According to the most recent data, Australia’s favourite chocolate bar is the Cherry Ripe. It’s arguably a fine bar but to celebrate World Chocolate Day, we recommend taking your chocolate experience a step further. Here are some of the best chocolate experiences in Australia to celebrate the sweetest day of the year.
Spend a day as a chocolatier
“Oh, these hand-dipped pralines? I made them myself.” Yes, you could be that smug after taking the Savour Chocolate & Patisserie School’s course, Level 1 Chocolates and Pralines, in Melbourne. Instructors show you how to temper chocolate and the techniques for making raspberry-rose-filled chocolates, salted caramels and hazelnut pralines. You’ll leave with new skills, an apron and a box full of your own creations.
22 Wilson Avenue, Brunswick, Victoria
SEE ALSO: 9 of Australia's Best Chocolate Shops
Create your own KitKat
KitKat, the chocolate-covered wafer bar, is 81 years old. That it has endured so long after its creation by Rowntree’s of York in Northern England is a testament to this chocolate bar’s deliciousness. But even classics need to mix it up now and then. In recent years, KitKat has been experimenting: there’s been the highly successful KitKat Chunky, the less assured Choc Mint Whirl and, in Japan, more than 200 different flavours have been introduced since 2000. Now, KitKat fanatics can have a go at creating their own KitKat innovation at the KitKat Chocolatory at Melbourne Central Shopping Centre. Using touch screens, chocoholics design a custom KitKat with a choice of three different chocolates and 16 additional ingredients that change every six weeks. Things like caramelised meringue, hibiscus flowers, matcha and potato chips. All up, you could create up to 1500 different KitKat combinations.
Level one, Melbourne Central Shopping Centre, corner of La Trobe and Swanston Streets, Melbourne
Spend time with chocolate royalty
We can thank Alfred E. Haigh for the proliferation of Haigh’s Chocolates stores in Australia’s south-east. Since he established the first boutique in 1915 on King William Street, Adelaide, the company, which is still run by the Haighs, has opened another 14 stores in Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. At the Haigh’s Chocolates Visitor Centre, just south of Adelaide’s CBD, you can do a tour and watch Haigh’s chocolatiers hand-finishing the stores’ range of delicacies.
Don’t forget to exit via the gift shop, where you’ll find truffles, caramels, fudges, mango creams, almond clusters and more. Even better, it’s the only place where you can buy Haigh’s seconds – chocolates that have been deemed slightly imperfect but taste just as delicious as their more visually pleasing peers – for a fraction of the price.
154 Greenhill Road, Parkside, South Australia
The Inner West suburb of Dulwich Hill is the unlikely destination for Nutella enthusiasts in Sydney. It’s where Aki Daikos and Simon Kappatos have opened their Nutella-themed dessert bar, Tella Balls. The name may give you pause but the desserts shouldn’t: what true chocolate-lover would say no to a “lasagne” layered with Nutella, chocolate biscuits and chocolate cream? This place is an all-out choc fest.
Pasta anyone? We close at 11pm, for your sweet pleasure! 🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝🍝 #pasta #pastatella #tellalasagne #tellafishandchips #crepes #nutella #nutellalove #nutellaheaven #belgianchocolate #milkchocolate #whitechocolate #finechocolate #foodforthesoul #dessert #dessertporn #dessertlovers #dessertblogger #desserttime #dessertlife #concord #dulwichhill @jt.psd_
Shop 5, 370 New Canterbury Road, Dulwich Hill, NSW
Open 11am-11pm daily
Liefje is the kind of chocolate that sugar-quitter Sarah Wilson would approve of. It could probably even get Pete Evans on board. This high-quality chocolate is made from organic raw cacao and is the only chocolate on the market that’s sweetened with maple syrup instead of cane sugar or agave. It’s also free from dairy and gluten.
It might be FODMAP friendly but don’t be mistaken: it’s pure indulgence. Each deliciously smooth Liefje block is handmade in Melbourne and wrapped in gold foil and gorgeously patterned brown paper. Flavours include Almond Brittle, Pomegranate and Pepperberry, Smoked Salt and Spice Trail.
Some like it hot
The Aztecs took their chocolate in the form of a bitter, hot drink spiked with vanilla and chilli. Koko Black in Melbourne has taken inspiration from them but its hot chocolates owe their creamy deliciousness to Belgium. The signature Belgian Hot Chocolate is made from cream, 54 per cent dark couverture chocolate and milk, brewed for two hours until it’s so smooth that each sip feels like you’re dissolving into a warm velvet cushion. In addition to the original, Koko Black does amazing flavoured hot chocolates, such as chilli, orange and cinnamon.
The endangered list
Holy cocoa beans! Chocolate from Tasmania’s House of Anvers is made from the original cocoa plant – this is the real deal. Pure Nacional cacao was believed to have become extinct in 1916, only to be discovered growing in Peru’s Marañón valley 10 years ago.
The beans used by House of Anvers have been genetically certified by the US Department of Agriculture as the original cacao. They are cultivated in Peru then shipped to Switzerland, where they’re made into couverture chocolate using traditional methods. House of Anvers has the exclusive rights in Australia to use Nacional – which it does, to great effect, in its Fortunato No. 4 Peru chocolate.
The ultimate chocolate cake
At Exp. restaurant in the Hunter Valley, NSW, everything’s about the Exp-erience. Case in point: the Daintree Chocolate Cake. Cacao pods are brewed to make a rich, chocolatey tea, which is used to create an intensely flavoured sponge that is topped with macadamia praline and mandarin custard.