Slideshow: Snapshots From the 2013 Chicago Fine Chocolate & Dessert Show

Spooky!
Spooky!

With Halloween right around the corner, there were lots of zombies, witches, and skulls at the show.

Truffles!
Truffles!

These chocolate truffles from Bahama were easily the most beautiful at the show. The entire display was amazing.

More Truffles!
More Truffles!
Bacon
Bacon

Bacon makes lots of things better. These were some of the more interesting items I saw. Chile pepper turtles with bacon. Whoa. Out of control.

Babycakes Pancakes
Babycakes Pancakes

Somehow the Babycakes food truck was able to roll its way into the festival hall. Pancakes!

Gummy Bears
Gummy Bears

Even gummy bears weren't safe from chocolate.

Chocolate Jalapeños?
Chocolate Jalapeños?

Yes, you're seeing that correctly. These are chocolate covered jalapeños. Who knew?

Chocolate Heels
Chocolate Heels

You know, I'd consider buying a pair of these for myself. Cinderella, eat your heart out. Or just eat this chocolate shoe.

Chocolate Tower
Chocolate Tower

There were a lot of impressive chocolate statues at the show. Some of them were cordoned off to prevent people like me from knocking them over. Which I almost actually did. Don't tell anyone.

Brewed Cocoa
Brewed Cocoa

This product is like a cross between coffee and cocoa. It's cocoa, but it's brewed like coffee.

Monster Under the Bed
Monster Under the Bed

This is a kid's dream and nightmare. On one hand, you've got a monster under your bed, but on the other hand, it's made of cake!

Chef Mark Lie
Chef Mark Lie

If you guys watch Food Network, Mark Lie makes frequent appearances on the cake decorating shows.

Piece of Cake - Custom Cakes by Mark
Piece of Cake - Custom Cakes by Mark

This is the cake Mark created. Chefs and cake decorators came together in support of a charity organization called Icing Smiles, which provides unique custom celebration cakes to ill children and their siblings.

Firecakes
Firecakes

Firecakes is a hometown doughnut shop. They were reppin' their style within the throngs of chocolate heaven.

Pears
Pears

Along with chocolate covered jalapeños, they even had entire pears covered in the precious brown stuff! Wow.

Sixteen's Drinking Chocolate
Sixteen's Drinking Chocolate

Patrick Fahy from Sixteen brought out a really fun drinking chocolate. It started out with an excellent liquid chocolate base, but then he topped it with chunks of vanilla ice cream that had been steeping in liquid nitrogen. If you're going to use liquid nitrogen, might as well do it at Halloween!

Freeze-Dried Raspberries
Freeze-Dried Raspberries

These freeze-dried raspberries were dusted in chocolate. They had that dehydrated astronaut-food sponginess to them, but with the full flavor of fresh raspberry. The chocolate made the flavor that much more complex.

Michelle Boyd
Michelle Boyd

Michelle has also been on the Food Network for various cake and baking competitions. Her decorating skills are impressive; I was able to watch her do them in person, and I was in awe. I can barely draw a stick figure.

Werewolf
Werewolf

BOO! I'll eat your face!

Transfer Sheets for Truffles
Transfer Sheets for Truffles

If you have been curious about how they put those beautiful designs on flat truffles, it's because they use these transfer sheets. The plastic sheeting is painted with food-safe designs that stick to the chocolate once it's applied. Think of it as edible temporary tattoos for chocolate.

Square Truffles
Square Truffles

The transfer sheets from the last slide go onto truffles like this.