HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Do you create unique foods? Tell us about it
TELL US

Chocolate Heaven Cafe on the Danforth

b
bluedog Jan 22, 2007 11:00 PM

A new cafe has opened up at Donlands and Danforth, next to the Only Cafe (The Cafe District, so to speak!), just around the corner from Donlands Subway Station (974 Danforth, 416 850 7587)

Chocolate Heaven Cafe offers a large variety of desserts, most made on the premises, ranging from truffles to chocolate cake (regular and flourless) to carrot cake to cheesecake. Most everything, as the name would suggest, contains chocolate of some type.

They also serve Kicking Horse Coffee, espresso drinks, hot chocolate (a specialty, naturally) and a variety of teas.

I've been four times now and have enjoyed each visit immensely. The chocolate cake is dense and rich, with proper frosting built on butter and melted chocolate. The flourless chocolate cake is rich and gooey, the chocolate truffles smooth and sweet. The carrot cake is most, and the cream cheese icing tangy and sweet enough to make an impact, but not overwhelmingly so, and topped with white chocolate chips and walnuts, a nice touch.

The atmosphere is quirky and eclectic, a little dark, but with little lamps on each table. The owner has uncovered leaded glass windows that I think have been hidden for years, and it creates an old fashioned ambience that only adds to the experience.

This has the potential to be a great little neighbourhood cafe, and the owner is passionate about chocolate desserts. It's a nice addition to the area, and I encourage others to check it out.

The owner is still working out the hours, but for the time being he is open M, T, W 7:30am-6pm (mmm Kicking Horse Coffee, just before I get on the subway!), Th 7:30am-9pm, F, 7:30am-11pm, Sat Noon-11pm, and Sun Noon-6pm.

  1. h
    hungryabbey Jan 22, 2007 05:39 PM

    do they have ice cream? or just cakes/pastries?

    1. f
      FlavoursGal Jan 22, 2007 05:46 PM

      Do they do any whipped cream cakes? My favourite!

      1. b
        bluedog Jan 23, 2007 09:52 AM

        Not sure if they do a la mode. I'm sure the owner will adapt if the demand is there.

        As for whipped cream cakes, I am not sure that that is, but I think No.

        1. b
          bluedog Jan 24, 2007 06:55 AM

          Apologies. Stopped in for coffee this morning and they DO have Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bluedog
            h
            hungryabbey Jan 24, 2007 07:08 AM

            oh good to know. I guess Im gonna have to make a little stop sometime soon

          2. j
            julesrules Jan 25, 2007 05:48 AM

            This place has casual neighbourhood charm and is obviously a labour of love. And I do appreciate that they are doing all their own baking - as well as being a fan of the Kicking Horse myself. But I do a lot of simple baking myself and this stuff seemed about on par. It is not fancy or even particularly skilled.

            9 Replies
            1. re: julesrules
              b
              bluedog Jan 25, 2007 11:30 AM

              I think you've summed it up well, jules, except that if I think you're selling yourself short on skill level! While Chocolate Heavan may not be Cake Couture (eg Sweet Tooth on Danforth closer to Carlaw), it does take better than average skill level to make cakes this moist (I bake myself). I would rate his style as highend-homemade, and priced accordingly. But agreed, a neighbourhood place rather than a destination.

              1. re: bluedog
                j
                julesrules Jan 25, 2007 12:15 PM

                And DH thinks I'm just bitter that they opened this place and I still work for da man :) I do appreciate the addition to the block and I will try to support them.

                1. re: julesrules
                  b
                  bluedog Jan 25, 2007 12:42 PM

                  LOL! Can I join the club!?!? I've thought for awhile this block could use a nice little cafe. A lost opportunity for the both of us, but good luck to the guy taking the chance!

              2. re: julesrules
                red dragon Apr 1, 2007 05:43 PM

                After reading the reviw on the link below, DH and I tried it out last night. The place is exactly as bluedog describes. We had the chocolate heaven cake and a chocolate maroon bundt cake. DH had a regular columbian coffee. The ch cake was good, but I have to say I've had better (even my own homemade chocolate cake) and the bundt cake was dried out (very disappointed on that one). The owner was very friendly and asked each person that came in if it was their first time, which is very nice and personable.

