Friday, October 18, 2013

Chocolate at Cacao Atlanta

On my last trip to Atlanta, I went to this really cute yarn shop in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood. I planned to go there again when I went down for the Blogalicious conference, but my college roommate told me that the yarn shop was gone – and was replaced by a chocolate shop. Wow, even better!  (Could you imagine if it was combined? Although, then you may end up with a bunch of chocolate finger-printed skeins of wool which would not be too cute. Okay, so better that they stay separate shops.)

Cacao Atlanta is a delicious boutique of chocolate. It’s all white and cocoa-y colored, and with the cafĂ© tables, you feel like you just want to sit and eat chocolate all day.  And read a good book! In multi-tasking on this trip, I scheduled a book signing for my novel, Life in Spades, in the shop – it wasn’t cupcakes, but it was sweet, close enough.
My debut novel, Life in Spades - available in paperback, Kindle & Nook
For the book signing, they provided champagne and macarons – pistachio, lavender orange, and of course, chocolate.   I have become quite the fan of macarons since my PR friend took me to PAUL in DC and got me hooked.  I don’t ride the Metro often, but when I do, I try to come up with an excuse why I have to get off at the Archives stop just to get a couple.  Note, these are macarons – with 1 “o” – they are light, almond based cookies with a filling, kinda like a grown-up, fancy, much more decadent version of an Oreo.  Macaroons – with 2 “o”s – is a coconut cookie, which I do not like at all.

A completely unique treat was the salame di Cioccolato.  It looked like, yes, salami that you would pick up in a real deli with the rope tied around it and all.  The chocolate is rolled with shortbread and Amaretto cookies mixed in and you slice it, enjoying a delicate sliver at a time.  And the slivers, literally, melt in your mouth. Yum.

Onsite, they make custom bark. They melt the same chocolate they use for their candy bars, give you a choice of mix-ins like pretzels, nuts, and dried fruits, slather this all on a board and let it cool.  Ta-da!

If you love chocolate, they’ve got all kinds of treats for you. In fact, even if you don’t love chocolate, like one of my friends who was with me (yeah, I don’t really get it, either), they’ve got a slightly bittersweet bar for you, too.  So if you’re ever in the city, take a little trip over to the Virginia Highlands shop (there’s another in Buckhead) and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Home-made Chocolate Bark
Just in case, you can't hop a flight to Atlanta: A school-mom-friend of mine makes a homemade version of chocolate bark using chocolate chips and pretzels.  Simply melt chocolate chips (your choice what kind) in the microwave; line a baking pan with parchment paper and lay out broken pretzels, peanuts, peppermints, whatever on it; pour the melted chocolate over your mix-ins. Let cool, break with a wooden spoon, and enjoy.  Be careful because these are so easy to make, you might find yourself making them all the time.  They are also a nice quick gift wrapped up in festive gift bags.

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