Monday, 12 February 2018

#Beta5Love Collection for Valentine's

#Beta5Love truffle collection exclusive for Valentine's 2018
My infatuation with Beta 5 Chocolates extends beyond their Summer Ice Cream Socials - let it be sundae season already - I indulge in their decadent cream puffs and chocolates year round. Chocolates are synonymous with Valentine's Day, so naturally, the Beta 5 team created a limited edition box of truffles and polygon bar. If you are not familiar with Beta 5, polygon bars is their name for a chocolate bar, but made using an ornate mould. They have also released a "bouquet" of their cream puffs including a special one for Valentine's day. 

All of their chocolate creations are made by hand at their storefront near Science World and you can watch the chocolatiers hard at work through the large window behind the cash. From their entire Valentine's day collection, I am most excited for their #Beta5Love box of chocolate truffles. There are 6 different truffles and each of them represent a different moment of love. It is a box of 12 truffles so two of each flavour that is meant to be enjoyed with your love to revisit those precious moments. The box also comes with an insert that describes what each flavour represents and a question to help invoke the memory. And as always, the Beta5 has done an exceptional job at capturing the flavours. The two standout flavours for me was the Butterfly and Enduring. The Butterfly is made with the premium Valrhona chocolate, specifically the new double fermented chocolate. By going through a second fermentation, the chocolate gets an additional layer of flavour. In the Enduring is a unique bespoke chocolate aged in a Bourbon Barrel which gives the dark chocolate this smokiness.  

Here is a quick rundown of the 6 chocolate flavours in the #Beta5Love

Spark | first moment of intense attraction (strawberry jelly, strawberry ganache, pistachio pop rock praline) 

Blush | sudden rush of possibility (lychee jelly, rose + black tea milk chocolate ganache)

Butterflies | first date jitters & nervous anticipation (passionfruit white chocolate ganache, Itakuja dark chocolate ganache)

Lust | burning desire the kind that lingers (blood orange caramel infused with mezcal, chipotle milk chocolate ganache)

Transformative | challenges overcome together & fosters deep respect (black garlic dark chocolate ganache, Bows + Arrows Ethiopian coffee infused dark chocolate ganache)

Enduring | complex layers of intimacy that comes with mutual trust (bourbon barrel aged 72% dark chocolate crafted for Beta5 by Fruition Chocolates in New York)

I am a huge fresh flower lover; however, not everyone can enjoy them due to allergies. Beta5 has decided to play homage to the most popular Valentine's gift by creating a cream puff bouquet. Their three most popular flavours plus a new one are getting a little makeover with flower image garnishes. Vanilla Bean is pussy willow, Vietnamese Coffee is daisy, Lychee Rose is obviously rose and the exclusive Valentine's flavour, Chocolate Passionfruit, is going to be hydrangeas. The Chocolate Passionfruit cream puff is a silky milk chocolate chantilly cream with a fresh passionfruit curd. This flavour is also in their #Beta5Love box and passionfruit also makes an appearance in the caramels. 

The last item from their collection is a new polygon bar named the King of Spades and meant to be the partner to the Queen of Hearts polygon bar. The Queen of Hearts is made with freeze dried raspberries and candied earl grey giving it a sweet tart flavour. The King of Spades on the other hand is a much deeper richer chocolate bar and is striped with two flavours. There is dark chocolate Oreo crumb (YUMM) and an espresso infused white chocolate. It kind of looks like a tuxedo to me as the sides are black and the middle is white - hahaha. 

I also cannot get enough of the packaging for the Valentine's collection. I am living for the metallic copper embossed lettering on the light lavender grey. It is refreshing and stunning and really stands out amongst the stereotypical reds and pinks. 

The collection is available now till Valentine's, so head over to their storefront ASAP! And while you are at it, go next door and say hello to my florist Garden Party Flowers and it goes without saying that the beautiful purple blooms are from them. 

If you want to see more pictures of Beta5's collection, head over to their Instagram @Beta5Chocolates and you can check out mine @PinkTeaLatte

BYES

Media preview for review consideration; all opinions are my own. 










Sunday, 11 February 2018

Macaron & Fried Chicken Valentine's Bouquets Exclusively VIA Foodora



This year, Valentine's day happens to fall mid week on a Wednesday which means a large majority of us are either working or at school. It really makes things a little tricky to surprise your love with something sweet when you are both stuck at the office and also have work the following day. To make things easier, my favourite food delivery company, Foodora, has partnered with two local restaurants and created edible bouquets. Oh and it is not just a sweet one, but a savoury bouquet too!!

