The ultimate chocolate workshop at Chocolates for Chocoholics, Hurst

Sunday, 13 May 2018 Hurst, Reading RG10, UK

The Ultimate Chocolate Workshop at Chocolates for Chocoholics, Hurst

The Ultimate Chocolate Workshop at Chocolates for Chocoholics, Hurst

I have the worst sweet tooth. You might say I'm a chocoholic (hahaha). I'm always up for something chocolatey, even when I'm full after dinner. It's like my stomach leaves a little space because it knows I'll want sugary goodness after a meal. So who wouldn't say yes to a dreamy chocolate-making workshop in Berkshire? 

A few weeks ago, I spent the perfect afternoon learning about the delicious art of chocolate-making and how it's done by the experts at the family-run workshop, Chocolates for Chocoholics* in Hurst. The business is run by Vicky and Elizabeth Cossey, and they supply high-quality chocolate gifts to businesses across the UK. The ladies decided to launch chocolate-making workshops in their studio last year, and it's safe to say it has been a roaring success for the pair since.

The Ultimate Chocolate Workshop at Chocolates for Chocoholics, Hurst

The Ultimate Chocolate Workshop at Chocolates for Chocoholics, Hurst
They set the bar pretty high, seeing as everyone was offered a glass of fizz upon arrival. I mean day-drinking is always fun, but even more so with so much chocolate lying around! After a bit of mingling and chatter amongst the group (each workshop has a maximum of 9-10 guests), we were first introduced to the process of producing chocolate, which is surprisingly complicated and rigorous. We were also told that we would be quizzed on this later, and it was hilarious to see the group furiously taking notes - everyone loves a competition! 

Afterwards, we began learning how to make our own truffles, which was incredibly cool. We were given 9 chocolate shells pictured above, and were shown by the masterful Vicky how to use a piping bag to fill chocolate shells with a gorgeous champagne creme. My attempts were unfortunately not quite as graceful as hers, but I tried my best to keep a steady hand! We then left these to cool in the fridge for half an hour or so. 

In the meantime, we moved on to our next lesson: chocolate lollipops. It was quite an easy process - again we used piping bags, holding the bag upright in order to slowly create a circle of chocolate moving outwards. As the chocolate sets, you then roll a paper stick into the base of the circle, making sure the chocolate covers the stick. The most fun part was getting to decorate our creations with whatever we wanted. I chose dessicated coconut and fudge for one, and honeycomb pieces, pecans and salted caramel for the other.

The Ultimate Chocolate Workshop at Chocolates for Chocoholics, Hurst
Whilst Vicky and Emma kindly popped our lollipops and truffles in the fridge to set, we moved on to arguably the most exciting yet terrifying part of the workshop. In the background a mesmerising chocolate tap was running, which Vicky explained, was tempered chocolate. In order words, chocolate which was at the perfect temperature for putting into moulds to create amazing chocolate slabs! We were shown the best method for filling three rectangular moulds with the optimum level of chocolate.

I am certainly not as elegant as I could be when it comes to things that take a little patience and a steady pair of hands, as you can see from the amount of chocolate that ended up on the edges of the mould. The chocolate tap ran surprisingly quickly, and you only need about two-thirds of it in the mould to create a level surface. The messiest part was scraping the excess off the sides to stop it dripping everywhere. An incredibly messy but tasty experience I would say!

The Ultimate Chocolate Workshop at Chocolates for Chocoholics, Hurst
Again, we were able to get our creative juices flowing and decorate however we wanted with a range of toppings. It felt like an alcohol and chocolate-fuelled art lesson. The final step in our chocolate workshop was incredibly therapeutic and relaxing. We were shown how to coat our truffle shells in 3 stages: the first was topping the champagne filling with tempered chocolate to fill the shell. After a small wait, and a wonderful wrapping session of our new gifts, we then coated the truffles in not one but two layers of velvety chocolate, with little waits in between to allow the chocolate to set.

For the second coating we were shown the coolest trick to create pretty spiked truffles like below. Once the second coating of chocolate had set enough to become tacky (a bit like when your Twix is slightly melting in the heat but hasn't melted completely), we picked up the truffles with a spoolie and gently rolled the chocolates evenly on a wire cooling rack! My truffles looked so bloody professional if I do say so myself.

The Ultimate Chocolate Workshop at Chocolates for Chocoholics, Hurst
Everyone was so focused and enjoying this part that the whole room went quiet and peaceful - it was perfect. With all our new creations completely cooled, we had a cute wrapping session with clear bags and ribbon, and were given a fancy present bag to take home with us. 

When I told my parents that I made the chocolates myself, they genuinely didn't believe me at first and laughed at me. So yeah thanks for the support guys...

The Ultimate Chocolate Workshop at Chocolates for Chocoholics, Hurst
I cannot recommend this experience enough to anyone - Vicky and Elizabeth are such wonderful hosts and made everyone feel at ease and comfortable around each other almost instantly. Vicky was an incredibly patient teacher, (especially with clumsier people like myself) and it was amazing to focus on such a different type of skills for an afternoon - precision, accuracy and creativity.

This workshop would be perfect for families, a girly day-out and even a hen-do! Basically anyone who loves chocolate and getting stuck-in will have an absolute blast. It can get a bit messy but that's part of the fun!

Thanks for reading! Have you been to a chocolate workshop before? What cool stuff did you make? Learn anything new or exciting? Tell me all!

*This is a sponsored post. I reviewed the Chocolates for Chocoholics Workshop and Fizz Package in exchange for a review. However, all chocolate-inspired thoughts are my own! For more information, see my disclaimer here.

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The Ultimate Chocolate Workshop at Chocolates for Chocoholics, Hurst

1 comment

  1. This looks like such a fab day! Your truffles look so good! As you say perfect for a nice girlie day!


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