Published in Hide & Seek Melbourne, February 2011
For the choc-Olympian within
I’m not really the athletic type. My idea of working out is putting out the bins, and I’m breaking a sweat before I’ve even reached the gate. But if eating chocolate was an Olympic event, I’d win gold every time.
Imagine my delight, then, at finding a cosy and intimate cafe brewing strong coffee, baking fresh cakes and crafting an irresistible range of quality handmade chocolates on the premises. Comfortable chairs, funky beats and wallpaper featuring bambi lookalikes are bonuses. It’s the perfect place to train, and boy, have I been training.
Day 1. Rise early and report to Monsieur Truffe for an early morning hot chocolate. Thick and creamy with a dusting of cocoa, it slips down the throat like liquid velvet.
Day 2. Work methodically through handmade truffle samples, settling on a medley of Mexican chipotle chilli, passionfruit and kalamansi lime flavours. Retain decorum while olfactory system goes into orgasm mode.
Day 3. I’m in the zone. Spend the day cross training between wedges of cake1 that disintegrate into crumbs of sweet bliss and chocolate clusters that look like miniature works of art. With nuts.
Day 4. Maintain international edge by sampling chocolates made from Bolivian, Ghanaian, Venezuelan, Madagascan, Ecuadorian, Peruvian, and Mexican cocoa beans. Pumped.
Day 5. Inexplicably hit the wall. Who am I to eat chocolate for Australia? Regain competitive self esteem by successfully home brewing Monsieur Truffe’s chilli dark chocolate mix.
Day 6. Pace myself by dipping fresh, still warm croissant into large, milky coffee1. Move on to spot white, milk and dark chocolate couverture2 buttons.
Day 7. Rest. Practise podium wave and speeches.
1 Note: while not strictly chocolate, coffee, croissants and cake are excellent training aids.
2 High in cocoa butter, ideal for cooking.
90 Smith Street, Collingwood