Planet J in its continued mission of bringing value to its readers organised a workshop on chocolate-making on Sunday, October 9 at Dempo House, Panaji. Designed specifically for the age group of 16 to 21, the workshop aimed at teaching youngsters how to make some simple chocolates at home. Hundred and forty three youngsters participated in the half day workshop conducted by chocolatier Judy D’Costa.
The workshop commenced with a introduction by D’Costa on chocolate and its features. Through the short documentary, ‘From bean to bar’, participants were acquainted with the process that transforms the humble cocoa bean to the heavenly and delicious end product that is aptly described as a ‘food fit for the gods’. A tray with the beans and cocoa butter were passed around so as to familiarise those present with what they look and taste like.
The demonstration that followed had participants glued to the screen. D’Costa began with chocolate garnishes and demonstrated how to create beautiful single and two coloured garnishes by spreading melted chocolate over a textured sheet. She then cut it into strips and circles which she utilised for chocolates she made later in the demo. “These can be used not just for chocolates but also for cakes and other desserts and the visual effect will definitely improve,” she said.
After the garnishes, came the other goodies like chocolate and fruit jelly pebbles, chewy, crunchy and gooey chocolate barks which incorporated marshmallows and salted caramel, chocolate rice crispy bars and marzipan pops. “Melting the chocolate is very crucial for making glossy and beautiful looking chocolates,” she said. Reiterating the importance of patience in chocolate-making she added, “You need to be cool and calm when making chocolate and of course patience is a must.”
After each item was demonstrated she passed a tray of the same around, ensuring everyone got a taste of the confections. Participants waited in anticipation to taste the mouth-watering creations and none were disappointed. “I have included just the basics on the agenda so as to encourage the children to try their hand at chocolate-making. I do not want them to get discouraged trying out complicated chocolates as they can be rather tricky,” she shared.
After the demonstration, participants were more than ready to try their hand at what they had learnt from D’Costa; who went from table to table teaching the youngsters how to go about making the various chocolates she had demonstrated. The marzipan chocolate pops seemed to be the hot favourite as participants tried making the most creative and colourful toppings for their pops utilising the various ingredients that were on offer. The buzz and excitement at the tables was very contagious and every single participant wanted to work with chocolate. For most it was a workshop like no other!