That Willy Wonka bloke has nothing on the chocolate makers, confectioners and hot chocolate artisans inducing blissful chocolate comas in our villages. As the temperature dips and the leaves dress up in their autumnal finest, take to the road and enter chocolate bliss.

The Chocolate Mill, Mt Franklin

Located in birdsong-filled bushland, you’ll enter chocolate-lovers paradise. The Chocolate Mill handmake all their chocolates using Fair Trade Belgian Chocolate. The range will leave you swooning.

EASTER GOODIES: Chubby Bunny, a highly-coveted, hand-detailed rabbit.

MUST DEVOUR:  Goldfields Bark- hand-made Honeycomb, crushed and blended with a mix of milk and dark chocolate.

5451 Midland Highway, Mt Franklin chocmill.com.au

Daylesford Hot Chocolate

Snuggle into a big armchair with a steaming cup of yummy chocolate to warm the heart and belly. They use single-origin chocolate made especially from Vanuatu-grown cacao, then add aromatic spices, salts and sugars to create a swoon-worthy hot Chocolate. Chocolate milk moustache guaranteed.

EASTER GOODY: The Easter Egg Slam. A little egg sits atop a marshmallow in a shot glass. Pour hot chocolate in and watch the egg collapse once the hot chocolate melts through, sending the marshmallow to the surface.

MUST DEVOUR:  A 42% cocoa buttermilk chocolate served steaming hot with a roasted marshmallow bobbing around in the centre.

22 Raglan Street, Daylesford facebook.com/The-Daylesford-Hot-Choc-Company

Sweet Decadence at Locantro

Sweet Decadence at Locantro was the first hand-made chocolate shop in country Victoria. With a 30-year pedigree in chocolate making, they continue to set the benchmark for all chocolate makers in the region.

EASTER GOODIES: Beautiful hand-decorated Easter eggs.

MUST DEVOUR:  Caramel chocolates that melt in the mouth and send your tastebuds spiralling in happiness.

87 Vincent St, Daylesford sweetdecadence.com.au

Cabosse & Feve Chocolates

The husband and wife team at Cabosse & Feve Chocolates handcraft all their chocolate delights onsite at the Mill.  From filled truffles to figurines, bars and bark, your tastebuds will faint with pleasure at the taste.

EASTER GOODIES:  Bunnies and hand-painted eggs with delectable fillings and chocolate rabbit lollypops.

MUST DEVOUR:  Coffee and caramel bark. Crunchy caramel with coffee swirled through 62% dark chocolate.

The Mill, 9 Walker Street, Castlemaine cabosseandfeve.com.au

Atelier Chocolat, Trentham Home of Pain et Chocolat (Bread and Chocolate)

This little gem is named after a fond memory from a French childhood – a small bar of chocolate melting on a warm slice of bread devoured after school.  Atelier Chocolat makes their chocolate from scratch using organic Peruvian cocoa beans.

EASTER GOODIES:  Limited edition chocolate bars and Easter eggs hand-poured into antique moulds. These are a feast for eyes and belly alike.

MUST DEVOUR:  65% origin Venezuela dark chocolate bar made with crumbs of dehydrated rye sourdough bread and flakes of smoked salt.

16 Market Street, Trentham atelierchocolat.com.au

Widow Twankey’s Confectionery Emporium

People come from everywhere to wander, wonder and fill their faces with chocolate treasures from this old-fashioned confectioner.

EASTER GOODIES:  Easter eggs from the leading chocolate makers in Belgium, Switzerland and Spain.

MUST DEVOUR: Humbugs, peppermint creams, and bullets.

50 Fraser Street, Clunes widowtwankeys.com.au

@zaligarrety

About the author