You know those chocolate shops you dream about? The ones where a graceful, apron-clad lady stands behind the counter pouring molten chocolate onto a marble bench top? Where truffles are piled high on vintage cake stands – dark ganaches, creamy white chocolates studded with fruit, and smooth milk chocolates filled with dreamy caramel?
Those dreams have come true, friend. Because Lixie Chocolaterie, now open on Surry Hills’ Crown Street, is all of those things, and it’s making us a bit weak at the knees.
The place looks elegant – all curved tiles and Belle Époque-style brass fittings – and the chocolate does not disappoint. Tempering chocolate is an art, one that can take chocolatiers years to perfect. And patron/chef Miga Aboulian knows her cocoa. Take the dark salted caramel block – nine robust squares of glossy, star-embossed chocolate encasing smooth, salty caramel. The acidity of the chocolate balances nicely with the sweetness of the filling, and the snap as you break off each piece is an addictive ritual in itself (not to mention a sign of great tempering).
If you’re a crazy person and caramel isn’t your bag, then the floral notes of rose and chewy addition of freeze-dried raspberries in one of their many organic chocolate blocks are a delight. It’s enough to make you forget those soapy flavoured rose fondants left in the box after Christmas (the ones you eat anyway, but not without a whinge).
For something even more treat-worthy, the truffles are your go-to. This is serious chocolate, as the single origin, pure Bolivian dark 68% truffle demonstrates. It’s everything a truffle should be – you can actually taste the characteristics of the cocoa bean itself (nice acid, fruity finish). Cocoa nibs decorating the top add a satisfying crunch and the crackly dark chocolate coating shatters on impact. Hello, new obsession.
For good times, one choc that trumps all others. Bite into the dark chocolate cherry liquor truffle, and enjoy the party. Boozy cherry liquor bursts into your mouth first (you may want to bring a bib), and inside, a real dried cherry – farewell maraschino atrocities! – awaits you. It’s sweet and sour and all of the good things, but beware the pip in the middle. The casing is soft enough to allow a nice ratio of chocolate to cherry in one mouthful, and you can nibble the chocolate from the stem in a chipmunk-like way – what’s not to love about that?
There are heart-shaped pralines decorated with gold leaf which taste like posh Guylian seashells, but (although it didn’t seem possible before) actually creamier. Better to order the pink love-heart champagne truffles instead of the brusquer dark chocolate champagne truffles; the white chocolate offers better balance. Faced with two types of salted caramel truffles – dark or milk chocolate – we prefer the former, its bitterness nicely counteracting the sweetness. There are eggs filled with marshmallow and caramel for Easter, as well as chocolate bunnies and hot chocolates of the gods that can be consumed onsite at a velvety, blue window seat.
Surry Hills needed a chocolaterie like this. Heck, we all needed a chocolaterie like this. Lixie answered the call, and sweet, sweet bliss has arrived on the streets of inner Sydney.