A little late, so for our avid fans, apologies for the delay!
The school holidays being upon us, we were made welcome at the Dunbar Day Centre, which worked out perfectly with the kitchen easy to hand and the television room for viewing the chocolate process video (with extra thanks to Tim Sangster for technical assistance!).
Katy Weddell (of Rock Lobster fame) had lined up a delicious morning for us; first came a run-through of fascinating chocolate history and geography (with a reminder to pay attention for the quiz later!), before we were allowed to get our fingers messy with the melted chocolate.
Making the lollipops was great fun – first we chose our beautiful cocoa transfer paper square, then swirled dollops of melted milk chocolate into the lollipop shape on the paper. Then came swirls of melted white chocolate and sprinkles of sweets and chocolate curls for decoration. We put the trays in the fridge and left them to set.
While they were setting, we watched a fascinating video of the growing, harvesting and processing of cocoa beans.
Then it was back to the chocolate room to experience three different types of chocolate- by smell, feel and taste. We cupped our hands around large buttons of each type of chocolate and took big sniffs of the aroma. We used a flavour wheel to help us describe the smells on our worksheet. Next, we broke each piece in half to hear the “snap”- good quality chocolate makes a hard snapping sound when broken, whereas poor chocolate is soft and breaks apart soundlessly. Lastly, we put the chocolate on our tongues and held it in our mouths as it melted. we tried to make sure that all areas of the mouth and tongue were in contact with the chocolate, to capture all the tastes. We wrote notes about what we felt and tasted on our worksheets.
After this, the quick quiz was in order, to see who had remembered most from the introduction earlier.
Finally, we retrieved the set lollipops from the fridge and peeled off the transfers to reveal the beautiful designs on our chocolate. We wrapped them in little cellophane bags and took them home to give to our families or eat up all by ourselves – yummy!