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Issue 29: Australian Native Infused Chocolates
It’s been a busy few months of travels and hot chocolates. I’ll get to writing everything up in time, but first, Central Australia.
A few weeks ago, we drove a 4wd and camped our way across the Great Central Road to the centre of Australia. For those of you who don’t know Australia well, this isn’t a trip that many people do, or even think of doing. We did 8038km in 18 days and loved every second of it. The map looks empty but we were never bored. Since there weren't a lot of town or cafes on this trip (or even other humans for that matter), most of the hot chocolates I had we made on our trusty camp stove.
As with all our trips, I always bring hot chocolates to test and enjoy along the way. This time we decided to explore native Australian ingredients, infused into dark chocolate (Callebaut 70% in this case). Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities have been using native ingredients, or “bush tucker”, for tens of thousands of years as both food and medicine. While these grow in the outback, it isn’t very easy to find them in shops, and when you can, they can be quite expensive.
I bought a selection of dried natives and everyday we picked one out of the bag to try with breakfast. We read about each ingredient and had a smell and a taste of the dried version. We decided to be very generous and added about 1tbps of each herb per person (our hot chocolates were about 1-1.5cups of milk per person). The herbs were added to the milk and warmed up slowly before adding in the dark chocolate. Before serving, we strained the hot chocolates to remove any excess powder or leaves.
I’ve posted a summary of each of the native ingredients we tried, including what they looked and tasted like. I also included travel tips along the way, including the campsites we stopped at. Natives include Finger Lime, Lemon Myrtle, Davidson Plum, Wattleseed, Desert Lime, River Mint, Cinnamon Myrtle, Aniseed Myrtle, Gumbi Gumbi, Quondongs, Kakadu Plum, Jilungin and Strawberry Gum.
FINDING NATIVE INGREDIENTS IN CHOCOLATE
Here is a list of Australian bean to bar chocolate makers that have bars that include some of the natives I tried on my tip.
An extra shout out to Sue Lewis in Perth, an incredibly talented chocolatier who makes dangerously addictive truffles infused with native ingredients including lemon myrtle, raspberry and finger limes, local honey and wattle seed, among others.
This Week’s Hot Chocolate News
French chocolatier Cyril Lignac's hot chocolate recipe
Small kindnesses have more of an effect on people than we think (and the study used hot chocolate as the "kindness"…hence the link)
What’s with the continued obsession to review and rank bad cocoa powders?
I strongly disagree with this list of best hot chocolates in Houston….where’s Cocoa and Cardamon?
Smeg has a hot chocolate maker…Merry Christmas to me!
Thanks for reading and have a great week!
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