It’s that great insulin spiking time of year again when we launch face-first into a world of chocolate. These are the places doing it for us this year
Darren Purchese is a sweet-fanged candy bandit and the man responsible for a salted caramel spread so good it has it’s own fan page. The Chapel street magic store of desserts and products for making DIY home creations (fruit salad white chocolate, and toppings that crackle and fizz) also has an Easter collection. Get your mittens around a bunch of salted caramel eggs, blue chicks, the cutest bunnies you’ll see this easter or humpty dumpty with a moustache. If you’re after a group gift they’ve got you covered with the ‘Fried Egg Choc Pop Box’ – ten milk choc pops filled with salted caramel, topped with mini white chocolate ‘fried’ eggs. South Yarra.
It’s as much about the gargantuan chocolate window displays as it is about the glistening handcrafted eggs and rabbits. This year, they’ve made chocolate adorable filling the window with goofy-looking chickens and chocolate minions– so cute. Buy an easter gift that’s a bit different like their golden egg made with milk chocolate praline or the eggs that look scarily like real soft-boiled eggs, yolk and all. If you’re in the city stop in at their new Cacao Lab, just opened in time for the chocolate season. Melbourne.
These guys are out in North Balwyn and have been doing the chocolate-factory-come-café gig for years before it was A Thing (as they somewhat tersely mention on their website). Expect traditional truffles and a bowl of hot chocolate the size of your head to drink while browsing. Balwyn North.
If you’d rather do your Easter chocolatiering in one sit down session, you can’t go past the chocolate bar at the Langham. Indulge in a three-tiered spread of fudges, tarts, mousses and ganache. There’s occasionally a chocolate fountain too. Southbank.
This is a sort of boudoir with chocolate, run by Hungarian saucepot Dr Hannah Frederick. Don’t expect a bag of cutesy chocolate chicks. Frederick’s velvet-draped shop purveys the likes of kangaroo salami chocolates, and she has an aphrodisiac range for men called Tomcat Alley. We love this temple to decadence, and we think you will too. Collingwood.
They make quite a chuffed-looking rooster here, along with all manner of statuesque chocolate creations that are as much art as food. The shop is good for a gawk and high calorie fix at any time (they do a chocolate degustation with Champagne at the Fitzroy cafe), but Easter is the no-holds-barred time for admiring serious feats of chocolate engineering. We can't get enough of their psychedelic egg cartons and handpainted hens. Fitzroy.
Thibault Fregoni, owner of Brunswick’s chocolate factory-cum-café, is the only chocolatier in Melbourne who is roasting, winnowing, grinding and refining his very own chocolate from raw cacao. He’s a man obsessed with creating perfect chocolate from ethically sourced beans, and educating the public about origins and the production process through chocolate appreciation classes. Buy blocks of the finished product, distinguished by country of origin, or hit ’em up for a hot chocolate you could stand a spoon in. Brunswick East.
From humble beginnings at the Farmers Markets to it’s own retail store supplying Melbourne with the finest of chocolate. You’ll feel like a kid when you get eyes on their Easter selection including the ‘Block Egg’ with pieces of coloured Lego chocolate around the outside or a giant ‘Freckle Egg’ filled with lots of little Freckles. For the footy fans, a 3kg, 2-foot chocolate bunny carrying a football chocolate egg. Malvern.