A Chocolate Show and Sampling the famous Swiss Chocolate

5 Jan

Just like a dream, I was recently invited by Swiss TourismMaison de Voyage and Rock-On Holidays by Thomas Cook India to experience Switzerland in a unique way. While enough has been said and written about the romantic / family vacations of Switzerland our idea was to leave out all the famous / touristy activities and instead  explore this country through a new lens i.e.  through the eyes and activities of a single budget traveler. Hence our itinerary included all kinds of adventure sports, walks and many new experiences that people normally don’t associate with Switzerland. And I continue my tales from where I left it in my previous post.

Chocolates :)

Chocolates 🙂

After returning from Niederhorn, we met our host Annie from Interlaken Tourism who took us for a show that she promised would be an utter delight and a unique treat. And she was not wrong. We went to Cafe Schuh that is located in the heart of Interlaken and is one of the oldest cafes in Interlaken. They have full a service restaurant, a cafe and a patisserie, but what we were here for was their “Chocolate Show”.  Every evening, sharp at 5pm, they organize a chocolate show wherein their chefs show you how chocolates are made and the secret behind the unique “melt in the mouth” taste of Swiss chocolates.

A decorated chocolate egg

A decorated chocolate egg

On entering the restaurant we were directed to a small hall at one end where the workshop is held everyday. Once we entered the room, we saw chocolate sculptures and ingredients used for making chocolate all around in this room. And I am sure we put on quite a few pounds just by salivating and ogling at these sculptures. We then met the Chef who took us through the entire journey of chocolate i.e from the beans to the delicious dessert, that we all love.
The chocolate sculptures and ingredients, Cafe Schuh

The chocolate sculptures and ingredients, Cafe Schuh

We first saw a quick movie that started with chocolate making process. This process starts with the harvesting of the cocoa pods containing the cocoa beans. These pods are first crushed and the beans and surrounding pulp extracted and fermented naturally for a few days in open heaps. These beans are then crushed (to remove the husks) and roasted. The next stage is grinding, which liquefies the cocoa butter in the beans and produces a thick paste, also known as “chocolate liquor”. Some of the paste is kept back and the rest is further pressed to remove more of the cocoa butter.
The retained Cocoa Liquor and/or solid Cocoa Mass is blended with chocolate butter and other ingredients (mainly sugar and vanilla) to produce various types of chocolate. The finest plain or dark chocolate contains about 70% Cocoa or more, whereas milk chocolate contains 30% or more Cocoa and the white chocolate contains 30% or more Cocoa Butter.
Conching of choclate

Conching of choclate

The "Lindt" invention

The “Lindt” invention

The chef then showed us the most important process that gives Swiss chocolate its unique taste i.e. Refining and Conching.  The blended chocolate goes through a refining process involving heavy rollers, that grinds down and blends the particles and improves the texture. And then chocolate goes through conching. A

conch is a kind of container in which the chocolate mass is continually kneaded and further smoothed, the fractional heat produced by this process keeps the chocolate liquid. The length of time given to the conching process determines the final smoothness and quality of chocolate. And l

astly the chocolate is tempered where it

 goes through a very precise cycle of heating and cooling to encourage the stable crystal formation needed for good tasty chocolate.

Glitter dusted in the moulds

Glitter dusted in the moulds

Chocolate filled in into the moulds

Chocolate filled in into the moulds

Chocolate poured out of the molds

Chocolate poured out of the molds

Chocolate filled into the moulds again

Chocolate filled into the moulds again

We then saw actual chocolate being made right in front of us which was not that difficult. This liquid chocolate was then filled into the moulds, then removed and the thin layer of chocolate was cooled. Then chocolate was filled in this mould again, a small beating by the side was given to remove the bubbles. This mould was then cooled and post that fresh mouth watering chocolate was removed from molds.

