Friday, January 31, 2014

Hot Chocolate Festival 2014 - Mink - Paula Dean White Trash TrainWreck

Mink Chocolates on UrbanspoonJanuary 31st (today!) is the last day to try Mink's first Hot Chocolate 2014 entry, "Paula Dean White Trash TrainWreck": 70% dark chocolate ganache with condensed milk, salted kettle chips, and vanilla whipped cream. Served with a 72% dark chocolate wafer.

Don't fret if you miss it, however. The concoction is basically Mink's drinking chocolate on the bottom, a pile of potato chips (which weren't quite salty enough, I thought), and whipped cream on top.

The separate layers contrasts it from many other Hot Chocolate Festival entries where you get a novel mixture of ingredients (which sometimes flies and sometimes flops). It is also a tall enough composition that you will likely make a huge mess if you try to stir it all together without eating some chips and whipped cream first. Sadly, none of the combinations of whipped cream, chips, and drinking chocolate were particularly interesting.

The saltiness of the chips may have been meant to bring out more flavour from the chocolate somehow -- salt is known to enhance flavour in various ways. A "trick" a friend of mine taught me was to add a tiny pinch of salt to coffee. It didn't really work for me, though. If you try this, let me know.

If this one passes you by, just go on a regular day and ask for their heady drinking chocolate.If anything deserves the name "hot chocolate", this is it. It really is like literally drinking chocolate. Not quite so thick that you need to spoon it up like a yoghurt, but definitely thick and rich. Every other hot chocolate you get just about everywhere else will taste unfairly watered down.
Here are some tips:
  • Ask for a full glass of water. Preferably on the hot side of warm. The richness (not so much the sweetness) of the drinking chocolate can actually ruin your experience with being too rich. The adage of too much of a good thing can, in fact, apply to chocolate.
    • You can try sharing it. That is a better idea given the richness-to-portion ratio, but this can be tricky. See if you can get a fat straw from Mink, or just bring your own.
  • Ask for a spoon. To help with the chips floating around. If you can't get one, go to the counter of coffee supplies and get one or two of the wooden stirring sticks. Either snap one in half, or use two. Hold them together so you have a makeshift fork. No, don't stab the chips. Scoop them out.
  • Watch your top. A drip of chocolate on a light-coloured shirt or dress can tattoo you for the rest of the day.
$8 + GST = $8.40.
Drinking chocolate is worth a try if you haven't had drinking chocolate before. Might as well do it now during the Hot Chocolate Festival.

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