                It was a different place and cozy, but don't think we'll return. Just my opinion, but glad we tried the place out. Others may have a different opinion :)

                http://www.cbc.ca/metromorning/beyond...

                1. re: red dragon
                  Poorboy Apr 2, 2007 01:55 PM

                  I walked by this place so many times and never stopped in. Tried it out, and the reviews are pretty much bang-on.
                  Kicking Horse Coffee eh? wow.

                  1. re: red dragon
                    j
                    julesrules Apr 3, 2007 08:24 AM

                    I find that metro morning review to be really off in several ways. But I do like Chocolate Heaven as a cozy friendly neighbourhood hangout. It's a little pricey, and their hours are too limited for it to be a proper coffee shop. I've tried many of his baked goods at this point and found a couple I enjoy. I will be quite happy if they never get more succesful because I find it very relaxed and comfortable as it is!

                    1. re: julesrules
                      b
                      bluedog Apr 3, 2007 09:23 AM

                      Actually I was pleased with the metro morning review because the guy quoted me :) He liked my highend homemade comment.

                      1. re: bluedog
                        j
                        julesrules Apr 3, 2007 09:33 AM

                        That was the best part of the review actually!

                        I don't think the feel of the place is at all European, nor is it a chocolate brown interior. And there are no chain businesses on that block, very few in the area east of Pape, and lots of weird little businesses that seem barely viable.

                        1. re: julesrules
                          b
                          bluedog Apr 3, 2007 10:11 AM

                          Thanks! And yes I would agree with your comments on the place being European. Like the owner, it is eclectic. Perhaps she (Catherine Jeong) was referring to the Starbucks and the Coffeetime, but they are some distance away,I agree. And yes many of those business ARE barely viable. The Asian knickknack shop next door just closed down.

                2. b
                  biteme Jan 25, 2007 01:46 PM

                  I will try that. I have been on the bakery/patissier tour. So far I have about 35 under my belt. Or I should say my belt is no longer needed. I will stop after Valentine's Day. Yum...it's been so much fun..

                  1. v
                    vox Jan 25, 2007 02:15 PM

                    i took a peek inside, it seems very "home baking" and the truffles weren't very good at all, poor couverture on them, and i don't think they're tempered. i don't mind the atmosphere inside but i think the fluorescent lighting has got to go.

                    sweet tooth on the danforth is also terrible and i advise everyone to STAY AWAY. so many stabilizers, cakes are dry, too many additives and ridiculously overpriced..you're better off with dufflet, at least they emphasize all natural flavourings.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: vox
                      h
                      hoagy294 Jan 25, 2007 02:36 PM

                      I thought it was just me that loathed Sweet Tooth! That's some of the worst cake I've ever had! And the prices for the pans of squares..go to the IGA people!

                      1. re: hoagy294
                        e
                        embee Jan 25, 2007 04:05 PM

                        We got an extremely expensive cake from Sweet Tooth. It looked gorgeous. But it was barely good enough to eat. Also tried a few cheaper items. Conclusion: all flash; little good taste. And a ripoff.

                        1. re: embee
                          b
                          bluedog Jan 25, 2007 06:04 PM

                          Wow! Is Sweet Tooth really that bad? Any positive comments? I've just admired the look of their cakes from the street (very "couture" as I said above), but it looked way beyond what i'm usually willing to pay. Anything good there at all?

                          1. re: bluedog
                            j
                            julesrules Jan 26, 2007 08:07 AM

                            re: sweet tooth, I haven't been too impressed either with their cookies etc, glad I didn't go so far as to try a whole cake. I also find their hours odd, they close early in the evening while the Danforth is still very lively.
                            What we really need in our hood is a French place with decent bread, croissants, and patisserie. Why does Bayview get all the love?
                            I still hope Chocolate Heaven will get decent cafe business.

