The Yarra Valley Chocolaterie’s Third Hot Chocolate Festival

Originally published on Broadsheet.

For hot chocolate obsessives, this festival is about to become the centre of the universe.

Winning your body weight in coverture chocolate is now possible. By voting for your favourite hot chocolate at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie and Ice-Creamery’s Hot Chocolate Festival, this prize could be yours.

The event returns for its third year, offering 31 different hot-chocolate flavours over 31 days in August.

The Chocolaterie’s co-owner, Ian Neeland, says 40,000 people visited the festival last year to try unconventional twists on the cosy classic.

“We’ll release seven or eight flavours every week for people to try,” he says.

Flavours debuting this year include strawberry and balsamic, bacon and maple syrup, and honeycomb and lavender. Cookies and cream, mint madness, peanut crunch and bittersweet basil will make a comeback as last year’s favourites.

And if you like to snack while you slurp, the Slam Dunk may be your ticket – a cinnamon and honey hot chocolate with skewered homemade mini doughnuts.

Also look out for the dramatic Smokin’ Hot Chocolate, which comes with dry ice to stir into your drink.

For $12, guests can also attend half-hour tasting sessions run by top chocolatiers. They will provide extra insight into the art of hot-chocolate making. Bookings are essential.

The festival runs from August 1–31. Entry is free.

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