Princess Coco, NSW
If you're a regular reader of this beloved TeaThyme food blog, you'll know that I've had a not-so-secret crush on Princess Coco since I walked past it's doors a few months ago. (here & here)
So yes, I came prepared for some sweet indulgence in form of delicious chocolate treats. Firstly the windows are no longer hiding the treasures which are inside anymore as all is revealed - a chocolate fountain, high ceilings, wallpapers of gold and beige, a chandelier, ornate gold furnishings of picturesque frames also adorn the walls whilst the Eiffel Tower becomes a strong monument in most of Princess Coco's ambience, a solid reminder that this lady is very much French after all.
Now I'm not all too knowing on this artisan chocolate brand, but a quick catch-up with Anliette and Google makes me feel much more wiser. Valrhona chocolate comes in dark, milk and white chocolate in various percentages and in different blends of the cocoa bean. At one stage we tried a 70% dark cocoa which usually I don't have dark chocolate but instantly loved the taste. Each of the Valrhona bon bons for display and to buy at the Princess Coco are definitely rich and tasteful whilst showing that it's the quality of it's maker which prevails as there's no bitter after taste to them at all which makes me feel moreish for a couple more bon bons...
We choose to lounge about on their lush velvet purple couches and cushions to have our tea and gateau. (that's cake, en francais! My French is picking up as I write, haha!) The decor is a La Belle Epoque inspiration that makes you forget that you're really in Sydney for a moment. The staff have the most cutest uniforms and some bare French accents that makes me wish I continued on with my French language lessons.
Our trio of hot drinks include the Earl Grey Chocolat Noir - a subtle drink with a mixture of milk chocolate and Earl Grey infusion with the most littlest hint of vanilla. The Chocolat Noir Epice had a smooth balance between dark chocolate and that little spiciness that has been settled into the drink. Then there's the Valrhona Cafe Noir au Chocolat for a good kick of caffeine which was similar to a mocha.
The Salted Caramel Jivara 40% Ganache and the Jasmine tea infused milk chocolate bon bons come to view and there's a lot of "Oohs" and "Aahs" that go over the table. These French handmade bon bons were simply too amazing. The Jasmine infused one was such a unique bon bon as it held it's fragrance of Jasmine and it had a delightful caramel fudge centre that sweetened the tongue.
The lovely cakes are made on the premises by the Princess chef herself, the wonderful miss Rika. I got the chance to meet Rika afterwards and find her to be really passionate for her work as a desserts chef and has had plenty of international experience up her sleeve - notably working under the celebrity name of Gordon Ramsay.
Rika kindly offered us a sample of the desiccated coconut covered marshmallows which show a little of how her Japanese traits for sweets are made - they're light, fluffy yet not too overly sweet and oh so wonderful that I take another for the road...!