Moorabool Valley Chocolate
"All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt." – Charles M. Schulz.
Article by Ellie Gardner | Photography Mark Wilkins/Supplied
Looking for a unique and delicious gift idea for this fast approaching Christmas? Why not take the short trip to Geelong’s very own Moorabool Valley Chocolate, and spoil a loved one (or yourself!) with a delectable sweet treat? Or perhaps you’d like to indulge in a scrumptious lunch at the popular café in celebration of the summer holidays? Whatever the occasion, Moorabool Valley Chocolate is well worth visiting, for their warm hospitality, aromatic coffee, and most importantly, their incredible range of mouth-watering chocolates.
Strolling in to the chocolaterie on a fine Friday morning, I sit down with Lynne Meek, chocolatier and owner of Moorabool Valley Chocolate, and chat about the upcoming Christmas period over a cup of coffee and a handcrafted hazelnut swirl chocolate – what a way to start the day!
As a booklover and devotee of good television, I immediately notice a photo of actress Caitriona Balfe, who plays Claire Beauchamp in the Outlander series, eating one of Lynne’s specialty chocolates with a gleeful smile.
A fan of the show, Lynne often sends chocolates to the various filming locations, having sent them to Scotland and Prague over the years. No doubt the cast and crew are extremely grateful for their delivery of goodies during busy filming periods – there is nothing quite like a chocolate surprise to warm the soul, especially in the Scottish Highlands!
Luckily for us here in the Geelong region, we are close enough that we can enjoy Lynne’s chocolates all year round, and Christmas is definitely one of those times to do so.
Lynne says, "We are quite busy over the Christmas period, as we make specialty Christmas themed chocolates and chocolate Santas. Last year we introduced a new novelty treat, Santa on the beach, and that was very popular with our customers. Our novelties are unusual, and so they are a really good gift idea, as you may not be able to get them from other places. That’s what we aim for here, to have unique products that are one of a kind."
The chocolaterie is known for their Bespoke Creations, custom ordered chocolates that can be given as a gift or that can be used as a centrepiece for a special occasion. Lynne says, "Our custom orders are very popular, as people come in wanting a particular theme or design, and so we aim to do exactly what they want. Our original name for the business was Moorabool Valley Chocolate By Design, and while it has slightly changed, we still adhere to this name in what we do. We hand paint and hand colour our chocolates, and can add any fillings that the customer wants for their order."
Lynne continues, "We also produce soy and vegan chocolates, which are very easy to make, and taste nearly identical to milk chocolate. We can even make a chocolate replica of your pet, markings and all! Just bring in a photo of your cat or dog, or of a friend’s pet, and we can create a special chocolate for the animal lovers in your life. We pride ourselves on being able to fulfil customer requests as best we can, as we love creating new and exciting products."
Between producing extraordinary chocolates and completing custom orders, Lynne also cooks the food for the café, baking the bread herself, as well as making sausage rolls, savoury muffins, and frittatas. Perhaps you’d like to order the Chocolate Ice Cream Shell, a house made chocolate ball, filled with ice cream, and served with hot chocolate sauce and whipped cream? Or the classic Chocolate Fondue, with various treats for dunking and the option of white and dark chocolate upon request?
Our autumn story on Moorabool Valley Chocolate delved into the flavoursome variants of hot chocolate available at the café, including the Spanish variation, with cinnamon, cloves, vanilla and nutmeg, or the hot chocolate on a stick – a chocolate lollypop ready to melt into your cup of hot milk. While winter is normally the time to cosy up with a hot chocolate and a good book (one of my personal favourite pastimes) there is never a wrong time for chocolate, and if there is, then I don’t want to know about it!
Lynne recommends to get in nice and early for your Christmas orders, to ensure that you will have your irresistible delicacy for the big day. In the meantime, visit the café and enjoy a leisurely breakfast, lunch or dessert, and see for yourself what the celebrities are raving about – and the Geelong locals, of course!
Moorabool Valley Chocolate
320 Ballarat Road
Batesford VIC 3213
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