Sunday, August 5, 2018

Review - Bottega Louie Fine Cocoa

One of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles is the diversity and the quality of the restaurants here. While an Italian restaurant isn't actually all that diverse, Bottega Louie is definitely one of my favorites.

The restaurant is very sparsely decorated, with bare white walls and vaulted ceilings. It feels very classy, although once you're seated and enjoying your meal it begins to feel very warm and comfortable. On the wall leading back to the kitchen there's a wonderful pizza oven, the fire inside giving off a warm glow to go along with the amazing aromas.

However, before you get to your table, when you first walk in the door, you are greeted by their bakery and gift shop. Sweets and pastries fill their display windows, along with an unbelievably colorful assortment of macarons. And tucked in there on the shelves among the little boxes of goodies and treats you'll find their gourmet hot chocolate mix and their marshmallows.

I've picked up this hot chocolate mix a few times now, as it's a great one. The package is wonderful and original, as well, and the vivid pink ties into the entire theme of Bottega Louie.

A couple of the ingredients were new to me. The first two are Noel chocolate and Jivara chocolate, and then it's rounded out with sugar, dry milk, Valrhona cocoa powder, and salt.

Doing a little research online shows me that Noel chocolate, or Cacao Noel, is a French brand. "Carefully grown and selected Equatorial beans are fermented and roasted at their factory on the Ivory Coast. A century-old manufacturer completes the selection blending in France. The result is a sophisticated chocolate line with an intensely rich, complex flavor." So there ya go, equatorial beans, roasted on the Ivory Coast, and turned in to chocolate in France.

The Jivara chocolate is actually a variety of Valrhona chocolate. I actually really like that Bottega Louie were so specific on their ingredients list, actually naming the exact brand and variety of chocolates they've used.

I usually make this mix as instructed on the package, which is 1 cup water and 6 tbsp cocoa mix. I've also enjoyed it using milk instead, and while it's a milder drink (typical when using milk instead of water), it's still absolutely delicious.

Made as instructed, it's rich and smooth, and very strong for a powder mix, with a very fudgey flavor. I'd go so far as to rate this sup there as one of the best powder mixes I've had. I really enjoy that rich fudge flavor, almost like you're drinking a warm brownie, so when I find mixes that have that flavor, I really embrace them.

Topped with those amazing, fluffy marshmallows, you can't wrong. Serve more marshmallows on the side, and include those chocolate ones for a super chocolate overdose!

To my surprise, you cannot order their cocoa or marshmallows online. That's a bummer! If you're in Los Angeles, however, it'worth a stop to pick some up, and heck, you could even enjoy dinner while you're there. You can visit their Twitter HERE. Be sure and tell them Melting Mug sent you! ;)