Mark National Chocolate Day with an indulgent chocolate experienceTuesday 27 June 2017 by Florence Evans The 7th of July is the UK’s National Chocolate Day. Why exactly? We’re not sure, but we aren’t complaining because we love any excuse to indulge in a little bit of what we fancy. Besides, it’s been a while since Easter and there are so many scrumptious types of chocolate on offer that we simply can’t resist. Whether you’re a fan of the humble Mars Bar or you really are a dark chocolate snob, this day can be celebrated and enjoyed by just about anyone.
From the finest of the UK’s confectionery boutiques to some of the best-acclaimed chocolate experience days, we’ve got the chocoholics out there covered.
Bonbon Chocolate Boutique, John street, Manchester
The only place in Manchester to make handmade chocolate on site, Bonbon is part of the Northern Quarter’s foodie fabric, boasting top quality treats made of the finest Valrhona chocolate, that is favoured by famous chefs. Their current chocolate ‘menu’ (changes regularly) has a quirky array of flavours to choose from, including Salted Caramel, Chai Latte, Coffee Cream, Tonka Bean, Stilton and Caramel, Lemon and Thyme, Hibiscus Cream and Strawberry Snowballs.
Zara’s Chocolates, North Street, Bristol
This shop on North Street in Bristol shares its space with Ivory Flowers, so even before you walk in you’ll be greeted by an array of floral delights sure to brighten your mood! The shop is small scale but the products certainly don’t lack in flavour or quality. With everything handmade, Zara’s Chocolates specialise in personalised and seasonal gifts, and flavours such as Almond Brittle, Hazelnut Pralines, Pistachio, and many more. They even serve handmade ice creams in the shop so if it’s a little too warm, there’s always something cooling that will go down well. Voted Bristol’s Best Confectioner in 2014, 15 and 16 – so you’d definitely be heading to the right place
Zara’s Chocolates can be found on North Street, Southville, Bristol, and also stocks chocolates in various deli’s and gift shops throughout the city.
The chocolate experience for two at Artisan du Chocolat, Notting Hill, London
For couples who love chocolate, why not indulge yourselves and take part in this luxury chocolate experience for two? Based in Notting Hill’s Artisan du Chocolat and owned by Gerard Coleman whose chocolates have featured in many Michelin-starred restaurants, the setting is delightful and the shop is bright. You’ll be welcomed by attentive staff who’ll serve up premium signature hot chocolate, then provide some insight into chocolate production history and methods, telling the story behind each unique truffle or flavour. The package includes eight pieces of luxury chocolate and an Artisan du Chocolat gift to take home. When your chocolate tasting is finally over, why not explore the nearby Portobello Road market and make the most of your time in this gorgeous part of London?
The package is for two people and costs £20 per person, and can be booked online here.
Chocolate Heaven Workshops in Bath
Would you like to learn the chocolate-making process and be taught by an experienced chocolatier? Next time you’re visiting Bath be sure to book in for one of the chocolate-making workshops in the city to get stuck in and make your own chocolate treats. The workshop begins with a brief history of chocolate from its ancient Aztec beginnings, through to modern day. You’ll then get to watch demonstrations of chocolate mixing, piping, cutting, shaping, coating and even packaging, then you get to have a go yourself! Once your chocolate masterpiece is complete, you’ll be able to take your unique selection of truffles home to share with all the family.
Indulge yourself in a day at Cadbury World, Birmingham
No this isn’t just for kids - based on everything chocolate, this attraction is bound to appeal to all those with a sweet tooth. See how chocolate is made, from its origins in the Aztec rainforest, the making of a Crème Egg, through to the wrapping up of those thousands of Dairy Milk bars on a daily basis. There’s a little bit of history here too, experience the Cadbury story through the full-scale replica of Bull Street, where John Cadbury first began his work producing chocolate. Of course, seeing all that is sure to make your taste buds tingle, so be sure to visit the Cadbury Café and shop to satisfy those cravings!
Cadbury World is open at various times throughout the year, and tickets must be pre-booked, so be sure to book online and save 5%! Entry is £16.75 for adults, and family ticket prices are available. Look out for 2-for-1 ticket offers on selected Thursday afternoons.
If you’re staying closer to home this National Chocolate day, why no whip up some homemade chocolate treats instead? We love these chocolate fudge cupcakes that are simple yet really hit the spot when it comes to that chocolate craving...
- Preheat your oven to 160°C (140°C, gas mark 3) and line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake cases.
- In a saucepan gently melt 200 grams of butter, 200 grams of dark chocolate, and 200 grams of light muscovado sugar and 100ml hot water, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted and is evenly mixed. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Beat together two eggs and a teaspoon of vanilla extract, then pour into the melted chocolate and stir until evenly combined.
- Sift 250 grams of flour into a large mixing bowl then pour in the melted chocolate and stir until smooth and evenly mixed.
- Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases until they are 2/3 full. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes before placing in the oven for about 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean. Leave to cool for five minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the icing, carefully melt 200 grams of dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Take off the heat and stir in 100 millilitres of double cream and 50 grams of icing sugar. Mix until evenly combined then set aside to cool slightly and thicken.
- Pipe the icing on top of each cupcake using a piping bag and star nozzle, and that’s it!