One day we were walking to town and we passed the Choco Museo. Never being one to resist temptation we all rushed into this fabulous little place. The smell was intoxicating and we saw a class being conducted.
After speaking to the staff we had 2 classes booked. Josh and I were to do a truffle workshop together and then we would bring the kids back for a shorter class the following week. The anticipation was mounting.
Driving the scooter for the first time in town to find the Choco Museo was slightly confusing since Antigua is set out in a grid format with one way roads most of the time. Finally we reached it, located 1.5 blocks from the central square and we were only 1 minute late for our 11am class. Phew!
We met some of the wonderful staff and our funny yet very informative teacher took us to the back of the store to talk to us about the history of cacao. Located adjacent to the store/cooking area is a museum of sorts set up with the history of chocolate.
I learnt so much that day including the very first chocolate only consisted as a drink in South America. It was thousands of years later that it finally made it to Guatemala and it was hundreds of years after that that Europe discovered it, changed it and made not only milk chocolate, but also eatable solid chocolate. They needed a closer place to grow it and brought the beans to Africa and Asia.
Now according to the map Australians eat 60 100g chocolate bars per year, that’s each person! Whoops.
Time to get to work
After our history lesson we went through the process of bean-to-chocolate. We peeled the beans, making tea with the shells and then ganache with the beans.
Did you know the origins of ganache lie in an apprentice French chef who made a mistake? Life lessons in chocolate! Learn your mistakes and may they be as beautiful (and tasty) as ganache.
Our ganache was later used for the truffle making process. We ended up making at least 30 truffles between us, with a variety of coatings from coconut, macadamia nuts, sprinkles, chilli, cinnamon and a few spices.
The process was simple and messy. Good, dirty fun! Roll the dark chocolate ganache into a ball. Coat it in milk chocolate and then add your favourite coating.
While we were busy doing this we also got to watch some of the chocolates being made in store by the delightful Carol. She was cooling down beautiful, silky, milk chocolate right before our eyes - and never licked her fingers once!
With the left over milk chocolate we got to make individual chocolate shells with any number of yummy insides like sultanas, salt, mint, cookies, etc. We end up making a whole sheet of 12 milk chocolates in addition to the truffles.
Two hours went way too fast and I was literally giddy with glee the whole time. I washed my hands consistently (as I’m a finger licker) and I can’t believe how slim the staff were and why they weren’t licking their fingers… Anyway before I knew it we are done and the final results were boxed beautifully and presented to us.
What you need to know
There are 2 workshops – “bean to bar” and “truffles”. We did the truffles one – yum!
Workshops are 11am, 1:30pm & 4pm everyday & it gets super busy in there so book ahead.
Current price is US$23 per class. Phenomenal price for 2 hours making chocolate and getting to take them home. YUM again!
Quite rightfully this is the number 2 thing to do in Antigua on TripAdvisor. Check out their website and Facebook page and next time you are in Antigua make it a priority to get covered in chocolate at the Choco Museo.