Cookin’ The Mint : Part III : A Sweet Ending
I’ve always been thankful that I do not have any food allergies. And I’ve always thought it would be especially tragic to have an allergy to chocolate. I just can’t live without it. I indulge in a small (or not so small, depending on how my day went) piece of chocolate each day. So, I was pretty much in heaven when we left The Old Mint building and walked across the chilly plaza to the uber-swanky Mezzanine for the much awaited Chocolate Bazaar.
I hope you like sweets, because this post will be oozing with chocolate.
The atmosphere of Mezzanine was a stark contrast to the historic and more serious Old Mint. The club had a strong energy pulsating from the music, the bar, and the chocolate decadence. Those who were making their way from the dinner at the Old Mint were merry from the champagne and excellent wines, and were ready for the sugar rush. It was fun to encounter some very familiar Bay Area dessert venues and to also become acquainted with lesser known chocolatiers.
Upon entering, the first vision to hit you was a 6-tier pedestal cake stand proudly bearing mini cupcakes from Just Desserts. My greedy little eyes scoped the tiers up and down, and I instantly thought Are you kidding me, one of those wimpy cupcakes will NOT be enough to satiate my eager taste buds! I wonder if I can sneak two? But I should know better. Just Desserts specializes in bite size snacks (you may be familiar with their award winning Brownie Bites), and they can pack a whole lot of flavor into one itty bitty mini cupcake. They debuted their new Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes, and upon first bite, I had to unlodge my eyeballs that had rolled to the back of my head. I just about fainted from the sheer bliss. It was utter perfection, and left me completely satisfied.
But of course, for the sake of experiencing the rest of the bazaar, I powered on and continued to stuff my face sample more sweets.
Straus Family Creamery was scooping out smooth mounds of Dutch Chocolate or Coffee Ice Cream. I’ll give you one guess which flavor I picked. My husband doused his with a generous hit of Ghirardelli Hot Fudge – normally I would do the same, but I really wanted to get a feel for the ice cream with no distraction.
I did find myself alternating ice cream spoons with bites of Beth’s cookies, kind of resulting in a deconstructed ice cream sandwich. I had a chance to meet Beth during dinner, and she was such a warm, friendly soul. Her spirit lives in her cookies. If you follow on the Facebook page, you’ll know that I recently asked for people’s cookie preference. The overwhelming response, and I am included, was for a soft and chewy cookie. However, Beth’s cookies may have transformed me. I finally found a crisp and crunchy cookie that I just love!
There are two more that I want to tell you about. The table of artisanal chocolates was to die for. Not only were the chocolates delectable, they were miniature pieces of art. Saratoga Chocolates had some innovative chocolates, and one of my favorites was the Meyer Lemon Truffle – fantastic Meyer Lemon bar flavor enveloped in a white chocolate ganache. And Charles Chocolates made me stop in my tracks with their beautifully packaged hand formed chocolates. The Tea Infused Chocolates and Chocolate Butterflies were too pretty to eat (but I did). I swooned over the Raspberry, Passion Fruit & Mojito Hearts that were shimmering with luster dust. They were my personal top pick of the entire table.
Can you think of a sweeter ending to a memorable evening? I think I have a cavity just writing about it.
Thank you, Foodbuzz, for the fantastic opportunity and for letting me share the experience. And thank you, dear reader, for allowing me to gush for three posts. I hope I have inspired you to try some of these amazing food finds!