Because of the low melting point of chocolate, the shop is coolly temperature controlled and the air is filled with the scent of all the chocolate goodies which wafts over you as you enter. It’s here you’ll find the full range of Lindt products, including piles of Lindor balls in many flavours not available anywhere else. You can pick ’n mix according to what you fancy, or go for colour co-ordination with all the pretty foil wrappers. You can make your own customised slab right there, with caramelised almonds and hazelnuts, dried cranberries or sea salt. It’s fairly easy to run amok here, among the chocolate bars, brownies to die for, pralines and macarons, and gelato and shakes, so make sure you pick up a loyalty card. Every little bit helps.
The studio also offers various classes for adults and children. When you arrive, you are kitted out in a pristine white chef’s jacket with gold buttons, long white apron and a high chef’s hat. So wonderful is this outfit that it is even mentioned on the website as a selling point. I think it’s an excellent one, and I wasn’t the only one in the class who was delighted at being dressed thus. I’m not very good at wearing white at the best of times, let alone when working with an abundance of chocolate, but by some miracle I got to the end of the evening more or less unmarked.
I was there for the chocolate cake class, under the tutorship of Lindt head chocolatier Dimo Simatos, who has trained and worked and competed in culinary competitions all over the world. He was assisted by Daleen van Dyk and both of them have jobs that are not awful.
Each cooking station is equipped with a hot plate and pot, and all the necessary ingredients for the ridiculously easy-to-make cake. Apparently even if you don’t follow the steps outlined in the recipe - of which you get a copy to take home - and just bang it all in together, it still won’t flop. This is my kind of cake, because no matter how often I’ve been told baking is an exact science not to be tampered with, I still thunder ahead with reckless adaptations with a surprising success rate.
While our cakes were baking in the oven, Van Dyk explained and demonstrated techniques like tempering, which sounds a lot scarier than it is. Van Dyk also gave us the bean to bar rundown, after which we were invited to taste some of the products.
Then it was time to decorate our cakes; making a chocolate “collar” turned out to be easier than I expected - even removing the acetate later - and the milk chocolate shavings were marvellous. I may have eaten a lot more of those than I used on my cake. A nice thick layer of ganache was also added to the top of the cake and the end result was not only impressive to look at but tasted delicious too. It gets packed up in a smart box with a gold foil sticker so if you need to give it to someone as a gift, it’s already perfectly presented.
The chocolate cake course costs R475 and includes everything above as well as a 10% discount for the Chocolate Boutique.
Lindt Chocolate Studio is at Shop No 2, Silo 2, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town. Telephone 021 831 0360, email [email protected], or go to www.chocolatestudio.co.za for information and to book.