The Chocolate Tales Social at The Winking JudgeWednesday, July 23, 2014
Some people like to socialize while out dancing. Others prefer to chat over a cup of coffee or hot cocoa. And then there are people like me who would clear their calendar for a social event that involves chocolate. I'm talking a cacao-themed evening of chocolate sampling, wine pairing, social interaction, trivia and chocolate art. Yes, it's The Chocolate Social! With an invitation in my inbox to attend a complimentary workshop, I knew exactly who to invite as my plus one - my matron of honour and dear friend of 20 years. With a couple of workshops being held in Hamilton, I decided to make the trip to The Winking Judge and meet up with my friend so we could play catch-up.
Once we arrived, we met chocolatier David who began by sharing some interesting trivia on the history of chocolate. For example, did you know that Aztec rulers drank several cups of hot chocolate daily? See, I knew I was born in the wrong time period.
Shortly afterwards, we were invited to try out samples of dark, milk and white chocolate, the latter of which isn't really chocolate at all. David then enlightened us on the art of pairing alcohol with chocolate and gave us Ganache tasters to sample.
It wasn't long before we were given a pair of gloves and all the necessary ingredients to make hand rolled truffles. We began by breaking apart solid Ganache and rolling it into balls. Using melted milk chocolate, we primed them before coating them in either sprinkles, coconut or cocoa powder. The small truffle with sprinkles on the right below didn't quite turn out since I forgot to prime it but it tasted just as good. I also made the mistake of coating two truffles at the same time and so they stuck together. I just improved and pretended it was a chocolate snowman.
Then came my favourite part - creating an edible chocolate painting! Beginning with wax paper, we outlined our designs on the paper using pencil. Then we placed the paper on top of a slate of chocolate and used a popsicle stick to imprint the design onto the chocolate. Using colored chocolate in squeeze bottles, we painted in our designs. It was harder than it looked but I'm fairly happy with how mine turned out.
Our edible art was then placed briefly in the freezer to set and we were given packaging so we could take home our chocolate creations to enjoy at a later date. Er,... or on the car ride home, even.
Given that the Chocolate Social takes place in various bars, these workshops are a 19+ event. The standard price is $65 per person with a processing fee of $6. For a total of $71, you would hope that some samples of wine would be made available to better appreciate the art of pairing but alas, alcohol is not included. I would highly suggest you wait for a Chocolate Social WagJag deal which will save you about $36, making it definitely worth your while. Additional locations in the GTA include the Gladstone Hotel and the Wine Bar, as well as the Corktown Pub in Hamilton. Visit chocolatetalessocial.ca to view their current workshop offerings and to purchase tickets online.
Disclosure: My guest and I received complimentary access to a Chocolate Tales Social event for the purpose of this review. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own.