MAKING CHOCOLATE WITH LAURENT GERBAUD
When you live in a country famous for its chocolate, it’s inevitable you’re spoilt with choice. That practically means that no matter where you live, you have easy access to the best spots and many excuses to consume tons of it! As you probably remember from this post, Brussels’ International Airport is the largest chocolate selling point in the world – you gotta love a city that loves chocolate so much!
Not too long ago as I was searching for slow food restaurants in Brussels I found out that Laurent Gerbaud, one of my favourite Belgian chocolatiers, was organizing chocolate making workshops. I actually enjoyed so much the sourdough bread and pasta making workshops I attended in the past months that it only took me a few minutes to convince myself that I simply had to book two spots for my best friend and me. Since the workshop takes place at Laurent Gerbaud’s atelier, right next to his shop and tea room, we thought it would also be a great opportunity to grab a cup of tea afterwards and walk around the Mont des Arts.
Our workshop started in the best possible way i.e. by tasting some of Laurent Gerbaud’s creations made from different varieties of chocolate from all over the world. It was really interesting to see how vastly different were the flavours depending on the origin, like the ones made with Forastero cocoa beans from West Africa. This is apparently the most commonly grown (around 85% of the world crop) and massively used type by chocolate makers but proved to have a bland taste compared to other varieties we got to try.
Then it was time to get our hands dirty and get creative! Under the instructions of Laurent Gerbaud we made our own chocolate mendiants using the house blend, a mix of Domori Madagascar, Ecuador and Peru origin chocolate, dried fruits and nuts. The whole process was super fun and we all kept teasing each other within the group about who was the best. Needless to say, we were all really proud of our babies! After our chocolate set, we unmolded our creations and took them home with us as a souvenir in Laurent Gerbaud’s cute packaging.
The workshops are quite popular, so I would strongly suggest you book well in advance. Don’t wear your favourite white shirt (I learnt that the hard way!) and prepare to indulge in lots of chocolate! A great way to spend a Saturday morning with your friends or better half in Brussels.
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