Staff Review: Luxury Chocolate Making Workshop
Finally, it came to the day of our wonderful chocolate workshop, in Winchester, which Rebecca and I had been extremely looking forward to. We set off from Brighton on the M25 route, which was easy going. We hit no traffic and arrived considerably early. This suited us perfectly, as we then had a moment to take in the beautiful countryside surrounding the Chocolate Craft venue.
After being welcomed by our lovely hosts, Julie and Sarah, we took our seats with the group, there was around 14 participants, which was a great opportunity to meet new people. Julie then gave an interesting introduction, informing us of how chocolate is made, the ingredients we were going to use, as well as what we were going to be doing throughout.
We always watched Julie demonstrate how to do everything first. When creating our ganache, there was an impressive variety of flavourings and fillings to choose from. I had decided on raspberry oil, dried raspberry pieces, champagne and white chocolate ganache – which was incredible! Rebecca went for strawberry oil, strawberry crisps, and milk chocolate ganache. Once we had created our ganache, it was time to get messy! We poured our ganache into a piping bag and began filling our chocolate treats.
While our chocolate treats were chilling, we got creative and practiced our fine piping skills, for our exciting chocolate lolly competition. Once everyone had created their chocolate lolly masterpieces, there was a surprise prize for the best decorated. Here we got to see other designs which were all fantastic, though unfortunately this meant myself or Rebecca didn’t win…
Once these had gone into the fridge to chill, we went back to our delicious chocolate treats to add the bottom of the chocolates, choosing from milk, dark or white chocolate. Rebecca and I both went for milk chocolate bottoms. These then went back into the fridge to chill. Shortly after they were chilled, it was time to decorate them. Rebecca chose the topping of orange segments and I went for dried raspberries, nuts, milk and white chocolate fine piping.
Once our lollies and chocolate treats had cooled it was time to package them up. All our wonderful chocolates had a gold box to take home in, as well as ribbon for decoration. Our chocolate creations really looked wonderful!
We would like to say a massive thank you to Chocolate Craft for having us, we had a fabulous time and would love to come back!
Expert Interview: Debbie Carter – Chocolate Craft
Calling all chocolatiers! We caught up with Debbie, the Founder and Managing Director of Chocolate Craft. She gave us a little more insight into the Luxury Chocolate Making Workshop, perfect for chocaholics.
Q. How was Chocolate Craft founded?
A. I was actually an NHS Nursing Development and Research Manager who wanted a career change and wanted to run my own business. That was back in 2004 – some 13 years on, we continue to be an expanding business supplying the likes of Fortnum & Mason with hand decorated chocolates, whilst being firmly established as the region’s leading chocolate teaching and chocolate based team building events business.
Q. Where did your passion for Chocolate come from?
A. It was borne out of a passion for cooking and creativity. With its great versatility in both flavouring and composition, I found chocolate to be my perfect ingredient!
Q. What is your favourite thing about teaching chocolate making classes & workshops?
A. Without a doubt, seeing the fun and enjoyment that people of all ages get from learning a new skill and developing their own handmade creations – then seeing how proud people are with what they’ve made.
Q. If you could tell every customer one thing, what would it be?
A. Get creative and enjoy!
Q. Do you have any funny stories about Chocolate Craft?
A. No funny stories in particular, though every workshop is guaranteed to deliver fun and laughter!
Q. Is there anything you would like to add or mention that has not been covered?
A. Only that anyone can make chocolates – men, women, boys, girls, mums and dads, grandpas and great-grandmas! It’s totally accessible and even beginners can, with the right tuition, produce highly professional results.
We would like to thank Debbie for taking the time to share her experiences with us. Whether you’re young or old, chocolate is everyone’s favourite, and an experience with Chocolate Craft makes a fantastic gift for all!