How long has it been since you last enjoyed your favorite chocolate?
Although we have varied preferences, my family and I do not deny the fact that we all LOVE CHOCOLATES; who doesn’t? Either fruity, nutty or just plain, for as long as it’s DARK–bitter and mildly sweet, my day’s fine! While Tina and Gabby want their chocolates better with nothing. We’ve been eating, munching, drinking chocolates but haven’t taken any effort in appreciating its origin, the required processes before it becomes a candy bar, a syrup, a divine ingredient in cakes, pastries, ice cream, fondue and whatnot until we attended HEAVENLY CHOCOLATES’ Chocolate Appreciation 101.
I’ve been invited to this monthly chocoholics’ FREE workshop by fellow blogger and the chocovangelist herself, Ms. Marga (a.k.a. Midge) of SybDive several times since early part of this year but it was only yesterday that I got to bring Tina and Gabby to this fun but comprehensive event.
Tina who came from her work, met Gabby and I in a fast food along Tomas Morato at around 4PM where we had our early light dinner. Then we came to Heavenly Chocolates several minutes before the 6PM workshop (poster above with 7PM schedule was an erratum).
On the wall : Chocolate Facts–
The Aztec Emperor Montezuma drank nothing but chocolates -50 pitchers prepared for him each day (Just so you know, chocolate wasn’t sweet those days but SPICY!).
Cocoa beans were used as Aztec currency : 10 beans for a wife and a hundred beans for a good slave (no typo error here, just facts!).
Only Aztec kings and members of his court could drink chocolate. It was a drink for royalty.
It was Gabby who was really excited to sample one of Heavenly Chocolates’ yummies –cakes! So he went to the display bar and pointed to his mom his choice. The staff commented, “Marunong syang pumili!”
FRENCH DARK, PhP 100 per slice.
One of the most delicious chocolate cakes we’ve tasted; heavenly is an understatement! Price is reasonable and it surprisingly comes in a generous slice; bigger than usual servings in most coffee and cake shops. Thumbs up for this cake; next time we crave for this delectable treat, we want a whole!
After Marga met us briefly, she ushered us to THE LOUNGE, Heavenly Chocolates’ newest offering–a party space for intimate gatherings, with cool and casual interiors that can be booked for PhP 3000 consumable (that’s lot of cakes, drinks and more!) for 3 hours, FREE CORKAGE FEE so anyone can bring in potluck foods and drinks; the room upstairs has wide flat screen TV fit for videoke or Magic Sing moments, also with comfy couches, seats and tables, good for 20-25 people. It serves as CHOCOLATE APPRECIATION 101 venue.
The workshop started as Marga handed the attendees dried lavender. She instructed us to rub those tiny petals in between palms, then bring it closer to our noses to sniff and inhale. And in a blink, soothing aroma kicked in; everyone instantly became relaxed and in the right mood for the event.
The early attendees, including Tina, Gabby and I were lucky to sample GHANA AOX, a chocolate serving with nuts and raisins; the fusion of its flavor and textures was nice.
As the interesting lecture-workshop on chocolate history, trivia, differences between some chocolates we like, countries that produce and consume chocolates, manufacturing processes were relayed (it was our first time to see on slides those huge amazing refining and conching (uninterrupted stirring) equipments–from the old windmill-powered machines to the ones chocolate factories used these days), FREE TASTINGS of Heavenly Chocolates’ goodies came one after the other. It was indeed engaging!
SUMAN+MANGO SYRUP paired with SINGLE-ORIGIN DAVAO chocolate drink :
We learned that SINGLE-ORIGIN in chocolate terms means its beans were grown in one particular area or region. And this locally produced chocolate drink doesn’t disappoint. Sarap! Its taste is comparable to a chocolate tablea used in chocolate porridge. It perfectly compliments the suman with mango syrup.
SAO TOME :
“An island republic in the Gulf of Guinea off the west coast of Africa, that is a prime growing area for the Amelonado subspecies of high quality Forastero. São Tomé cacao can be bitter with flavors of pure cocoa, sharp red fruits, cinnamon, and vanilla. It is a good base for blended chocolate.” Sourced via The Nibble.
SAO TOME jas thick consistency with smoky taste and richer aroma.
GANACHE which is actually an accidental discovery when a chef’s assistant poured cream into a chocolate mixture was also introduced. The velvety smooth combination of cream and chocolate can be dipped in chocolate and rolled in cocoa powder to make a TRUFFLE.
SACHI NAMA (left) was served; Tina liked it so much and TRUFFLE (right) with a light hint of rum was made on the spot by Marga:
Yum! And look how Gabby involved himself as the only kiddie participant amidst chocoholics :
We’re so glad we finally attended Heavenly Chocolates’ Chocolate Appreciation 101. It was truly more than a well-delivered live lecture and a fun workshop but a pleasant interactive event for everyone interested to be more appreciative of what we usually enjoy.
I was told that topics vary per month, so if you want to experience this FREE chocolate workshop and tastings or simply want to savor Heavenly Chocolates goodies, you may call them at (63-2) 6662208; they’re located at 127 Roces Avenue (near Tomas Morato), Quezon City. Click the map on the right to enlarge.
You may also ‘like’ and give thumbs up to Heavenly Chocolates via their facebook account and get loads of updates.
Special thanks to Ms. Marga and Mr. Benjie for making us more sensible of chocolates! The experience was indeed glorious!