It’s been a while since I’ve had my hands on some Australian Homemade chocolate, probably because it’s been a while since I was in the Netherlands. Yes, Australian Homemade is in fact a Dutch company which was started by a Belgian who left Australia with his great Aunt’s recipes in is pocket. Crazy.
The company actually started in ice cream, but in 1997 they started producing chocolates in Amsterdam. The range has expanded but all of the chocolates continue to be made by hand. There’s quite a lot of information about the company history and development on their web site which is worth checking out. I particularly liked the company mission statement.
So to the chocolates. as you can see from the photo they positively dwarf the Chocablog 20p piece. Perhaps it’s because the Dutch are statistically the tallest people in Europe, because they are an impressive size. I selected six individual pieces, which were placed in a three-sided cardboard tray and sealed in the silver bag with a sticker reading ‘Love Inside’. The ganaches are known as ‘Dreamers’ while the one nut chocolate I selected comes from the ‘Bonzers’ range, and as you can see, the decoration on the top of each piece continues the Australian theme very neatly.
I started with the Milk chocolate with Macadamia & Cocoa Nibs. It’s a fairly densely packed affair, as you can see. The chocolate is quite sweet, and there appear to be small crystals of sugar in the filling as well, which I could have done without, but the combination of that most Australian of nuts and cocoa nibs was an inspired choice and put aside memories of the sugary ganache as I chewed on bittersweet cocoa and smooth nut pieces.
The Cranberry & Currant ganache was a smooth, rich affair. The depth of the currants were neatly lightened with a hint of cranberry, and the fruits sat well atop the dark cocoa flavours of the ganache. I really liked this flavour combination and looking back I realise I’ve not tasted too many currant chocolates, and it makes me wonder why there aren’t more out there.
The Chocolate and Red Fruit was, unfortunately, another slightly sugary ganache, only this time it was sat atop a lighter layer which was obviously home to the red fruits, which blended in well with the chocolate. I still wasn’t a fan of the slightly crunchy ganache though.
The chocolate and tea ganache packed a fragrant punch. It had a light, quick melting centre which seemed to be home to a few surprising fragments of nut or nib, but it was the tea that really shone through. Another well balanced piece which I thoroughly enjoyed.
The only white chocolate in my selection was the coffee and caramel ganache, and the centre was similarly light. The centre was whisper light and melted quickly and the caramel smoothed out the coffee, resulting in quite a rich, deeply flavoured mouthful.
My Cashew Nut and Lemon Bonzer turned out to be a layer of chopped nuts sitting on a lemon mousse, all held together with a thin dark chocolate shell. The nut layer was generously proportioned and the lemon layer was suitably bright and natural tasting.
All in all these chocolates are a pretty good showing. Not only are they physically large, the flavours were natural and subtle enough to allow the cocoa in the chocolate to come through. I didn’t like the fact that a couple of the ganaches had a little sugary ‘crunch’, nut other than that I’d be more than happy to make further purchases from Australian Homemade.