017
Dark, milk, and white are the three main types of chocolate recognized by the Food and Drug Administration. But following an exciting new development from a Swiss chocolate maker, a fourth variety may soon be added to the lineup. As Bloomberg reports, the rosy-hued product, dubbed Ruby, is the first chocolate to come in a new, natural color since white chocolate debuted more than 80 years ago.
Ruby chocolate comes from Barry Callebaut, an international chocolate production company with headquarters in Zürich, Switzerland. The new breed of chocolate was the result of about a decade of development from researchers at Barry Callebaut and Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany. To make the chocolate, they used ruby cocoa beans, which grow in Ecuador, Brazil, and West Africa’s Ivory Coast. The final product “offers a totally new taste experience, which is not bitter, milky, or sweet, but a tension between berry-fruitiness and luscious smoothness,” according to a press release.
Along with its unique taste, the company hopes the chocolate will interest consumers with its alluring appearance. The CEO of Barry Callebaut, Antoine de Saint-Affrique, told Bloomberg that tests with international markets have been successful, even in China, where traditional chocolate is less mainstream than it is in the West.
Barry Callebaut revealed Ruby chocolate to the world at a launch event in Shanghai, China, on September 5. The company is now working on making it available to manufacturers and consumers, which means that any sweet item that comes in dark, milk, and white chocolate may soon come in red as well.
As fantastic as my experience for last week’s shake was, this week’s was equally as disappointing. I have been looking for a reason to go to Sugar Factory since I first heard of it, and the opportunity finally arose this May when my local Lolita groups met up to go there after an anime convention.
Sugar Factory promotes a menu full of insanely over-the-top sugary food and drinks, complete with dry ice fog, gummy treats, lollipops, and more. With all the focus on candy and sugar though, they fall short in the chocolate department. The whole meal I was looking forward to a chocolate shake, but what I received was essentially a cheap vanilla shake with just enough “chocolate” syrup to make it not look vanilla.
Honestly, most of the chocolate syrup is spent decorating the side of the glass rather than mixing in with the shake itself. Also, this location only had basic shake flavors, which was an instant disappointment considering the website boasts a selection of much more interesting varieties (and you have to select a location before seeing the menu, so they advertise these for this location).
While I was at Disney this April, I finally had the opportunity to Drink Around the World at Epcot. For those of you who do not know what this means and are unfamiliar with Epcot; Epcot contains the World Pavilion, 11 full country pavilions that feature food, drink, and gifts from their countries. Even the employees at each pavilion are often from that country, I believe on work programs, but I am not sure how the recruiting process goes.
There is also a sort of half pavilion though; The African Outpost, located between China and Germany. It is as if they started to build a pavilion there, but never got around to finishing (I wish they would add more pavilions). There are only a few gift kiosks there, and one beverage area: Refreshment Cool Post. Most people just skip this when drinking around the world, and I might have to, if I had not seen one of their beverages.
Hot Chocolate with a float of Amarula Cream Liqueur. Now, at first, I was not sure what Amarula was, then I remembered that this was a key ingredient to a drink I had mentioned having at the Kalahari before, the Elephant Mud Bath. So, I made a point to stop there and drink it. This was a difficult drink to enjoy though, being a hot drink in the hot weather, and already being three drinks in. But, I did enjoy it. I came back to Illinois and ended up picking up a bottle of Amarula (and then inherited another bottle from friends), which has given me the opportunity to experiment further.
I have had the Amarula mixed with Trader Vics chocolate a few times since. Now, Amarula is not a chocolate alcohol, so I will not say more on that, but if you are at Epcot, the Hot Chocolate at the African Outpost is worth trying. And if you are drinking around the world and skipping the African Outpost, perhaps you can substitute this drink for another pavilion where there is nothing that appeals to you.
I do not remember where I first heard about Toothsome Chocolate Emporium, but I remember knowing immediately that I needed to go there. So, when the opportunity arose to suggest a location for my Garrison to go to dinner Sunday night of Star Wars Celebration, this was the automatic choice.
(Those are my friends in the foreground…it took us a while to get moving after eating there)
Toothsome’s is located in City Walk at Universal Studios Orlando, which is the place outside of and connecting the two parks. You do not need a ticket to get into this area, but you will need to either pay for parking or arrange for a drop off of some sort.
The place is kinda Willy Wonka, but more Steampunk meets Chocolate. There is a gift shop immediately to the right upon entering, with tons of steampunk/chocolate themed shirts, accessories, ecc.; as well as chocolate items to take home with you. There is also a little bakery area there, which I believe you can order the shakes from as well (but do not quote me on that.
You can see a full listing of the restaurant menu over here. I did try an alcoholic drink, but I honestly do not remember much about it. I think it was the Curious Cacao.
I wish I had tried one of the desserts or chocolate breakfast items, but it was at the end of a con, I was nearly broke, and I needed something substantial to eat (I ordered the Gnocchi…I am somewhat obsessed with Gnocchi as well). I plan on going back there in October/November though, so I will definitely try some chocolate food-type items then (and maybe buy a few things from the shop). What I did have, was a shake!
This beauty is the Chocolate X5 – Chocolate ice Cream, Chocolate Chunks, Strawberries, Chocolate Sauce, Fresh Whipped Cream, Chocolate Spirals, Cherry. It was absolutely amazing, and I swear I kept drinking from it and it never ran out.
