There was a mini kidnapping of Himself last week.
I was a very good friend...
The kidnapping was down to Franklin, TN where we had a tour of Schakolad Chocolate Factory. When you walk into the door your nose gets happy.
Then your stomach gets even happier!
We were greeted with the invitation to indulge in as much as we wanted of the chocolate fountain. Alrighty then!
We also had time to look at the tempting display cases.
See anything you like?
Once everyone got there, we were taken back to the 'chocolate machines' where melted chocolate (both dark and milk) were constantly being swirled in a circle.
We were shown how to dip the spatula into the chocolate and fill a tray to make chocolate bars.
Then we each did a bar for ourselves.
You betcha I filled it as full as I could!
After everyone made a bar for themselves, the chocolate was put in the refrigerator to harden while we headed into the back of the store for a chocolate class.
This is a cacao pod that grows on the cacao tree.
And these are the cacao seeds. These seeds have been cleaned and roasted already. We sampled a cacao seed that had a brown sugar crust (kind of like a candied pecan). It was crunchy and somewhat bitter.
Then we tried "nibs", which is the cacao seed crushed, after being roasted. They are really, really bitter and taste more nutty than chocolaty.
Once we got past tasting cacao... we tasted chocolate. From 91% (extremely bitter) to 70% for the dark chocolate. That range is considered 'health food'. Of the 70%-ers, we tried one from Peru and one from Madagascar. There was a difference! The Peru tasted more "citrus/honey" and the Madagascar was more "berry-tangy/spice". Then we worked our way down to the milk chocolates. At 40% it was very sweet and smooth. We found out that is what they use in the chocolate fountain as it has enough natural cocoa oil to make it flow. At the bottom of the scale at basically 0% cocoa is "white chocolate". It is made from the cocoa fat/oil and has no cocoa in it.
Then we sampled some of the delicious chocolates from the store... amaretto, whiskey peach, butterscotch, and orange.
After getting our fill of chocolate, the group was broken into 3 groups of 2 teams each.
First task... build a chocolate house in 10 minutes. They with the best house got a prize.
Himself and our team mates hard at work.
I'm blurry because of chocolate on my lens! LOL
Our finished house.
Our next activity was back over at the chocolate machine where we learn to hand dip chocolate. As you can see, we did pretzels, Oreos, and marshmallows.
Himself working on his milk chocolate pretzel.
And a marshmallow.
We got to make 2 each.
Our final activity was to decorate our candy with a 'tube' of very warm white chocolate.
I had a blast getting fancy, even tried a bit of zentangling!
Himself... he didn't want to 'contaminate' his chocolate with white chocolate. (I think he scraped off his writing before he ate his chocolate bar. LOL )
Oh... our team won the house prize! Here's my team mate and I selecting our candy (our dear hubbies gave us their boxes to fill).
The delicious prizes!
From top left across: Amaretto, Whiskey Peach, Blackberry Brandy, and Mint
Bottom row: Orange, dark choc covered cherry, Key Lime, and the Mystery Piece (I forgot!).
If you are in the Nashville area, I highly recommend taking this tour (and watch for a Groupon to make it even cheaper). It was a grand evening!