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Hawaii Chocolate Festival and Cupcake Wars


If you haven't yet overdosed on chocolate this month, you will at Saturday's Hawaii Chocolate Festival, where $20 buys a tasting of Hawaii grown cacao and samples from over a dozen local chocolate artisans and vendors.

Madre Chocolate will be debuting its Cinnamon Daddy Mactella, combining Hawaiian macadamia nut butter with Hawaiian cacao beans, a rich and nutty spread for toast (or for spooning straight out of the jar, which I'm doing right now).

Newcomer Manoa Chocolate, another bean to bar maker, will also be providing a range of chocolates from cacao that owner Dylan Butterbaugh personally sourced in travels to Peru and Ecuador. In what he calls a "blind adventure," he simply started talking to strangers, asking if they knew cacao farmers. In Peru, his train of questioning led to a village of 1,000 people with banana and cacao orchards.

The chocolate festival is a chance to sneak preview Manoa Chocolates, before they open their Kailua store sometime in the upcoming months. Manoa Chocolates plans on bringing bars in flavors of coffee, ginger, chili pepper and some mixed with cacao nibs.

A sampling of the vendors:

Hawaiian Cheesecakes 
Malie Kai Chocolates
Sweet Paradise Chocolatier 
Waialua Estate 
Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory 
Hawaii Fudge Sauce Co 
Manoa Chocolate 
Madre Chocolate 
Ricard Chocolat 
Hokulani Bake Shop

Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, hawaiichocolatefestival.com, HONOLULU Magazine is a sponsor of this event.

Speaking of Hokulani Bake Shop, this Sunday, watch Hokulani bakers compete on the Food Network show Cupcake Wars. The show airs 6 p.m. on Sunday and 1 a.m. Monday on Food Network, check the cable listings in your area to confirm.

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