Sip winter's signature beverage at the third annual Valrhona Hot Chocolate Festival knowing you aren't the only one benefiting from the indulgent treat.
From Jan. 20 to Feb. 4, bakeries and cafes around the city — including high-profile names such as Dominique Ansel, Danny Meyer's Daily Provisions, Petrossian and Ladurée — are selling specialty hot chocolates invented for the occasion. A portion of proceeds will support the nonprofit Careers through Culinary Arts Program's (CCAP) job training program for underprivileged students.
The beverages made with Valrhona's luxury chocolate won't necessarily flatter your waistline, but the holiday-season splurge will cajole your sense of social responsibility: 50 cents per cup of hot chocolate sold at businesses participating in the festival will go to CCAP.
Here's a list of participating bakeries, and the exclusive, new hot chocolates they're selling as part of the festival (which we had the chance to taste at a kickoff event Thursday):
Dominique Ansel Kitchen (137 Seventh Ave. South, dominiqueanselkitchen.com)
The Cronut creator's West Village shop is serving his signature hot chocolate, made with a blend of two Valrhona chocolates and finished off with some housemade chocolate whipped cream.
Ladurée (Multiple locations, laduree.com)
The macaron parlor's dairy-free hot chocolate is prepared with hazelnut and oat milks and dark chocolate. Think of it as a liquid re-interpretation of a Ferrero Rocher.
La Maison du Chocolat (Multiple locations, www.lamaisonduchocolat.us)
The Parisian chocolate boutique chain is blending chocolate in three forms — the solid stuff, paste and powder. A touch of vanilla bourbon amps up the sweetness.
Fika (Multiple locations, fikanyc.com)
The cafe chain paying homage to Swedish coffee culture is serving a special drink made with two types of chocolate and cocoa powder, which gives it a granier texture. A dash of caramel and brown-sugar marshmallows add the finishing touches.
Brooklyn Roasting Company (Multiple locations, brooklynroasting.com)
Peanut butter, chocolate and espresso are a threesome made in heaven. The roasting company is making its own peanut butter, which lends a satisfying crunch to this drink.
Daily Provisions (103 E. 19th St., Manhattan, dailyprovisionsnyc.com)
Peppermint marshmallows embellish the bakery's blend of three melted chocolates and locally sourced milk with a flash of bright red.
Petrossian Bakery (911 Seventh Ave., Manhattan, petrossian.com)
The storied caviar purveyor with a midtown cafe imbues its hot chocolate with a unique texture. Cubes of sponge cake infused with a praline powder soak up the drink and give it a springy mouthfeel.
Epicerie Boulud (Multiple locations, epicerieboulud.com)
Speculoos paste, made with the crispy spiced cookies from Belgium, give the hot chocolate from chef Daniel Boulud's cafe its cinnamon-ginger flavor and a thickness akin to pudding.
Baked (279 Church St., Manhattan; 359 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn , bakednyc.com)
Head to the bakery's Red Hook or TriBeCa locations for a cup of salted caramel hot chocolate, topped with house-made vanilla marshmallows.
Patisserie Chanson (20 W. 23rd St., Manhattan, patisseriechanson.com)
The hot chocolate at this patisserie is surprisingly savory. The dark chocolate base is flavored with black sesame paste and balanced out with a pinch of salt.