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Choc drinks at Cacao Lab and lunch at +39 Pizzeria

Cacao Lab

Cacao Lab is one of the cafés owned by Cacao Fine Chocolates and Patisserie. They have many cute éclairs, cakes, macarons and chocolates but we were most interested in trying their de-constructed iced chocolates. They’re served divided into three separate beakers, and then you mix them together… kind of like the lab experiments we do for our chem eng subjects, except more edible 😛

decor

iced choc salted caramel

Iced Chocolate – salted caramel (~$9)

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16

A Favourite: Little Cupcakes

For Ani’s birthday (a few weeks ago), we ordered 100 mini cupcakes from the Little Cupcakes Store in Degraves Street. Little Cupcakes has both normal and mini sized cupcakes in a variety of flavours, and they also have vegan and gluten free options. They’re not cheap at $2.50 each, but when you buy a dozen cupcakes the price is reduced to $2.20/cupcake and when you order 100 cupcakes the price becomes $2 each.

In our opinion, birthday cupcakes are even better than a birthday cake because: a) they’re cuter, b) they’re more practical and c) you can get an assortment of flavours to please everyone! BUT cupcakes are more expensive. So if it’s not a big milestone birthday (like a 21st in this case), it’s best to just stick to a normal cake… or you can bake them yourself if you have the time! 🙂

plate of assorted mini cupcakes

Assorted mini cupcakes. From left, clockwise: blueberry pistachio, oreo cookies & cream, raspberry white chocolate, Belgian chocolate, and salted caramel

We came to the store one morning and tried a few different flavours before deciding which ones to include in the special order. The salted caramel and Belgian chocolate flavours both had a chocolate cupcake base. They were a bit too rich, so while the chocolate flavour was good we ended up leaving them out of the final order. The oreo cookies & cream and the raspberry white choc were both much lighter and still very tasty, so they were clear winners. The blueberry pistachio wasn’t quite as exciting as the others, but it was vegan so we included it in the order too.

Instead of the chocolate based cupcakes we ended up getting the ‘dark horse’ espresso cupcake, which was yummy and had the added bonus of being gluten free. And most importantly, we also ordered some red velvet cupcakes. Because that is the best flavour. ❤

red velvet and oreo cookies n cream cupcakes

Mini red velvet and oreo cookies & cream cupcakes

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14

Le Petit Gâteau

Le Petit Gâteau is a small pâtisserie that is mostly visited for its delicious cakes, though it does offer a small selection of pastries and savoury items as well. Since the seating area is very small it can be hard to get a table during the busier hours, but they have cute little takeaway boxes which make it easy to take the cakes home intact. The small cakes are priced at $9.30.

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6

Gânache Chocolate

A couple of weeks ago we were looking for somewhere to eat dessert and we found ourselves in the Gânache Chocolate lounge on Collins St. Gânache has an assortment of sweet things on their menu, including cake, macarons, drinks… and of course, chocolate! We ended up getting all four of these things for a bit of variety.

desserts

chocolates

Gânache chocolates, $2 each.

The chocolates we tried at Gânache included a milk chocolate snowman filled with ganache, a salted caramel dome and a milk chocolate coated paillete feuilletine with hazelnut praline. The paillete feuilletine was the best one, with a delicious hazelnut flavour and a delicate crunchiness. The other two chocolates were good, but nothing special. Continue reading

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Chokolait (Emporium store)

Long time fans of Chokolait would have frequented the original store when it was known as “The Chokolait Hub” and was managed by both Ross and his wife. The business has now expanded to a second store in Emporium, but both stores are still run by the original owners, which means that Chokolait hasn’t lost it’s friendly vibe.

Chokolait has amazing hot chocolates – arguably some of the best hot chocolates in Melbourne – so it’s easy to forget that there are many other options on their menu. During our last visit to Chokolait we used a voucher for a tasting plate, so we had the opportunity to try a few of their desserts and iced drinks.

tasting plate

Chokolait Tasting Plate for Two

Our Groupon voucher included the tasting plate and drinks for two, plus a gift box of nine chocolate truffles, for $29. We ordered two extra drinks and shared the tasting plate between four, which worked well because we were all still full from lunch.

chocolate mousse

Chokolait mousse with double cream and a cherry

The mousse Continue reading

4

Milkshakes & Macarons – Lindt Chocolate Café

Lindt Chocolate Cafés can be found in a number of locations – we visited the one on Collins Street. We had an “Our Deal” voucher which cost $16 and included two chocolate milkshakes or hot chocolates, and five Lindt Délice (this is what they call their macarons). Lindt also recently had a voucher on Groupon for a dessert platter, so we recommend that you look online for any deals that are available before you visit a Lindt Café.

milkshakes and macaronsmacarons

We both chose to have milkshakes rather than hot chocolates. We were able to choose the flavours of the macarons, Continue reading

3

Chez Dré – brunch and cakes

Ahh Chez Dre. Such beautiful and delicious cakes. It really is worth taking a quick trip to South Melbourne just to get one of their cute petits gateaux, and their macarons are decent (though they are a bit pricey at $3 each). Unfortunately our brunch experience was a bit disappointing… the waitress forgot to put our orders through, so we ended up waiting 40 minutes for our food. She later apologised and gave us a free macaron each, which we really appreciated. However we think that maybe Chez Dre needs more staff for those really busy mornings, to avoid these kinds of mistakes. On the day we visited, they were so full that there was a whole waiting list of customers who wanted tables.

macarons

Rose-raspberry and green tea-kalamanzi macarons ($3 each)

The complimentary macarons both had really nice flavours. The green tea one had a good soft texture, but the raspberry was a bit hard and chewy. They looked quite big, but the shells had big air bubbles inside them.

ratatouille

Ratatouille with baked eggs, quinoa dukkah, toasted baguette and pepe saya butter (weekly special, $18.50)

Wendy ~ I expected the ratatouille to be like other baked egg dishes where the egg is baked into the tomato. When it finally arrived, I thought it wasn’t baked eggs at all Continue reading