Last month.

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

be­hind all this is that the premises were once – and not that long ago ei­ther – the home of Goodall & Co un­der­tak­ers. Some peo­ple find this a bit mor­bid, but I love the history, and the way Cape Town changes over the years.

Hav­ing oc­cu­pied the ground floor for a while, the up­stairs level be­came avail­able so the guys from Hon­est Chocolate – An­thony Gird and Michael de Klerk – grabbed it, see­ing an op­por­tu­nity to use the big open room for events and work­shops, and to ex­tend their busi­ness.

One of the first things they did was be­gin putting on chocolate work­shops and we at­tended the first last month. It was hosted by Gird, who gave a de­tailed, yet sim­ple, ex­pla­na­tion of how chocolate is made. It’s a story I’ve been told many times, and this was one of the eas­i­est to understand. I still marvel at how it was dis­cov­ered that the bit­ter ca­cao bean can be fer­mented, dried, cleaned, and roasted (al­though Hon­est Chocolate leaves out this step – for now) to turn it into the glo­ri­ous yum­mi­ness we know and love. We owe a great debt of grat­i­tude to those an­cient in­no­va­tors and their vi­sion.

The lec­ture was ac­com­pa­nied by the pass­ing around of bowls of chocolate bits in their var­i­ous stages for us to taste. Trust me, it has to go through quite a bit be­fore it be­comes palat­able. I have the most hi­lar­i­ous pho­to­graph of Divine Lady D’s face when she tried some, but she has for­bid­den me to pub­lish it.

Then there is the process of tem­per­ing chocolate, an es­sen­tial step for making smooth, glossy, evenly coloured coat­ing for your dipped choco­lates, and pro­duces a crisp, sat­is­fy­ing snap when you bite into it. This couldn’t be left out be­cause the work­shop was to cul­mi­nate in us making our own bon-bons.

Anele Dz­iba demon­strated the tem­per­ing, pour­ing melted chocolate on to a cool gran­ite slab – tem­per­a­tures are crit­i­cal – work­ing it back and forth with a spat­ula.

It was mes­meris­ing, and not only be­cause ev­ery per­son in the room wanted to put their hands in it.

Af­ter­wards we all got a turn to dip bon-bons, which we pack­aged in tis­sue pa­per in a card­board box fin­ished off with a la­bel – just as they do for the shop.

Th­ese were to take home to eat in the mid­dle of the night or, if one was feel­ing gen­er­ous, give to some­one spe­cial as a gift.

● The next work­shop is on Satur­day, Novem­ber 21, at 10.30am. Tick­ets are R250 through Quicket, and for any queries or more in­for­ma­tion call Cas­sidy on 082 820 5061 or mail info@hon­estcho­co­late. co.za. Check out Face­book this week­end for a com­pe­ti­tion give­away. The Hon­est Chocolate Café is at 64A Wale Street, Cape Town.

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