Over the weekend the We Know Melbourne team took a day trip out to the Yarra Valley, but this time it wasn’t for our usual wine, gin and cheese adventure. Instead our destination was the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie for the Hot Chocolate Festival.
The Hot Chocolate Festival is an annual event that is now in it’s third year and throughout the month long festival, tasters (or should we say indulgers) can try over 31 different hot chocolates over 31 days! We booked ourselves in for the tasting session at 11am (as it was the only time available – book well in advance if you’re planning on going!) and the biggest mistake was sampling the chocolates around the chocolaterie beforehand – With over 250 products to try, we couldn’t resist! Drinking 8 different hot chocolates over the course of 45 minutes, it was easy to say that thanks to walking in on a full stomach and wanting to drink every last drop of hot chocolate (they were just so delicious not to), we put ourselves into a chocolate induced coma.
Some of the flavours we got to try included the french toast, red velvet, cookies and cream dream and the theatrical flavours, frog in a pond and red velvet. But our favourite was the caramel honeycomb crumble! Rachel, our tastings master explained that they make their own salted caramel chocolate for the honeycomb and the honey flavours run through the milk giving it that added sweetness and unique flavour. The richness of the honeycomb could be smelt before drinking and had us craving more!
After the tastings, we got to meet Leanne, one of the owners of the husband-wife team who started Yarra Valley Chocolaterie, and we found out that the chocolaterie is only 3 years old! Started because Leanne and her husband saw a gap in the market, the chocolaterie is now expecting over 11000 visitors at this Hot Chocolate Festival and they’re about to open a sister chocolaterie on the Great Ocean Road in late September. The chocolaterie is made up of 7 dedicated chocolatiers from France and Belgium (purely because Australia had no dedicated chocolate training school yet) and they work with local businesses (butcher, farmer, dairy) for supplies. So it’s not only good for the taste buds but also the local community too!
If you’re chocolate obsessed or just have a sweet tooth, we recommend doing a day trip out to the Hot Chocolate Festival! There’s plenty of new flavours to try each week including some very unique ones that we’re intrigued by – someone tell us what the white vegemite twist tastes like – we’re dying to know!
When: Until August 31, 2016
Where: Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Icecreamery