I didn’t know about Hahndorf’s chocolates, and hadn’t even found it in my online searches for hot chocolates in Melbourne. It was Rich’s parents that brought us here knowing my love (a.k.a. obsession) for hot chocolates.
Hahndorf’s is a chocolate shop founded in Melbourne in 2001 with a handful of locations across the city. The one we went to on Bulleen Rd is situated in the middle of an average looking shopping strip and has a few tables and chairs outside which are nice on a sunny day. Inside you are instantly hit by the bright purple walls, the main counter filled to the top with individual truffles and the large displays on either side of the store of boxes of chocolates. They have little containers with pumps which contain the fillings of lots of the chocolates so that you can taste them: mango, rum, peppermint cream.
So far everything looks fine, nothing spectacular, just another chocolate shop really.
Then everything changed. I went up to the counter to ask what kind of hot chocolates they offer. They have four. The first three, not surprisingly, are milk, dark or white hot chocolates. The fourth option is the fantastic one; you can pick any of the handmade chocolates that they sell and they will make a hot chocolate with that.
This is the first time in my life I have ever heard of this and of course it makes so much sense. You pick one chocolate you like, they take two of them out of the display case and melt them down with hot milk. Simple really. The most complicated part is choosing one of the 40 or so chocolates that they have on display. Some are quite traditional like Chili Truffle, after dinner mint and strawberry cream but others are very unique and never found in hot chocolates, flavors like plum pudding truffle, cookies and cream truffle and brandy orange almond truffle. After a very long time analyzing my choices I settled with a ginger truffle in a large white mug and it was definitely the right choice. My hot chocolate was really fantastic, a beautiful dark chocolate with a subtle kick of ginger throughout. Highly recommended.
As if that wasn’t enough to impress, the staff then come along with a platter which has one of every truffle that they sell in the store and you can choose one for free with your drink. This time I tried the black forest truffle which was exactly what it promised to be.
Verdict: Melbourne has some incredible hot chocolates. I would currently say it is the hot chocolate capital of the world in terms of variety and choice. This is definitely an experience not to miss. Hahndorf’s Fine Chocolates, 107 Bulleen Rd, Melbourne Australia AUD$4.50