Ever wonder how chocolate is actually made? Spend a fun evening learning and exploring the art (and science) of making chocolate from the cocoa bean to the chocolate bar! Joe Vadnay, owner of Vadnay Chocolate Co., is a natural teacher with an enthusiastic and friendly style you are sure to enjoy!

Class description:  This hands-on approach to making chocolate starts with the cocoa bean and ends with a solid piece of chocolate. To achieve chocolate in the form we expect for consumer use and sale, it takes 48 hours from start to finish. The majority of that time is when the chocolate is grinding (in a melanger - stone mill grinding machine) until it's smooth and sugar and/or cocoa butter and/or milk powder can be added. By the end of the 90 minute class students will have made their own solid piece of chocolate; although it will be coarse and bitter, it is still a real bar of chocolate to take home and can be used for baking.  In step one, we crack the cocoa beans in a Ziploc bag by hitting them with a rolling pin; this reduces the bean to a point where we can winnow (blow off husks) the beans using hair dryers and separating the husk from the nib. The cocoa nib is then put in a hand crank grinder and further processed so the machinery can handle it more easily. After grinding, we slowly add the cocoa to the melanger. As the melanger works the beans they eventually turn into an oily paste called chocolate liquor that has no alcohol content. The chocolate liquor is poured into a mold and frozen to quickly solidify the liquid. While the melanger works on the liquor, the class will receive a hot chocolate to drink and will be invited to have a discussion about chocolate. After the drink, we will pour the candy bar molds and wait for the bars to set.  The bars are then wrapped in foil and given to the students to take home.  Due to the nature of the chocolate making, dust is produced and eye protection is provided along with hair nets, aprons, and gloves.