Hilary Duff (blog/Twitter) is a quirky 21-year-old who loves multimedia journalism, cycling, food blogging, and churning massive amounts of baked goods out of her cramped student kitchen. She is also a contributing editor for Local Tourist Ottawa.
If you’re trying to find Jen Winter at craft sales this month, just look for the woman with a moustache.
Jen is the owner of kōkō chocolates, the latest – and arguably most delicious – business to enter the Movember campaign to raise money for prostate cancer research.
The campaign hits close to home for Jen. Her father is a prostate cancer survivor, after being diagnosed with the disease last year. Jen says these chocolates are a way to honour his fight.
Deprived of the moustache growing-genes gifted upon men, Jen decided to raise money in the best way she could: by making a line of manly-flavoured chocolates, proceeds of which go directly to Prostate Cancer Canada.
The flavours for her special Movember box have been in development for the past year.
After a much brainstorming and some consultation with her moustache-bearing husband, Jen settled on her four Movember flavours: a double-smoked bacon with a hint of maple, a milk chocolate ganache infused with Glenmorangie scotch, espresso and “the koko” – a 75 per cent Venezuelan dark chocolate ganache.
“I wanted them to be male-oriented flavours,” Jen said, when reflecting on her choices. “Not that the chocolate I make isn’t normally, but this is just taking it to the next level. I wanted to create flavours that really appealed to the male palette.”
Jen said she also wanted to focus on incorporating local ingredients into the chocolate. The double-smoked bacon came from ByWard Market butcher store, Aubrey’s Meats, where the fat was extracted for flavour and the bacon was ground to add texture to the chocolate.
The Movember box contains 8 truffles – two of each flavour – and costs $18. Five dollars from every box sold will be added on to Jen’s Movember fundraising page. Her goal is to raise $2,000 by the end of the month.
“A neat way to collaborate with a great restaurant in town”
Looking for something to go along with the chocolate? You’re in luck.
To round off the month, Jen is collaborating with chef Marc Lepine to host a special Movember dinner on November 29 at Marc’s acclaimed Ottawa restaurant, Atelier.
The final course of the evening’s tasting menu will be a pairing of Jen’s four Movember chocolates with donated Cave Spring Cellars wine. Tickets for the six-course dinner are $150 a head and Jen says proceeds of the event will go towards making a significant donation to the Movember fundraiser.
Moustaches are also mandatory. Jen says men are encouraged to grow their facial hair and women will be receiving a stick-on moustache at the door.
A special tasting
After drooling through my interview with Jen, I was dying to try the flavours for myself.
Jen had kindly given me a sample box of the four flavours to try at home. In the comfort of my living room, my roommate Brittany and I settled in and, to the sound of Paul McCartney crooning in the background, had our minds blown. Normally I find dark chocolate too bitter, but these truffles were all smooth to the taste. Our personal favourites were the scotch and double-smoked bacon. The milk chocolate was the perfect match to the scotch, which didn’t taste too much like alcohol (meaning that you could slip this over to your most conservative friend). The double-smoked bacon was amazing. After eating it, we both felt like we had genuinely just eaten a piece of bacon. It was bacon in chocolate form, as Britt remarked. The ground bacon infused in the ganache added a texture that only confused us more. And if that’s confusion, I never want things to make sense ever again.
If this post has given you uncontrollable sugar cravings, you can navigate to the kōkō chocolates website where you can order however many boxes your heart desires. Otherwise, Jen will be sporting her moustache at events all over town this month, selling her Movember line and more. Here’s where you can find her:
- Urban Craft on November 5 (that’s tomorrow!) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Great Canadian Theatre Company;
- Glebe craft and artisan fair from November 18-20 at the Glebe Community Centre;
- Idle Hands holiday craft sale on November 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Luke’s Anglican Church on Somerset;
- Hintonburg Artisan Craft Fair on November 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Hintonburg Community Centre
So what kind of ‘stache will Jen be sporting this Saturday?
“I think I’m going with a handlebar moustache,” she laughs. “I can’t decide.”
Thanks for talking to us about your Movember chocolates, Jen. The sample wasn’t too horrible either…
Are any of you mo sistas or mo brothers? Link us up to your fundraising page! Happy moustache growing.