I keep debating if I will order this again when I go back, as it was so great, or if I will try a different shake for the sake of trying something different. If I do, it will most likely be the Brownie Shake (Dutch chocolate ice cream, brownie, milk chocolate swirl) unless something new gets added.
This is definitely a must go-to place for any chocolate lover!
Beauty and the Beast is without a doubt my favorite fairytale, not just from Disney, but overall. So, when Disney announced it would be opening a Beauty and the Beast restaurant, I knew I had to go. It took me longer than I would have liked, but I finally made it back to Disney World, and I made my reservation at Be Our Guest months in advance to make sure I would not miss out (though I am returning to Disney in November and I have been trying to get a reservation since they became available and no luck so far).
The restaurant was absolutely perfect. From the stain glass windows and large double doors at the entrance, to the interior decor, I felt like I had stepped right into the movie. Unfortunately, I did not dine in the main room, but in a smaller room off to the right with a large rotating center piece. I ordered my drink in a light up castle goblet, the food was amazing, and dessert was presented to us and prepared right there on a little rolling cart.
Which of course, brings me to the dessert. There were a couple of options that appealed to me, but I went with the Iconic “Grey Stuff.”
The presentation, as you can see, is beautiful, complete with a little hidden mickey drawn on the plate. The taste however, was disappointing. The grey stuff is the only part of this that is actually chocolate, and were it a rich chocolate it would have been perfect. If the filling beneath it had been a rich chocolate it would have been perfect. But while it is advertised as chocolate, there is very little chocolate flavor to it.
It is basically a white chocolate mousse (which is not actually chocolate at all) with some cookies blended into it.
Now, I am not saying it was bad, it is just built with the intent to be super chocolaty. I believe one of the other members of my party ordered it as well, and she loved it, but she is not a chocoholic like I am.
Also, I have seen pictures of different versions of the Grey Stuff, some show it on a chocolate cupcake, so maybe they are still toying with the plate, I will have to see when I return.
There are a few recipes for Grey Stuff floating around out there (none that appear to be official though), and I have also heard that you can request recipes from the restaurants at Disney. I am going to ask for this recipe when I am there in November and see if I cannot make my own extra-chocolate version. Maybe I can make a dark grey version with a chocolate mousse instead of a white chocolate.
I will definitely return to Be Our Guest, just next time I am ordering a different, more chocolaty dessert (whether it be a different version of the Grey Stuff or a different dessert all together). OH! And next time I will be doing a little more exploring while I am there.
I am surprised to discover I never posted about my go to Starbucks drink: Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino. Not being a coffee drinker, I have found the alternatives, and the DCC is a staple for me in the summer, as the Hot Chocolate (especially with added Peppermint) is my staple in the colder weather. However, Starbucks does put out new drinks, and occasionally they are heavy in the chocolate department. This summer is a great example. Among all the crazy rainbow drinks they have been putting out, there is the Midnight Mint Mocha Frappuccino.
“We’ve paired the dynamic duo of dark cocoa and refreshing mint with milk and ice. Next we infuse the blended chocolatey beverage with cooling mint sugar crystals, cut in a layer of whipped cream, then top it with more whipped cream and a dusting of dark cocoa. Don’t wait to dig in: This chocolate-lovers dream is only here for a limited time.”
I was told a couple of years ago that any frappuccino could be made in a creme version vs. the coffee version (found this out with the S’Mores frappuccino), but for the first time ever (at least the first time I had noticed), they specifically offered this frappuccino in both coffee and creme versions (the first time I ordered I did so on the app and saw the option…usually you have to modify, but you cannot actually remove the coffee in the app), granted the first time I ordered they accidentally made me the coffee version, so beware.
This drink has become my staple for the time being. It is no secret that I love the chocolate and mint combo, and this has it, and is a much stronger chocolate flavor that the double chocolaty chip. I will be sad when the “limited time” this is offered is over.
This past Friday, I had the opportunity to visit the new Safe House in Chicago. I had been to the one in Milwaukee before, but this was my first time to the one in Chicago. Personally, I prefer the one in Milwaukee, but I believe their menus are similar, and they had two items on their dessert menu that intrigued me. One was Mr. Big’s Brownie Cheese Cake – “Cheesecake loaded with cubes of brownie, baked atop a chewy brownie. Topped with vanilla mousse. Finished with chocolate ganache and walnuts” (I hope to have the opportunity to go back and try this one at another time). The other, that I chose to order, was Bourne’s Blackout Cake – “Rich moist chocolate cake with chocolate chips baked inside. Finished with a rich chocolate cream cheese icing and chocolate chips.”
I was not disappointed. The cake itself was good, moist, with a good chocolate flavor, and the frosting was decadent, if not a little commercial tasting. The best part was the chips coating the side of the cake, I wish they had mixed those into the cake batter as well.
The whipped cream in the cup to the side was a little strange and pretentious, and I would have preferred they either put it directly on the plate, or put a scoop of ice cream in it’s place.
There was a third chocolate item on their dessert menu: Fat Bastard (A.K.A. “F.B.”) – A colossal combination of brownie bites, chocolate cake, and ice cream. Topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and a sparkler. Defuse before eating. However, this item was $20 and seems like more of a shareable dessert, and I am not usually comfortable sharing food, especially dessert items, so to try that item I will have to be with very close friends.