I welcome groups of people to my chocolate tanks. There are two tanks, each of which holds up to eight kilos of molten chocolate that has been tempered prior to their arrival and is ready for chocolate-making.
The first thing people remark on is the smell. The whole space is filled with the aroma of chocolate! We do some fun activities at the outset, and people are giggling and letting their guards down, then finally we start to dip fillings into the chocolate tank.
It’s quite amazing the effect this has on everyone. As they dip, they reach a level of calm. The sensation of dipping, smelling and making chocolates seems to seep into each of them and they relax completely. They open up and share stories – the dipping process has a totally therapeutic effect on them.
You can’t hide
Each participant places the chocolates they have made onto their mat and this shows their personality – without fail. They might start with neat lines and order, but eventually they will reveal their true identity by the way they place and decorate their creations. It’s quite something to witness!
I often refer to this element of the workshop as ‘chocolate therapy’! It amazes me every time and is a total privilege to offer. It’s so rewarding to see the positive and rather magical effects chocolate has on people.
Sometimes life can be very harsh – for instance, I’ve worked with children who are unable to be in mainstream education and their short lives have already been difficult and complicated, but still the magic of chocolate will weave its spell and create a small moment of peace, calm and creativity for them.
The healing powers of chocolate
A daughter bought her mother to me. They had lost their husband/dad almost a year ago and the mother had hardly been out of bed. Her daughter booked the workshop just to try and help her mum as the first anniversary approached.
We had a magical morning, working with others enjoying ourselves, being creative, supportive and having a bit of fun. They were almost in tears as they left saying how good the experience had been for them. What an honour to have helped in some small way in such circumstances.
Often the excitement is palpable.
A lady treated her best friend to a workshop for a significant birthday and didn’t reveal the surprise until they arrived. I’ve never heard so many squeals, her total delight was present throughout her whole experience and it was completely infectious.
Imagine making someone so happy and excited – it’s a wonderful feeling.
So working with chocolate goes far deeper than you could imagine and continues to be a total wonder to me – the way it can help, encourage, support and excite others is just incredible!