Thanks to the Internet, I was able to put together a fun and educational “Chocolate University” for my kids. Here’s how I did it:
Advance Preparation: First, I found a couple of pictures of cocoa beans on the Internet and printed them out. Then I found a YouTube video about the making of chocolate. Next, I purchased various different kinds of chocolate and cut them up. Lastly, my husband made a form for each person with the name of each chocolate.
Chocolates used: Plain cocoa powder, hot cocoa, hot chocolate, white chocolate, milk chocolate, dark milk chocolate, two kinds of dark chocolate with increased cacao contents, peanut butter chocolate, mint chocolate, caramel filled chocolate, and chocolate truffles. Keep in mind that it took very little of each of these–essentially one bite. I cut everything up into small squares.
Class time: I started off by asking them about chocolate and they told me it was sweet. I had them taste the cocoa and explained to them why it was bitter. I then showed them the pictures of the cocoa beans and we watched the video on YouTube.
From there, we started with white chocolate and then worked our way from milk to dark. We ended with the flavored chocolates. For each one, we talked about how it tasted and they “rated” it on their sheet. At the end, we went back through and compared the darkest to the lightest chocolate and a few other things.
The kids had a great time! We videotaped the experience so that we can do it again in a couple of years and compare how our tastes have changed. Not surprisingly, everyone hated the dark chocolate except for me. And everyone loved the peanut butter except for me! The truffle at the end was everyone’s favorite.
If you love chocolate as much as I do and are looking for something different to do with your friends or family, give a homemade Chocolate University a try!