Image Credit: chocolatecountry.com.au
Montville is a small town in the Sunshine Coast hinterland known for its quaint shopping and excellent dining scene. This small town packs quite the punch in the sweets department with everything from fudge, to Devonshire teas and even has its own chocolatier. Montville’s Chocolate Country is forging a strong reputation for producing the highest quality chocolate in the region. It is a true Montville delight, where they make chocolate dreams come true.
Chocolate Country is owned and operated by the lovely Julie Walters. Julie has been learning the trade as a chocolatier over the past 2 years under the guidance of fellow Swiss chocolatier, Konrad, who has 40 years experience. Combined they make quite the team, producing stellar chocolates.
The attention to detail and work that goes into each handmade chocolate is not only what has earned them an excellent reputation, but is also why we love to take guests to this special spot.
One of the secrets to making such delicious chocolate is the fact that they only use chocolate made in Belgium. The Belgians are world famous for making fantastically smooth, rich chocolate, and this provides Chocolate Country with a quality product as a base for all of their creations.
Belgium had a troubled past with the Congo which became their gateway to Africa’s cocoa plantations. This resulted in Belgium bringing back cocoa beans to Europe from Africa from around the 1880s. This early access to cocoa gave them the ability to understand how best to process the beans, which enabled Belgians to produce quality chocolate before most countries in the world. Even the Swiss, who are famed for their chocolate, learnt much of what they know from the Belgians.
Julie is also really passionate about sourcing top quality ingredients, locally where possible, to create a range of indulgent chocolates. She loves using Australian produce because of the wide range of beautiful fruits and nuts it has. Unique Australian flavours like Lemon Myrtle and Finger Lime are also included in their range to show off some of the more unusual flavours this wonderful country has to offer.
Whilst, all of their chocolates are equally delicious, their range of hearts are definitely their best sellers. With so many flavours to choose from, including more traditional flavours like caramel and hazelnut to more unusual flavours like their, rose flavoured, Turkish Delight truffle, there is always something to suit even the fussiest of taste buds.
Julie, like myself, is a dark chocolate girl and certainly knows how to make some delicious dark chocolate, but for her, choosing a favourite chocolate would be as hard as choosing a favourite child. Rightfully so, she says, “when you design each one you always end up making sure you like it.” So each chocolate is a truly refined creation that you know has been designed to taste great.
Although I would rate myself as a pretty experienced chocolate consumer, I certainly don’t know a lot about the art of making the perfect chocolate. This is something that I hope to change in the future by taking some classes with the experts themselves.
Julie and Konrad offer chocolate making classes that will de-mystify the art of tempering chocolate giving you the understanding of what you are doing and why. During their classes, you get the opportunity to make a variety of different chocolates using pralines, ganaches, fruits and nuts. Of course, there is plenty of tasting along the way, lots of different types of chocolates to try, a constant supply of tea and coffee, and lots of chocolate to take home.
Chocolate Country isn’t just a boutique chocolate producer and shop, but they also have a lovely cafe. You can take in the ambience of Montville in the beautiful patio garden with a coffee (from local Brisbane roasters Campos) or perhaps even something from their range of hot chocolates made with Belgian chocolate. Yum! On top of the drinks, of course, there is plenty of chocolate and other sweets to be enjoyed too.
One of the best ways to sample a number of delectable delights is with their indulgent tasting platters, which we always recommend to our guests.
So next time you’re in Montville, do yourself a favour and pay a visit to Julie and the team at Chocolate Country.
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