Everyone loves chocolate, but how many people have actually made their own bar from scratch? We can now add ourselves to the list after taking the Chocolate Workshop at ChocoMuseo. Find out how!

ChocoMuseo Chocolate Workshop

Have you ever tried a cooking class, but found it hard to follow along or remember all the steps. Well, the Chocolate Workshop at ChocoMuseo makes the process easy so you walk away knowing exactly how to do it again in the future. It also helps to have only one main ingredient!

Choco Museo in Granada Nicaragua

Come on in to a wonderful world of chocolate at ChocoMuseo!

During the Chocolate Workshop you get the chance to make your own personalized chocolate bar from scratch. Don’t worry if you can’t wait that long, you also get to sample the difference between Maya/Aztec & Spanish drinks that helped create the original cravings for chocolate around the world. With step-by-step instructions, the ChocoMuseo Chocolate Workshop is perfect for any age!

Group Chocolate Workshop at Choco Museo Photo

There’s always time for selfies & chocolate.

Creating Chocolate Paste

After a quick introduction from the Chocolate Workshop instructor, Kenny, we got down to business. The cacao beans used to make ChocoMuseo’s products are locally sourced near Granada. We would be using the same high quality beans.

Choco Museo Chocolate Workshop Space

Step right up to the counter to start the ChocoMuseo Chocolate Workshop!

The process starts by roasting the cacao in a clay pot much like you would coffee. You will quickly learn that anytime you stir it is mandatory to chant, “Bate, bate, chocolate” while clapping along to the beat. We don’t know if we can ever forget the song going forward.

Roasting the Cacao Beans in a Clay Pot

Sing it with me, “Bate, bate, chocolate!”

You can take the cacao beans off the fire once they are blackened & you can smell the rich aroma. Despite wanting to keep the process going, you have to wait for the cacao beans to cool before moving to the next step.

Peeling Cacao Outer Shells during Choco Museo Chocolate Workshop

Peeling the cacao beans by hand. Professionals use a technique called winnowing that involves air blowing the skin away.

Once the cacao beans cooled to a satisfactory level, we began to peel their outer shell before grinding them in a bowl. This last part proved more challenging than we thought since the final product had to be a paste. It took a lot of effort to crunch the cacao beans into smaller pieces before partially liquefying their 60% cacao butter.

Grinding Cacao Beans into Paste

It takes high energy input to get high energy output.

Maya/Aztec & Spanish Chocolate Drinks

Our inconsistent cacao paste from the group was combined & destined for hot chocolate drinks. The first one we tried was the Maya/Aztec version. We combined our cacao paste with hot water, chili, honey, & vanilla. It tasted okay, but was bitter & slightly spicy.

Getting the Last Secret Ingredient for Aztec Chocolate Drink - Blood

Kenny getting the last ingredient for the Aztec chocolate drink…blood!

We then tried the Spanish version that is closer to the hot chocolate that we enjoy today. They substituted the chili for cinnamon & water for milk. Plus, they added a lot of sugar instead of honey! This created a richer, sweeter drink that was preferred by everyone in our group.

Pouring the Aztec Chocolate Drink

Pouring one of the original chocolate drinks in the world.

Making Your Own Chocolate Bar

Having used all our cacao paste for drinks, we were able to use already prepared liquid chocolate from the melangeur to create our chocolate bars. This is a special mixer for creating liquid chocolate. In the spirit of the Aztecs, we used some of the chocolate for war paint. Some of us got a dot on the nose & cheek streaks, while we decorated Kenny with a mustache as well. He took it in stride, but I did see him licking his upper lip quite a bit.

Chocolate War Paint at Choco Museo

Now I know what baseball players use under their eyes…chocolate!

The toughest part was choosing which two ingredients out of 10 possibilities to mix into the chocolate. Sheena opted for cashews & sea salt while I went for cashews & marshmallows. You could also choose from almonds, granola, raisins, nibs, chili, coffee & cinnamon.

Selecting 2 Ingredients for Customized Chocolate Bar

Selecting only two ingredients for my chocolate bar may have been the toughest decision in my life.

Once you mixed in your ingredients, you simply poured the mixture into a plastic mold. Groups could then mix both their concoctions together to form a third bar between two people. The only thing left to do was lick the bowl clean & wait 30 minutes for the chocolate to harden.

Pouring Chocolate into Molds to Make Bars

Putting the finishing touch on our chocolate bars as we pour the liquid into molds.

It seemed like the longest half hour, but our Chocolate Workshop bars were finally ready for packaging. Kenny carefully wrapped each in tin foil & we slapped on a sticker for an authentic looking chocolate bar. The dark chocolate bars tasted great over the next two days with sea salt being a pleasant addition to balance the bitterness.

Chocolate Bars from Choco Museo Chocolate Workshop

Our chocolate bars did not last long. We blamed it on not wanting them to melt.

Passing the Longest 30 Minutes

There are many ways to pass the half hour while you wait for the chocolate bars to harden in the freezer. In reality, the time flew by. Five minutes went into cleaning up, ten minutes to reading about the history of chocolate, and fifteen minutes sampling other chocolate products!

Choco Museo Museum of Chocolate

We know it is hard to concentrate on learning about the history of chocolate when you are surrounded with so many tasty treats.

ChocoMuseo has everything you could imagine chocolate being used for. There are obviously different flavors of bars, spreads, body creams, & liqueurs for adults. They even had scented candles & flavored condoms. All of the edible products are available to sample for free, which is a great way to find out what you really like before purchasing.

Choco Museo Gift Shop & Free Samples

Even if you don’t have time for a Chocolate Workshop, stop by ChocoMuseo to sample their products.

In a Nutshell – Chocolate Workshop

  • Location: ChocoMuseo on Calle Atravesada (a few blocks northwest of Parque Central)
  • Hours: 7 am – 6 pm, Chocolate Workshop at 9 am, 11 am, 2 pm, & 4 pm with advance notice
  • Price: $21 for adults, $12 for kids under 12 (minimum of 2 people)
  • Requirements: Love of chocolate, 2 hours, & knowledge of either English or Spanish
  • Contact Information:

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Everyone loves chocolate, but how many people have actually made their own bar from scratch? We can now add ourselves to the list after taking the Chocolate Workshop at Choco Museo. Find out how yourself! You also get to sample the difference between Maya/Aztec & Spanish drinks that helped create the original cravings for chocolate around the world. With step-by-step instructions, the Choco Museo Chocolate Workshop is perfect for any age!

***The Final Word – The Chocolate Workshop at ChocoMuseo is great for all ages & a great way to learn about your favorite treat.***

What combination of ingredients would you put in your chocolate bar?

Not recommended DIY travel; take a tour instead

* Thank you to ChocoMuseo for hosting us. No payment was received for this review, but our Chocolate Workshop tour was complimentary. As always, all opinions remain our own.

Visited in December 2016