A Melbourne, London & Hong Kong dessert blog
Satisfy your cravings at a new chocolate emporium reminiscent of chocolate boutiques in Europe.
In late 2011, a chocolate specialty boutique based in the north-western suburbs established a second outlet in Melbourne’s CBD. Specialising in chocolate bites, Chocolate Secret is furnished as a glass and mirror chocolate emporium reminiscent of chocolate boutiques in Europe.
There are three types of chocolate bites available at Chocolate Secret: truffles, enrobed pralines and moulded fillings. Like most chocolate specialty boutiques, there is a standard range available and which predominates, as well as a few seasonal bites of creative deliciousness emerging from time to time. The boutique claims to use Belgian chocolate and French fruit purees. Over a number of visits, MoMo & Coco have had the opportunity to sample most of the chocolate bites available, but we will only showcase here a small selection and detail just a little. To take away one’s chocolates, there is a variety of packaging available at Chocolate Secret — from gift boxes for $2-$4 and plain cardboard boxes for a $1 extra. For a smaller pre-a-porter, chocolates are placed in a plastic pocket. MoMo & Coco would like to see complimentary basic packaging. Below are pictures of our first two boxes of chocolate bites from Chocolate Secret, we have re-visited several times since but did not photograph.
Of the truffles range, MoMo & Coco especially love Chocolate Secret’s Bailey’s Truffle (a light Baileys-cream filling covered in sweet white chocolate); the Chilli Truffle (there’s a true kick here that may prove divisive among some people, made all the more powerful by the use of a dark chocolate covering) and the Green Tea Truffle (an exotic orb of Orientalism); and the Black Chocolate Truffle (a very very dark chocolate, akin to what a ristretto is to a latte, very very strong). There are other truffles available, but we picture our favourites below.
Unfortunately, Chocolate Secret’s Enrobed Pralines range are a step down from the Truffles. Flavoured jellies tend to be used in this type of chocolate bites, for example, the Raspberry & Hazelnut Praline is layered with a thin wedge of raspberry jelly, puree and a milk chocolate praline base and the Red Wine & Figs Praline comprises a too-gingerly infused red wine puree jelly. MoMo & Coco’s personal preference is against the use of sugary fillings such as these. By comparison, the other Enrobed Pralines that do not use the jelly slices are better, such as the Coconut & Dark Chocolate Praline (a match made in heaven), the Honey Cinnamon Praline (honey, cinnamon and milk chocolate moulded as a three-twig stack and in dark chocolate) and the very pretty Hazelnut Cut Praline (complete with a crispy feuilletine base and hazlenut-infused milk chocolate covering).
MoMo & Coco opine that the Moulded Fillings are Chocolate Secret’s forte. Their flavours are the most strongly expressed of the three categories of chocolate bites available, the filling always smooth and luscious, and the chocolate itself is better paired with the fillings. They moreover have an appealing epidermal. One would be advised to sample the Coconut & Lime Moulded Filling (a touch of tropicana in a luridly-coloured white chocolate); Coconut Meltaway Moulded Filling (note the wonderful Coconut-chocolate trend); the Chocafe Moulded Filling (a more creamy coffee rather than espresso); the Caramelised Raspberry Moulded Filling (be wary of the drippy raspberry puree inside, which has no tones of caramel); the Caramel Cup (here’s a toast to the re-introduction of thick unsalted caramel); the tiger-striped Grand Crisp (a white chocolate shell stroked with milk chocolate enclosing a feuilletine base and a ganache filling that lacked the alleged Grand Marnier); and the most unusual Olive Tepanade (exhibiting the potential of Chocolate Secret, quite strangely extraordinary with a squirt of olive oil amidst a luscious slightly salted caramel).
Most chocolate specialty boutiques in Melbourne do, of course, stock chocolate bites, including the longer-standing chocolateries of Haigh, Koko Black, Cacao and Ganache Chocolate, all of which produce generally classical creations. There’s also two other chocolate specialty boutiques — Xocolatl and Mamor — both of whom feature more adventurously-flavoured chocolate bites. To distinguish it from these institutions, Chocolate Secret sits somewhere in between, offering some good classics and a few exquisite contemporary tastes, from which MoMo & Coco particularly recommend their Moulded Fillings range. Overall, Chocolate Secret is yet another place to sate one’s chocolate cravings. Oh yes please!
- Dessert adventure checklist
- Dessert destination: Chocolate Secret, 234 Collins Street, Melbourne CBD, Vic 3000.
- Budget: $-$$.
- Sweet irresistibles: Chocolate.
- Must-eat: The “Olive Tepanade” and the “Coconut Lime” chocolate bites.
- The short and sweet story: Satisfy your cravings at a new chocolate emporium reminiscent of chocolate boutiques in Europe.