As every self-confessed chocoholic will know, there is not much that can beat the truffle when it comes to indulging your sweet tooth! So, you can imagine my excitement when I was invited to attend a truffle making workshop, last weekend. Experience Days’ ‘Chocolate Workshop’, available in five different locations, is the perfect way to learn more about your favourite sweet treat whilst actually trying your hand at making truffles! Here’s how we got on…
The venue for our workshop was the extremely fitting ‘Chocolate Boutique Hotel’ in Bournemouth. We were greeted by the friendly receptionist and given directions through the gloriously chocolatey themed hotel. We passed bowls brimming with chocolate chips, portraits of celebrities hand painted in chocolate, and the luxurious décor made us feel like we were entering into a magical chocolate world.
As we entered the workshop we received a warm welcome from Chris, our master chocolatier for the day. We found our workspace and introduced ourselves to the fellow chocolate lovers who were taking part in the fun. To start off, we tasted high quality, 60% dark chocolate chips and as the bowl was being passed around the group, it’s safe to say we entered chocolate heaven. These delights, along with an actual chocolate fountain – complete with marshmallows for dunking – were available to be scoffed upon throughout the whole day.
Chris continued with a highly enlightening talk about the history, health benefits, origins and processes used in making chocolate. Who knew that eating dark chocolate and drinking red wine (in moderation of course!) is actually beneficial to your health? Or where the average bar of Cadbury’s actually comes from? As Chris’ fun and engaging talk came to an end, our sights set upon the bowls of shining, melted chocolate seated on the table in front of him. Time for the truffle making to commence!
We were given a demonstration on the first stage of the process: combining cream and melted chocolate to form the soft centre of truffles. This required a volunteer from the group to lend a hand with the vigorous mixing that is needed for the two elements to combine and the piping that readies the chocolatey mix for rolling into bite size balls. As we donned our much needed aprons – we were about to get messy – we quickly realised that it was not as easy as Chris had made it seem! However, there was no need to worry as we all achieved truffle sized balls of ganache in the end.
We were then shown the second stage of creating truffles: tempering the chocolate (otherwise known as making it nice and shiny) to coat our truffles with! With a volunteer in tow, Chris amazed us with his skills in handling chocolate and we became eager to get coating and decorating our own chocolates. An inviting selection of chopped nuts, cocoa powder, icing sugar, coconut and white chocolate was available to decorate our truffles with and to finish it off, we were provided with cute gift bags and ribbons to take our creations home in. The end result looked very professional and was the perfect gift for a loved one – or just to devour, ourselves!
The whole experience was great fun and would be very well suited for couples on a romantic getaway, hen parties, or for those who just want to learn how to make delicious handmade truffles at home.