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Stubbe chocolates a legacy of quality and tradition

Filling up your hearts desire this Valentine’s.

Chocolate lovers in Ottawa have known the name Stubbe to be synonymous with delicious cakes and chocolates for decades. Anna Stubbe Chocolates is the latest incarnation.

The Stubbe family’s history with chocolate making stretches back six generations to 1845. I first encountered their treats on a visit to Ottawa and later back home in Toronto discovered that they had opened a shop at Avenue and Davenport.

I ran into Anna on the opening evening of the Canadian Culinary Championships and it was nice to have the chance to speak German again. 

Anna Stubbe interior. Ralf Joneikies/Ottawa Lookout

Anna Stubbe interior. Ralf Joneikies/Ottawa Lookout

She began by telling me that her Tante (aunt) Liesel on her mother’s side was a large influence on her. Liesel herself came from a long line of pastry chefs and confectioners and with both sides of the family involved in this industry, Anna chose to pursue her apprenticeship in her hometown of Ibbenbueren, Germany.

In 2002 Anna moved to Ottawa and for many years worked alongside her father Heinrich Stubbe at his shop on Dalhousie. Then five years ago she launched her own chocolate shop in Kanata.

Here she produces 20 different truffles, a dozen chocolate bonbons, as well as cakes. In honour of her aunt she offers the Liesel bonbon, an artful design that houses chocolate and a hibiscus caramel that really is worth having.

Chocolate assortment. Ralf Joneikies/Ottawa Lookout

Chocolate assortment. Ralf Joneikies/Ottawa Lookout

In fact, my palate appreciated being put through its paces sampling a variety of her confections. I have a few traditional favourites but haven’t tried enough yet to come to any conclusions. I’ll need to double my efforts.

Connoisseurs of fine chocolate will appreciate that she uses Callebaut confectioners chocolate and that her tempering instincts are masterful. The chocolate is never overworked, producing a delicate shell that snaps brightly and melts evenly in the mouth.

In a world where almost everything is over-sugared I also appreciate her sensibility because her truffles and bonbons taste less sweet than others I’ve had. Some of her ganache filled pieces have a long finish that feel close to dry. So good.

Anna Stubbe Chocolates is a long-overdue addition to our culinary scene. The excellence in talent in Ottawa should not be underestimated and with her years of experience, Anna is a beacon of all that is fine in chocolate here in the capital.