Luxury Chocolate Workshop with Red Letter Days – Review

*****Warning – this post contains the word ‘chocolate’*****

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A couple of weeks ago I was invited along to a chocolate making and tasting workshop by Red Letter Days at My Chocolate. The event was being held at My Chocolate Shoreditch, London. Although, they do have other venues available in London, Brighton and Manchester.

The workshop was ran by two chocolate connoisseurs, one who did all of the demonstrating and one who was preparing the chocolate and utensils for us chocoholics to use on our chocolate making.

I arrived fashionably late due to travel problems, so when by the time I had arrived they were already 20 minutes into the first part of the evening, which was preparing your very own indulgent chocolate martini. I was greeted at the door and was directed to the sink where I washed my hands first and then shown to a table where a few of the other attendees had already began creating the martinis. I believe that were shown a technique called ‘wagging the tail’ where they used a spoon to drizzle melted chocolate over the martini glass to decorate it before mixing up the chocolate vodka in a shaker.

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It tastes as nice as it looked. Very much like Irish Cream. They were creamy, rich and one could definitely drink one after another. What a treat! Very much-needed after the train journey I had just encountered. The smell of indulgent chocolate wafted around the room

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Whilst we gulped sipped at our chocolate cocktails, we all stood around the demonstration desk and watched how to make our very own oil infused large chocolate button.

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We was guided on how to place the chocolate onto the paper and how to infuse it with flavoured oil.  The chocolatiers made a huge milk chocolate heart decorated with dark chocolate, using the ‘wagging the tail’ technique again and then using the other end of the spoon to create a marble effect. The expert made it look so easy!

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Back to the tables we went, ready to create our own masterpiece. I chose to make a four-leaf clover and infused it with lemongrass oil. The oil is very strong and only a couple of drops is needed to add the taste to the chocolate. It was very hard, but I resisted, not to lick the spoon, as we was going to be using them again to do the marbling

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I chose dark chocolate, as that is my favourite – the darker the better! The marbling wasn’t as easy as it looked. I think my finished button looked a bit like a toddlers drawing rather than an exquisite chocolate, it was definitely authentic and handmade.

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By now, the only evidence of our chocolate vodkas was the empty glasses on the table. They were soon replaced with a glass of prosecco.

Once we had made our chocolate slab, we was ready to move on to the next part of the workshop, Truffle making. Now I have attempted to make truffles at home before as presents for the children’s teachers and they were a nightmare to make, I had cocoa all over me. So, I was looking forward to this part of the workshop to find out where I went wrong.

We was shown how to make them first by the expert chocolatiers and a helper from the other attendees and then we was sent back to our tables. For this part of the workshop we had to get into pairs.

Firstly you mix the chocolate with double cream, stirring it quite rigorously until it starts to set and become thicker – this is your Ganache. Then you place it into a piping bag ready to pipe out little chocolate slugs or wizard hats on the parchment paper. Once all of the ganache has finished, you wait for them harden.

This part of the workshop brought lots of giggles to the table as we quickly became aware that out little chocolate ganache slugs looked more like little emoji poops. Although, It didn’t matter what they looked like at this point as they were soon to be moulded into truffles.

Once we got the hang of how to hold and pipe the bag, it was quite easy.

And once they were all done, our glasses got topped up by the very nice lady at My Chocolate with Yet more prosecco

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The evening was definitely activating our tastes buds – chocolate and booze!

The chocolatiers tutor was what really made the experience enjoyable, she was fun, humorous, interactive and full of chocolate knowledge.

Whilst we waited for the Ganache to set we was treated to a talk about the history of chocolate and how it is made. We also got to taste 90% chocolate. We was tested on our taste bud knowledge of recognising dark or milk chocolate and taught on how to feel and smell the quality of a chocolate. High quality chocolate should smell strongly of chocolate and the texture should not be gritty or waxy.

The sound that your chocolate makes when snapped is a good indication of the quality of it. Good chocolate has a clean, crisp, sharp snap when broken and milk chocolate tends to bend, because it contains more sugar and milk

After our little fun lesson in chocolate it was time to get dirty with the truffle making. On the tables was a selection of topping to decorate our truffles with; honeycomb, cocoa powder, coconut, salt, raspberry swirls, white chocolate swirls and berry dust.

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This was definitely the time to get creative, release the chocolate demon in you and dig in. First we rolled our ganache into a ball, then coated them in some cacao powder and then dipped them into more chocolate. Before they set I added some of the toppings. Some of our ganaches were a little on the small side so I added two together and at the same time pressed in some raspberry dust and salt into the middle as a surprise when bitten into.

We made quite a mess of our table

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But it was most definitely a sign of a good time. I really enjoyed the whole evening. We got to wrap up our chocolate creations in some cellophane and ribbon to take home. My chocolate goodies didn’t last long once I arrived home as they were eaten by all in the house. the chocolates were mouth-watering and tastes as good as they smelled

The whole experience lasts for about 2 1/2 hours . It’s a great gift for someone who loves chocolate or even as a hen party. I may add that we did not prepare the chocolate- temper it, as that process takes a while. We did the decorating and producing of the truffles, buttons and martini.

