Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Chocolate Inspiration

Chocolate workshops are the latest craze in team building - who ever liked paint balling anyway??

With the mid year mark fast approaching, and most of our New Years resolutions and inspiration lost in the stress and chaos of daily life, this is the perfect time for employees to take a bite out of stress. To exceed those sales targets and to come up with more cost effective plans, employers and employees need to be inspired. Teams need to be reminded why they need to work better together.

Nine out of ten people like chocolate, and the tenth person is usually lying so chocolate seems like the ideal medium to use.

Did you know that studies conducted in 2009 proved that those stress-induced chocolate cravings may be justified after all.  Studies show that eating dark chocolate may lower levels of stress hormones in people feeling stressed out.

Not only do my Chocolate Workshops provide you with this stress busting delicacy to indulge in, I promise, you will have the most fun you have ever had at a team building and you will see your colleagues in a whole new light. "Who ever knew Adam from accounting could pipe truffles?"

During the Chocolate Challenge, teams race against the clock to conceptualize and create their chocolates for a specific target market. This workshop guarantees team work and creative thinking. Have a look at the details below and dust off your whisks and aprons. It's time for you to discover what team building, with chocolate, is all about. 

Yours in Chocolate, 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

What to expect at a D & D birthday party ?

We are the only company in South Africa dedicated to chocolate workshops for any event so, after successfully placing 100's of children on a sugar high and then leaving them in the loving care of their delighted parents, I have decided to shed some light on exactly what can be expected at one of our children's workshops...
We usually arrive an hour before the host parents and birthday boy/girl to set up. From the minute they arrive there is great interest in how chocolate is melted, how the pink and blue chocolate is created and in the huge variety of goodies already being put out on the table. At this point the mom lets out a sigh of relief when realizing that we know what we are doing although it's something very different. She suddenly understands why no party packs were needed and why any other sweets would have been a waste as the chocolate feast starts taking shape. It also dawns on her that she will hate me later when her child is bouncing off the walls and keeps asking: "Mom, what's a truffle?" But she realizes that it's too late to back out now. So in an attempt to remain the world's best mom, she orders a chocolate vodka martini and calls a waiter over to rub her shoulders.
Once we give the signal, it's on. The children are approaching.... (Play Chariots of fire!) BUT just before they reach the table we manage to hold them back and insure that each of them are armed with a fashionable plastic apron.
All the children stand around the table and the workshop facilitator explains what is going to happen during the workshop.  Examples are made for the children to see and the various techniques are demonstrated. (depending on the selected package).
The children are then left to create their own chocolate goodies. Our slogan is "handmade by you" so no two chocolates are alike. We encourage children to really get creative without worrying about making a mess or getting chocolate on their hands, face, ears, arms, etc.
Once their works of art have dried the sugar usually kicks in and we have to assist them with packaging their chocolate into cellophane bags and tying them with ribbon. This is also usually the part of the workshops where the moms rack up the courage to ignore their inner diet voice and slowly but assertively creep to the table to dip a lost marshmallow or biscuit into dark chocolate. During this stage we look in front of us, focus on the packaging and we do not see anything. Nothing. 
Each child usually makes at least 3 packets of goodies. These children are usually a bit shy or have eaten the other 4 packets of chocolate already. Children take home between 3 and 10 packets of handmade goodies which serve as their goodie bags. One child made 35 packets. We have now employed her.
All in all, it is a completely different birthday party guaranteed to make the birthday boy or girl very happy, while mom does not have to worry about party packs, table cloths, chair covers or entertainment. We take care of it all. The only things parents sometimes add are a birthday cake and maybe some balloons.
So moms, why don't you have some wine (and chocolate) and let us take care of the rest?

Yours in Chocolate,



Thursday, 28 February 2013

Interesting facts about Chocolate
It's long been considered to be the "food of the gods." It's often given and received as a gift. A box of chocolates has been known to help cure a broken heart. Eating chocolate can also benefit your heart, lower your blood pressure and improve your memory.

Here are some interesting facts about chocolate:
The Beginning of Chocolate
The "Theobroma cacao" is a tree that produces pods and beans that are turned into chocolate. It's believed to have been domesticated in South America where the Amazon Basin is located approximately 4000 years ago.
However, the earliest written account of using chocolate is attributed to the Olmecs tribes of Southern Mexico somewhere around 1000 B.C. At first, chocolate was made into a drink.

The First Chocolate Bars
The first time chocolate was made into a solid, edible food is believed to be in Mexico sometime in the 1700's. Later, two British companies, Cadbury, and Fry and Sons began to make edible chocolate in the 1840's.

Choose the Best-Tasting Chocolate Bar
The best-tasting chocolate bar looks shiny and even. It should only smell like chocolate too. Grab a corner of the bar and bend it. A piece should snap off cleanly with few crumbs. It should feel creamy and rich, and melt in your mouth too.

 The Shelf Life of Chocolate
An interesting fact about chocolate is that the shelf life of a chocolate bar is approximately one year. You can place it in a freezer and keep it practically forever, but dark chocolate will turn whitish in color on the outside.

