On Saturday I, along with my husband and daughter, paid a visit to a little place called Chocolate House in Claremont where for a few hours we indulged in the decadence that is creating our very own chocolates. And for a couple of chocoholics like ourselves this was a heavenly experience!
For the past few years chocolate enthusiast, Sheilagh Herringer, has given private chocolate lessons from her home and we were very fortunately invited the week before Easter to pay her a visit and create our very own chocolate masterpieces!
There was so much she covered in the few hours we spent with her. Sheilagh only uses the very best quality chocolate so we knew we were in for a treat… until we realised she doesn’t belive in licking the spoon. Oh dear!! Anyway we got stuck in to the basics and knuckled down to take some notes of the process. One of the key points in making chocolates is learning how to temper chocolate, so we spent a good while doing this. (Apparently it’s very important to be very exact when it comes to the temperature and method if you want to ensure that your chocolates have a good “snap and shine”)
We then set about making a variety of chocolates in molds – adding flavour to a few and leaving a few hollow for filling later. We then moved on to creating ganache for icing a chocolate cake as well as to use for making truffles! YUM! This was followed by dipping them in milk chocolate, something my daughter loved doing, and then decorating them with nut and drizzled white chocolate. No chocolate was wasted as we used every last little bit in a variety of ways including dipping biscuits into the left over milk chocolate.
The morning whizzed by in a chocolate-scented blur…. and finally we were able to taste a few of our creations!! I’m pleased to report that all our effort was worth it. The few we were able to sneak into our mouths were decadent and delicious…. And then we walked away with a huge assortment of our creations, plus a little Easter-themed chocolate cake to enjoy at home.
After gorging myself on a few too many ultra-rich chocolates, I had the presence of mind to stop and pack a few chocolates and truffles into little gift bags to send as Easter gifts to my kids teachers. Yes, I know it sounds like I’m one of “those” moms, and just this once I actually might be!
All in all it was a fun morning and a great way to spend time together as a family. My daughter LOVED creating and baking and even my husband got into the vibe after initially feeling a bit awkward being the odd man out in the kitchen. And although our finished product may not look perfect and professional – I can, after stringent testing, confirm that they taste pretty darn good…
If you are looking for a unique gift or experience to share with a daughter, mother or best friend this would be a really lovely option. Because – – > chocolate! What woman doesn’t love indulging in her favourite vice. And as Sheilagh mentioned (and I’m taking this as FACT) Good quality chocolate is made from cocoa butter which is actually a vegetable and therefore VERY good for you. Plus cocoa butter = good fats so even Tim Noakes would be happy! Right??
Tel: +2721 671 2067
Images: Kathryn Rossiter (excl no 1)
(Due to a camera battery fail some were taken on my phone so are not the best quality. I apologise!)