Do you dream of chocolate literally on tap? Then take time out to visit the lovely people at Mayan Monkey Mijas in the heart of beautiful Mijas Pueblo and take part in your very own chocolate making workshop.
My husband, daughter and I did just that and from the moment we walked in, we were greeted with smiles and offers to taste little samples of yummy chocolate from the friendly staff. Knowing what we had in store, we declined the chocolate tasting and after a brief introduction and chat with Hannah we headed into the back of the shop to the little factory where we would make our own chocolate bars.
The first thing I couldn’t fail to notice was that there appeared to be liquid white, milk and dark chocolate coming out of taps! Oh I was in heaven, and had to restrain myself from sticking my head underneath while no one was looking.
My 3 year old daughter had been talking about chocolate all morning after we explained to her what we had planned for the day so it was only fair that I should let her go first.
Hannah was brilliant with Rosie, really patient and attentive as she demonstrated and explained what to do. Rosie chose to make 3 white chocolate bars and with the help of Hannah she carefully guided her moulds under the liquid chocolate. She then helped her tap them lightly on the counter top explaining this was to bring any bubbles to the surface and even out the chocolate in the trays.
Next was decorating the bars, there were at least 20 choices of toppings from chocolate buttons, caramel pieces, dried strawberries, cranberries and mango, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and even chilli flakes.
Rosie did pretty well with very little help decorating her bars which she thought was absolutely great, she couldn't resist popping a few buttons into her mouth instead of into the molds but no-one seemed to mind, once finished Hannah put them into the freezer to set.
My turn at last! I opted for 1 dark and 2 milk chocolate bars, I figured we had enough white chocolate to last us a while. I let Rosie decorate one of mine with whatever she chose, while Hannah suggested the dried fruits worked really well with dark chocolate, and she wasn't wrong.
While we waited twenty minutes or so for our bars to set, we headed back out into the cafe and enjoyed a hot chocolate with a scoop of cherry ice-cream, something I've never experienced before but the cherry worked particularly well with the chocolate. We also had coffee, a raspberry smoothie and a bowl of vanilla ice-cream. As if that wasn't enough we also bought a couple of bars of Single Origin chocolate to take home with us as we couldn't resist.
We managed to make the 20 minute drive home before tucking into our bars which were all absolutely delicious and I’m ashamed to say after just two days the three of us managed to get through all 8 bars. Good excuse to return for more, in fact I had my eye on that home-made carrot cake….
What I love about the Mayan Monkey chocolate shop & cafe is that everything you see is made right there on the premises, the cafe is clean, bright and inviting and the packaging on everything has a very organic feel. Jason and Eli the owners, have put so much thought and attention into everything they have created here.
The chocolate making workshop costs just €9.90 and includes 3 of your own chocolate bars. You should allow around an hour in total which includes waiting time for the chocolate to set. I would recommend the workshop for just about anyone that loves chocolate, and lets be honest… who doesn't? They will cater for kids parties or large groups and booking is not always necessary, just pop in or give them a call:
Did You know:
- Chocolate comes from the seeds of the fruit of the cacao tree which grow 20 degrees north and south of the equator.
- If it were not for monkeys we would not have chocolate – The Mayan monkeys would crack open the fruit pods from the cacao tree, eat the flesh and spit out the beans helping to grow more cacao trees across South America.
- Originally cacao beans were used by the ancient Mayans to create a drink; Rather than adding sugar and milk they added chili and spices.
- Cacao beans were also used as currency by the Aztecs as it was considered a luxury and only really consumed by royalty and the very rich.
- It wasn't until the Spanish arrived in South America and brought the cacao beans home in approximately 1544 that chocolate began to develop into what we know and love today.
- Single origin chocolate refers to cacao beans which come from a particular cacao growing country and the flavour is varied by how much sun, wind and rain in that particular harvest, flavours can change dramatically from one harvest to the next.
- All products are made in house at Mayan Monkey, in fact someone was putting the finishing touches to a carrot cake fresh out of the oven as we arrived in the factory.
- All hot drinks in the cafe are made with organic milk, or if you prefer enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine instead.
- If you visit the Mayan Monkey shop on a Wednesday you may catch the free Flamenco show held in the main plaza at 12 noon which is on every Wednesday.