FOOD REVIEW: A decadent afternoon at Cocoa Wonderland
Cocoa Wonderland is a chocolate-lover's dream.
Cabinets of old-fashioned confectionary, and beautiful bite-sized chocolates, greet me as I step inside the Ecclesall Road store. It’s the prettiest place on earth and I am literally like a kid in a candy store.
But rather than head to the counter to start choosing, I sink into a pretty table by the bay window. Today, I’m here to try Cocoa Wonderland’s brand new chocolate afternoon tea. It’s been a long time in the waiting.
“There was such demand for us to do an afternoon tea,” smiles Kate Shepherd, who launched the business 14 years ago.
“But we knew that we’d have to stay loyal to our chocolate theme, and so a lot of time and planning was put into exactly how to incorporate chocolate into every part of the experience, without it being too much.”
And it seems they’ve succeeded.
The wensleydale cheese and homemade chocolate porter chutney finger sandwiches are tangy, sweet and incredibly satisfying. The open sandwiches with humous and chocolate balsamic glazed leaves have a terrific sharp, nutty flavour, with a bitterness in the leaves that is lifted beautifully by the rich glaze.
“The cheese and ingredients in our mini sarnies come from our Sharrowvale friends at Porter Brook Deli and Barra Organics,” says Kate.
“And our homemade chutney was actually made by my dad, using Thornbridge’s delicious Chocolate Porter beer.”
Next up are homemade scones topped with flakes of toasted cocoa bean which are crunchy on the outside and soft inside, with a gorgeous light clotted cream, and homemade chocolate strawberry jam. They’re beautifully light and are complimented perfectly by the hot chocolate shot at the side of each of our plates - made with Belgian finest dark chocolate and cream, it’s thick, milky, rich and decadent.
The final course, served with another top up on our bottomless teacups, features a brownie - which literally melts in the mouth - a Tipple Tails ‘Coco Bazaare’ chocolate fruit cake - which is beautifully laced with pistachios and honey, cardamom and chocolate rose liqueur - and a chocolate-dipped strawberry. As a parting gift, each customer gets to pick two delicious-looking chocolates from the cabinet to take home. At £17.95 per person, this is pure decadence for every sweet tooth in the city. Visit cocoawonderland.co.uk to book.