Chocolat Woken by Spirits // Tasting Australia

The Pearl in the Oyster with KIS G&T

Nautical bar Hains & Co. played host to a delectible Tasting Australia event pairing Chocolat by Daniela with rums and gins carefully selected by Marcus Motteram of Hains. Each artisan chocolate was handcrafted by the talented, self-taught Daniela Mazzone, who uses fine local and exotic global ingredients to create chocolate experiences like no other. Hains & Co. are a specialty rum and gin bar that have a huge selection incomparable to any other bar in Adelaide with bartenders that have a plethora of cocktail knowledge and are more than happy to create interesting cocktails using any base spirit desired.

The event was sectioned into five courses of paired spirits and chocolate, each wildly different from the last. The courses were listed with a poetic verse to prepare your mind and palate for the tasting.

KIS gin and Fever Tree Tonic

KIS gin and Fever Tree Tonic

I wrote about Miss Ganache, she was the escape plan.

The pearl in the oyster.

We began with a Woodside chèvre cheese and white chocolate ganache truffle delicately perched inside an oyster shell and paired with KIS wild gin and tonic. The truffle had touches of balsamic syrup and earthy botanicals like salt, pepper and mustard in it which created quite a savoury white chocolate. Lime was another key ingredient in the truffle, which paired well with the lime garnish in the G&T. Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic was used, which is quite a light, citrusy water that again tied flavours of the drink to the truffle. The sharp freshness of the gin cut through the creaminess of the ganache and thoroughly washed the palette before the next bite.


From left; vanilla bean ganache, toasted almond praline and spicy Cayenne pepper Cigars

One who loved to drink,

she was intense. A bittersweet lover

and her flavour… it lingered for years.

Before the next tasting, Daniela gave us a little history lesson. In the 1920s a French pastry chef accidentally added cream into his chocolate, and created the cocoa delicacy we now know as ganache. Daniela’s French style ganache with vanilla bean is smothered in 33% milk chocolate and clearly one of her proudest works. What she tries to create in her chocolate is an ‘intense but fleeting romance that lingers on the palette, a rare and once in a lifetime experience.’

This milk chocolate ganache was a rich and warming experience, reminiscent of licking a cake batter bowl. The chocolate was insanely smooth and melted instantly on your tongue, which was offset by the neat Cubaney rum paired with it. The initial taste of Cubaney burnt the palette slightly, however that was soon soothed by the next nibble of chocolate.

Complex and dynamic, yet delicately made up,

with her extra aroma, she stole my heart.

Our favourite tasting was that of the toasted almond praline with handcrafted coffee masala and sea salt, paired with the unique The Arcane Extraroma rum. This praline was the first chocolate Daniela ever made, crafted with Australian almonds toasted by the chocolatier herself, and coffee marsala syrup made by her Nonna. It was paired with an incredible rum that had intense tropical aromas of cooked banana, chocolate and coconut that transferred through to the palette. It tasted exactly like what we imagine a party on a Caribbean island would taste like. The creamy and nutty textures of the chocolate went well with the fruitiness of the rum, making for quite the celebration in our mouths.

High above me. She was adrenaline, the limited edition.

This chocolate was inspired by the autumn landscapes of South Australia. To fit this, a coconut, lime and spicy cayenne pepper ganache cigar smothered in 55% and 70% dark chocolate seasoned with single origin cacao was created. As the ingredients suggest, the chocolate was a spicy little fireball mellowed only slightly by the citrus. Pyrat XO was the appointed drink for this tasting, a rum with notes of orange, cinnamon and clove that competed with the chocolate in heat. This pairing set our senses on fire and warmed us from the inside during that cold evening.

Hot buttered rum hot chocolate

Hot buttered rum hot chocolate

Like water for chocolate.

She was brown sugar and she buttered me up.

The finale of Chocolat Awoken by Spirits was, in Daniela’s words, a ‘choose your own chocolate experience’. Here we mixed hot water and Bacardi with local organic honey and cinnamon blended ganache to create our own ‘hot buttered rum hot chocolate’. This eight year Bacardi is finished in sherry casks to give a sweet note that melted with the chocolate and created a deliciously warm drink that hugged you with aromas of cinnamon and cocoa.

Hains & Co.

Hains & Co.

It was easy to see that both Daniela Mazzone and Marcus Motteram have each found their passion with chocolate and spirits, and we hope to see another collaboration coming soon!

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