Chok for kids
Are you looking for a fun afternoon for your kids where they can learn a new skill while having a lot of fun? Maybe you're interested in a themed birthday party for your little one? Or perhaps your child wants to create a unique gift for someone special? Our kids' chocolate-making workshops are designed for all of these and more!
On a sunny day in June, the first of our kid workshops began when a small troupe of children bounded through the studio door with one thing on their minds – chocolate!
Three boys and three girls, ranging in age from eight to eleven were excited. Staff handed out aprons and the kids clambered up on stools at a large stainless steel table where all the supplies they’d need were set out in front of them. Stephen, our chocolatier, explained what they'd be doing over the next hour and a half, with an assurance that they’d be sampling and taking home their own creations in the form of chocolate bark and tiny moulded chocolate masks.
With an introduction to chocolate tempering - the heating and cooling needed to stabilize the crystals in order to turn it into edible art - Stephen had each child take turns either stirring chocolate or testing its temperature with thermometers. The air in the studio was filled with the aroma of Swiss chocolate, and there were a lot of mmmms and yums coming from the young participants. Then Stephen gave the kids several bowls of coloured cocoa butter. Armed with an array of artists’ tools: rubber gloves, daubers, paint brushes, and sponges, they were ready to begin creating. Each child also had individual partitioned boxes filled with candies, dried fruit, and tiny cookies to use as decorations for the back of their chocolate bark.
All was quiet and contemplative while these young artists got busy swirling, sponging, and painting on rectangles of acetate that would become the top side of their bark. It was wonderful to see their individuality and personalities shine. Some dipped gloved fingers delicately into the cocoa butter, making free-form designs. Others preferred the sponges and daubers, making lattice-like motifs in neat patterns. Some opted for a minimal look while others used multiple colours and shapes. They all admired each other’s art. Once they felt their work was done, Stephen piped the milk chocolate on top of each of their painted acetate sheets. Their work then focused on decorating the bottom side of their bark. Pressing gummy bears, tiny cookies, candies, and dried fruit into the melted milk chocolate, they sat back to watch the bark firm up before Stephen put them in the fridge to finish crystallizing.
He then produced miniature chocolate mask moulds, shaped as Comedy and Tragedy. We are in Shakespeare, Ontario, near Stratford, home of the Stratford Festival so the masks were a must! The kids painted the inside of the moulds with white cocoa butter, then swirled some red cocoa butter inside each one, creating their own artistic effects before piping in white chocolate.
Stephen brought the fully set bark out of the fridge and then showed them how to turn the acetate over and reveal the beauty of what they’d made. And they just loved it!
While the bark and the masks were setting, the kids decorated white boxes with stickers and markers, boxes that they would fill with the chocolates they’d made. Breaking up the bark, and listening to their chocolate snap, some of them sampled it before they popped it gently into their boxes. These happy little chocolatiers chatted about who they’d be sharing their treats with when they got home. That is, if there was still any left!
It was certainly a fun afternoon and the kids were already talking to each other about coming back for another session and bringing more friends with them.
What the kids said:
Chok was delicious but it was also all about fun! I totally give it a thumbs up!
It was super easy to follow the instructions and create what we wanted so that it was special to us.
It was so fun getting to use all the fancy tools the shop had and to create art, that was also tasty!