Ever wanted to go chocolate tasting? A great gift for a foodie

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Do you have a friend who’s a chocolate lover? Look no further, I have the perfect gift idea… I recently went to a chocolate tasting masterclass at the Richard Hughes Cookery school at the Assembly House in Norwich. It was my Christmas present from my husband and absolutely brilliant, and so of course, I’m writing about it. I will warn you now though – I intended to take lots of pretty photos of the food, and I started as I meant to go on, but then, it was all so delicious I quickly forgot about the photo taking part and focused more on the chowing down part. Sorry about that…

Chocolate tasting at the Assembly House Norwich
I’m a big fan of the Assembly House and we’ve been a fair few times. It does, hands down, the best afternoon tea in Norwich. It’s where we took our parents to tell them I was pregnant, and I’ve not had a bad experience there. I’m also a big fan of Richard and have done one of his cookery days before. That was a present from my parents a few years ago too… I’m all about the food related gift ideas! I learned how to make different types of pastry and came home with a mountain of baked goods. Happy days!

The Tuesday night masterclass is different because you’re not cooking, you’re watching, and of course, tasting. Yum. It’s a leisurely evening. You get to sit back with a glass of wine and watch the cookery demo, have some tasting, THEN you get a three course delicious meal.

Chocolate tasting

Dark chocolate tasting
First up we all tasted what we thought was chocolate. I coin myself as quite the chocolate connoisseur so as I munched on it I thought “this is the cheap stuff”. It was in fact not really chocolate – just fat, sugar and vanilla. Then we tried something at the other end of the spectrum, a 90% cocoa solids chocolate. Wow that was bitter. I joked with someone sat near me that a bowl of what looked suspiciously like either Dairy Milk or Galaxy had my name on it. When it came round even before I clocked the pattern and the small G for Galaxy on the piece, I knew it was Galaxy, my favourite. I can get that from a waft of chocolate you see. Told you I knew my chocolate.

The demonstration

The chocolate tasting masterclass included a demonstration. First up was a truffle with equal measures of whipped double cream and melted 54% milk chocolate. Easy peasy, just combine and set in a tin over either crushed up sponge or biscuits and chill. I can do that some time I’m sure.

Chocolate Tasting Masterclass at the Richard Hughes Cookery School Norwich

Then my favourite – a peanut butter chocolate cheesecake. Obvisouly this had to be baked so we all got to sample one he’d made earlier. I have made a fab Nigella Lawson peanut butter chocolate cheesecake before and the method and ingredients were very similar so I will definitely be making that again.

Peanut butter chocolate cheesecake

Then he did an enriched dough with chocolate chips in. The bread was then rolled into balls and placed in a loaf tin with a generous spoonful of salted caramel dabbed about. That was baked and we got to try it after our meal. It was gooooood.

Then the other epic one of the night – and what was to be our dessert – a salted caramel and hazelnut dark chocolate torte. Oh my, this was brilliant. He’d already made the pastry which had hazelnuts ground up in too, but the filling looked so easy to make. I have made caramel once before and it was actually not a disaster, so I think I could try this on a special occasion. There was a layer of salted caramel with chopped up hazelnuts in, then the chocolate filling put on top. Rich, would be the word you’re looking for.

After this we then got a slice of a Brooklyn chocolate cake. Basically three layers of chocolate sponge with a chocolate custard filling, covered with custard on the outside and then covered in the crumb of the sponge itself! This was impressive but my least favourite of the tastings.

Chocolate Tasting Masterclass at the Richard Hughes Cookery School Norwich

The meal

Then at 8 o’clock feeling kind of full already, we went off for our dinner! First up was a pear and parsnip soup. Luckily it was a small portion in a small coffee cup so it wasn’t too filling. The main was a roasted chicken breast with giant cous cous and a Mexican spicy sauce that had dark chocolate in. I couldn’t taste the chocolate but it was delicious and had a bit of a kick to it. Then dessert was the chocolate torte I described earlier.

We left extremely full!! So full we forgot to bring home our taster of the chocolate truffle which had been chilled. But I think I would have burst had I had anything else. I sat next to two women who had forgotten dinner was included and had already eaten with their children in a hurry before they left! It was hilarious! I am amazed they managed to eat it all!

At the end of the night you get to take home a pack of the recipes of what you’ve seen cooked, plus some others, so you can have a go at trying them at home. I already know I’m going to try and make the salted caramel chocolate bread for Matt.

Have you ever done a cookery class or chocolate tasting? Let me know in the comments box below, I’d love to hear from you and find out some other great places to go!

Chocolate Tasting Masterclass Experience Norwich

I’m linking up with: 

Pink Pear Bear

3 Little Buttons

Diary of an imperfect mum

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11 Comments

  1. 21st February 2017 / 5:34 pm

    Yum Yum Yum. I would love to go on a chocolate tasting event to learn a little bit more.

    🙂

    #TwinklyTuesday
    Nichole Goodland recently posted…Meal Plan 20/02/17My Profile

  2. 21st February 2017 / 9:38 pm

    I think I’ve only ever met one person who claimed to not like chocolate and a part of me was always suspicious of that individual. I suspect they’re either a liar or a robot. How do you not like chocolate at least a little bit? It sounds like a great place to visit and like you had a great time. The dinner sounds pretty good too. #DreamTeam

  3. 23rd February 2017 / 2:01 pm

    This is the best idea ever!! Both my husband and have a sweet tooth (in fact we only had desserts at our wedding) so we’d both enjoy this immensely! In fact, while we were just in Seattle last weekend, we went on a tour of the Theo Chocolate facility!!
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com
    #ablogginggoodtime

  4. 23rd February 2017 / 7:29 pm

    Looks fabulous! Thank you for sharing your experience with us at #ablogginggoodtime

  5. 24th February 2017 / 12:42 pm

    Worth going all the way to Norwich for? Probably. But how do you stay so slim !! A lovely present jo #blogginggoodtime

  6. 24th February 2017 / 8:46 pm

    Oh my word! This has my name all over it. That peanut butter chocolate cheesecake looks divine! I’m so envious and so impressed that you got to eat so much chocolate under the justifiable excuse of “tasting”!? I’m so using this in future… “I’m not eating that giant bar of Dairy Milk. I’m tasting it.” :0) Thanks for linking with #DreamTeam x
    Rhyming with Wine recently posted…#happylittlebuttons February Round-upMy Profile

    • thisismenow
      24th February 2017 / 9:05 pm

      Haha absolutely. All about the tasting!! Thanks for reading and hosting xx

  7. 25th February 2017 / 10:54 pm

    Oh my, this sounds amazing!! I know what I’ll be requesting for my birthday this year!! Thank you for sharing with #bigpinklink x
    Hannah Jane recently posted…Weekend Tot Style #17My Profile

  8. 26th February 2017 / 4:47 pm

    Oh wow!! Those chocolate photos made me want to lick the computer!#TwinklyTuesday

    • thisismenow
      26th February 2017 / 5:59 pm

      Haha best comment ever! X

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