Currently priced at £98 for two people on Red Letter Days Website

I was invited along for the purpose of this post, no payment has been received

 

 

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Golden Turmeric/chino Drink

This drink is so smooth you will be day dreaming about drinking it all day long. It’s perfect for those cold nights and certainly warms up the bones.

What’s great is that it is totally caffeine free and made from plant based products.

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Ingredients:

200ml Coconut Milk

2 Medjool Dates, de pitted

2 tbsp Organic Oats

Handful of Cashew Nuts

1 tbsp Freshly Grated Turmeric

1 tsp Cacao Powder or Match Tea

This recipe is enough to make 1/2 mugs depending on the size

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blitz together until smooth and creamy. It’s as simple as that!

Transfer to a pan and heat it up. Pour into a mug and enjoy.

Since recieving my diagnosis of cancer I have changed my diet. I try to have turmeric at least once a day. It is good for inflammation and is known for fighting diseases. It has been used in India for thousands of years as a spics and a medicinal herb. The main compound being curcumin, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and a strong antioxidant.

 

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Organic Monkey Review

Organic Monkey is the 1st Uk Fairtrade Baby skincare company, it was set up by two Claudine and Heidi who saw a gap in the market for a truly organic range of baby skincare products. Since both ladies became mums they became more and more interested in what went into baby skincare products

It was important to us that we sourced both organic and Fairtrade ingredients to guarantee the purest, best quality products for the newest and most sensitive of skins, whilst also having a respect for nature and respectful partnerships with the farmers that produce the raw ingredients and throughout the supply chain. When Claudine’s son was born with eczema, she set about looking for a baby skincare product that wouldn’t irritate his skin. After reading many of the labels on the everyday brands on the high street she was both worried and disappointed at how hard it was to find both organic and ‘free from’ products for babies. So together with Heidi they created a skincare products for babies with sensitive skin and Organic Monkey was born!

I know how hard it to find products that don’t irritate babies skin as all three of my children have all suffered from eczema, my eldest even comes out in rashes if he uses products with too much perfume in them. Oliver has currently got dry patches on his face and his leg, and with the dry skin on his face i am slightly hesitant on what to put on it as it is very close to his eyes and mouth and as we all know that young children find it hard not to touch and rub what they are not meant to!

Beautifully wrapped!

Organic monkey sent me some of their products to review, we was sent some bumfluff nappy balm and some rock the cradle organic scalp oil.

Rock the Cradle Organic Scalp Oil-30ml

Rock the Cradle Organic Scalp Oil comes in a 30ml bottle . The oil is a gentle, moisturising blend of organic oils to relieve dryness with organic geranium essential oil which is great for helping to restore skins natural balance. I used this oil on all three of my boys as they all suffer from dry flaky scalp, my middle boy often finds his dry patches to be quite itchy and can become irritated by it. I found the oil to be easily absorbed and didn’t give the hair an oily look so can be quite easily be left on for a while without giving the hair a greasy look. It smells lovely and fresh too! The oil loosens and softens the dry skin making it easy to just brush away with a soft comb, only a few drops are needed. Two of my children have long hair and i thought that i would have had to use lots of the oil just to get passed all of the hair and to the scalp but that wasn’t the case, i probably used about 4-5 drops on them. I massaged it on to their scalp and their was no little squirms of unhappiness due to the oil aggravating their scalp, like some products i have tried, in fact they really enjoyed the massage and even ask for it to be done again lol cheeky monkeys!

Bumfluff Nappy Balm- Unscented 50ml

Bumfluff Nappy Balm is an 80% organic balm made with shea butter, starflower and vitamin E oil which promises to protect, nourish and soothe extra sensitive skin. It comes in a 50ml tub and can be scented or unscented. We was sent the unscented one, it left Oliver’s little bottom soft and moisterised, the balm absorbs really well into the skin unlike some nappy creams that rub off onto the nappy. I love the name of this product, it makes me smile and although it says it is for use on the bottom, as the name is a big give away, i have been putting a small amount on to Oliver’s other little cheeks on his face and have noticed a remarkable change in his dry skin. It has softened his dry skin and left it all nice and soft. The Shea butter, Lavender and Roman Chamomile essential oils help to nourish and protect against a nappy rash. We have been using every day for the past week and have had not sore bottom which i am very impressed by as at the moment Oliver is teething and he normally suffers from soreness at this particular time.

Organic Monkey website is designed to be simple and easy to use with free UK delivery on all purchases over £40. The products come beautifully wrapped which is ideal for presents.

Rock the Cradle is priced at £7.50

Bumfluff Nappy Balm is priced at £10.50

They also have a lovely Little Monkey Christmas Gift set priced at £42.50 which contains Bumfluff Nappy Balm, Hello Mellow Massage Oil, Rock the Cradle Oil, Belly Butter Balm and Cheeky Monkey Cheek Rub for Teething.

We sent these products for review purposes only, the words are of my own opinion!

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