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Valrhona Hot Chocolate Festival: Top NYC bakeries offering specials

It's hot chocolate season, and a bunch of bakeries are doling out special cocoa concoctions for a cause.

A who's who of New York's best bakeries will be participating in the Valrhona Hot Chocolate Festival, beginning on Jan. 21 and running through Feb. 5. The bakeries will be selling special hot chocolates, and for every cup of cocoa sold (whether specialty or the in-house standard), 50 cents will be donated to Valrhona’s Clean Water Project -- an effort of the luxury chocolate brand to boost living conditions and public health in Los Ranchos, Peru, a cocoa-producing community.

If you want an early taste, a kick-off event will be held at Laduree SoHo on Jan. 18, and tickets are $35.

Here's a look at some of the sweet treats from participating bakeries.

Laduree

Pastry chef Jimmy Leclerc at Laduree, known for
Photo Credit: Laduree

Pastry chef Jimmy Leclerc at Laduree, known for its delicate macarons, will be making a hot chocolate with Valrhona cocoa pasta, Valrhona Jivara chocolate, vanilla beans and more. (Multiple locations, laduree.com)

Fika

Fika pays homage to the Scandinavian custom of
Photo Credit: Fika

Fika pays homage to the Scandinavian custom of a coffee break that features a sweet pastry -- but there's no reason not to mix it up with a little hot chocolate instead. Try the Midwinter Haze -- featuring Valrhona dark chocolate, Valrhona Azelia milk and a house-made cinnamon marshmallow. (Multiple locations, fikanyc.com)

Almondine

Almondine will be serving a recipe dubbed The
Photo Credit: Almondine

Almondine will be serving a recipe dubbed The Classic, from chef Herve Poussot. Milk, sugar, dark chocolate and heavy cream -- all served with a Madeleine and a mendiant (that's French for a disc of chocolate decorated with nuts and dried fruits). (85 Water St., Brooklyn, almondinebakery.com/)

The St. Regis Hotel

If you're looking to get a little buzz
Photo Credit: St. Regis

If you're looking to get a little buzz along with your sugar fix, try The Grand Sip from St. Regis pastry chef Jeffrey Wurtz. It features a bit of orange liqueur Grand Marnier and is garnished with whipped cream, candied orange and edible gold flakes. (2 East 55th St., Manhattan, stregisnewyork.com)

La Maison du Chocolat

Head to La Maison du Chocolat for the
Photo Credit: La Maison du Chocolat

Head to La Maison du Chocolat for the Lucullan Spice, which is -- infused with cinnamon, cloves, allspice and ginger. (Multiple locations, www.lamaisonduchocolat.us)

Mah-Ze-Dahr

Mah-Ze-Dahr has quickly risen toward the top of
Photo Credit: Mah-Ze-Dahr

Mah-Ze-Dahr has quickly risen toward the top of the city's bakery scene, so you don't really need an excuse to drop by -- but pastry chef Shelly Acuna's recipe featuring dark chocolate infused with orange zest and winter spices and topped with a torched hazelnut marshmallow is an extra good reason to visit. (28 Greenwich Ave., Manhattan, mahzedahrbakery.com)

Sugar and Plumm

No need to choose between whipped cream or
Photo Credit: Sugar and Plumm

No need to choose between whipped cream or marshmallows with Sugar and Plumm pastry chef Thierry Atian's Best of Borth Worlds: It features both atop a concoction made of a mix of Valrhona chocolate. And different marshmallow flavors are available -- vanilla, chocolate, caramel and strawberry. (377 Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan, sugarandplumm.com)

Lafayette

Lafayette pastry chef Tyler Atwell will be pouring
Photo Credit: Lafayette

Lafayette pastry chef Tyler Atwell will be pouring a hot chocolate that features Valrhona Illanka chocolate. It's made from the Gran Blanco cocoa bean in Peru, revived by the Valrhona Clean Water Project the festival will benefit. It will be served with a complementary sweet bite. (380 Lafayette St., Manhattan, lafayetteny.com)

Baked

For a little bit of a jolt, try
Photo Credit: Baked

For a little bit of a jolt, try Baked pastry chef Matt Lewis' Velvet Mocha, a frothy, aerated hot chocolate with an added shot of espresso. (279 Church St., Manhattan, bakednyc.com)

Epicerie Boulud

At Epicerie Boulud, pastry chef Jayce Baudry has
Photo Credit: Epicerie Boulud

At Epicerie Boulud, pastry chef Jayce Baudry has dreamed up the Ginger Delight, made with a mix of Valrhona chocolate, cocoa paste and cocoa powder and infused with gingerbread spice. (Multiple locations, epicerieboulud.com)

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