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With Easter just around the corner, and a week of excessive chocolate eating ahead, I urge all London chocolate lovers & visiting chocolate lovers to stop by Hotel Café Royal in Piccadilly Circus for some of the best chocolate in London.
Earlier this week, I was invited to make my own personalised Easter Egg at a special Chocolate Masterclass held at Hotel Café Royal with the hotel’s Executive Pastry Chef & Chocolate Extraordinaire, Andy Blas. It was so much fun, surprisingly interesting and a great way to prepare for the Easter weekend!
The evening started with a short ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the kitchen before we reached the Chocolate Room, where all of the chocolate at Hotel Café Royal is made and transformed into chocolate bites, chocolate mousses, chocolate cake, and of course Easter eggs!
To kick-off the class and help everyone get into the spirit of Easter, we were each offered a delicious ‘Choc’tail, made of raspberry mousse, chocolate liqueur and Ketel One vodka, it was so tasty! Andy then explained more about the Easter celebrations at the hotel before preparing us for the the Easter Egg making process, which went like this…..
Step 1 – Polish the mould:
We were each given a clear plastic chocolate egg mould to polish with cotton wool, because the shinier the mould, the shinier our Easter eggs would be.
Step 2 – Decorate the mould:
We were then given colourful butters to decorate the inside of the mould with, either with a paintbrush, a toothbrush or our fingers. This step was a lot of fun – some of the other attendees were creating little works of art, my efforts felt like abstract art!
Step 3 – Fill the mould with chocolate:
We then filled our colourful moulds with Andy’s own Valrhona chocolate, which he collaborated with the brand on. The chocolate is called Profile 66, it is a 66% dark chocolate made from the finest cocoa beans on South American and African plantations, it is rich and nutty at first with a creamy aftertaste – it is only available at the hotel – so you know where to go if you want some! We then carefully used a wooden spoon to tap the side of the mould to bring up any air bubbles.
Step 4 – Tip out excess chocolate and allow to dry:
Once any air bubbles had surfaced, we then tipped out the chocolate from the moulds, which left a thick layer of chocolate still attached and placed the chocolate coated moulds on a tray to cool down, allowing the chocolate to harden. Once the chocolate was hard, we used a scraper to smooth down the edges of the egg and then gently removed the eggs from their moulds.
Step 5 – Fill the egg with sweets and seal:
We finally filled our eggs with sweets before warming the edges and sealing them. Naturally, this step involved sampling all of the sweets beforehand to make sure we like them!
I was so proud of my beautiful egg at the end, it actually looked like something I would actually buy! I was worried beforehand that I would have some kind of Easter Egg disaster. I was also really impressed at how enjoyable the process was!
For anyone wishing to try some of the mouthwateringly good chocolate at Hotel Café Royal during the Easter period, The Café at Hotel Café Royal will be serving a chocolate themed menu including specials such as Celtic scallop ceviche, orange and cocoa nibs; Denham Estate venison carpaccio, chocolate marshmallows and walnuts; and Chocolate and hazelnut toasties.
Hotel Café Royal are offering five lucky winners an insight into a world of pure imagination – a day in the Chocolate Room with Andy Blas. Hidden inside five of the hotel’s hand-painted Easter Eggs, which are available to buy in The Café, are five golden tickets. Lucky winners will be whisked off to the Chocolate Room for a day of teaching, tempering and of course tasting!