Chocolate, East Brunswick, Lygon St, Melbourne

M. Truffe goes Willy Wonkers

M. Truffe: now open at 351 Lygon St (in addition to Smith St, Collingwood) It’s a dream come true, Thibault Fregoni aka Monsieur Truffe tells me. It’s the first day his new cafe and chocolate factory (351 Lygon St, near Blythe St, behind a red door but without any signage yet) is open and he is excitedly showing us his new toys. When I say factory I should explain. To date most people in Australia are chocolate melters, including M. […]

Chocolate, coffee, Fair trade, Ingredients & produce, Tea

Q: Does Fairtrade matter in Australia?

A: It didn’t used to but increasing in Australia we are buying into the idea of Fairtrade, as these charts show. This week Harriet Lamb director of the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK is visiting Australia, a leader in certification of the ethical sourcing of products. The fact is that Europe has been leading the world in sourcing Fairtrade goods for some 18 years while in Australia in the past five or six years we have only come to buy […]

Chocolate, Collingwood, Melbourne

My wonky hot chocolate

180g cylinders of 100% pure cacao I‘m obsessed by good chocolate. This time last year flying on the excellent Emirates I was entranced by the story of Willie’s Wonky Chocolate Factory, a TV documentary aired on Channel 4 in the UK. (Check him out on Youtube) The storycentres on the trials of Willie Harcourt-Cooze who sold everything and planted 50,000 criollo cacao trees in Venezuala courting disaster at almost every moment. Finally, he succeeds in securing retail distribution for his […]


My secret chocolate kiwi fruit shame

Γ€ la recherche du temps perdu: Anthon Berg marzipans Back in the 90s in London I was doing a lot of Valrhona. Specifically, Manjari. I would hop on a moving Routemaster – the 137 – and sneak up to the Kings Rd to score big chunks of the stuff and Valrhona truffles made with Normandy cream and calvados. A friend was complicit in it encouraging me to bring Mangari to his Clapham South dinner parties. We were into some really […]

Chocolate, Ingredients & produce

Home made praline cocoa nut Felchlin chocolate bunnies

Does anybody out there remember Suchard praline Easter Eggs? As a child and adult I was obsessed with the things eating kilos at this time of year. Sadly there doesn’t seem to be a tradition of praline eggs in Australia. I’m forced to make my own but every shop in Melbourne – including my usual chocolate source where I find Sarah working – has sold out. Instead I’m making praline chocolate bunnies and it really isn’t too difficult to do […]

Chocolate, Cooking

Sugar high Friday: Chilli chocolate truffle three ways

I’m probably a bit stupid trying this one. Especially after arriving home at 3am from a mammoth beer and kebab session. But alcohol is alcohol and it’s addled my brain.Here goes.Chilli chocolate leaves would have been a better, more practical choice. With the addition of cream and butter the truffle mixture melts if you look at it.But I’m trying to leave my comfort zone and with the help of the fridge/freezer I try to construct these things.I set out to […]

Chocolate, Fair trade

Should we be eating this chocolate?

What chocolate should we be buying? I tend to go for the 70 per cent cocoa solids stuff. But should feed my conscience as well as my waistline?Earthy types have turned to Fairtrade products, where growers are paid over and above market rates to give them something near a living wage. Tomato uses Jasper Fairtrade coffee. Coffee prices have rocketed recently and Jasper coffee is several magnitudes more expensive than Nescafe. And now pretty much every mainstream coffee company is […]

beer, Chocolate, Drinks

Chocolate & Zucchini cake and Chimay

Here’s the scenario. A bunch of friends over. Loads of stinking blue cheese, piles of chocolate and chocolate cake. We try all the usual sweet suspects with these foods. But what are the stars of the night? One surprise for the traditionalists was how well a bold, robust shiraz can go with chocolate. The bombshell was that stout was an even better match. We’re not talking Guinness here. No, it’s far too rich and creamy and should really be enjoyed […]