On the 14&15th October I went to The Chocolate show at London Olympia. This was my first time attending the show. The chocolate show is part of the salon du chocolate which has been going since 1995!
So on arrival I was just hit by the smell of chocolate but a really rich one not like Cadbury’s.
I had a little walk round all the stores checking out what was for sale but more importantly to me what workshops I could book into / join.
I booked onto a chocolate and coffee tasting with hotel chocolate. Also into a chocolate making class with York cocoa The rest of the workshops were for all the kiddos which made me want to be a kid again!
So having booked into the classes, booking early was a good idea as classes filled up extremely fast with the small capacities they could take.
While waiting for the workshops I explored The chocolate show further. Walking through there were so many samples on offer to taste what each and every company had to offer. Different chocolate grades, different beans etc so many things to know about chocolate.
I was thinking this would be a consumer & maker show but I was shocked to find only one stall selling chocolate moulds , which were silicon. I was hoping to grab a few polycarbonate ones 😦
The hotel chocolate : chocolate and coffee tasting.
For the tasting it started with the basics of chocolate , from bean to bar , and how chocolate is made. The staff are trained to quite a high standard on this but still inquisitive about some questions people asked.
They then bought out their in-house coffee . Which we all tasted on it’s own to begin with then they started to bring different chocolates out to taste with the chocolate.
It was a weird experience as if you ate the chocolate then drank coffee it left a different taste but if you drank coffee then ate chocolate it changed the flavour of the chocolate.
So the workshop with York cocoa was the process beginning to end, but this was over a few different workshops which as o was at the show for 2 days I got to see it all.
We first started by sorting cocoa beans , picking bad ones out from the good. Tasting them. Then weighing to see for the further on stages how much moisture can be drawn out.
The beans go through the oven in this case at the show for the roasting process.
The beans come out cool down before going through a machine which crushes and takes of the shell of the bean.
At this stage I tasted the bean again it defiantly was more flavourful.
We then took the beans to the conch where we out the beans in slowly. Then added some sugar & once that was all smooth and liquified we added some cocoa butter.
The process did take over night to complete. So the next day we tempered and made the bar!
This was so fun to see from bean to bar in real life and getting hands on with it!
The Chocolate show had a theatre where there were celebrity chefs & chocolatiers doing demos. I went by to see Cherish Finden with her spooktacular trick or treat filled candles. It was such a joy watching Cherish do a demo as her passion was of the radar!
I had such a great time at the chocolate show. I learnt so much and tasted so many diffrent chocolates as well as a fresh coco bean.
I couldn’t help but pick up some amazing goodies
I hope next year I get to go again and further my chocolate knowledge 😄