À la Mode is the candyland inspired outpost of the newly remodeled Konditerei at the Sun Valley Resort. This jewel-like space, reminiscent of a retro soda shop showcases Willy Wonka-like confections in glass jars lining the walls. It’s main winter attraction, though, is hot chocolate. With eight tidy stools sitting snugly across the counter, the center wall features a menu of roughly twenty different types of hot chocolate. That’s right, twenty. While the hot chocolate base is the same in all of the concoctions, it is the toppings that elicit oohs and ahs from its customers.
Flavors range from sea salt caramel to s’mores and even one for banana split. I sprung for a cup of peanut butter cup topped with peanut butter whipped cream and a nutty crunch. After I ordered, the hot chocolate barista moved briskly behind the counter, serving the steamy elixir in a mighty glass mug, magically whipping fresh cream in a nifty canister and graciously garnishing it with peanut crunchies. The flavors didn’t collide. Instead what resulted was a salty-sweet taste without the sandiness of a cookie or the cloyingness of a candy bar. For $5.95 a cup, it did not disappoint.
So what makes this hot chocolate so good? For one thing, the pastry chefs at the Kondetorei prepare a signature ganache mix of dark chocolate, milk chocolate and a vanilla infused white chocolate. To that lusciousness is added steamy milk from Cloverleaf Creamery a short distance away from Buhl, Idaho. That milk comes from a small herd of carefully-tended, pasture-raised cows. Quality ingredients, like that milk, give the hot chocolate a body that no watered-down, cheap cocoa can provide.
Violet Beauregarde might want to stay off the blueberry gum and try some of this hot chocolate. It may very well help her kick the habit.