Monday, 25 September 2017

What Cat Did | Chocolate Workshop


Last week, I got the wonderful opportunity to attend a chocolate making workshop with Red Letter Days. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen me post about the event and what we got up to, but if you missed that I've got it all right here. We got the chance to create some amazing chocolate creations from giant chocolate shapes to rich dark truffles, and learn a little bit about the world of chocolate.

The event took place at My Chocolate which is a brand who solely focus on chocolate making classes and workshops. The one we visited was based near Shoreditch, London but have other spots around the country too such as Manchester and Brighton. If it's an experience you're still interested in after this post you might want to check them out via Red Letter Days for a great deal!


So I was fashionable late (as usual) to the event because I managed to drop a pin on my Maps app about 3 miles away from where I needed to be. Please don't ask me how but I walked past where I needed to be and some! I finally arrived about 30 minutes late and was greeted with a chocolate martini. I didn't get the chance to decorate my own glass because I was late, but I was grateful to have the experts make one up for me. After my nightmare, I needed a drink and woah, was it a good one! It reminded me of one of those chocolate liquors that I absolutely hate, but in a liquid form I quite liked it. I'd definitely order another one of these at the bar.


After washing my hands, sitting down with my choc-tail and and saying hi to the other bloggers, we got started on giant chocolate buttons. I can't remember for the life of me what the name of the two girls that ran the event for us that day but they were amazing and made the night so much fun - when I remember, I'll post up their names! Anyway, she showed us exactly how to make a chocolate button infused with flavoured oils and how to get a perfect chocolate button complete with a marbling effect on the top. She also let our imaginations go wild with ideas for shapes we might want our chocolate to go into. It didn't have to be a button so I went for something crazy. I thought about a cat first, but then I wondered what a giant chocolate cactus might look like...


And that is exactly what I made! I have probably taken my love for cacti too far here but I thought I just had to try it. Anyway, we had a choice of about 3 or 4 oils including lemongrass, mint and orange. Since John loves chocolate orange, I went for orange and blended it into the chocolate as instructed whilst forming my cacti. It was then time to marble and I flicked milk chocolate over the dark chocolate horizontally so I could then make vertical marbling lines. I think it went quite well actually. What do you think?


It tasted amazing though. You could really taste the orange and it wasn't too strong or too weak. John and I ate it the very next day and it was perfect. I'd definitely make shaped and decorated chocolate buttons again.

Next up was truffles and we first learned how to make the truffle centres before piping them into these "Hershey's Kiss" shaped chocolates. I made these with Karen from The Mad House of Cats & Babies and we thought they resembled the poop emoji better! You better believe we all giggled at this one. I mean, just look at them:


It was fun learning how to make truffles as it's something I definitely took home with me for future reference, but by this time it was time for a short break and wait for the truffles to set. In this break we learned about the journey of chocolate from a cocoa pod to our supermarkets, the art of chocolate tasting, what 100% chocolate tastes like and how different chocolate can taste, depending on where it comes from in the world.


After some chocolate tasting and chocolate chats it was time to learn what we'd be doing next with  our truffles which was decorating. We learned what a classic one would look like and what other options we had. We even had a nice slab of chocolate fudge  and some marshmallows to decorate to our hearts content.


 Finally, we were let loose on the decorating and you best believe I used all the things available. We had a lot to use and were given a bunch of beautiful ideas on how we could decorate. I had a salted truffle, a raspberry truffle, one filled with honey comb, one with coconut and another covered in pink and white chocolate sprinkles. I MADE A MESS. But a beautiful one.


I know they're not perfect and they look crazy messy on that parchment paper but I went to town on decorating these. I wanted a variety so that if I ever made these again, I knew what worked for me and what didn't. The honey comb and coconut ones worked best to add flavour and texture for me but I know the chocolate sprinkled ones went down well too.


After we finished decorating, we were given a range of things to wrap our chocolate goodies in to take home. Because my chocolate cactus was quite big, I settled for a pizza box and then wrapped my truffles and fudge in bags so they were safe in the journal. (Plus they looked cute bagged up.) I was quite proud of my creations and I think all the people that night did a good job with the chocolate making. Especially the team leading the operation!


Despite the huge sugar rush headache I had after the event, I had a great time and it's an experience I've already recommended to many in just this past week. I loved learning something new and making something. I enjoyed this because it was hands on and productive. A perfect gift for those who like to learn, do and get creative or just do something different. As I mentioned before you can find chocolate making workshops and lots more exciting things as such on Red Letter Days. They offer so many different experiences perfect for anyone. A possible Christmas gift this year. Just sayin'.

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