Brooklyn's known for its art, music scene, and pizza...but what about its chocolate cook-off competitions? I arrived at Brooklyn's Chocolate Takedown without much background information on the festival, and, when I arrived, I was given a simple ballot and told to vote for my favorite festival entry. Sounds simple enough.
I like to think of myself as a chocolate fiend (i.e., I cart around a pack of BarkThins wherever I go), so I knew I had this in the bag. My excitement to try each station's creation was rising, as I was expecting the typical, assortment of mint chocolate or peanut-butter chocolate combos. But, instead, I experienced the most unexpected chocolate combinations of my life.
The first booth felt like it was teasing me. This was your typical chocolate mousse with dark chocolate ganache drizzled on top. This booth gave me the feeling that this event was going to be filled with simple, homemade desserts.
Then I got to booth two, and everything changed. The chef here was reeling people in by asking if they're ready for "an experience that will make their taste buds go out of control", so I knew this next concoction was going to be something different. When I got to the booth, he said "try my chocolate covered stuffed fig" and that's when I got a little disappointed. Why would a chocolate covered fig make my taste buds go out of control? Well, it didn't take me long to find out. At first bite, I didn't know if I could finish it. My tongue was burning, but I also tasted sweetness. I looked to the booth's sign and read that I had just consumed a chocolate covered fig stuffed with a combination of whiskey, chipotle peppers, sugar and butter. I didn't know if I wanted to continue, but I did.
Next up, chocolate cake. The cooks here called it "Hit the Bottle Cake" because the batter was made with stout beer, the ganache was made with whiskey, and the buttercream was made with Bailey's Irish cream. Honestly, I was hoping the booze in this cake would help me forget the chocolate fig.
I was a little nervous to try anything else, especially when I approached booths with signs like "chocolate salami" or "bacon-marshmallow-potato chip chocolate balls." But I ended up finding a lot really good treats like chocolate marble cake, and chocolate-coconut agave ice cream. I definitely preferred certain combinations over others, but I'm glad I got to expand my palette.
At last, I was finished. The palette cleanser I chose was water, and its familiar flavor of nothing was so satisfactory. Although this chocolate cook-off was an adventure for my tastebuds, I'm glad I got to experience it. If you're a spirited chocolate-lover, then check it out, I would just advise against any fig-related products.