In May, I attended the Traverse events’ annual travel bloggers conference which was held in Rotterdam this year. One of the pre-conference events was a chocolate tasting by The Chocolate company. Of course I signed up.
They greeted us with an entire spread of chocolate served on a platter. What a tough afternoon that was! (Totally kidding!) It was so decadent and indulgent. I actually felt guilty eating all that chocolate. Most of the time, when I’m tasting my chokladbollar - I don’t actually feel guilty because the whole effort of putting the ingredients together and the dry oats base - makes the Swedish chokladbollar making experience worth the taste at the end. But all things in moderation right!?
This was not that kind of experience. This was pure chocolate porn!
Having had my fair share of chocolate tastings and buffets, wine tastings, coffee tasting, and copious amounts of Fika in Sweden… I felt alright going into this chocolate feast. Prior to this tasting, I took a long walk from my hotel to the chocolate cafe. Didn’t eat breakfast or lunch.
When I walked in, I was the first one there out of the group and got to take a peak around the store. They had truffles, ice cream, fondue kits, hot chocolate “spoons” - basically chocolate on a wooden stick but in many different flavors, and the most exciting of all specialty chocolate spreads! I love adding a tablespoon or stuffing my Swedish chokladbollar with specialty ingredients like nuts, spreads, caramel, candy, etc. I can spend over an hour in the jam and spread aisles at large supermarkets. Back to the spreads later…
The staff offered me a hot chocolate and to pick a flavor of their hot chocolate spoons, I was a little bit sad because I am quite lactose-intolerant and a large mug of milk will send my insides screaming in horror and retaliate with a violent punch to my head resulting in a blackout. (Being totally dramatic but this is basically what happens but in a slightly slower pace). Then I heard the magic words “we have soy and almond milk options”. Wha…..ttt.. oh my dear heart skipped a beat and I excitedly looked over the offerings and picked hastily. I can’t even remember which flavor I ordered, I was too excited to be drinking a hot chocolate again! (If you go to their website they list in their FAQ section which chocolates are lactose-free!)
As the others arrived, we finally sat down and the manager talked about the Chocolate Company and its role in Rotterdam city. Delivery on their website is available worldwide but you would have to pay for shipping. Most of us couldn’t wait to get to the tasting part of the afternoon and the manager recommended not to start with the death by chocolate brownie because of the richness of it. I took his advice.
Taking a tiny bit of everything onto my small plate, I wanted to try literally everything. While the others started to get into a sugar coma… I was still sampling and managed to try everything but the brownie and the fondue. I did take a tiny bite of the strawberry dipped in the fondue and a bite of the brownie in the end. The truffles were certainly my favorite though.
What I like in a chocolate…. complexity in flavor, ethical and organic, dark chocolate at around 70%, sweet, bitter, earthy, hints of specialty flavors that aren’t overpowering… My favorites at this tasting was a coffee truffle and a lavender truffle.
Time to nerd out…
The possibilities for making all sorts of crazy different flavors of chokladbollar are endless with fruit, jams, chocolate spreads, candies, nuts, etc. (I keep thinking up of new ones every other day - looks like there will be more editions of the book in the coming year!)
Check out my Pistachio chokladbollar with the pistachio spread stuffed inside below… these had a sweet taste of the nuts like a pistachio gelato -which is one of my favorite gelato flavors! Oh how I miss gelato…
The Chokladbollens book is going to be released next month!
The book is perfect for a holiday gift to your chocoholic friend, family member, colleague, etc. Stay tuned for the full unveiling here:
All opinions and pictures are property of Alaine Handa except otherwise stated. All rights reserved. (c)