Bon Macarons specialize in the delicate almond cookie. For Valentine's day, you can order an adorable bouquet of 12 heart-shaped macarons. You get three different flavours: Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Milk Chocolate Pomegranate and White Chocolate Vanilla Bean. I ate them a bit too fast and do not remember which colour is which flavour, but there is a red, dark pink and light pink macarons, so I am assuming the colours correlate to the flavours. The bouquet has a few fresh leaves and little wax flowers which I thought was a nice touch. The wrapped bouquet comes in a really nice white box and a fun card. I think 12 macarons for $25 is a really amazing price considering how ridiculously expensive macarons can be. Since 12 macarons are quite a few for one person to eat in one day, they recommend putting them in the refrigerator in which they will be good for another 2 to 3 days. The macarons had a good texture, crisp on the exterior, chewy in the middle and they did a good job with all of the flavours. 




I think it is really cool that Juke Fried Chicken is doing a bouquet of their signature perfectly crispy fried chicken. For those who do not know, I generally am not a big fried chicken eater, but if you take me to Juke, I will devour a few pieces. You get 8 pieces (mix of thighs and legs) is $29 and comes in a giant paper cone that is then placed in a box with another cute Valentine's day card. I love eating at Juke because of their two house made sauces: Hot Sauce and Beer Spiced Honey. The latter is my favourite, so if you are like me and need to drench your chicken in sauce, put a note down when ordering on Foodora and Juke Fried Chicken will throw some in for free. It is a fun cheeky Valentine's day bouquet and it makes a great meal for two! There is no better way to say I Love You then with free range fried chicken. Also, Juke's fried chicken is gluten free! If you are unable to eat it immediately or it gets cold, re-heat it for 10 mins at 400 to 450 degrees celsius and your chicken will be nice and crispy again. 

Both the macaron and fried chicken bouquets are going to be available for pre-orders starting tomorrow, Monday February 12th exclusively through Foodora. If you really want to get your Bae one, I suggest doing it soon because there are limited quantities, 40 Fried Chicken Bouquets and 20 Macaron Bouquets. 

If you end up getting one, let me know in the comments below! I would love to see a picture! I also always post first on Instagram so follow me @PinkTeaLatte

BYES

Media preview for review consideration; all opinions are my own. Affiliate links used.









Friday, 9 February 2018

Edible Art for Valentine's at Chez Christophe

Valetine's Day 2018 Collection | Chez Christophe

It is not often that I make my way out to Burnaby Heights, but when I do, I make sure to pop into Chez Christophe for some delectable desserts and chocolate truffles. It seems they like me as much I love their sweets because I was allowed a sneak peek at their Valentine's creations and a personal tour of their chocolate room! 

Head chocolatier Laure took some time out of her busy schedule to share with me her newest chocolate sculptures for Valentine's. There is the Playing Koi, Love Locked and my personal favourite, the Puckering Prince! The sculptures were designed to evoke imagery of love. Two of them were quite obvious, but I was stumped on the Playing Koi.

The Playing Koi is a play on words. The two fish are swimming together, but simultaneously being coy, a little shy, so the koi fish are Playing Koi.

Every single one of the koi fish are hand sculpted from modelling chocolate and then painted with a brush using coloured chocolate. The chocolate locket is made with 60% dark chocolate from Switzerland that is poured into a mould and same goes for the Puckering Prince.

Garden of Love | Chez Christophe 
The charming little frog prince had me enamoured with its adorable red pout and shiny gold crown. If you look really closely, you can spot a heart on his belly. I was curious about the fuzzy green finish of the sculpture and Laure explained that it is achieved by chilling the sculpture first. The green coloured coco butter and chocolate is then sprayed onto the cold chocolate which causes it to solidify instantly. So do not worry if you thought the puckering prince was a plushie at first, as I did. I think the chocolate sculptures are a great little gift and very reasonably priced - plus it tastes amazing too! 

