I only recently noticed Hahndorf's Fine Chocolates in Upper Ferntree Gully. Living around the corner, I don't know how the giant word "chocolate" escaped my notice. What can I say? I've been busy. Having finally spotted it, of course, I went in.
Hahndorf's fine German-crafted chocolates started in North Balwyn in 2001 and have now expanded to nine shops across Melbourne and Geelong. There's now a second factory in Kilsyth, where the chocolates at Upper Ferntree Gully are sourced. With over 70 chocolate varieties to choose from, it's difficult to decide. You may need the nourishment of a hot chocolate to clarify your mind.
Hot chocolate here is the real deal – thick, couverture chocolate melted and mixed with steaming, frothy milk. You can order dark, milk or white, although I didn't detect much difference between my dark version and my friend's milk one. Still, both were delicious and oh-so-very chocolate-y. And reasonably priced, at $4.50 for a large mugful and complimentary chocolate of your choice.
Hand hovering over the enormous chocolate selection, I finally plumped for a Devonshire Cream, my friend for Chilli Truffle. The Devonshire Cream had a milk chocolate coating and luscious cream centre. The Chilli Truffle was a mix of sweet and sizzling.
There's a range of coffee and milkshakes, but the focus is definitely the chocolates – there are racks and racks of attractively boxed chocolates on display.
Helpful staff patiently explained the enormous range. Individual chocolates are $1.30 each and a medium hamper costs $40. Large corporate hampers are $200 and can be delivered. And for a more modest $6.50, you can buy a tray of 5 truffles. They also come in boxes of 10, 11 and 22. A mixed assortment of 11 truffles is $13.50.
But a prime number like 11 is just asking for trouble – there's no way everyone will get a fair share, not unless you've found a rare group of 11 responsible chocolate consumers.
They've also got cafes at Geelong and Hawthorn East (plus another 6 across town) - but none yet in the Western suburbs - I'm not sure why - surely there are lots of folk west of the city who like to drink hot chocolate!
By Sue Williams - senior reviewer Wednesday, 10th of August @ 02:07 am