Monday, June 3, 2019

Castles, Trains, and Chocolate

Us on French Lick Scenic Railway
This past weekend I visited two smaller communities in Indiana with my hubby for our 27th wedding anniversary. One was specifically for a chocolate adventure while the other was for a wine adventure with the hopes of finding chocolate. Keeping reading for lots of photos and useful information before you, too, undertake this adventure in Indiana. This is not all of the photos I took but some of the ones I think emphasis the chocolate experiences (or lack thereof) that we had.

Clayshire Castle Brownies


The first chocolate we had was unexpected. At Clayshire Castle near Bowling Green, Indiana, Lord Douglas, owner, host, chef of the B and B, had brownies set out for guests along with lemonade and tea. As you can see we ate half of them that evening over a few hours between exploring, trying on costumes, and relaxing. Why was it unexpected? I wasn't certain how much of the food would be historic but I'm glad it wasn't because medieval through Renaissance food wasn't great by our health and taste standards. Plus they would not have had access to cacao until the mid 16th century, so no chocolate. The brownies are a family recipe and they tasted wonderful. Lord Douglas and Lady Josephine insisted we bring the leftovers home so we enjoyed them two days later when we got home. They were packed up with some leftover currant scones from breakfast so everything was great.

1/2 Breakfast at Clayshire Castle
We had hoped to find little candy shops, bakeries, possible chocolate shops along the 2+ hour trip south to French Lick that we visited a few years back. We even took the longest route to make sure we went through towns we had not visited before. Sadly we couldn't get an Internet connection to look for places and just driving around when we reached a small town found nothing. It was deeply disappointing because I was hoping to find other small businesses to share with you all. Not that we were hungry after a lovely breakfast back at Clayshire Castle. This photo shows only half the food we had for breakfast! There was also Eggs Benedict, bacon, and fruit later on.




Hubby checking out our train car observation level.


The reason we were traveling to French Lick was to go on the Chocolate Tasting Train, a themed 90 minute ride on the French Lick Scenic Railway. We spent extra money to get seats in the Observation deck but it moved back and forth so much that it was unnerving and made the enjoyment less. Plus it turns out that most of the scenery is just woods and you talk enough with your tablemates that you really don't spend much time looking outside. I recommend just getting a regular seat below.




This is the menu that we were presented with but it is a bit of a lie. Yes, three courses but each had three not two items on it as you'll see in later photos. Note: the menu may be different if you go. Lots of alcohol, 1 serving per course, so the trip is 21+ years of age; they check IDs don't try to sneak anyone under 21 aboard.

Let's look at each course.



White Chocolate course started us off with "Snow on the Roof" drink, White Chocolate Mousse dessert, and a large square of white chocolate. The drink had ice cubes but the car was so chilly that it wasn't as soothing as it might have been had the AC been struggling. I really liked the mousse but gave my hubby the raspberry. The square of white chocolate was average white chocolate but at least it was real white chocolate. The voice over explaining the tasting, when we could hear it, incorrectly said that white chocolate isn't chocolate; it is! It uses the cocoa butter from the cocoa bean and is therefore chocolate.

Milk Chocolate course was "The Cowcatcher" drink, Chocolate Truffles, and large square of milk chocolate. This was my favorite of the drinks that evening. The truffles were actually more like cake pops but with a brownie consistency not cookie like the description on the menu claimed. The square of milk chocolate was average. My complaint here is that we were the last to get the food and drinks but the server kept staring with us to take things away. The railroad needs to work on that service issue. However, even though Dark Chocolate is my favorite, this course was my favorite on the trip.

Finally, the Dark Chocolate course was "Railroad Coffee," Decadent Dark Chocolate Cupcakes, and large square of dark chocolate. I brought the drink to my mouth and took a sniff and set it right back down. If you have been reading The Chocolate Cult for a while, you know I hate coffee so much that having a coffee assistant has been a much from back in 2010. My hubby drank it and said the Kahlua really overwhelmed the Godiva Dark Chocolate Liquor (which we've had and loved on its own). The cupcake was disappointing first because the frosting was clearly milk chocolate but also it is very difficult to make baked good darker unless you are making flourless cake, for example. The square showed signs of slight fat bloom meaning it had been kept in less than optimal temperature conditions.

Have you been on this Chocolate Tasting Train or taken a similar trip?

Leave a comment and tell me about it!

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