A visit to Chez Christophe would not be complete without dessert and I was in luck because head pastry chef Sunny had made their two Valentine's desserts just for me! The Garden of Love was a rich milk chocolate bavaroise glazed as a bright red heart sitting atop of a passion fruit curd in a dark chocolate shell and some chocolate crumble for texture. It was really difficult to break into that beautiful dessert, so I took 100 pictures to preserve its beauty haha. 
The Velour Dessert | Chez Christophe
The second dessert was the Velour, a thick piece of red velvet sponge encased in pistachio ganache and a pistachio beet chocolate crunch. Above it was a bright white layer of lemon yogurt yuzu mousse and raspberry jam. I really loved the refreshing tang that Sunny highlighted from the yogurt and really helped balance the sweetness of the dessert. The Velour was my favourite of the two and I will most definitely be returning for another. 

Chez Christophe's Valentine's collection is available from February 9th till the 14th and pre-orders are strongly recommended. Thank you for showing me so much love Chez Christophe and letting me indulge in all your sweet creations. 

BYES
60% Switzerland Chocolate

Puckering Prince Chocolate Sculpture 
Laure with her Valentine's 2018 creation
"At the Movie" hot chocolate still available until Valentine's Day at Chez Christophe


Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Valentine's Flower Trends 2018 With Garden Party Flowers



For me personally Valentine's Day means a giant arrangement of beautiful fresh cut flowers, so you can probably only imagine how excited I am for February 14th!!! I actually even popped into my favourite floral boutique in Vancouver, Garden Party Flowers, to take a peek at this year's Valentine's flower trend. 

The biggest day of the year for any florist is hands down Valentine's day and they begin preparing for it months in advance. Garden Party Flowers placed their order for Valentine's 3 whole months in advance! The demand for flowers in February is so high that if they did not do it months in ago, Garden Party would actually not be able to get any. Ooo if you actually head over to their Instagram @GardenPartyFlowers they have been posting stories of the massive flower deliveries they are getting in preparation for the big day. That is crazy! What is crazier is that boys and men time and time again leave Valentine's till the very end which often means they are scrambling to find flowers. 

So this post is specifically for the BAES SO SEND this article to them now as a not so subtle hint to place their flower orders immediately. In fact, everyone should order their flowers before Sunday otherwise, you might not be able to get any which would be an absolute travesty. 

Girls do not just want long stemmed red roses with dollar eucalyptus and babies breath. Red roses are beautiful, but boring. There seems to be this fear of screwing up Valentine's day, so people try to be safe and stick to red roses. The high demand for red roses has lead to the absurd inflation of prices in February - nearly doubling!

I asked Garden Party Flowers to share their choice of florals to give on Valentine's:
  1. Mixed Spring - tulips, hyacinths, ranunculus - these flowers come in gorgeous vivid colours and are easy to care for meaning they will be around longer to admire and put a smile on your beloved's face. 
  2. Mauve + Pinks + Whites - Roses are gorgeous flowers and come in a whole spectrum of colours and types (garden, spray, AVALANCHE aka MY favourite). Mauves and Pinks are the biggest trend in flowers right now and not marked up in price like their red counterparts for Valentine's day. 
  3. Exotic Flowers - generally Orchids are quite expensive, but around Valentine's, they are relatively cheaper when compared to the red rose, so it is a good time to be a little fancy and ask your florist to include some orchids in the arrangement! 
Lastly, should you do a bouquet or a floral arrangement in a vase? If you are going to be presenting the flowers to your boo in person perhaps at dinner, you will want to go with the bouquet. However, if you are planning on sending the flowers to their workplace or even to their house, go for something already arranged in a vase because there is nothing more annoying than receiving a stunning bouquet of flowers and not being able to put them down anywhere till you go home. Trust me, go with the vase! 

So trust your florist and let them be creative! Unless red roses are your girl or boy's favourite flower, go with something different and fun because I promise you that it will not only save you money, but it will look beautiful too! Not to mention, I hate when everyone has the same thing as me and I can assure you I am not the only one who feels that way and wants to be unique. Place your orders now!

BYES



Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Hot Chocolate Festival 2018

The Tipsy Unicorn | Soirette Pastry Boutique
We are halfway through this year's Hot Chocolate festival and there have been some real winners. Most of the flavours I tried were milk or dark chocolate based because I find white chocolate to be a little too sweet. I wanted to try some of the more unique flavours like the buttered popcorn and carrot cake. Others I wanted to try purely for the visual like the magical unicorn and mini birthday cake. I am going to go in the order that I tasted the hot chocolates.

