Sunday, March 28, 2010
When a calendar-flip shows how close Easter holidays is, I guess everyone starts plotting their time off and chocolate stockpiling.
So this weekend, I stopped at two of my favourite chocolatiers to see what holiday-flavoured goodies were on their shelves.
At Kakawa, David and Jin have converted the traditional hot-cross bun into a miniature praline. I'm not a huge fan of the raisin-studded pastry (it always tastes underwhelming but leaves you overstuffed!), but this cocoa version is incredible: the fruit-spiced flavour of the Easter staple is whipped into an airy, choc-perfect ganache. Skip the six-pack of hot-cross buns and get a half-dozen (or more, way way more) of this praline instead.
(Incidentally, new additions at Kakawa include the Muesli Gianduja and Blueberry & Yogurt pralines. In a perfect world, you could get away with living purely off these for breakfast. Especially the Blueberry & Yogurt, which continues to blow my choc-obsessed mind.)
As a fan of Kakawa's pralines, it's dangerous to learn that some of my favourite ganache flavours have been supersized into Easter-egg proportions. Here, the white chocolate shell hides a strawberry filling (I have to monitor doses so I don't overload on its greatness), the milk choc egg hides peanut butter (on standby for PB-loving Will), and the dark one contains both sea salt caramel and a warning from David (wear a splatter-proof bib or napkin before you dig into it, otherwise a laundry emergency may occur).
Over at Boon, Alex and Fanny have introduced their first Filipino-inspired praline, called 'Klara' (based on the literary character, Maria Clara, who embodies the ideal Filipino woman). Its zesty ganache includes a surprising hit of kalamansi lime.
There are also 'flower pot easter eggs', like last year. New additions include tonka-bean, with its sharp, semi-bitter almond-and-vanilla edge and zebra patternry, and tangerine orange for citrus addicts. The excellent green-tea flavour from 2009 has made this year's cast list, too. Each offering is 'shovelled' into a pot with crackly chocolate pebbles. It's the easiest way to cultivate your sweet tooth.
So, Happy Easter countdown to everyone. I hope there's enough sugar on standby to see you through 'til the much-wished-for holiday break.
Shop 5, 147 William St (a few blocks from the Darlinghurst Rd end), Darlinghurst, (02) 9331 8818, www.kakawachocolates.com.au.
Boon Chocolates, 251 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst NSW (02) 9356 8876, www.boonchocolates.com.au