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spicy chocolate bars, or just more interesting ones

  • p

the discussion regarding distillery district got onto a chocolate tangent, and well, i'm sure some will agree with me that it deserves it's own thread.

so, what i'm looking for here are interesting slabs of chocolate. large or small. no truffles here please.

soma has a spicy chocolate that i think uses a little too much chili because it's the first thing that hits you. but i found this milk chocolate bar from dolfin (sp?) sold at le gourmande that has a more varied spice flavour (i think it has cayenne, cardamom, cinnamon, and a couple other spices) that hits me just right but i prefer dark chocolate.

any suggestions for spicy chocolate? or alternate suggestions for awesome things to try? re-iterate, i prefer non truffle forms.

thanks :)

Link: http://tongueandcheek.ca

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  1. It's not a chocolate bar, but have you ever tried Mexican hot chocolate such as Ibarra?

    It is spiced very much as you desire and comes in brick form, you melt it and whisk in milk.

    Easily available from those Mexican shops in Kensington Market

    2 Replies
    1. re: lb

      Mexican chocolate is killer:strong flavor with granular sugar embedded in unsweetened chocolate with a hint of cinnamon. Any type from Oaxaca is usually good. Real frothed chocolate made from this is a glimpse of the type of drink that drove 17th-18th Europeans bonkers. I like to eat it, too.

    2. At the Carrot Common they have some large, organic bars with interesting additions; cherries (real, pieces), candied ginger (my fave), orange peel, etc. They're quite good quality, and a decent price, for organic.

      1. Have you ever tried Vosges chocolates? While it's based out of Chicago (my original home town), she does ship to Canada. The Red Fire bar is wonderful, with chipotle and ancho chiles and cinnamon. She also has many other exotic combinations. I've provided the link directly to the chocolate bars page below, so you can bypass the truffles. :)

        Link: http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/Search...

        5 Replies
        1. re: Jo

          Mmm...I second the Vosges suggestion. The Red Fire bar is good, but for your dark chocolate preferences, try the Creole bar too! Best chocolate this side of the Atlantic.

          1. re: Jo

            I adore those Vosges chocolates. Went beserk with them when we were in Las Vegas. Very subtle - not crazy intense. I tried many of their flavors, even the more normal ones and there wasn't a single one which didn't work. Wish I was wealthy enough to have boxes of them sent to me weekly!

            1. re: Jo

              Just as a note, a store in Bayview Village (not sure of the exact name...it's on the south side of the main aisle maybe a bit east of the middle, and it sells lots of little kitchen gadgets and other neat stuff) sells Vosges chocolate bars. I bought the Red Fire and it was amazing, although the Applewood smoked bacon + Alder smoked salt bar was tempting too.

              1. re: Strongbad789

                Is this the kitchen shop near A&W? or is it another part of the mall?
                Had no idea Vosges was so close...

              2. re: Jo

                I also highly recommend the Naga bar from Voges. It has Indian spice flavours along with toasted coconut. Very good.
                They are very quick to ship, as well. My order from Chicago to Toronto arrived in less than a week.

              3. Check out the Dolfin line. I found them in the basement of St lawrence market (south) in the store (in the centre) that sells various packaged imported foods. The bars are 70gm for around $4 and they also had some of the Neapolitan mixed selections which I've just finished (including Earl grey tea, Cardamom,etc).
                Currently have bars of both Dark Chocolate with Pink Peppercorn and Dark Chocolate with Green Aniseed waiting to be enjoyed!

                Link: http://www.worldwidechocolate.com/sho...

                1. Hey there, I bought an organic chocolate bar the other day at Wholefoods that had chilies and other spices in it. It was 74% cocoa content, which made it a nice dark chocolate with a spice in the finish. The brand name was Dagoba (sp?)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: inTO

                    yes it's Dagoba. Organic & yummy. I second it.

                  2. I don't think it is in Toronto stores, but they do ship all over the place... the Gabriola Groumet Garlic company (so small I'm not sure it is fair to call it a company) makes very interesting bars, both solid and with truffle filling, with garlic, hot peppers, etc. THey also have great plain and sugar-free bars.

                    Gabriola Gourmet Garlic -
                    1025 Horseshoe Road, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X3
                    PH: 250-247-0132 or Toll-Free 1-866-427-5424

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Sam

                      Have you personally tried the sugar free bars? are they decent ie do not taste like chalk?

                      thanks so much for a potential source!!

                      1. re: Zaheen

                        They are delicious! Shared a dark chocolate one with friends without realizing it was a sugar-free one (I had an assortment), and they remarked on how good it was before I noticed which one I had unwrapped.

                        However, the flavour range on the sugar-free is more limited than for the sugar-full (sic?) bars.

                        1. re: Sam

                          Wow its rare to find a bar of sugar free chocolate that doesn't taste like chalk.

                          thanks for the tip!

                        2. re: Zaheen

                          It's a bit late for a reply to this, but:

                          Ross chocolate is sugar free and is delicious. Many flavours. Made in Canada. If you can't find it in a store, it is very widely available on the web.

                      2. Try the Canadian website of ChocoDirect at http://www.chocodirect.com/

                        They have lots to choose from including Sheep's milk chocolate bar with grapes and poppy, or with Aloe Vera ($5.99). They also have the Dolfin line of chocolates as mentioned above $3.92 and Swiss Delice with lemon and black pepper $3.61.
                        Orders over $200 are free delivery (yes, thats sure seems like a lot of chocolate) or for anything under that, they charge a flat rate of $4.99.

