Chase and I occasionally feel outnumbered in what seems like a house full of boys. Recently, we shared the most delightful ‘girls only’ time in Bozeman at La Châtelaine. Most of us know Bozeman’s artisan chocolaterie for their divine handcrafted chocolates, but this time we went for the hot chocolate, or chocolat chaud.
This is an ultimate treat – they treat the service almost like more of a tea ceremony, encouraging you to sit and linger and sip slowly…though they can make cups to go. Each cup is $3, and they make several kinds. They always have their house hot chocolate and also offer one other type of hot chocolate each day.
Owner’s Wlady and Shannon Grochowski created this experience and recipe based on Wlady’s childhood visits with his maman and grand-mère to legendary tearooms like Angelina and Ladurée in Paris, where he gained a deep appreciation for the French tradition of afternoon hot chocolate.
The recipe was created to taste “as thick and rich as melted chocolate bars”; which they developed through a three-step process. They swirl house-made bittersweet chocolate sauce into local dairy milk, enliven it with a little fleur de sel, Amarillo chili powder, and blend it with dark natural cocoa powder. Then they add a side of house-made marshmallows. (Yep, your choice of either Toasted Coconut or Vanilla Bean marshmallows with frothy hot chocolate served in thick café mugs. Oh la la!)
Chase and I highly recommend a stop at La Châtelaine for anyone who needs to press ‘pause’ on a hectic day. Additional hot chocolate flavors include Mexican Spice (it’s steeped cinnamon sticks, honey and two types of chili powder—really dark and bittersweet) and Seasonal Peppermint (which comes with a homemade peppermint marshmallow).
For those who want enjoy La Châtelaine’s hot chocolate at home or to give as a gift, their signature hot chocolate mix and a package of house-made marshmallows are available for purchase at their South Rouse Avenue storefront. La Châtelaine is located at 110 South Rouse Avenue in downtown Bozeman and is open from 10 am – 5:30 pm.