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August 19, 2015

Taste that Haigh’s centenary

Haigh's are commemorating their 100th year by joining with two other long serving, family-owned companies - Coopers and Yalumba - to create a special range of chocolates. Partnership and collaboration are great, but chocolate is for eating. So we ate some. Here's how they tasted.

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  • Words: Farrin Foster
  • Pictures: Joshua Fanning
  • Film: Randy Larcombe

Haigh’s make great chocolate. Coopers make great beer. Yalumba can certainly produce wine. But I think we can all agree that just because a couple of things are awesome doesn’t mean they should be mixed (think maybe peanut butter + pho, or sausage dog + stairs).

Australia’s oldest family-owned chocolate maker felt there was some value in melding their undeniably delicious product with those of Australia’s oldest family-owned winery and Australia’s oldest family-owned brewery.

After our taste test, it turns out we largely agree with them.

70% Dark Chocolate Truffle


The Collaboration (as it is known) features three different chocolates. This first one is a bit of a ring-in as its not really a collaboration (although it is Haigh’s official Centenary chocolate) – this chocolate is just straight up and down Haigh’s. Really though, that’s not a problem because there’s no need to be pedantic while you’re eating truffles.

It’s coated with 70 per cent dark chocolate (it’s in the name!), and its delicious innards are made using a “special” blend of cocoa beans sourced from South America, the Pacific and Africa. It’s also got gold flecks on it to give you the distinct impression that it’s a treat to be taken seriously.

For all our facetiousness, this chocolate is truly delicious. The truffle centre is flavoursome, not too sweet, smooth and offers just the right amount of resistance. The outer casing is the epitome of Haigh’s – chocolate that is rich but not sickly, with an amazing mouth feel that makes you realise that supermarket chocolate is not worth your time. Would eat again, several dozen times.

Haigh’s Milk Chocolate with Antique Tawny Fig Liqueur


So this chocolate is a multi-layered beast. It’s actually pretty impressive Haigh’s chocolatiers managed to fit all of this stuff into one little chocolate dome. At the centre is a dried fig that has been soaked in Yalumba’s Antique Tawny, and then it is dipped in a fondant infused with the same liqueur and it’s all wrapped up in milk chocolate.

In all honesty, we truly expected this to be our favourite of the chocolates. We have a hardcore sweet tooth and the combination of fondant, milk chocolate and fortified wine seemed like a winning one to us. It was predictably sweet and still complex enough in flavour to avoid just tasting like a mouthful of sugar, but the texture of the fig didn’t sit well with the chocolate and gooey fondant. It was a bit of an awkward eating experience and the flavour wasn’t exciting enough to make cleaning fondant off your chin in front of other adults seem worthwhile. That being said, if you left a box on the desk at CityMag they would still be gone by the end of the day – and our chins would be sticky.

Haigh’s Dark Chocolate with Stout Ganache


You guys. This chocolate was the best thing that happened to us in recent memory.

For starters, its innards consist of a stout-infused dark chocolate ganache layer topped with a malt frappe layer that make the interior of the chocolate look like a freshly-pulled pint of stout with really great head. We’re not even sure if this is deliberate because it’s not mentioned in any of the press materials, but this visual representation made us inexplicably delighted.

The taste is possibly more delightful than the visual motif of a well-poured beer. The bitterness of Cooper’s stout is strongly represented but the malt layer and chocolate casing provide good foils so it isn’t overwhelming. The texture is perfect. It’s got some little gold pearl things on top which are a bit distracting, but hey, whatever. When chocolate tastes this great it can wear what it wants. If anyone feels the need to send us a present sometime please send these. Thank you in advance.


A terrific photographer and great story teller – Randy Larcombe has this film on the beauty of a box. Crafted especially for the Haigh’s Collaboration chocolates, in Woodville, South Australia.

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