Hot chocolate affogato – belgian hot chocolate poured over vanilla bean ice cream…
As much as I love Koko Black’s decadent drinks, I love their handmade Belgian chocolates the best. K has been mail ordering over boxes of Koko Black chocolates and to say I’m glad they’ve opened in Perth is an understatement. (Mail ordering chocolate in summer is quite nerve wracking.)
We were lucky enough to be invited to the launch last week, where we sampled almost everything with reckless abandon (…which, for a lactose intolerant like myself, thunder thighs, amongst other side effects of dairy are the least of my worries.)
As if you need an excuse to visit, Easter is a pretty good reason to be in a chocolate shop…
Crunchy, creamy with a unique punch of saffron flavour.
So whilst being spoilt rotten with a little jazz, champagne and sweets, we found out Claremont’s Koko Black has lured one of their very chocolatiers to settle in Perth. Thus the salon is stocked to the brim with its own ice creams, hand painted bunnies and most intriguingly, two locally flavoured cocoa butter caramels, made just for us Perth dwellers.
Cleverly combining a Perth icon into its range, the stout caramel chocolate has Little Creatures’ oatmeal stout added to it. It sounds like an odd couple, but the stout adds slight yeasty aroma which makes the chocolate even more gratifying and complex.
However, the most popular chocolate in the salon would be the Manjimup truffle chocolate. The ganache is spiked with precious Manjimup truffle oil which gives the tiniest hint of earthy aroma, enhancing the chocolate’s sweetness.
The handmade Belgian chocolate cabinet. You can buy a single chocolate ($1.85 each across the range is not bad at all) or huge grandmaster boxes of 64 chocolates for someone special.
Passion – filling of passionfruit ganache layered with vanilla bean ganache.
Other than the truffle chocolate, the rest of the handmade chocolates are uncannily true to flavour. My personal favourite is the manon, mousse sheathed in a thin film of white chocolate. The espresso and cognac mousse is light as air and the little walnut hiding inside brings everything back to earth. I could eat these all day. (Sorry I fell in love so quickly I totally forgot to take a picture of the new love of my life…)
Another favourite would be the passion – a passionfruit ganache filled chocolate. Its ganache perfectly captures the fruity acidity of passionfruit. And well, I also like it because the chocolate has a gold sprinkle on it! It just looks gorgeous. In fact, we found all the fruit based chocolates were delicious, so when in doubt go for a fruity one.
Apart from the manon and passion, the chocolate you must try – just for kicks – is the tikal chilli chocolate. The dark chocolate is what you will taste first – sublimely sweet and almost bitter – then the heat appears – a slow burn on the way down. It’s not hot hot hot, but a sensation to warm the chest.
A slow burn – the tikal Belgian chocolate.
The dessert cabinet – all petite sized so you can have more than one! From the left, there are the lemon, creme brulee and chocolate petit shortcrust tarts, chocolate cake, vanilla panna cotta with strawberry essence and (in the corner) the alice lamington.
During the evening, we also sampled the leek tarts, chocolate tarts, iced chocolate, hot chocolate and the chocolate mousse. The food was good but the drinks were absolutely divine. Especially the hot chocolate, which was smooth and creamy.
Soon after, I learned there is indeed, a limit, to the amount of chocolate one could truly eat That night, much waddling (in heels no less) took place and on the way home, somewhere inside, I knew we’d be back for more.
Like, three days later.
We returned with the alice lamington in our sights. Its fluffy coconut, whipped cream and sour cherry filling taunted us during the launch event and truth be told, we couldn’t wait to try it…
Left: Alice lamington. Right: Decadent, but very sweet, chocolate mousse.
But, alas, when we got there, they had sold out of the lamington. So the only logical step was to suck it up and order the autumn spoil. Featuring pear as the season’s star, the spoil presents a pear sorbet, pear teacake, cookie plus a couple of choccies thrown in for good measure.
The autumn spoil – pear sorbet and chocolate mousse pictured here.
In the cutest little cup with a sprinkle of praline, the sorbet had the inimitable crisp flavour of pear. The sorbet is the best sorbet I’ve had since Italy and that’s saying something. The pear cinnamon cake was most deliciously eaten with the sorbet.
The two chocolates were ginger and walnut. The walnut was particularly interesting – it is shaped like a walnut shell and when turned over, reveals the exposed organic walnut.
Walnut – milk hazelnut praline with an organic walnut.
Left: The autumn spoil for one. From the top, pear teacake, gingerbread cookie, two handmade belgian chocolates, chocolate mousse and pear sorbet. Right: Chocolate affogato spoil with chocolate cake, two handmade chocolates and shortbread.
In hindsight, the gingerbread cookie plus the rest of the set would be incredibly good with coffee. And believe it or not, the shop actually does a good coffee. From Melbourne’s St Ali, the coffee is smooth (not in the slightest bit burnt like too many found in Perth) with a mild roast flavour.
The chocolate affogato is to be tried to be believed. At your leisure, a little jug of steaming hot Belgian chocolate is poured over a scoop of house made vanilla ice cream. Needless to say, anything that combines hot, cold and sweet is always damn good.
The low carb diet has been well and truly thrown out the window this week – and our insulin levels are probably bouncing with delight. But it has been worth every single bite and calorie.
Bring on the thunder thighs.
Up’s: Family friendly with a focus on quality product. The ice creamery stocked with house made ice cream flavours, like toasted sesame ripple. The handmade truffles. Great for impromptu desserts and sweets that won’t kill your wallet. Unexpectedly good coffee.
Down’s: It’s early days but Koko Black is already very busy. So if you want to have high tea, consider coming in lull periods like the late afternoon. Reservations are not accepted.
Claremont Quarter ‘The Lane’
23 St. Quentin Ave, Claremont WA 6010
T: (08) 9284 2049
Mon – Thu 9am – 10pm
Fri – Sat 9am – 11pm
Sun 10.30am – 10pm
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