When the Sandman comes, or possibly when your mind innocently wanders to a more comfortable and sensuous place throughout the day, what do you dream about? What are the memories with which you return to the present moment? What are the things that leave lasting impressions once the dreamscapes have evaporated? Childhood? Travel? Work? Art? Chocolate, perhaps? Yes, chocolate, indeed! If you have ever privately made a personal pact that you would more than willingly trade your opposable thumbs for the chance to replace Charlie as he toured the bigger-than-life Chocolate Factory, then you may just want to make it your personal mission to investigate 330 Auburn Road, Hawthorn. This suggestion does come with a rather severe warning, however – once you enter, you may quite possibly not want to exit.

Located at this address, Sisko Chocolate is a bespoke studio that has been handcrafting all things chocolate since 2009. Founded by Christina Tantsis, Sisko creates innovative chocolate creations and experiences, specialising in sourcing and working with the finest couverture chocolate. The term “couverture” refers to a certain class of high-quality chocolate containing a higher percentage of cocoa butter, anywhere from 32-39%. This translates into a deeper, richer, more refined flavour profile. Christina’s love of the cacao bean coupled with her love of design has resulted in a product range that offers self-indulgent treats, as well as elaborate custom-designed sculptures and centrepieces. Imagine that, a chocolate centrepiece. You may be required, of course, to keep a close eye on any potential wandering hands. Sisko aims to provide its customers with both quality and total sensory stimulation through designs that are innovative, visually appealing, as well as delicious. Simply put, chocolate is pleasurable, and it is this very pleasure that drives Sisko. Christina and her team of chocolatiers purport to make each and every client’s “chocolate journey” as special and memorable as possible.
 

 

The Orb Collection: Handcrafted chocolate solid half spheres that are combined with pure oils, dried fruits, roasted nuts and coffee beans.

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The Daily Dose: Salted Caramel Chocolate, French Milk Chocolate, French Dark Chocolate, Caramelised White Chocolate, Single Origins, Coconut Rounds, Sprinkle Rounds, Espression Rounds, Fruit and Nut Rounds, Koala Cuties

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Sisko, however, is not merely an unsurpassable creator and purveyor of all things chocolate and delicious. It also possesses a keen sense of social responsibility. Unfortunately, the cocoa industry is broken. It suffices to say that the industry is rife with suppliers doing the wrong thing by its workers and the environment. As a result, Christina has vowed to ensure ethical sourcing throughout her company’s entire product range. She is committed to not only supplying the best products on the market, but also to sourcing responsibly grown cacao beans. Sisko is driven to support a fair and sustainable industry, contributing to improved living conditions for its workers and improved environmental conditions for the world. The primary way in which Sisko accomplishes this is by utilising B Corporation Certified as its main supplier. The “B” in the name stands for “benefit”. This certification ensures that the associated companies are dedicated to improvement in all facets of the supply chain. Rigorous standards of performance, accountability and transparency – both socially and environmentally – guide the certification. Of course, as goes the saying, thinking globally is but a mirage without acting locally. Not surprisingly, Sisko Chocolate accomplishes this with flying colours. A portion of their range includes products created from Queensland-grown cacao, believe it or not. Furthermore, as many of its flavourings as possible are purchased from Australian suppliers. This local-mindedness culminates in all of Sisko’s creations being handmade onsite in its Hawthorn studio – by locals, for locals.

Finally, it is very much worth mentioning that Sisko Chocolate is not merely about the quick fix that the sweet tooth can often require. Rather, the highly trained team of chocolatiers wishes to imbue your “chocolate dreams” with knowledge, appreciation and experience. Single-origin chocolate tastings are available in store, via their 9 different “orbs”, and professional guidance is available for groups of 10 or more during Zoom sessions. Ultimately, whether you are a beginner, a novice or an expert, enjoying fine chocolate is a process, one that will expand your awareness and heighten your senses. According to Sisko, 6 simple steps are required: read the label, look, smell, initial taste, chew, after taste. Once you have taken these steps, you will well and truly be off on a personalised chocolate journey and your dreams will become considerably more vivid and, perhaps, more real. Enjoy.          

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