Beer is not something that would usually be associated with chocolates, but at Huguenot Fine Chocolates it is one of 376 flavours used to satisfy customers’ cravings for delicious and unusual tastes.
Thanks to its delectable Belgian chocolates, this chocolatier has become a Franschhoek institution over the past 17 years. And owners Denver Adonis and Danver Windvogel are now on the verge of extending their storefront into an eatery where pastries and chocolate drinks will also be served.
Although all the flavours aren’t available at once, each day a variety of tasty Belgian chocolates are made on the premises, with fillings ranging from cinnamon, crème brûlée, praline and nougat.
The shop also has a number of different chocolates on display, including Amarula, a perennial favourite.
But the beer filling, which Denver and Danver devised per a client’s request, is by far the most unusual one.
They opened Huguenot Fine Chocolates 17 years ago, after a Belgian NGO sent them on a chocolate-making course in Belgium, where they spent a year learning this intricate art.
“The only thing I knew about chocolate was how to eat it,” says Denver, while for Danver the experience of learning to work with chocolate was an “enjoyable surprise”.
When they returned home in 1997 they set up shop in an industrial area in Franschhoek, where they concentrated on making chocolate with – at that stage – eight different fillings. But as word of their artistry grew, so too did their number of clients.
They moved to the main road in 2001 and their range of flavours has since increased to 376.
Today Denver and Danver employ 16 staff members, the storefront is being redesigned and a patisserie will be added. “It will look like a small coffee shop and we will be serving a range of chocolate drinks,” explains Denver.
The expansion will not detract from their daily chocolate tasting, which happens at 11am and 3pm.
At these tastings employee Jermaine van Zyl talks guests through the chocolate-making process – from working with the warm running chocolate, allowing it to dry, to adding the filling and finishing it off with a final layer. Thereafter visitors get a chance to taste the final product… pure decadence!