So last weekend I was in the ickle village of Ilkley in West Yorkshire staying at the gorgeous Grade II listed country house Westwood Lodge for a hen do.
The house situated on the edge of the Ilkley Moor with such beautiful picturesque views was the perfect setting for a bunch of girls ready to have some fun with the divine food that is chocolate! We were all prepared to learn, make and EAT chocolate (but of course) for two glorious indulgent hours in our chocolate making workshop with The Minister of Chocolate!
He came and set up at the house with all types of chocolate and shared with us some interesting facts about chocolate. Things I took away whilst gorging on chocolate were:
- chocolate could technically be classified as a fruit as the cocoa bean is classified as a fruit from which chocolate comes from
- white chocolate (my favourite) is not strictly chocolate as cocoa butter (another fave of mine for my hair and skin) is the main ingredient. Go figure!
There may have been more but I may have gotten distracted by the chocolate as I was now dipping banana pieces in the milk chocolate lol. The Minister (as I shall refer to him now) encouraged us to get creative and really mix lots of different things into our chocolate as we desired! I played (and ate) around with chocolate colours, toppings, design ideas and flavours such as rum and orange chocolate and got to make chocolate cases, chocolate lollipops and truffles. We even got to make water based ganache which is tricky at the best of times as generally water and chocolate do not mix.
This activity though terrible for my waistline was full of fun and laughter. I ended up with bits of chocolate in my Fro, on the table and all over my clothes BUT I would not have had it any other way – a real chocolate hot mess!
The chocolates I made certainly allowed for me to explore my creative side in food – mixing flavours, colours and toppings all together. My personal favourites were my love heart chocolate lollipops and the truffles I made. I think I am officially ready to become a chocolatier and open a chocolate shop in my village now lol.
If you are thinking of something fun and creative then I would recommend the Ministry of Chocolate. Chocolate making truly is an art!