Gia truffles - soft hazelnut centre with a milk wafer
It's the last place you'd look for a chocolate shop.
Sitting on the side of the road, a lone retailer in a sprawl of suburbia, Adora Handmade Chocolates looks like a fish out of water.
And water isn't too far away. The sloping hill leads down to the Illawarra Road bridge over Cooks River, with Mahony Memorial Reserve on one side of the bridge, and Steel Park on the other. There are playgrounds and a bike track and grassy fields, making Adora a popular stop for mothers groups on weekdays, couples and families all weekend.
Flat white $4.00
For others it's the lure of chocolate, an extensive range of filled chocolates and truffles, all handmade without any artificial ingredients or preservatives.
Today I'm catching up with friends who have toddlers-in-tow. The outdoor seating is perfect for the restless and the noisy, although our picnic table perched precariously on the hill acts as a beginners' ski slope for our drinks (no drinks were harmed in this episode).
The kids have a whole range of products specially created for me. Babycinos can, at times, seem like an easy money spinner for desperate parents. Good behaviour can also be bought with macarons, chocolate-dipped nougat, meringues, chunky biscuits topped with Smarties, or solid dinosaurs, frogs and teddy bears in milk, dark or white chocolate.
Biscuit with Smarties $2.50
Oat and fruit biscuit $2.50
Whilst the waffle on the cake stand looks promising, it's disappointingly dry. The edges have lovely bits of caramelised syrup, but the waffle is cold and tastes as though it was toasted some time ago.
Hot chocolate $4.80
The best part about ordering a hot drink or milkshake is the inclusion of a filled chocolate for free. Chocolates are also sold by weight or in gift boxes. The glass display cabinet is a metropolis of chocolate towers, balls of chocolates and truffles dusted, studded, rolled and swirled with cocoa powder, coconut, nuts and more.
It's an agonising process, the tiny shopfront prone to being jammed with indecisive customers.
[Clockwise from bottom left]: Pistachio cluster, milk chocolate dinosaur
and Ginger - fresh grated ginger infused with cream dipped in dark chocolate
Every chocolate is a winner. The pistachio cluster is such a simple idea, but the pistachios have a lovely crunch that indicate freshness. A ginger chocolate has the gentle aromatic heat of fresh ginger, the chocolate shell smooth with a pleasing snap.
The milk chocolate dinosaur gets a chocolaty grin of approval.
Is self-restraint ever an option in a chocolate shop? Some of the more interesting flavoured truffles and chocolates include black sesame, cinnamon chilli, fresh raspberry ganache and orange champagne.
Tia Maria truffles
White coffee liqueur centre covered with coconut
Traditional dark chocolate and cream covered with cocoa
Burst of lime white chocolate covered with roasted coconut
Chai tea truffles
Marsala chai brewed in cream and coated in icing sugar
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Adora Handmade Chocolates
10 Homer St, Earlwood, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9559 5948
Monday to Friday 8.30am - 6.00pm
Saturday 8.30am - 4.30pm
Closed on public holidays
Sydney CBD store at
Shop P9, 2A Blight Street, Sydney
(alongside the Sofitel Wentworth Hotel)
Tel: +61 (02) 9232 6601
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8/21/2009 11:55:00 p.m.