Chocolate Pisco

Posted by Jennifer in Cusco, Peru | Tagged | Leave a comment

I woke up at 9:30 am on November 27, 2012 to find Ivan awake.  He’s so used to waking up early for the Inca Trail that’s why he was up since 6 am.

We used the internet and I worked on the blog.  Lil Dave told us about his adventures on the Inca Trail.  He had a fun time with his uncle.  He climbed up Dead Monkey’s Pass.  He enjoyed drinking banana pisco and getting to see Machu Picchu.

Lunch was at Prana Raw Food Bar.  Lil Dave got banana ceviche with a banana salad.  Ivan and I shared tacos, a Prana salad and mango ceviche.  The meal was average.  Usually raw food is inventive with their dishes, but these were rather ordinary.

Lil Dave wanted to explore Cusco more.  Ivan and I walked to the Choco Museum.  We were given a complimentary cup of choco tea.  Today, we were taking the From Bean to Bar class where we get to make our own chocolate bars.

The class consisted of us and an Australian couple.  The teacher was a man named Manuel.  He talked about the cocoa bean and showed us a model of a cocoa tree. 

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We started off with the bean where we had to roast them until they started popping.  Next, we had to take off the shells.  The beans are called nibs at this point.

The group each got a mortar and pestle filled with beans.  Each of us had to grind the beans to try to make a paste.  Ivan and the Aussie guy made the best pastes.  The rest of the beans were ground up in a grinder. 

Manuel made two different drinks with the pastes.  One was really tasty with llama milk.

The chocolate powder is then mixed with different things like milk, sugar and vanilla.  Manuel showed us the machine that mixes, refines and conches the powder for 24 hours. 

The chocolate is then tempered on marble slabs to the right temperature.  The next step is mixing it.

We got to choose templates for the size of our chocolates.  Ivan picked small ones with different sizes while mine were diamond shaped.

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Each of us got to pick the fillings like garlic, coconut, M&M’s, Oreo’s, mint, milk (to make milk chocolate) and chili.  Manuel recommended how much to put in each chocolate.  We got to work putting in the fillings and the dark chocolate.  After we were done, we put our name on the template.

The chocolates wouldn’t be ready for an hour.  Ivan said he’d be back later.  The chocolate making class was a lot of fun.

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I definitely recommend this if you’re ever in Cusco.

Ivan walked me to Samana Spa.  I had a relaxing full body massage and a facial.  Ivan went to the post office, walked around the city and picked up the chocolates while I was at the spa.

We tried our chocolates at the hotel.  They were tasty, but you couldn’t really taste the ingredients.. we should have put a lot more.  Some of the chocolates just tasted like dark chocolate.

That night, we had dinner at Museo del Pisco.  Ivan and I each had a Pisco cocktail.  We also shared a salad with strawberries, cheese & avocado, ceviche, a chickpea burger and squid in it’s own ink.  The chickpea burger was rather plain, but the rest of the food was delicious.  Ivan and I also got a Pisco tasting with 4 Piscos. 

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The Piscos were very tasty.

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