As a sedate parent living in the suburbs, I tend to be ready for bedtime by 9:30 and my favourite nightspot is always my own place. Therefore, when my old mates Helen and Sigrid dragged me out on the town far later than that, I was afraid I’d be spending it in a pub paying through the nose for bad wine and surrounded by young funksters I’d be tempted to mock for their ridiculous fashion choices.
Instead they took me – and Julie and Tom – to the Chocolate Bean Café in Union Street, Adelaide. It has been in existence earlier than the Bracegirdle and Cocolat shops and has maintained a faithful adherence to quality chocolate, hand-made with pride.
The chocolates on display were impossible to resist, and I selected the passion fruit, chai & hazelnut, orange, lavender and cherry truffles. Sigrid went for their dark Belgian chocolate mousse, Helen and Julie also selected some truffles including rose, grasshopper (white chocolate and mint) and mocha and Tom was at the counter ordering the ‘Death by Chocolate’ cake before we’d even found a table.
The truffles put those made by Cocolat to shame. In fact, they kicked culinary arse. The passion fruit was creamy, light and tangy and the dark chocolate lavender truffle tasted sublime. The orange – one of my favourite partners for dark chocolate – was truly excellent, as was the rose (on a par with Haigh’s crème flavour-wise) and the girls loved their hazelnut, mocha and grasshopper flavours. For my money, the cherry truffle reigned supreme as seriously good quality dark chocolate with a buttery centre superbly flavoured with a kirsch liqueur. Absolutely top notch.
Throwing caution – and calorie counts – to the winds, we also ordered a plate of their milk chocolate shards. Even after gorging on truffles galore, the chocolate still stood out as being of exceptional quality, with a creamy texture that made me long for more. Sigrid’s mousse reminded me of how good this classic dessert can be when made with real care and the best ingredients. It wasn’t too heavy or too bland, but just right.
It was Tom who was to be the revelation of the evening. He politely let us try his ‘Death by Chocolate’ cake which was surrounded by melted chocolate and was mostly a generous slab of dark ganache on top of a meringue crust. I’d definitely struggle to eat even half of one slice, but not our Tom. A keen bike rider with not an ounce of fat on him, he managed to tuck away two slices of the incredibly rich cake, plus sample a bit of every truffle, finish off Sigrid’s mousse, try a few chunks of the milk chocolate we bought AND then slurp down a honeycomb milkshake! Afterwards, he sat back, smiled and said, “Now I can tell the guys tomorrow that I was with four women and had several orgasms.” Quite a recommendation!