The First Box of Valentine's Day Chocolate
It's no surprise that Richard Cadbury came up with the idea for the first heart-shaped box of chocolates in the year 1861. Seven years later, John Cadbury began mass producing them, and, of course, several companies produce them today.

Chocolate Was Reported as Being "Healthy"
Henry Stubbe (1632-1676) was a physician who considered drinking chocolate once or twice a day an excellent cure for fatigue caused by hard work. He also believed that chocolate helped benefit the heart and that it helped increased breast milk production in women.

An interesting fact about chocolate is that, after much research, it's since been found to contain healthy antioxidants. These can help lower the incidence of getting cancer and heart disease. Eating chocolate can also lower your LDL cholesterol and add beneficial iron and magnesium to your body!

The Largest Chocolate Bar Ever Made
According to the Guiness World Book of Records, the largest chocolate bar ever made tipped the scales at 5,026 pounds. It was produced by Elah-Dufour United Food Companies at Turin, Italy, in March 2000.

Chocolate- The Food That Melts In Your Mouth
Have you ever wondered why chocolate, other than M&M® candies, that is, always melts in your mouth? It's because the lowest melting point of cocoa butter (according to is 93 degrees Fahrenheit. That's why it melts in your mouth, which has a temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chocolate Can Make You Feel Good!
Chocolate contains a chemical known as phenylethylamine. The phenylethylamine, in addition to the sugar, fat and caffeine that's found in chocolate has been shown to release serotonin and endorphins- two known chemicals that make us feel happy!

- by Kassidy Emmerson

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The Story of St. Valentine

The Roman Emperor Claudius II was fighting many wars. He wanted a strong army, but many men did not want to be soldiers.  Claudius thought the men wanted to stay home to be with their wives and children instead of leaving to fight wars.  Claudius thought of an awful solution to his problem. He decided to cancel all marriages! No one in all of Rome could get married. Claudius thought that if the men couldn’t get married, the men would ignore the women and want to be soldiers. Valentine, who was a priest, believed that people needed to get married. He thought that if they were not married, they would be tempted to sin by living together without being married. So he secretly and illegally married couples anyway! He performed the weddings in secret places, so the Roman soldiers would not find out.
But they did find out. Valentine was arrested and brought before the Emperor. The Emperor thought Valentine was a well spoken and wise young man, and encouraged him to stop being a Christian and become a loyal Roman. Valentine would not deny his beliefs, and he refused. He was sent to prison until he could be executed. While he was in prison,  he fell in love with the jailers daughter. Before he was executed, he sent her a love letter on February 14th, with the words "From your Valentine."  We celebrate Valentine’s Day on February 14th in honor of St.Valentine. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and--most importantly--romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France, known as the patron Saint of Love.

Monday, 11 February 2013

South Africa needs chocolate!

Our country is in crisis. Driving to town, I pass poster after poster reminding me of non-delivery, price hikes and strikes. Last week I heard a report on the radio about a teacher in the United Kingdom who has resorted to chocolate in his classroom. Use of chocolate as a reward improves the obedience and performance levels of the children.
So, to our leaders — how about it? In these troubled times, isn’t chocolate the answer? While sorting out the electricity, fuel and food price hikes, feed the nation chocolate. You will have hordes of premenstrual women behind you (who will rant and rave if you don’t give them chocolate!)
It’s simple. Chocolate contains serotonin, which is a mood enhancer. It results in a feeling of well-being (something of which our nation is in desperate need). Ignore Harry Seftel. Actually, he does speak about moderation in everything and he has never said “No chocolate!” Anyway, chocolate has the dietary fibre lignin, which reduces blood pressure and cholesterol, and it contains antioxidants, which reduce inflammation.
It’s stress that kills us, not chocolate. The benefits of chocolate outweigh the negatives of dairy fats, which supposedly clog our arteries. Perhaps we could throw in fat-free 100% cacao for those who worry after seeing Wally and his heart.
A country must be led from the front. Let’s have Thabo on TV, sharing his favourite brand. Is it Peppermint Crisp? Or an Aero, perhaps? But mostly, I see boxes of chocolate, truckfuls of chocolate, handed out free on every corner. Is this bribery and corruption? No, it’s about motivation. Proof of lower spending on credit, for instance, could earn a Toblerone. Civil servants (housed in chocolate factories) would be rewarded according to certain evidence produced. Citizens will forfeit leave for more Lindt. No more absenteeism. Productivity would increase.
Free chocolate will result in a happy, productive nation. It worked when I was a child. I was rewarded with a slab of chocolate when remembering my memory verse at Sunday school.
The system works well on a small scale. Used on a grand scale, it could turn the country around.
by Jenny Goodrick (2008)

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Hi all,

For those of you that did not see the announcement on our Facebook page, this little cutie was the winner of our 'Cutest Chocolatier of 2012' competition that was held during the Holiday workshops in Fourways Mall in December.

His name is Daniel Harmse and he had the most votes on Facebook. As the winner, we will be giving him the bestest chocolate birthday party ever on the 21st of July this year. We cannot wait!

Congratulations Daniel!!

Daniel Harmse