With over 56 different chocolatiers, pastry chefs, and confectioners, Indulge LA sweetened our weekend at the Olympic Collection in West LA on Saturday February 11th, 2012. The third annual affair raised thousands of dollars for the St. Jude Children’s Hospital and is but one of many luxurious events brought to us by Alan Semsar’s Barcelona LA. In addition to the most sinful of sweets, we tried some of the world’s top champagnes, wines, and spirits used to enhance the flavors of the chocolates.
When I walked in the first thing I was drawn to was the large display of fresh berries skewered and hooked to a triangle of chocolate from event supporters Cacao Barry, the world’s largest supplier of chocolate. I was in heaven; this was going to be a very good day! I headed to Le Grande Courtage French Champagne and grabbed a glass. It was heaven; the tickle of the bubbles mixed with the bittersweet chocolate and berries was perfect and my Craving Cocktails? AND Chocolate went into high gear.
To the right I noticed the large line from the display of friend and pastry hero, Carlos Enriquez. The smoking, liquid nitrogen bubble gum meringues they were making created intrigue. He and fellow chef-testant Craig Poirier from Top Chef Just Desserts presented us with donuts, not to sweet and served with chocolate milk.
Cupcakes were fully represented at the event and on the first floor we were greeted by Gourmet Cupcakery located in Glendale, CA, winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Cupcakes at Kira’s Kiss gave me the rich taste and luscious flavor you look for, but Alex Damsker CEO and former attorney was quick to explain that I wouldn’t have to feel guilty about my samples; 2 small cuppies are less than 100 calories and can be found at Tiato, Santa Monica.
Barbara Batiste started B Sweet Catering by supplying Ocean Park Café. She offered me her first original creation: chocolate chip banana bread. Its moist flavor was not too sweet and not skimping on the chips. Before I left she asked if I liked carrot cake, one of my mother’s specialties. I was worried hers wouldn’t hold up and I would be stuck in an uncomfortable moment. Not only was I delighted by the moistness of this vegan treat, I was surprised that I preferred the tofu frosting – sorry Mom! These not-so-sweet treats would be perfect with the Banana Daiquiri or Bahama Mama made with Rum served by El Cortez Caribbean Rum.
The handcrafted Mad Men inspired chocolates by internet based Choclatique offered a sample box of 15 and would make the perfect hostess gift for your next cocktail party. These include flavors of an Old Fashioned, Grasshopper, Gin Fizz, and Singapore Sling. I tried the Chocolate Martini and Pina Colada (fabulous daal-ling!)
I had imagined I would be tasting red wine with my chocolate, so I was excited to see the Patron, XO Café. The coffee colored tequila was offered in the Sweet Indulgence which combined the mocha flavored liquor with soy milk, tasting like a vanilla latte. The XO Creamsicle reminded me of a summer afternoon. You would be a hit bringing this tequila to the next BBQ pot-luck.
2 oz. Patron XO Café Tequila
3 oz. Vanilla Soy Milk
Served over Ice
1 ½ oz. Patron XO Café Tequila
3 oz. San Pellegrino Aranciata
Served on the Rocks
Indulge LA brought together cupcakes, truffles, chocolates, and other unique twists by the pastry masters in attendance paired with liquors like rum and tequila. It was a good cause that raised appreciation for sweets and spirits. I’m looking forward to Craving Cocktails? AND Wine at Barcelona LA’s next event, the upcoming Beverly Hills Wine Festival on February 26 at the Beverly Hilton with over 100 wines, beers, and spirits. See you there!
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