Last weekend we were in Edinburgh visiting friends and I finally made it Plaisir du Chocolat. I had been wanting to go to this café that specializes in chocolate for a very, very long time. I first read about it in March 2005 when I was travelling in India. We were in Macload Ganj learning about Tibetan and Indian cooking and reading books on the sunny terraces in between. As I finished my book, I traded it in the hostel for a book called Debatable Land by Candia McWilliam. In this book, which is not the best, the main character is sailing on a boat from Tahiti to New Zealand and reminisces about his life back in Scotland, one of which was a day where he had hot chocolate in this cafe in Edinburgh and the description just made you want to go there (being a chocoholic does help too!).
I always thought it was a fictional place until my friend told me last month it actually exists. So last Sunday we made it there, after a nice walk through the cold, crisp and sunny city centre, we wondered down the Royal Mile, and there, between the old buildings is this lovely art deco style café. Walking in the door you are received by this wonderful thick scent of proper chocolate. So after pondering the menu and the cake display, I settled on a Tanzania hot chocolate, he had a Chocolate expresso and we shared a wonderful piece of raspberry chocolate gateau. The hot chocolate was really nice, made with 73% chocolate, it had a lovely hint of vanilla but was still nice and bitter….but I have to say the expresso has to be my favourite. It was really rich and thick and just sooooo chocolaty. The cake was divine, a very simple short crust with raspberry puree and chocolate mousse (but a really nice thick one) on top. I could have been hit by a bus and died happy after that…..
But luckily that didn’t happen as we also treated ourselves to a box of 4 chocolates to take home. We chose Uji, Scotland and Bounty, which were a dark chocolate outside filled with white chocolate ganache infused with matcha tea, whiskey and honey and coconut respectively. We also one Espelette which was dark chocolate filled with a dark ganache infused with chilli pepper from the Basque region. All chocolates were individually beautifully decorated and were a pleasure to look at and eat. We also got a box as a present for my parents with more pretty chocolates but as it’s taped shut, the pictures will have to wait.