After a grey, cold, and rainy week spent cooped up in my office chasing seemingly endless deadlines (did I knock out a 19-page Issues Paper in one working day on a subject area I hadn’t worked in before? Yeah I did), Canberra gave me a gorgeous sunny weekend to enjoy. I caught up with one of my oldest friends for a heart-to-heart, cleared my bedroom floor of its piles of books, recipes, and shoes in preparation for a rental inspection, giggled with my mum over this link, met three of my gospel ladies for brunch and laughed so much my stomach hurt, read poetry, baked, baked, and baked some more.
Of course, I also ate chocolate.
The Tea Room Honeybush Caramel Tea Infused Milk Chocolate
Like the two Lake Champlain chocolates before it, this Honeybush Caramel Milk Chocolate by The Tea Room came from my much missed UVA friends L.MiteMaster and GreenJasmineTea. I’ve previously reviewed The Tea Room’s Yerba Maté and Masala Chai bars, so had high hopes for this flavour.
The aroma was sweetly chocolatey with slight dairy and tannin tangs. I took a bite and, as the soft fudgy chocolate melted in my mouth, I found myself swept back into my childhood with such a vibrant burst of nostalgia that I couldn’t help but smile.
As a child, my favourite drink was tea with milk and honey. This Honeybush Caramel milk chocolate captured that flavour so perfectly that I felt like I was again sitting at my grandparents’ table, winking at my grandpa as we fought our way to another Five Hundred victory against my brother and grandma, fueled by mugs of tea and a plate of Tim Tams.
To describe this chocolate more clearly, I say unto you: floral honey sweetness, faint tea flavour with no bitterness, cream and caramel.
Godiva Chocolatier 72% Dark Chocolate with Almonds
The hilarious and fabulous Sig sent me both this Godiva 72% Dark Chocolate with Almonds and a Cote d’Or Dark Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts last year, during her Overseas Work-Gallivanting. Even though she and I had only recently become friends at that point, Sig accurately gauged my love of dark chocolate and delicious, delicious nuts.
The Godiva Chocolatier 72% Dark Chocolate with Almonds was straight-up what you’d expect, but in a good way. The chocolate was silky-smooth, and strongly accented with earthy, smoky, woodsy, nutty, and roasted flavours.
The (unpictured) Cote d’Or Dark Chocolate with Whole Hazelnuts was far sweeter than the Godiva, with notes of vanilla, marshmallows, and brown sugar. The hazelnuts were astonishingly crisp, fresh, and pure in their nuttiness. Mmm, nuts. How they be so good?
Moondance Triple Nougat Pralines
These Kosher for Passover hazelnut praline chocolates were another spectacular gift from my even-more-spectacular work colleague, Vicky, whom my heart wishes would come work in the Canberra office with me. Vickyyyyyyyy. You know you want to.
The aroma of the Moondance Triple Nougat Pralines encompassed hazelnuts, caramel, and vanilla ice cream. As I took a nibble, I was immediately impressed with the soft, rich, and enticing fudge-like texture of the treats. Moreover, the flavour took me right back to eating gianduja gelato in Florence.
Moondance’s Triple Nougat Pralines taste a little like Ferrero Rochers and Nutella, but deeper, more hazelnutty, higher quality. There’s a memory of Kinder Surprises hidden in the white chocolate layer, while the milk chocolate ganache makes me think of buttery brazil nuts and caramel.
Thank you, Vicky! These pralines were much appreciated in the office. Now come move here.
Question Time: What were the highlights of your weekend?