Kakawa Chocolate

Kakawa Chocolate

A chocolatier’s life is one of constant restraint.  Not only must one resist the tiny morsels of deliciousness being crafted under one’s nose, but there’s also the kitchen full of chocolate covered utensils begging to be licked, stray chunks of foil-wrapped couverture on marble top benches, and fridges full of ‘new experiments’ ripe for tasting. It’s a perfect, sugar-coated nightmare.

But for Kakawa Chocolate's Jin Sun Kim, the biggest problem when it come to restraint is time. Founder and head chocolatier at one of Sydney’s most successful chocolateries, this South Korean ex-pastry chef knows a thing or two about time pressure.

Jin’s newest invention, which we commissioned especially for Easter, is a delicious example.  Made from a mix of couverture chocolates from France, Beglium and Switzerland, the Babushka Egg is a three layer masterpiece.  It comprises a fine milk chocolate egg filled with miniature handpainted ‘quail’ eggs and encased in a thick outer shell made from dark chocolate.

As Jin puts it, “The most difficult part is time.  As this is not a [competition] showpiece that I can put lots of time into, I always have to think of making the egg in the quickest and most practical way.”

The fact that something so complex can be assembled in only a few short days is a testament to Jin’s skill.  It was a one year Cordon Bleu course that ignited her professional love affair with chocolate – a stint she followed up with experience at Bilson’s and Flying Fish where she met fellow chef (and now partner) David Ralph.  The pair left for London in 2006, and after Jin had honed her skills at Notting Hill’s famous Melt Chocolates for a couple of years, the time was right to take the plunge back in Sydney. 

What began as a humble market stall upon the pair’s return is now among Sydney’s most famous chocolate boutiques.  ‘Single origin-obsessed’, ‘next level’ and ‘sugar porn’ are the words bandied about by the serious food writers on the subject of Kakawa, and it’s easy to see why.  No chocolate creation is too complex for Jin, no detail unimportant.  The first time we visited her William Street boutique, she was worrying about the way the white chocolate moustache on her chocolate Mr Potato Head was sitting, and last time we were there her brow was furrowed as she colour matched ribbon to Easter egg.

It’s this attention to detail that customers taste when they bite into Jin’s lychee pralines, smoky truffles, cherry brandy rocky road or, better yet, signature dark chocolate ice cream sandwiches.  The tiny handpainted speckles on the Babushka Egg’s miniature quail eggs say it all.

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The limited edition Babushka Egg is available now.  Orders must be received by 12pm Monday 21 March for delivery in time for Easter.