Wednesday, June 10, 2009

California Chocolate Pilgrimage

It doesn’t take much to get me to take a trip to a good bakery or chocolatier, but to get the San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square, I would walk through fire or at least a heck of a hill and then some 40 minutes worth of adventure…both ways.
Following my phone’s GPS dot I made my pilgrimage to North Street and just when I thought I was lost (yet again), in the horizon I could see the iconic clock tour and the large letters that spell Ghiradelli in front of the Bay’s view of the ocean. A flood of relief and excitement swelled inside my belly and was greeted warmly by a lovely man in a blue apron offering me a free sample of Ghirardelli’s rich and smooth chocolate square.

While it is located close to the tourist trap that is Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli square is a chocolate lovers dream. In addition to the store, there is an ice cream parlor and café.

The brick building is the original historic building of where Domingo Ghirardelli first manufactured his chocolate, however the chocolate is no longer produced here...sad, but there are other sights to be seen… enter Kara’s Cupcakes.

Clean, simple and pink. Kara’s Cupcakes presents pretty little cakes in a no-fuss, no-way these aren’t good way.

The store’s large pink wall features explanations of the cupcakes flavors, but all it takes is a look at the rows of cupcakes to make a selection.

As it is strawberry season, the seasonal flavor is an organic strawberry cream. The moist vanilla cupcake is filled with organic strawberries, which are grown locally, and is topped with a smooth cream cheese frosting. At Kara’s the smallest box fits two cupcakes snuggly…so I selected a chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles (I’m sorry I can’t remember the name) to be the strawberry cake’s new best friend.

I love that Kara, the bakery’s owner is the daughter of a dentist and according to the site’s biography used to hide sweets around the house.

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