Like most women in this world, I am a big fan of chocolate so upon hearing that a EuroChocolate festival would be taking place just a few short hours away from me in Perugia, during an entire week in October, I knew I could not pass up the opportunity to indulge. From what I had heard the fest would be packed with multiple chocolate stands selling endless types of chocolates sold by themselves, or filling wonderfully delicious treats. It sounded like heaven, but truly I did not prepare myself for what I encountered upon arrival at the fest.
Never before had I seen sheets of chocolates as big as a small table. Or towers of peanut butter and chocolate swirled together. Or so many delighted kids with chocolaty finger tips. Needless to say I was smiling the entire day.
The most significant issue I had was simply choosing what to eat!
The sweet smells seemed to creep into my nose every time I decided on something, leaving me clueless when it came to choosing just one out of so many heavenly desserts; so, I chose multiple.
However there were a few particular treats that I couldn’t pass up and will like never forget, thus I must share the sweet details. First I couldn’t say no to the simple but tasty chocolate-filled crepe. I had never enjoyed a crepe in general before, but the warmth of it and the gooey chocolate inside surely made this one unique.
Next I stopped at a Milka stand where I enjoyed a chunky chocolate bar loaded with a creamy caramel mousse, which became even better upon cooling the left over pieces in my refrigerator. Deciding to stick with the mainstream chocolate stand I then made my way over to Toblerone where I enjoyed a few scrumptious bitter pieces of fondente, or dark chocolate, mixed with almond pieces and honey.
Even sweeter though was the largest treat I indulged on the entire day: The Chocolate Kebab. The peanut butter-chocolate shavings loaded on to a sweet bread and topped with the most delicious whipped cream I have ever experienced was simply too much for my taste buds to handle, but somehow they managed. Every bite was better than the previous and before I realized it I had gobbled up the entire thing causing me to want nothing more than a big glass of milk. Seeing as how I was at a chocolate festival though I figured it would only be proper of me to find hot chocolate, which fortunately was being served at the Ciobar stand right around the corner.
Finally when I decided I couldn’t quite bear to taste another piece of chocolate I decided to top the day off with a big bottle of water and roasted chestnuts, which reminded me strongly of small potatoes, and filled my stomach to its utmost end.
Aside from the endless amount of treats available I thoroughly enjoyed the mood, environment, and structure of the festival. Certain things made me giggle to myself such as the men walking around in chocolate ravioli suits, as well as the store advertising extra large sized pants in case someone ate too much chocolate and needed a spare pair. There was also the continuous variety of music which ranged from reggae to love songs to pop, but all included lyrics about chocolate, that had me entertained over the hours.
Other things were simply just surprising! I never before had witnessed someone carving chocolate, a pair of chocolate batteries, chocolate dog treats, a chocolate chess set, or enormous blocks of chocolate loaded with numerous types of nuts.
The festival more then anything proved to me that the possibilities of what one can create out of chocolate are endless, and that you can never really have too much chocolate because on the train ride home I couldn’t help but to enjoy just one more savory piece.
— 200g unsweetened dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
— 170g butter
— 60ml water
— 170g brown sugar
— 2 eggs
— 150g Flour
— Pinch of salt
— Pinch of vanilla
— Pinch of cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch square by 2-inch deep baking pan; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine chocolate, butter, and the water; cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Add granulated sugar and brown sugar to chocolate mixture; beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until combined. Add eggs and vanilla; beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add flour, salt, and cinnamon. Beat on low speed until combined. Spread batter in prepared pan.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Sprinkle with cocoa powder and/or powdered sugar.
Makes: 20 to 25 brownies.
- To Bake Ahead: Prepare brownies as directed; do not cut into bars. Cover pan. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days. For longer storage, cut brownies into bars and layer between waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw brownies; sprinkle with cocoa powder and/or powdered sugar.