I have been to Adelaide several times with work, but I never saw it as I did today. It is a wonderfully compact and walkable city. The Central Business District with its must see market, the hustle and bustle of Rundell street featuring a range of Australian designers and restaurants. Step off Rundell street in any direction and you’ll find little gems for coffee or brunch. The CBD itself is surrounded by parklands, the river Torrens (we saw more than 1 black swan and pelican lazy on by), the Adelaide Botanical Garden and the Zoo. Beyond that you can easily walk to, or better yet base yourself in, trendy North Adelaide. Melbourne street is lined with cafes, bars, restaurants and an Adelaide classic; the dessert bars.
But the centre of Adelaide for me is at 256 Rundell street. What looked like a traditional chocolate shop from the outside, turned out to be so much more. Yes they offer a range of beautiful desserts, shiny chocolate covered domes filled with creamy mousse, chocolate ganache and shavings, all expertly created by Steven’s partner, pastry chef Chantell Giardina. Yes they have truffles and other bite sized chocolaty delights (all with female names) and their must buy honeycomb dipped in chocolate conveniently sold in little grab bags. But Steven ter Horst is also home to a range of incredible hot chocolates. Between the two of us we ordered 5 on one visit alone which is the first time we have ever done such a thing, especially considering I had already had 2 other hot chocolates that day.
All the hot chocolates are exceptional here. They use two types of couverture chocolate mixed to create a liquid ganache that is used as the base of their drinks. The Spanish Spices hot chocolate with cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg is heart warming and delicate. If you are a fan of berries then the Fruits des Bois hot chocolate with strawberries, raspberries and blackberries is for you. The Hazelnut Praline with Belgian praline paste is also simply delicious.
But the best hot chocolate here by far is the Aztec. A homemade chili oil made with bird’s eye, jalapeño, cloves, cinnamon and star anise is added to the couverture chocolate mix. The result is an amazing hot chocolate. Nothing like the chili hot chocolates you find in so many other locations where a spoonful of chili powder is added to the top of your drink, almost as an afterthought. This one blends perfectly and results in a beautiful drink which has the kick of chili without the pain, just the pleasure. First you taste the chilis, subtle at first but present, then the cloves kick in, the star anise, the cinnamon, with each sip a different spice would come to the front until they were all dancing around on my tongue. It was supremely addictive and even months later, I have not forgotten the experience.
Verdict: The best chili hot chocolate I have ever had, and I have had my share. Currently trying to figure out how I can get myself back to Adelaide…. Steven ter Horst Chocolatier, 256 Rundle Street, Adelaide, Australia