                            1. re: julesrules
                              b
                              bluedog Jan 26, 2007 10:54 AM

                              Oh, i totally agree. I find Europa meets some of these needs, but its still not quite...well not quite (amazing custard tarts though). But what i wouldn't give for a bonjour brioche or a clafouti in the hood (even with the 'tude).

                    2. v
                      vox Jan 26, 2007 12:48 PM

                      i don't find the cakes at sweet tooth look very current or "couture", unless you consider what amounts to hot pink breakfast cereal plastered on the side of cakes with all the grace of a trowel to be couture. they're gaudy, and the look of them alone is off-putting imo. i can practically taste the corn and corn-syrup byproducts and the grease from cheap oil-based shortenings just by looking at them.

                      also, clafouti is a big fat waste of money. they don't make anything on site. i did a stage there and was incredibly disappointed. the croissant dough is frozen, gets proofed and baked the morning of, thus justifying their "freshly baked" tag. freshly baked does not mean made in-house! plus a lot of cheap, tinned flavourings and pastes.

                      bonjour brioche is lovely though.

                      1. s
                        SpiceMustFlow May 3, 2007 08:09 PM

                        Based on the reviews here, a friend and I stopped in recently. Exactly as described- the owner is indeed eclectic, asks everyone "is this your first time?" and also offered a free taste of truffles. (My verdict: they're okay.)

                        I agree totally with the "high-end homebaking" assessment. I'm sure it's a total labour of love, and I wish the place well, but there wasn't anything in the display case I couldn't have baked myself. (Full disclosure: the forementioned friend and I bake and decorate fancy cakes and wedding cakes together... )When I go out for dessert, I'd rather be WOWED, you know?

                        Having said that, it's a pleasant enough place, and might well be a neighbourhood hangout for Donlands-area folks. But I won't go out of my way to return.

                        1. thought_for_food Feb 14, 2008 01:03 PM

                          They now also serve sandwiches and salads for anyone looking for something beyond chocolate.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: thought_for_food
                            Poorboy May 15, 2008 07:18 PM

                            Have they gone out of business?
                            I have passed a few times very recently and they were always closed.

                            1. re: Poorboy
                              b
                              bluedog May 16, 2008 08:56 AM

                              Don't think so. They have adjusted their hours a few time however.

                              1. re: bluedog
                                j
                                julesrules May 16, 2008 09:43 AM

                                Yup - between the ever-narrowing hours and clear indications we are not welcome to sit inside with our toddler (but welcome to buy her ice cream and leave!) we have not been for quite some time.

                                1. re: julesrules
                                  b
                                  bluedog May 17, 2008 05:30 AM

                                  Really. This surprises me. I have not been in awhile as I ate my way through the menu and honestly just don't have much time to linger in cafes....but when I was a bit of a regular, the owner was always friendly to my kids (last year 5 and 11).

                                  1. re: bluedog
                                    j
                                    julesrules May 17, 2008 08:41 AM

                                    She does get impatient and therefore whiny as she waits for her ice cream. But that problem is solved once she has it. We've never stayed though because being asked "to GO?" with raised eyebrows does not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling. I'm sure I can be accused of being oversensitive here. My husband stopped going when they stopped being open in the mornings. I also worked my way through most items and while all decent, none have turned out to be compelling. It remains a nice addition to the strip but just less and less convenient for us.

                          2. j
                            julesrules Oct 16, 2008 12:47 PM

                            I think Chocolate Heaven has gone out of business. Newspaper is up and furniture gone. I do think it is a loss to the strip, but I wasn't exactly in there supporting him any more, so I can't complain. I always wondered what his expectations were for such a quirky spot, but hope he enjoyed the experience.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: julesrules
                              b
                              bluedog Oct 16, 2008 12:55 PM

                              Couldn't have said it better myself. I was in there a few weeks ago, for the first time in months, largely because he was never open in the evening, and things did not look good: he wasn't selling his squares anymore (nobody was buying them he said), and the cakes looked like they'd been there for a few days (tasted good though). Anyhow, RIP. We'll probably get another nail place or internet cafe; seems the only way to be successful on this strip.

                            Show Hidden Posts