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Published June 12th 2012
It's cold, your tummy is grumbling, you feel like a treat: sounds like the perfect time for a hot chocolate, but not just any old hot chocolate, I'm talking a great hot chocolate - but where to get one and for a good price. I have some insider tips to share with you for many locations and even a cheap stay at home version that will delight family and guests.
Way back when I was a kid, a hot chocolate consisted of a spoon of drinking chocolate in a cup of hot milk, maybe even Milo if you were lucky. We thought that was just great, but times have changed, taste buds have grown up and we (even the kids) have become more sophisticated in our choices and desires.
Nothing spells out indulgence more than a perfect hot chocolate.
Imagine a steaming mug of hot chocolate, thick with real Belgium chocolate, maybe even shavings of pure Lindt chocolate on the top, sounds great - lets find out where to go.
Located around Melbourne, Koko black has perfected the art of perfect hot chocolate (and the iced ones are amazing too). Your cup will come out with milk at the perfect temperature, beautifully decorated on the froth with shavings of melt in the mouth Belgium chocolate.
As you sip you will be delighted to find it smooth and rich without being sweet and with a rounded flavour that you can take your time over allowing you to feel completely indulged, nurtured and satisfied.
*From their menu pages Hot Chocolate $6.00 Freshly brewed with a blend of premium soy and rich dark chocolate. Our signature beverage freshly brewed to a traditional Belgian recipe. Other blends available are Chilli, Hazelnut and Chocolate Mocha.
Chocolate Affogato $7.90 A carafe of our hot chocolate in a blend of your choice, poured over a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Light Hot Chocolate
Freshly brewed the traditional way using a lighter recipe
One of the Max Brenner iconic systems is the suckao cups. Rather than just a hot drink, MB takes this to an experience. Your ceramic pot arrives with a tea light candle underneath to keep the milk warm, a small bowl or 2 of little Belgium chocolate buds on the side with another jug of hot milk and a metal straw with spoon. All beautifully presented on a wooden tray.
You tip some of the chocolate buds into the hot milk, stirring with the straw and sip up your freshly made hot chocolate.
Another MB icon is the hug mugs, rather than a handle, these mugs are designed to fit snugly in your palms, to be lifted up to your mouth and sipped like a warm embrace.
*From their menu pages Suckao
A concentrated chocolate shot
Create Your Own Hot Chocolate with Max's Suckao $6.50
Dark, Milk or White Chocolate Hot Chocolates - served in the huge mug
Italian Thick Chocolate $6.00
American Marshmallow Chocolate $6.00
Chocolate with Crunchy Waffle Balls $6.00
Choice of Dark/Milk/White
Mexican Spicy Chocolate $6.00
Danish Toffee Chocolate $6.00
Coconut Chocolate $6.00
Mint Chocolate $6.00
Ripe in Sassafras
As you enter this tiny food produce store, you feel like you have entered a cafe attached to the back of a farm. The food is rustic and proudly displayed. But, let's remember, it's not the food we are after in this review, it's their hot chocolate.
I always remember arriving, watching this young girl - arms aching, with a huge knife shaving the Lindt chocolate off an enormous block for their hot chocolates.
Large glasses are filled with generous helpings of freshly shaved Lindt chocolate - you can choose from white, milk or dark and filled with steaming hot milk. Delivered to your table with all the chocolate clearly visible in the base of the glass, as you stir and sip the experience becomes richer and richer and will leave your sweet tooth well satisfied.
376-378 Mount Dandenong Tourist Rd
Sassafras 3787 VIC
Lindt Chocolate Cafe
A relative newcomer to the Melbourne scene, the iconic Lindt chocolate cafes have begun to pop up - serving their own brand of pure Lindt chocolate shaved into glasses with steaming milk and a generous shaving of chocolate. Some prefer to serve a pot of melted chocolate with a cup of hot milk. You can even order a few chocolates from their menu to enrich your hot chocolate even more.
Most of above venues will charge around $6 per cup, so how about having a go at making it yourself at home
You will need some milk and some chocolate, warm the milk on the stove top or in the microwave, chop up or grate the chocolate finely and add a generous scoop in the bottom of your cup/mug/glass.
Pour the hot milk over and stir, you can add a teaspoon of drinking chocolate if you prefer it richer or some cocoa and sugar.
Top with a shaking of drinking chocolate or a shaving of chocolate on top, maybe a marshmallow on the side - perfect! Enjoy!
How about making it even more special or perfects as a gift to give.
You may like to have a go at Chocolate spoons.
You will need:
Perhaps chocolate transfer sheets
Melt the chocolate (as above).
Dip the spoon in the chocolate and take a generous spoonful.
Place carefully on baking paper or tin foil and allow to set.
When set - you can use or wrap in a cellophane bag with a ribbon and give as a gift.
To use, simply take a mug of hot milk, drop the spoon in, allow to melt, store and enjoy.
If you wish to decorate the spoon a little further, you can purchase chocolate transfer sheets.
These are delicate sheets of plastic with coloured cocoa butter images, whilst the chocolate is still melted, press the cut out transfer sheet on to the chocolate, carefully press down and allow to set.
Once set, peel the plastic backing off and you will have lovely cocoa butter images on your spoon.
Wrap a couple if a cellophane bag with a small packet of drinking chocolate and some marshmallows and you have a gorgeous and unique gift that your loved ones are sure to enjoy.
Chocolate spoons and decorations my students made in a class I teach. You can see the chocolate transfer sheets that are awaiting the chocolate to set then being peeled off.