Monday, February 10, 2014

Chocolate Workshop at Chocolate Passion

Some people are carnivores, and some fancy-pants types call themselves omnivores. Some hipsters are locovores. I consider myself a chocovore — someone who eats chocolate. Preferably all the time. All. The. Time. I have a fantasy that I fill a Camelbak Hydration Pack with liquid chocolate ganache and have it at the ready whenever I need a hit. So, when Chocolate Passion announced a chocolate making workshop at their Straits Quay location, I immediately signed up. And then in a fit of lunacy propelled by a brain high on cocoa, I asked my two youngest kiddos if they'd like to join me. I bet you can guess their answer. "Yes, mama!"

Let's just think of this as career exploration.

The workshop started off with a 30-minute lecture on the history and production of chocolate. My son probably would have paid better attention had he remembered to wear his eyeglasses to see the presentation. Then, it was time to wash our hands and get started on the hands-on part. The staff distributed about 250 grams each of white, dark, and milk chocolate. I will attest that this is some of the best quality chocolate I have come across in Penang. Believe me, I have surveyed the other options extensively. After zapping it in the microwave, one 30 second burst at a time, we eventually ended up with 3 bowls of melted goodness.

Mixing up the white and milk chocolates.
If only she had another hand, then she could stir the dark chocolate, too.

Finally, it was time to start creating on our chocolate masterpieces. We filled piping bags with the melted chocolate and snipped off the bottom.

Chocolate Passion's Master Artisan Callin Tan demonstrates how to fill a piping bag.

My kids have fortunately had some experience helping me decorate cakes, so they were familiar with how to properly hold and handle piping bags. They experimented with putting more than one type of chocolate into a mold in layers or to add design accents. Coloring the white chocolate was another way to add a little oomph to the candy's appearance. When each tray was full, we carefully placed them into the refrigerator to harden.

Piping melted chocolate into the molds.

Concentrating on getting it just right

Having gained some confidence in making molded chocolates, we then moved on to freehand designs. This was also a good opportunity to add in some little extras like sprinkles, corn flakes, sugared nuts, or slivered almonds.

Freehand chocolate designs, except for the lolly.

The hardest part was keeping the chocolate at just the right temperature. We had to go back to the microwave a few times to melt the chocolate which had begun to harden in the bowl. My daughter took advantage of the pliable, dough-like stage of the chocolate to use her fingers to form a little animal head. That turned out to be an extremely messy activity.

Surprisingly, my kids followed my strict instructions not to lick their fingers
as we'd be sharing these chocolates as gifts.

Creating all this chocolaty yumminess took a couple hours. When the chocolates in the molds finally hardened, we turned the trays over and popped them out. At the end of the class, everyone put their best pieces on display as we did a little show-and-tell for the other students and received a Certificate for attending. They gave us plastic bags with twist ties and a fine looking chocolate box to package up our goodies for gift-giving. I couldn't believe how much we had made. Bonus! We got to bring our aprons home to remind us of our fun as a Chocolatier-for-a-day.

Just a few of our best looking chocolate candies

Do you know what is the best part of this workshop?

Eating the chocolates, of course!

Nom nom, so delicious!

We signed up for this workshop that was announced on their Facebook page, but you can also schedule a private workshop for a party activity or team building.

Their core business is selling handcrafted chocolates, chocolate desserts and drinks. Need a gift for your wedding guests, party guests or for corporate giving? They can do a large, custom order for you, too.

Where can you find Chocolate Passion?

  • Straits Quay - Ground Floor Al Fresco area
  • Gurney Paragon - Level 6
  • Auto City in Butterworth
  • Tel: 04-890 6121
  • Website:

If you're ever wondering what to get me for a gift, anything from Chocolate Passion will do. (Hint, hint Hubby. Valentine's Day is this Friday.)

This post is part of Foodie Tuesday on Inside Journeys. Check it out for more delicious inspiration.


  1. I love how intense and serious your kids were for doing this "non-licking" class. Please add my compliments to them for a job well done. Now they can add chocolatier to their resume'.

  2. Looks like it was a lot of fun! I don't know that I'd be capable of following the no-lick rule!

  3. Yummy! This looks like so much fun! We'll definitely be doing a homeschool field trip there soon! (Maybe just moms...hmmm!)

  4. Congrats to your kids for resisting the urge to lick their fingers. I would've failed that test miserably! ;-) I went to a chocolate-making workshop in Nicaragua, and this seems somewhat similar. Any kind of chocolate-centered activity is right up my alley!

  5. Those are works worthy of a chocolate shop! What a fun activity and you have got my mouth watering!

  6. Love your intro! Just as well your kids had a little practice at cake decorating. It could have been messier. :) Lovely clear photos. If you don't mind me asking what camera did you use?

    1. My camera is a great little point-and-shoot that fits in my pocket (if my pants aren't too tight). It's a Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX10V. I really like the 16x optical zoom on it.

    2. Thanks Michele I am collecting the names of cameras that whose photos I like for when I am looking to buy.

  7. What a great workshop! I would be there supervising the chocolate melting in a heart beat. This past week I have found a store that sells reese's peanut butter cups. I have a spot (a big one) carved in my suitcase to take some of those tasty fellas home :)

    1. We were ridiculously excited when we found Reese's Peanut Butter cups at the Kuala Lumpur during a layover. We definitely made room for them in the carry on.

  8. devine! I used to make chocolate when I was a stay-at-home-mum years (and years) ago. Not as fancy as this though. But I did make chocolates where the middle melted into your mouth when you bit into it. oh delicious! I love chocolate. But I shouldn't have it in the house because I just want to eat the whole block all at once.
    Have a great chocolately week......well it is good for you endorphins! ....hmmm do we have any chocolate in the fridge hunny?

  9. This looks like a lot of fun, even to this non-chocolate lover. A great way to spend time with your kids, Michele.
    I gave my best friend the name "chocoholic" after she told me of the night she discovered she had no chocolate in her house. She was already in her PJs when she got into her car and drove to the nearest store to buy some. The good thing is, it's easy to buy her gifts: anything chocolate will do.
    Thanks for joining this week's foodie link up, Michele!

  10. Yum! I'd probably sign up for such a workshop just to eat the chocolates...

  11. I am very impressed with the appearance of your finished product. I wouldn't call myself a chocoholic but I do love a good piece of it - though I'd take chocolate cake instead.
    I love the intense look of concentration on your daughter's face. I wonder if this will lead somewhere in the future....

  12. I've never been to Chocolate Passion, heard their chocolates are good. Not a huge fan of chocolate but i'll definitely check it out since the quality of the chocolate is approved by you, the chocolate expert! haha :P

  13. Oh my, attending a chocolate class is my dream. I can just imagine how fun it would be to add different candies to the chocolate, and make it your own. I really enjoy reading your adventures in Malaysia. I grew up in Indonesia, and one of my wedding events was held at a Penang restaurant in Atlanta.


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