On a very hot and sticky summer’s day, the workshop at ChocoYOU was icy-cool, at just the right temperature to keep the chocolates as fresh as possible. Surrounded by boxes and batches of finished goodies with the incredible smell of Belgian chocolate in the air, my son and I were in our happy place!
We took along some friends to try out the Children’s Chocolate Workshop – for kids aged 5-15 years – where children learn the basics of chocolate, get to make their own and take it home. There were wide eyes all around as we wandered around the room, sampling the chocolates. Aprons were handed out, and while the kids scrubbed their hands, I had a good eyeball around at the toppings and fillings lining the shelves. Exotic spices jumped out at me – Szechuan peppercorns, curry powder, cardamom, tea, chicken ramen… this was no ordinary chocolate shop!
A huge chocolate lover, ChocoYOU‘s owner Alexis was frustrated by the lack of good chocolatiers in Hong Kong and started to make his own confections at home, fusing Asian ingredients with chocolate. Instead of a traditional chocolate company, he wanted to do something fun and unique, and the online store allows everyone to design their own chocolate in just 3 easy steps. After getting requests for classes, he decided to extend the business to include a selection, including the children’s workshop that our group attended. For more information on classes, please see here.
We were shown how chocolate is tempered, and how to make 4 different kinds of chocolates: chocolate animals; lollipops; a bar with individual toppings and a personalised photo; and chocolate-dipped strawberries with toppings. It was a wonderfully fun way to spend a hot, sticky afternoon, and by the end we had amassed an impressive pile of chocolates to take home and give out as presents… I’m not kidding anyone here, am I? We ate the lot at the cinema later that afternoon!
We also got to try out the new praline collection, which I predict will be a big hit! “A Chocolate Journey Through Hong Kong” is a colourful assortment of chocolates with delicate flavours, and ingredients inspired by the foods of Hong Kong.
These include a Black Sesame Pudding dark chocolate; Hong Kong’s unique street food Peanut Waffle with milk chocolate; chocolate infused with the colonial tradition of Earl Grey Tea; a fragrant Hong Kong Milk Tea blend; Cha-chaan-teng-style Red Bean Ice with creamy white chocolate; alongside other creations like Pepper; Curry Coconut; Wasabi and finally Hong Kong’s favourite VSOP Congac infused into dark chocolate. (Obviously, the kids didn’t partake, although I may have!)
While some of the flavours may sound strange to the uninitiated, I can confirm they were delicious and perfectly matched the chocolate. I can honestly say that this is a workshop that is equally as fun for kids as for parents, provided you are all chocolate lovers! We all came out with big grins and a sense of achievement.
Check out the full range of ChocoYOU’s workshops here.