First, apologies to my nine year old daughter. She has been keen to go chocolate making at the Chocolate Tart chocolate workshop in Congresbury, near Bristol, for quite some time but hasn’t quite hit the magic requirement of being 10 years old. So she was rather green with envy when a lovely friend took me to an afternoon chocolate workshop where we would learn the art of chocolate making.
Chef and chocolatier Lisa Clark runs The Chocolate Tart from her home in Congresbury. It’s not quite Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory but it’s the closest most people are going to get. Lisa and her daughter, both hugely patient and charming, helped us to produce three delicious chocolatey makes.
Firstly we used moulds to make a 3 dimensional chocolate heart, hen, cat, dog or Easter egg. Returning to our childhoods we finger painted the moulds with coloured dyes before filling them with chocolate. Lisa explained what the mix of her special blend of chocolate is and why expensive chocolate tastes so much better than the cheap stuff. She gave us a little bit of chocolate science as she explained how to temper chocolate, aided by a hairdryer!
Whilst our moulds were setting Lisa taught us to hand roll chocolate truffles, an opportunity to get very messy with chocolate. She also told us how to make dairy free options. Then she showed us how to make knackerlis, like giant chocolate buttons, garnished with our choice of fantastic toppings from dried strawberries to fudge to popping candy.
After the session Lisa emailed instructions on how to temper chocolate and we managed to successfully make knackerlis with the children, so my 9 year olds didn’t entirely miss out!
Educational, absorbing and totally delicious, this was a very unusual way to spend an afternoon and one I would definitely recommend to anyone who likes chocolate (and, let’s face it, who doesn’t!).
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This is right up my street although I’ve given chocolate up for this month so it’s difficult looking at your photos! The knackerlis look like a great treat to attempt with children – I might have to look up tempering chocolate too (in April of course).
It was a lot of fun. I admire your willpower in giving up chocolate!
I´d love to learn how to hand roll chocolate truffles! Have never seen how they do it! What a delicious activity!
It’s a lot of fun but very messy! I won’t be doing that with the kids, will stick to the knackerlis! Thanks for reading.
Hahahaha.. I know what you mean about hitting golden ages. I can’t imagine any kid who wouldn’t love chocolate making. Luckily the chocolate workshops we have here in Singapore so far didn’t set the minimum as high as 10 years old! #CityTripping
Mmmmm I love any kind of chocolate workshop or walk – especially when I can try the 100% stuff. Popping candy sprinkles sound pretty good too. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping
What a yummy day out! I especially like the sound of the finger painting. I hope Miss 9 got to share the spoils, that might have helped her get over the disappointment. #CityTripping
Yes, I can see why that would be appealing to kids! Good way to learn about food too, quality chocolate making is quite a skill. My next post is about York’s Chocolate Story – I’ve got a funny feeling your daughter would be quite engaged there too 🙂
She would! So would I!
Oh, I’m drooling! All that chocolate, sounds like a dream come true! 🙂
This looks amazing – I’m only up the road in Cardiff, will have to give it a try! Yum! #citytripping
I was so excited to read your post as I was recently in Bristol, fell in love with it, and I’m returning in May! PLUS what’s better than chocolate?! That’s right… nothing (I say, lying in bed reading blog posts and eating a dark chocolate bar). Looks like such a fun experience and I’m glad you were able to pass the chocolate wisdom on to your kiddos!
Enjoy your trip Sarah!
I did a bit of chocolate-making at the Thorntons factory, and it was fab. I bet your daughter will love it when she’s old enough to go. #citytripping