On Wednesday I attended a bloggers event at The Chocolate Quarter, a family-run independent chocolate shop, owned by Jay, Maninder and Kempes in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham.
I’ve been to the store before – a few months ago I visited and tested a whole range of products available, and I was excited to share the experience with everyone else. As chocolate is a topic that fits with every niche, there were beauty, lifestyle, food and personal bloggers, all armed with cameras and eager to try the different flavours of offer. I’ve attended a number of food, beauty and lifestyle events before and many follow a similar pattern, but this became, as was explained, an experience, and a fabulous one at that.
Jay spent some time explaining where their chocolate was sourced, asking us to try samples from different parts of the world and allowing the chocolate to melt slowly on the tongue. He then gave a demonstration on how to create our own truffles, which was far more complicated than I expected. We were given melted chocolate in bowls, tempered it to a temperature of 33 degrees, filled the chocolate moulds with a strong caramel, capped and covered them in chocolate, and then coated them with a choice of powdered sugar, coconut or cocoa powder. Yum. I must admit, it was a huge effort on my part not to just stick my whole face in the bowl…
Let’s just say, truffle making is not my forte, with my finished result looking like a five-year old had been let loose with the ingredients, and despite being given an apron (always a wise idea when I am eating something) I ended up with caramel in my hair and on my clothes. However, I was rather impressed by the creations from some of the other bloggers, who appeared to have been a lot neater in their attempts, and we were given a presentation box to put them in while they dried.
We also sampled chocolates that had been created for Father’s Day, with stout, bacon and whiskey fillings (the stout was particularly yummy). They haven’t been released yet, but keep an eye out for these in the next few weeks – they’ll make the perfect gift for any whiskey-loving father…
And finally, with the remaining chocolate from our truffle attempts, we were presented with a fondue in which we could dip lots of lovely things into it – gingerbread men, honeycomb, fruit, donuts, Turkish delight… It was a chocoholics dream, and I felt it was my duty to test all of the combinations available. We got the option of filling the rest of our presentation box with chocolates from the store (ones that didn’t look like a child had made them) at a generous discount, and a Star Wars chocolate (it was May 4th – Star Wars Day – which was something that was initially lost on Jay).
The Chocolate Quarter is a truly hidden gem in Birmingham and I love everything about it. The store is beautiful, with a warm and welcoming atmosphere and the chocolate is of the highest quality. There’s something to cater for each individual’s tastes, they make fabulous gifts and they’re beautifully made and presented.
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