The first one I got to try was the "At the Movies" an intriguing creation by Chez Christophe. I think they truly achieved the movie popcorn taste. The 42% Ecuadorian single-origin milk chocolate was was a great choice as it really allowed the popcorn-infused whip cream to shine. Plus milk chocolate is super creamy and worked well with the butteriness of the popcorn. The hot chocolate was rounded out with corn nut sprinkles and a decadent gooey caramel sauce. The accompaniment was chocolate covered corn nuts which I loved! It was the most satisfying crunch ever and I think chocolate covered corn nuts should become a regular at Chez Christophe. 

Bel Café's Wascally Wabbit is probably the most interesting creation for 2018. Honestly Bel Café just did an extraordinary job and really captured the essence of carrot cake. The bright orange whip cream tasted like freshly grated carrots and the 32% Valrhona Dubey blonde chocolate was rich and worked well with the warm spices. The hot chocolate had pieces of nuts or whole spices, I am not sure, but it brought another great texture. Plus the cream cheese truffle - I could have a 100 more of them! Basically the perfect tangy cream cheese frosting in truffle form and the best friend to carrot cake. Unfortunately for all of us, the Wascally Wabbit was only available until February 2nd, but they are now serving Pretty in Pink which I am sure also tastes magnificent. 

I have a lot of memories at Butter Baked Goods from when I was in high school, so they are always on my list of must visits during the festival. The Birthday Wishes is just a comforting vanilla hot chocolate with pink tinted whip cream, rainbow sprinkles and an itty bitty slice of birthday cake. I wish the cake was a bit bigger because it was so miniature that it hardly was even a single bite. I also had the Raspberry Pavlova which was a dark chocolate with vanilla whip cream, raspberry meringue and dehydrated raspberries. The dark chocolate was a little too strong and the bitterness masked the raspberry. I think the addition of the dehydrated raspberries is what saved this hot chocolate for me because they were these little bursts of flavour. 

If you follow me on my Instagram (@PinkTeaLatte) you have probably been patiently waiting for me to spill the tea on Soirette Pastry Boutique. I had gone in to try the highly-instagrammable Tipsy Unicorn hot chocolate. Unfortunately for me, their front staff had quite the attitude and her rudeness just completely ruined the experience for me. Despite their hot chocolates being very good, I could only stomach a quarter of the drink before ditching it on the counter and leaving. It is uncomfortable to have someone glaring at you the entire time, especially considering I went there and spent my hard earned money only to feel unwelcome. 

Since then the owner has reached out to me and apologized on behalf of her staff and agrees that the behaviour was unacceptable and not what Soirette stands for. I frankly had no intention of ever returning, but I sincerely appreciate the genuine apology from Soirette and I really respect that. It is tough being a business owner and you cannot always be there to manage your staff. There was more to the story that ultimately pushed me over the edge, but I no longer feel the same way about Soirette and will actually be returning very soon because their stuff is DELICIOUS!

Oh and both of Soirette's hot chocolates tasted as amazing as they looked. The Tipsy Unicorn is the cutest design. The addition of strawberry peach Schnapps made the cacao barry zephyr hot chocolate a little boozy and brought another depth of flavour to the fruity hot chocolate. I LOVED THE NEON PINK HORN! Their second creation was the Liquid Gold which literally looked like molten yellow gold. It was a rich chestnut and caramelized sunflower hot chocolate that reminded me of Nutella. 

My final stop was La Glace and I went specifically for the Volcan De Glace, a molten hot chocolate cake that comes with a scoop of their Crême de la Crême and a ginger meringue kiss. I had really high expectations for this hot chocolate especially since they tried to be unique by doing a cake. The texture was like a very thick ganache and overall not very pleasant. The only saving grace was the scoop of their signature vanilla ice cream -  Crême de la Crême - so I would say skip the Volcan De Glace and stick to the ice creams. While we were there, we gave the Cocoa Goûter a taste too. It was a really good cup of hot chocolate, but nothing special. I did enjoy the Nutella brioche petite pain that came with it and it looked adorable. 

My favourite hot chocolates were the Wascally Wabbit and At the Movies because it takes a lot of skill to capture a difficult flavour in a hot chocolate. Definitely are a must try for me! The most beautiful hot chocolates were hands down from Soirette because come on - hot pink unicorns and liquid gold. Butter Baked Goods is good, but the flavours just were not balanced. La Glace was the biggest disappoint for me and completely missed the mark. 

Let me know in the comments below what hot chocolates you have tried and which ones you loved and which ones were misses for you. 

