In keeping with the constant suggestions and requests by readers to have a workshop in south Goa, The Navhind Times organised a chocolate-making workshop at Agnel’s Institute of Food Craft and Culinary Services, Verna on Friday, February 17. The workshop which was held in collaboration with Morde chocolates, was open to the age group of 15 to 21 years of age and was conducted by Morde chef Bonny Pereira. Designed specifically for youngsters, the workshop aimed at teaching to make simple chocolates at home. Hundred and fifty two students participated in the half day workshop along with a few teachers and parents.
The workshop commenced with an introduction by Periera on chocolate and its features. The demonstration that followed had participants glued to the screen. First on the agenda was moulded chocolate and the process of melting the chocolate was explained. “Melting the chocolate is very crucial for making glossy and beautiful looking chocolates. It is important to break the chocolate into bits before melting as this quickens the melting process,” advised Pereira. “Do not keep chocolate for more than 30 seconds at a time in the microwave and stir frequently. Patience is an important requirement for making chocolates,” he added. Besides the microwave method he also demonstrated the double boiler method. Using polycarbonate and silicon moulds, he made a variety of moulded chocolates.
Crispy chocolate was next and using rice crispies, he demonstrated how easily they can be prepared at home and how ingredients like oats and cornflakes can also be utilised. This was followed by almond rocks made with whole almonds and milk chocolate. Using flavoured chocolates like orange, mango and strawberry, he made multi-coloured as well as layered chocolates that were a feast not just for the eyes but also for the taste buds. Throughout the demonstration students were taking notes and one could see the concentration on their faces as they tried to absorb every word, Pereira said. Reiterating the importance of patience in chocolate-making he added, “You need to be cool and calm when making chocolate and of course patience is a must.”
After each item was demonstrated, participants were encouraged to ask questions and get their doubts cleared. Besides the regular chocolate, he also demonstrated how to incorporate chilly flakes into mango-flavoured chocolate and the end product was simply scrumptious!
After the demonstration, participants were more than ready to try their hand at what they had learnt from Pereira; who went from table to table teaching the youngsters how to go about making the various chocolates he had demonstrated. The buzz and excitement at the tables was very contagious and every single participant wanted to work with chocolate. The institute had organised three kitchens where participants could practice in comfort and with ease. Morde also supplied more than enough chocolate for all participants and everywhere you turned there was chocolate. It truly looked like Planet J’s own chocolate factory. For most it was a workshop like no other!