A little-known WA chocolate company has set taste buds tingling across the country after winning a swag of medals this week at the Royal Melbourne Fine Food awards.
Chocolate maker Gabriel Myburgh and wife Ruth started their Yallingup chocolate factory just nine months ago and say they are the first in WA to import raw cacao beans and make chocolate on site.
Gabriel Chocolate won two gold medals, three silver and a bronze at the awards.
Mr Myburgh, a former lawyer, said the six "single-origin" varieties of chocolate were made from varieties of beans from Venezuela, Ecuador, Ghana, Madagascar and Java.
They all tasted distinctly different.
"Chocolate has lots of flavours, it's not just milk, dark and white chocolate," he said. "You can get really quite interesting flavours out of the beans."
The company prided itself on making its products from the cacao beans, unlike "chocolatiers" who made products from "couverture", a high-quality chocolate which is melted and flavoured.
"There's only a handful in Australia and I think there are only about 200 companies worldwide that actually make chocolate," he said.
"It's self-taught and you read books and experiment. We sort the beans and roast them, which brings out the flavour, shell the beans, grind them and add sugar and things like that and you end up with chocolate."
The judges described Gabriel Chocolate's Madagascar dark milk mix as "a ripper".