BYES

Wascally Wabbit | Bel Café 

At the Movies | Chez Christophe

Raspberry Pavlova | Butter Baked Goods
Liquid Gold | Soirette Pastry Boutique
Cocoa Goûter | La Glace
Volcan De Glace | La Glace
Birthday Wishes | Butter Baked Goods

Saturday, 3 February 2018

Recognized TWICE in one week



I started Pink Tea Latte on March 15, 2015 and never did I imagine it growing so big that I would be RECOGNIZED when I am out and about. This week, I was recognized not once, but TWICE! That is a record for me and I am like holy moly that is wackamoly! So without being too cheesy, Thank You! 

I am really glad you are all loving Pink Tea Latte and I want it to be as much yours as it is mine. So if you want me to do more posts on something or try out something, tell me in the comments below. If you do not have any requests at this time, just say hi, so I can say HAI back haha. 

Also important announcement: I now feel more comfortable being critical when it comes to reviewing food and products. So if I love something, I will continue telling you. However, if I dislike something, I am going to start sharing why I hate it. So basically, I am going to be keeping it even more real and no longer omitting what I hated. Especially when it comes to food because Vancouver has a lot of restaurants and everyday there are new opening, so if I do not think it is worth visiting a place, I will be letting you know. 

If you see me out and about, please feel free to stop me because I want to meet you too. Hope to see more of you amazing people in Vancouver. 

BYES

Friday, 2 February 2018

Fresh Prep Pad Thai


When I think of Pad Thai, I think of Bob Like's Thai Food because that is where I go to get this classic Thai dish. Never did I imagine making it from scratch at home. The Beef Pad Thai with Tamarind Sauce with Toasted Peanuts is my favourite recipe to date from FreshPrep. 

The original recipe used beef; however, I am not much of a red meat eater so I decided to modify this recipe. In place of the beef I was sent, I used extra firm tofu which then made this recipe vegetarian-friendly. It was a risky thing to do especially since I have never even made Pad Thai, but it turned out amazing and tasted phenomenal!

Since I am trying to include more vegetables into my diet, I added broccoli, mushrooms and extra red pepper. I started by blanching the broccoli and setting it aside. In a big saucepan, I cooked down the sliced mushrooms and red peppers until they softened. At that point, I tossed in the broccoli, shredded carrot, garlic, green onion and extra firm tofu that I broke apart with my fingers. I like using extra firm tofu because it holds its shape and has a texture similar to Indian paneer, so basically you can substitute extra firm tofu for Indian cheese. I added in the sauce and cooked it all together for a little longer to allow the veggies and tofu to absorb the flavour and then added in the rice noodles. VOILA! Best Pad Thai that I have ever had in my life! 



There are two things I want you to be aware of when tackling this recipe or a different pad thai recipe.

Firstly, Bird's Eye Chilli is no joke and do not disregard Fresh Prep's warning. This has to be the spiciest chilli that I have ever handled and it literally made my finger tips burn for three days! You really want to be cautious when handling the chilli and want to wash your hands immediately with soup and water so you do not get the oils of the chilli elsewhere. Despite me washing my hands and continuing to wash them for a few days, the oils just really had soaked into my skin and so every time that I accidentally rubbed my eyes, they burned! On the plus side, the Bird's Eye brought a fantastic kick to the dish and made it really flavourful. 

The second tip and something that I learned from my friend's Mum was to cook the noodles very last. The rice noodles cook very fast, so you want to just strain them and put them immediately into your sauce. If you keep your rice noodle sitting aside like I had, the noodles stick together. If it were not my friend's Mum stepping in and fixing my glob of stuck together rice noodles, this Pad Thai could have been an epic fail. She also said that not only do you want to use them immediately, but if you are going to have them sitting out for a few minutes, toss them in a little bit of cooking oil. The light coating of oil just prevents the noodles from drying out and sticking. It also makes it much easier to mix the noodles in with the sauce and vegetables. 

This was a really great recipe and I most definitely will be keeping my eye out for this particular Pad Thai on FreshPrep. I also just loved how easy it was to substitute the beef for extra firm tofu. Also, if you are thinking I just got rid of the beef, I did not, but gave it to a friend so beef lovers, do not be triggered!

My only suggestion to Fresh Prep for this recipe would be to change the order of the steps, so cooking the noodles is last. Aside from that, the recipe was brilliant. 

Use the code PTLFRESH18 to receive three free servings!!! If you use the code, it also supports me so I can keep bringing you awesome content. 

BYES

Received complimentary for review consideration; all opinions are my own. Affiliate codes used.