A couple weeks ago I was invited to attend a chocolate making workshop hosted by Chocolate Tales. They have a variety of classes such as Chocolate Making, Tempering, Truffle Making and Decorating, and at multiple locations in the GTA. However because I work in Mississauga, a lot of the weekday classes were not as convenient for me, I would have loved to attend the Truffle Making 101 class! I attended one of their Classic Chocolate Making Works classes on Saturdays at Swansea Town Hall. You can check out their full schedule of classes here.
The workshop began with our instructor, Cocoa Kelly teaching us about some basic tips on how we can make our own chocolates at home. And also us receiving some samples of different types of chocolates such as chilli, cinnamon and ginger tasting chocolates. I couldn’t decide which one was my favourite, but somehow the ginger one tasted most familiar.
Beatrice (who I brought along with me) and I were running late and had a lot of trouble finding parking, so we missed some of the introduction in the beginning of the workshop. But I think we arrived just in time for when the real material began. Cocoa Kelly taught us how to temper chocolate at home and also the secret to making Caramilk chocolates where the inside of the chocolate can somehow have perfectly gooey caramel yet surrounded by a chocolate layer. The secret is actually you fill in your chocolate mould (with your tempered chocolate) and then pour it out aka “let it rain”. The mould will have some chocolate left creating a chocolate shell which you freeze. Then, you add some caramel, which has a special enzyme that allows it to remain smooth and not frozen, and then some chocolate on top before freezing it again. The same concept applies to Reese’s cups!
After her short lesson we were finally able to begin! We were given 2 marshmallows each, a square slab of chocolate, cocoa powder, coconut shavings, white chocolate sauce, chocolate cutters, and of course chocolate. We started off with the marshmallows because they were easier to dip and coat in the chocolate. I think I spent a lot of my time trying to maximize the number of chocolates I could cut out of my slab that my dipping chocolate began to harden and got all chunky : ( Resulting in not the prettiest looking chocolates. The leftover chocolate from after our shape cutting, could be rolled up into truffle balls. Dipping the chocolate and making sure all the excess chocolate falls off, and then placing it neatly on the tray was actually pretty difficult. The decorating part was not hard at all and was quite fun. I wish we had more decorating options, or more chocolate for us to decorate with though!
During the process, we also got to decorate a chocolate lava cake. Unfortunately no pictures were taken because by then my hands got way too dirty to hold a camera. We also probably didn’t end up getting our own lava cake back after baking since most people decorated theirs very generically. The room smelled amazing as the cakes were in the oven, and the taste was really good too. Our chocolates, despite how it doesn’t look the best also tasted delicious – though a bit on the sweet side. I personally liked the chocolate dipped marshmallows more than the chocolate because it had more of a texture to it. I really liked the one Cocoa Kelly made from the mould because the chocolates had some little air bubbles which reminded me of the Aero chocolate bars : )
Also at the end of the workshop we got to sample Congo and Ecuador chocolates – Beatrice and I both liked the Ecuador one more. I wish we got to do some tempering in this workshop, but at the least I now know how to do it on my own!
Chocolate Tales is currently offering 45% discount on all their workshops so if you’re interested in chocolate making, decorating, tempering or truffle making, be sure to check it out while the promotion is still going on! And if you do sign up for the workshop at Swansea Town Hall….be sure to go early unlike me. Because parking is VERY limited, and if there is an event at the local park the street parking is all full too.