I felt like Willy Wonka

June 11, 2024 in Confidence Coaching, Courage

On Saturday, Kev and I were invited to attend a chocolate making workshop at the hotel where we hold all our quarterly events. 

It felt like a real treat attending the hotel as a guest. 

We’re usually worrying about which cables we’ve left behind or making sure all the different dietary requirements are catered for so we don’t upset anyone or make them sick, so it was really lovely to just swan into the hotel and be made a fuss of us for a change. 

I really didn’t expect the chocolate making workshop to be anything more than getting covered in goo and licking spoons, but Kerry Witt turned out to be a font of knowledge on all things chocolatey, and opened my eyes to things I never really appreciated about chocolate. 

Kerry is an award winning chocolatier (under the brand name of Miss Witt) and she’s even a judge at the Academy of Chocolate Awards (which I am thinking of offering myself up for as a stand-in judge, even though I know nothing about how to judge chocolate - coz it’s my dream job!).

She talked us through what makes good chocolate: did you know many people love to eat chilled chocolate but in fact that’s a terrible way to eat the stuff because you don’t get the right aromas etc? The experts have worked out that what people are really after is that satisfying snap, and good quality chocolate will provide that sensation. 

She also gave a top tip that Marks and Spencer Dark Milk Chocolate (54%) is one of the best mass produced chocolate bars you can buy - it has that great snap followed by a delicious, creamy mouth feel. She also rates the Waitrose No1 brand, which is great if you don’t have access to artisan chocolate!

I realised during the workshop that although I’ve been a big fan of chocolate all my life, that there is so much more to it than dark, milk or white. I also learned that you temper chocolate by warming it up, and then cooling it down by spreading little bits at a time onto a marble slab and reintroducing it back into the warm chocolate. 

Tempering stabilises the chocolate so you can make into into individual truffles etc, and keeps it looking glossy and smooth, whereas if you didn’t then all your little confections would look like a packet of Rolos after they've been left in a car for week - all dull and covered in a white bloom. 

After a couple of hours with Kerry, I felt as if I had developed a new appreciation for my favourite confectionery. I felt as if I’d started to learn how to taste wine after a lifetime of glugging down bottles of plonk. 

Of course, there was still plenty of spoon licking (and bowl licking and glove licking) that went on.  

I loved making the truffles almost as much as I’m enjoying scoffing them!

As part of our 90 Day Breakthrough journalling process, we encourage you to make goals around fun and relaxation, and I can totally recommend trying out new things by attending little workshops as a great way to unwind and absorb yourself in something new. 

As adults, many of us stop trying new things and we forget how much fun we all had as kids being given new things to learn and do every week, so why not make it a goal this week to book yourself into a class or workshop and expand your horizons?

The author 

Vicki LaBouchardiere