Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Beacon Hill Chocolate Tour

          I’ve wanted to do a Chocolate Tour for years, and was excited when I had the opportunity to attend the Beacon Hill Tour on a recent Sunday afternoon. Prior to this event, I had thought there was one chocolate tour of Boston. Now that I know there are several in different neighborhoods of the city, I hope to eventually try all of them!

          We met outside of boYO, a frozen yogurt shop near Mass General Hospital. Before heading inside for our first taste, our tour guide gave out a list of stops with the discounts and promotions available at each, a bag of pretzels to cleanse our palettes, and bag to take home any samples we couldn’t finish. She also gave us our first bit of chocolate trivia, what our favorite type of chocolate says about us, and continued to provide more fun facts like this throughout the tour.

          We sampled a mini hot fudge sundae at boYO - chocolate yogurt topped with chocolate sauce and chocolate chips. While we enjoyed these, we learned that the yogurt is all natural and that each flavor starts with the original base and the toppings are mixed in.

          Our next stop was Beacon Hill Chocolates, a shop that supports local chocolatiers, and sells a wide variety of conventional and not so conventional chocolates like bacon and beef jerky flavored. We tried two chocolate truffles. The first was a chocolate ganache covered in tempered chocolate, and the second a dark chocolate praline truffle filled with a gianduja (hazelnut) filling. Both were delicious, but my favorite was the ganache.

          We headed up the street to Twig, a gift shop that sells flowers, chocolate, candles, and other great products. We sampled the chocolate covered orange peel from Rechiutti, and learned that Twig is the only place in Boston that carries Rechiutti chocolate (they’re based in San Francisco). We also tried out their sweet berry lotion by H20, which smelled amazing!

          We continued on Charles Street to Isabelle’s Curly Cakes, a cupcake shop run by Isabelle English (Todd English’s daughter). Here we got to try a chocolate cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting, and chocolate sauce. This was one of the best cupcakes I’ve had in Boston, and I will definitely be back to sample the red velvet (my favorite flavor)!

          Our next stop was 75 Chestnut, where we tried the Swiss chocolate and almond soup. This was rich and creamy, and very chocolaty! The soup is normally part of the sinful chocolate trilogy dessert, which I would love to go back and try along with several other chocolate desserts on the menu!

          We headed toward the theater district for our next stop, Finale. I’ve tried several of the plated desserts at Finale, the molten chocolate cake is one of my all-time favorites, but had never tasted any of the bakery items. I was excited to try one of their most popular items, the dark chocolate decadence. This was a flourless chocolate cake made from Valrhona chocolate, with a hint of coffee. It was incredibly rich, and definitely lived up to its name!

          Our last stop was Maggianos, where we tried the chocolate zuccotto cake. This was a chocolate cake layered with sambuca chocolate mousse, chocolate frosting, and finished with cocoa powder on top.

          I ate a lot more chocolate than I thought possible on this tour, and learned a lot about the whole chocolate making process from our very knowledgeable tour guide. It was a fun way to spend an afternoon, and I would love to check out some of the other neighborhood tours!


  1. I've had this on my bucket list for a while. I think you've convinced me to give it a try sooner than later. Nice post!

  2. Thanks so much! Let me know what you think of the tour!