All the chocolates that "we made" and happily sampled :) :)

All the chocolates that “we made” and happily sampled 🙂 🙂

We made and sampled some nice chocolate truffles and a chocolate sandal too 🙂 But the best was for saved for the last. We all got a chocolate lollipop (with almond and hazelnut filling) that we dipped in heavenly liquid chocolate and topped with toppings of our choice such as pistachio, candies, etc and then ate it (like kids) all the way out. The best way to end any show, I must say 🙂 I am sure we all put on quite a few pounds that day, but I now know the basics of making chocolate and shall definitely try to recreate some of it at home with my choice of additives and toppings 🙂

The toppings for our chocolate lollipop

The toppings for our chocolate lollipop

Tips for the Trip –

1. The chocolate show takes place every day at 17:00 hrs sharp (not India time) and you can check their website for more information here. While we were all adults and loved the show, if you have kids then a visit here is mandatory 🙂

2. You can visit as a single person or as a group, but do not forget to call and reserve in advance.

3. A chocolate show ticket costs 14.80 CHF, and 8.00 CHF is the given as a voucher to purchase more of this awesome chocolate. Their can never be anything as too much chocolate, now can there? 🙂

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24 Responses to “A Chocolate Show and Sampling the famous Swiss Chocolate”

  1. sueslaght January 6, 2014 at 00:06 #

    Congrats on this trip! The chocolate show looks amazing. I’m afraid i may have drooled on my keyboard while looking at your photos. 🙂

    Like

    • getsetandgo January 11, 2014 at 08:05 #

      Then you can imagine what must be happening to us… What would I not do for a swim in that liquid chocolate…. 🙂

      Like

  2. Melody January 6, 2014 at 01:55 #

    Reblogged this on Isabella and Olivia and commented:
    This is from one of my favorite travelblogs I recently discovered. Switzerland is just over the border and we still haven’t made it there (France just keeps getting in the way, hehe). This chocolatey blog post has just catapulted Switzerland into a must-see/do in the next 6 months. Girl trip anyone?

    Like

    • getsetandgo January 11, 2014 at 08:10 #

      Thanks a ton for the reblog and the kind words. I can understand what you mean by France getting in the way as it would get in mine too (had I been there) 🙂 I haven’t made it there yet but hope to soon 🙂

      Like

  3. A.H. January 6, 2014 at 09:21 #

    Yum! Seeing a chocolatier at work (and maybe making some chocolate myself) is one of my bucket list items. All that chocolate first thing in the morning is making me so hungry!

    Like

    • getsetandgo January 11, 2014 at 08:12 #

      Lol… You have my full “drooly” recommendation for this bucket list item 🙂

      Like

  4. Niranjan January 6, 2014 at 11:30 #

    Definitely, a delicious trip!

    Like

  5. shellahudaya January 7, 2014 at 09:24 #

    Wow! Now I need to grab some chocolates! 😀

    Like

    • getsetandgo January 11, 2014 at 08:14 #

      Lol… I am always in a mood for chocolates 🙂

      Like

  6. Bronwyn Joy @ Journeys Of The Fabulist January 7, 2014 at 19:56 #

    Wow, can’t believe you got to go to Switzerland! AND EAT CHOCOLATE! Nice post on the making of.

    Like

    • getsetandgo January 11, 2014 at 08:20 #

      Thanks… It was a fabulous experience and I definitely loved every minute of this chocolate”y” affair 🙂

      Like

  7. The Miss Adventure Journals January 14, 2014 at 04:16 #

    Oh my god wow! You are the luckiest girl in the World. Now I need chocolate!!

    Like

  8. sougat818 January 14, 2014 at 18:24 #

    Wow I learnt a lot about chocolates 🙂
    This is certainly something I need to try.

    Like

  9. saira777 January 15, 2014 at 20:42 #

    looks like heaven! Travel and chocolate – what more could you ask for>!

    Like

  10. Kate M. January 17, 2014 at 05:25 #

    Yummmmmmm

    Like

  11. flahertylandscape September 25, 2016 at 17:32 #

    This may or may not be true…but I’ve heard that Swiss chocolate made in the Bernese Overlands, like your excellent experience at Schuh, has special ingredients that make one’s vision open to the activities of the gnomes in that region–did you have any experience like that? 🙂

    Like

    • getsetandgo November 1, 2016 at 11:33 #

      Lol.. I didn’t but I don’t mind visiting again to try and experience the same 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. getsetandgo March 19, 2014 at 10:11 #

    Hey, super thanks for the kind words and the reblog…. You have made my day 🙂

    Like

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A Chocolate Show and Sampling the famous Swiss Chocolate - March 19, 2014

    […] This post is from getsetandgo, one of my favorite travelblogs I recently discovered. Switzerland is just over the border and we still haven’t made it there (France just keeps getting in the way, hehe). This chocolatey blog post has just catapulted Switzerland into a must-see/do in the next 6 months. Girl trip anyone? […]

    Like

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