If you think about it, Seattle has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to chocolate. Between the chocolate shops and chocolatiers that call this area home, our collective chocolate cravings will always be answered. And that’s not considering all the restaurants that put out chocolate desserts, bites, and snacks that are legendary in their own sense. As we approach another Valentine’s Day, here are a few places around town to revel in the sinfully sweet or the sweetly sinful.
The Chocolate Layer Cake at Coyle’s Bakeshop. There is so much that catches the eye and beckons you to order at Coyle’s Bakeshop in Greenwood. From their croissants to their Cretzel, their baked goods hit the spot. Especially their Chocolate Layer Cake. Rachael Coyle wanted to make the chocolate layer cake that she could never find; moist cake and creamy frosting with a robust chocolate flavor that isn’t too rich to overwhelm you. One thing to take note of is the frosting; Coyle says their frosting is an Italian meringue buttercream that is smooth and creamy, but avoids the crust that forms with powdered sugar buttercreams. And then fall into the four layers of cake with Coyle’s Bakeshop perfect ratio of frosting and cake in each bite. This is the chocolate cake of your dreams. You need this in your life.
The Deathcake Royale at Cupcake Royale. The Deathcake Royale is making its annual appearance at Seattle-area Cupcake Royale shops and for chocolate fanatics, it couldn’t come soon enough. This year’s Deathcake Royale (also available in a gluten-free version) is a three-layer cake wonder of sea-salted dark as night chocolate featuring Stumptown espresso ganache with Theo Chocolate and then finished with a sprinkling of Jacobsen Sea Salt. The touch of bite from the espresso helps balance out the richness from all that chocolate. All served up in a glass jar to eat with reckless abandon. I dare you not to eat the whole thing in one sitting. Get it before Valentine's Day as after that, the Deathcake Royale won't appear again until next year.
The Chocolat Chaud at Le Pichet and Café Presse. Picture this; a cup of the thickest, darkest, and most luxurious hot chocolate possible. Lying next to it is a saucer of freshly whipped cream that is a few revolutions short of being stiff. Fall into the decadence of the dessert by taking a small spoonful of whipped cream and dip it into the chocolate. And another one. Another one. Can you picture it? Because it’s a reality at Jim Drohman’s Le Pichet and Café Presse. I still remember the first time I had it and my world changed. If you haven’t had it yet, your world will change too.
The Grilled Chocolate Sandwich at Hot Cakes. While Hot Cakes got their rep for Autumn Martin’s molten chocolate cakes (and IMO one of the best chocolate chip cookies in Seattle), one of the surprises on the menu that is not to be missed is their Grilled Chocolate Sandwich. Which is exactly what you think it is. Take the classic grilled cheese, but flip the script by subbing the cheese with chocolate. The gooey sweetness of the chocolate waltzes with the salty buttery crunch of the Grand Central potato bread. The dipping ramekin of caramel sauce adds the exclamation mark. One bite and you’ll wonder why you don’t eat your grilled sandwiches this way all the time.
The Chocolate shops of Seattle. If your steez is more to load up on chocolate and take it home (or eat in your car), Seattle has got you covered with chocolate shops and makers throughout town. How about the venerable Fran’s Chocolates for their chocolates and salted caramels (or my personal fave, their Coconut Gold Bar)? Pioneer Square’s Intrigue Chocolates and their truffles are not to be missed. If you can’t quite decide on what chocolate you want, a stop by Queen Anne’s Chocolopolis is something you should do. They stock dozens of chocolate bars of differing percentages of cacao and their staff is great about talking chocolate. If you want to breathe in chocolate, a visit to Fremont’s Theo Chocolates is a must. Their product line has expanded in breadth and depth to be sure to satisfy any particular taste. Seattle Chocolate has recently launched their Experience Chocolate tour at their Tukwila factory. Enrobe yourself in all things chocolate on the tour and learn about Seattle Chocolate's process and their 25-plus year history as a chocolatier.