Engaging Classroom talk on how to make chocolate for kids
There is only one thing we like more than making chocolate, and that's talking about chocolate. One of the best parts of being a chocolatier is giving an Engaging Classroom talk on how to make chocolate for kids. Making chocolate is a fun topic, and it's very easy to keep the audience engaged.
We only gave one classroom talk via zoom during the pandemic when we were invited to read our book Chockenstein to a kindergarten class. It just wasn't the same, but we were glad to support the children in the quest for literacy.
Last month we were invited to talk to our first in-person class since 2019. The class studied Mayan civilization and, in particular, the early history of chocolate in the Mayan empire. The students had the opportunity to crush cacao beans to get the nibs, making them into an approximation of the ancient Mayan drink Xocolatl and Modern Mexican style drinking chocolate.
Our presentation covered a brief history of chocolate, from drinking chocolate in Europe to industrialization. We love the story of the innovation in the chocolate industry during the Victorian era. After the students crushed their cacao beans and nibs, they could connect to the invention of the conching machine. And after the students drank their Xocolatl, they had a massive appreciation for the creation of milk chocolate.
We took the students on a journey of the eight steps of how chocolate is made. First, we briefly talked about the cocoa belt where the cocoa trees grow. We then went through cleaning the pods, roasting the beans, removing the shell, grinding, separating cocoa butter from the cocoa, creating the chocolate liquor, conching, tempering the chocolate.
Then we talked about modern chocolate makers, both large and small. We also covered the difference between chocolate makers and chocolatiers. We were finally going through the day-to-day tasks of the modern chocolatier. We talked about hand-dipping chocolates, Enrobing chocolates, Funneling chocolates, molding chocolates, and small-batch candy making.
Lastly, the best part of the talk was allowing the students to brainstorm their dream chocolate and candy. We heard lots of exciting concepts for new chocolate recipes and flavor combinations. And while it's always interesting to hear "you know what you should dos," the beauty of this in the classroom is seeing the student engagement go through the roof and see their creativity levels go stratospheric.
The students sent us a nice card making sharing the love of chocolate a meaningful and engaged moment for all. Thanks guys
Now that you’ve read this post, you know exactly how chocolate engages childrens attention and creativity.
Looking for a little classroom engagement, Digital Dowload Chockenstein, our illustrated Childrens book here
Is this presentation something that you would still consider doing for our summer camp at St. Andrew’s School of Fine Arts in Houston, TX over zoom?