The shop window entices me to go inside and immediately after walking through the doors, I’m hit with the sweetest scent and my nostrils flare in delight, it’s the smell of rich, dark, silky chocolate.
My eyes light up as I walk through Josophan’s Fine Chocolate boutique in the Blue Mountains village of Leura. I’m surrounded by wall-to-wall chocolate in all its glorious forms – white, milk and dark chocolate blocks, chilli chocolate, drinking chocolate, chocolate-coated nuts and Turkish delight, chocolate sculptures and, the most tempting of all, a colourful display of beautifully hand-crafted, individual fine chocolates – my stomach silently expands as I inch my way further into this chocolate sanctuary.
I step past the boutique counter and into a large back room filled with tables and vintage moulds – a chicken, a duck, a shoe – that have all been put to good use in the monthly chocolate workshops that take place here.
Beyond this, is the coveted chocolate laboratory, where award-winning chocolatiere and Josophan’s founder Jodie Van Der Velden is hard at work tempering chocolate and creating her signature infusions – ganache filling infused with fresh ingredients like Tahitian Vanilla, Basil & Lime and Saffron & Honey.
Jodie’s mission is to transform our rather poor chocolate-eating habits with the allure of quantity over quality and indulging in one of her tiny chocolate creations is really something special.
Her latest infusion Mango & Chili, conceived during a pilgrimage to Central America in search of rare cacao, comes highly recommended.
The dark chocolate shell bursts in my mouth, mango-infused cream trickling down my throat while a hint of chili delivers a warming internal glow and gently awakens some fiery chocolate goddess deep within.
It's sensual and refined and an experience not to be taken lightly.
I can assure you in this case size doesn’t matter.
As I drift back through the boutique and out the door, slightly flustered and with a bag full of Mango & Chili treats to enjoy a little later, the cooling mountain air is a welcome change.
Josophan’s is probably the most delectably sweet place on earth, or at least in this garden village tucked away in the Blue Mountains, just a stone's throw from Sydney.