I am a Canadian, and as such I can’t help but love maple syrup. It really is an amazing flavour that we may use more than other countries. I use it all the time in baking and smoothies, however I do also enjoy it with chocolate.
There are so many amazing Canadian chocolate makers in Canada using maple in so many different ways.
Maple is a staple in our house, we have a large bottle of local maple syrup from a farm we visited this year during sugar bush season. Did you know that it takes 40 litres of maple sap to make 1 litre of maple syrup? Plus, the sap only runs when the temperatures are high in the day and lower over night. Some years the season is longer than others.
Different chocolate makers use different techniques to add in maple. You can often find bars with maple sugar sprinkled on top of the bar, but my favourites are when the maple is incorporated throughout.
Palette de Bine has an interesting bar that has maple sugar and fir tips. It’s not always availble, but if you can get your hands on it you are in for a treat. The 70% bar uses single origin cacao from Bolivia and combines it with maple sugar and fir tips(that have been ground down) to create a very unique and woodsy flavour.
Palette de Bine, located in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, also has a Bines a l’erable, maple chocolate bar that is wonderful.
It’s the bar pictured above, and it is delicious.
Next up we have Hummingbird Chocolate. Hummingbird uses maple sugar from Fulton’s Sugar Shack which is down the road from the chocolate factory.
The bar I picked up from E’tat de choc in Montreal recently is made using Chocolats Monarque 65% Belize chocolate with a sponge like meringue in it. This gives it a very lovely texture on the tongue.
One of the other bars is the 65% Belize bar from Chocolats Monarque, which is lovely all on its own. The chocolate flavour matches beautifully with the maple.
There is also a Raaka bar; Maple and Nibs featured here. I really enjoy it and find the nibs give it a great texture and a bit of a darker feel.
There is a piece of white chocolate from Petite Patrie Chocolate; Maple White Chocolate with Almonds. Petite Patrie is in Nova Scotia and uses Nova Scotia maple syrup. The almonds in this bar give it a crunch.
Plus a white chocolate bonbon filled with a maple cream. I wasn’t looking for this, but sometimes chocolate just finds me. This one jumped off a shelf at a store in Jean Talon Market in Montreal.
Clearly you can tell I have a thing for maple. Chocolate and maple can be such a wonderful combination, that is truly Canadian.
Now, as much as I love maple and chocolate, I do love maple, and quite possibly maple taffy on a stick is one of my favourite treats. Maple taffy, which is thicker than maple syrup, is warmed up, then poured onto snow where it is left a minute or so before being rolled up onto a popsicle stick. Then you enjoy it. Usually a mess is involved.
After skating the canal, a hot chocolate is a great treat. If your chocolate is a bit bitter or you want to sweeten it up, you can always add maple syrup, maple sugar, maple cotton candy, or, in this case, a maple marshmallow.
And that my friends is a bit about maple and chocolate and some ways chocolate makers have used the two ingredients together. I hope you get the chance to experience a maple bar of chocolate soon. Let me know below if you have tried maple taffy before.
I’ll leave you with one last photo of that delicious maple and chocolate tasting plate.