When I visited Soma Chocolatemaker in Toronto, I felt like a kid in a candy store. I guess it’s not that far off from being a chocophile in a chocolate store. Hrm.
The high ceilings and brick walls make you feel like you’ve walked into a Dickensian novel, while the glass-fronted rooms (labelled as “chocolate laboratory” and “gelato laboratory”) make you feel like you’re in a futuristic space place. It’s a neat contrast that I would talk about in more detail, aside from the fact that I was distracted by chocolate.
Aside from their own microbatch bars (more on those in posts to come), Soma carries some other bean-to-bar producers. Again, more on those later. There’s no real logic to the selection, except that owner David Castellan likes them. And listen: if the head chocolatier, chocolatemaker and bossman wants to bring in chocolates that he likes, I’m not one to argue.
We met briefly to talk about bean sourcing and chocolate science, and he mentioned that his English toffee recipe was incredibly difficult to develop. Given that – and my love of all things toffee – I had to try it.
Oh, lordy. Tasty. Crunchy. Nutty. Sweet. Ever-so-slightly salty. Think buttery, snappy, caramel-y toffee, coated with Peruvian milk chocolate, and topped with toasted almonds. I had to email David to ask if he put magic fairy dust in it, which was restrained on my part. I really wanted to ask where he bought the crack that the toffee was so clearly laced with. I started with a wee chunk – a taste, you might say – and fifteen minutes later, was staring at a sad, empty bag. And that made me feel sad and slightly empty, except that I was actually quite full. Of intoxicatingly delicious toffee.
55 Mill Street, Building 48