                        Lots more to choose from including a clearance section.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: torontogal

                          I ordered from Chocodirect last week and am very impressed! Prices are great and they included a few 'freebies' (2 extra bars and a small box of chocolate covered coffee beans). I ordered on WEdnesday night and the box arrived on Friday. Now I have to find a way to get through a box of chocolate!! (shouldn't be too hard)

                        2. Soma in the Distillery District has a superb chile & dark chocolate in bar form.

                          1. Every Thursday at the Dufferin Grove Farmer's Market (across from Dufferin Mall) there is a lad who sells all sorts of raw foods from around the world. One is cocoa beans. As far as I know he "experiments" with the cocoa beans and produces some really interesting stuff. The hot chocolate - amazing! Also tried the chocolate with chiles - quite the kick. Here's a web site:


                            I believe it is the "Nujima Living Foods" but can't be enitrely sure. Look for the raw cocoa beans.

                            1. this is a bit different, and not altogether helpful because i can't remember the name, but perhaps someone else will
                              at the One of a kind show there is a booth that sells spicy chocolate covered tortilla chips- they are addictive!
                              and much better than they sound....
                              sorry can't provide more info...

                              1. Try Vintage Plantations 2006 Harvest Ecuadorian 65% dark with aji hot peppers, available at Birds and Beans coffee shop on Lakeshore in Mimico. www.echocolates.com The flavour is nicely balanced.

                                I, too, enjoy Vosges bars, especially Barcelona (salt and almonds), Naga (curry, milk chocolate), and Oaxaca (closest to your original quest). Found them for $7.49 at a gourmet grocery store in Boston, so keep your eyes open if you're in the US. http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/catego...

                                For imported bars, I usually shop at Max's in Bloor West Village. I like the Dolfin earl grey bar, among others.

                                Did you try any fresh, local chocolate bars other than Soma yet?

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Food Tourist

                                  thanks for the heads up on the vintage plantations, never heard of them and the aji hot peppers sound interesting.

                                  i've heard of vosges bars before as well but never really took the time to hunt them down. i'll be in philadelphia next week and will definitely take a peek around then to see if i can get some. torontogal's suggestion of choco direct might end up being a great resource for me.

                                  i actually halted my search for the chocolate due to forming a few new obsessions since i started this thread.

                                  but just this past week i ended up at the dufferin grove market and tried out the man who picks his own cocao beans chocolates and found them to be a rough version of what i enjoy but a good mix in general. his chocolate drinks where interesting but the flavours in the hot chocolate were a bit imbalanced and i enjoyed his "warrior" mix that contained some amarinth and chio(?) that cooked to a texture similar to tapioca. it's a bit expensive though and so rather than the thin slabs i got an approx 200 bag of raw beans for $8. none of his chocolate is particularly sweet btw.

                                  i've noticed though that spicy chocolate is an increasing trend these days and i doubt i'll be lacking it anytime soon. thanks for the suggestions everyone!

                                  1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                    Check out the new line of chocolate bars at Sen5es bakery, at the Soho Metropolitan Hotel just south of King on Blue Jays Way. Apparently, a former pastry chef of theirs makes them locally... they range from 60% to 99% pure cocoa, for a nice range of bittersweet flavor.

                                2. Yeah, I'm a bit late to this post, but I wanted to add:
                                  Green and Black's Maya Gold
                                  Cocoa Camino's Chili Chocolate.
                                  Both are not only both delicious spiced dark chocolate, but are organic and fair trade.
                                  ..and they're available in health food stores, Loblaws, WholeFoods, St. Lawrence Market, and on.

                                  1. stumbled across this one and wanted to comment:

                                    Dolfin, wide varieties...i've purchased one with Garam Masala, White Pepper and Cardamom, Pink Peppercorn...to name a few. Lovely.

                                    If ever in Halifax, NS, check out Sugah ! Really interesting stuff there. I tried the chili pepper peanut brittle and the fleur de sel chocolate bar...mmmm.

                                    I had a very interesting jalapeno chocolate once at the farmer's market as well .

                                    1. Not in Toronto but I'll mention it anyways since I really like them: Suite 88 Chocolatier. They're in Montreal but will ship to Toronto.

                                      They have these smaller plain chocolate bars flavored with really original ingredients, very fun to try. Some more interesting flavors: chili cayenne, five spice (!), lemon, earl grey yea, jalapeno, sea salt... The bars are ~2-3$ each (I don't remember exactly). All the bars come in milk or dark chocolate types. I personally have tried and love the Earl Grey and sea salt - also tried the Thyme but the flavor was a little too strong and kind of conflicted with the chocolate itself.

                                      Delivery via purolator for me was $30 but that was for 3 large truffle boxes and 10 bars.

                                      Site with all the bar flavors: http://www.suite88.com/bars.htm

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: artificialard

                                        Lindt Excellence just came out with a 70% cocoa bar and chili. I bought it at Shoppers the other day, and it was really good. Not too spicy.

                                        They had another one that I have not tried yet: Lindt Creations, Cherry-Chili.

                                        That will have to be for my next trip. Definitely more affordable then some of the other bars mentioned, and as delicious!

                                        1. re: shocked

                                          i've tried the cherry-chilli one and quite liked it

                                          is there anywhere i can get vosges in the downtown core/financial district?
                                          i've been indulging on my lunch breaks lately and found some Green and Black's at Mercato Giovanni's in TD Centre, and a vegetarian place across from the Kitchen Table in First Canadian Place

                                      2. Fired Up Foods based in Brantford makes a habanero chocolate they source out from Pickards.

                                        You can buy them at Taste the 4th Sense on the Danforth.

                                        1. I went to Bayview Village today to find the Vosges chocolate bars. They are sold individually at a shop called Dana Jordan. The store sells a random collection of kitchen and kitsch. They only had 3 flavours of chocolate bar and none appealed to me (green tea, chicory or white chocolate with something weird which I can't recall). $8.95 each