Lovers of hot chocolate should get set for 31 different reasons to venture to the Surf Coast or the Yarra Valley when the Great Ocean Road & Yarra Valley Chocolateries stage their annual Hot Chocolate Festival.
The seasonal celebration of this winter warming favourite will heat things up at both Chocolateries with 31 different flavours over 31 days this August.
Eight different flavours devised by the Chocolaterie’s own Belgian and French Chocolatiers will be introduced each week of August. A couverture chocolate base, seasonal and exotic ingredients, fresh herbs from kitchen gardens and inspiration from local surrounds will take the classic chocolate and milk combination to hot new heights.
Expect temptations such as decadent Hazel Nutella, French Vanilla, Heavenly Chestnut, Triple Chocolate Brownie, Mint Madness, Cookies and Cream, spicy Pumpkin Chai and even a Smashed Avocado and white chocolate flavour, while a collection of showstoppers will get temperatures rising when hot chocolates get adventurous and interactive.
Look out for Smores where marshmallows are hand piped onto a freshly baked shortbread disc a top a hot chocolate and flame toasted to order; or Hot Gaytime’s cheeky temptation of hot caramel toffee poured into a milk chocolate, topped with crushed honeycomb and served with a vanilla ice-cream popsicle. Go ooh la la over a Hot Croissant’s dunk-ready mini French pastry filled with warm chocolate skewered with a straw for extra indulgent slurping. Or watch teeny marshmallows explode into your Mallow Bomb hot chocolate thanks to a hand crafted chocolate bomb dropped into your steamy hot milk drink. Dark chocolate lovers will adore Piping Pistachio, a rich dark hot chocolate accompanied by a pipe your own pistachio paste. And kids (and kids at heart) will love the Cookie Monster creation with a hot chocolate cup made entirely from cookies to gobble up after enjoying the steamy hot drink or the freckled chocolate topper served with Freckle Head.
All ‘limited edition’ hot chocolates in the Festival’s line up will be served with an extra shot of milk, dark or white melted couverture and of course the ultimate accompaniment – a giant handcrafted marshmallow.
Hot Chocolate connoisseurs can enroll in special Tasting Sessions on offer every day at both locations. For just $18 per person, visitors can sip and savour eight different hot chocolate flavours plus pick up a tip or two on the art of hot chocolate making during a 45 minute hosted tasting session.
“Hot Chocolates in the hands of our Chocolatiers certainly takes this winter favourite to a whole new level and we can’t wait to share our 2017 flavours,” says the Chocolateries’ Managing Director, Leanne Neeland.
“This Festival has been such a hit at our Yarra Valley destination and we’re excited to bring the winter warming decadence to our newest Chocolaterie on the Great Ocean Road,” she adds. “What better way to warm up than a leisurely coastal drive for a couverture hot chocolate?”
The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery in Yarra Glen and the recently opened Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery at Bellbrae, just 20 minutes from Geelong, offer a sweet destination for chocolate lovers of all ages. Combining striking showroom, factory and all day café set amongst emerging fruit and nut orchards, kitchen garden, landscaped grounds and play areas, entry is free and visitors of all ages are welcomed with generous free chocolate tastings. Specially recruited European Chocolatiers at each destination handcraft over 250 different chocolate products from the finest Belgian couverture chocolate; as well as turn their talents to making gateauxs, tarts and pastries for the all-day cafés and creating artisan ice creams. Many chocolate creations are inspired by the nearby Valley or Surf Coast surrounds, draw on local ingredients or use fresh herbs from the kitchen gardens.