On one very cold December evening, my heart was warmed by – chocolate! And not just any kind of chocolate but fine artisan one, and made by me! The location of this story was a round building of HDLU (Croatian Association of Artists), and the name of the workshop I had attended: Kaka’o’clock. The workshop was part of a popular handicraft fair Artomat and it was led by Irena Bastijanić, architect from Zagreb who currently lives in Dubrovnik and has her own little chocolate business. The invitation got me interested with words like synaesthesia, synchronicity, getting closer to nature, personalized and, of course: chocolate, chocolate and some more chocolate! In the application for the workshop there were a few sentences to fill: our own thoughts about chocolate and the favourite ingredient we like in one!
A big table filled with lots of amusing ingredients (like poppy seeds, ground carob, dried fruits and flowers and spices), a small company, and some rolled papers with tables of months in a year – and we were ready to begin! Irena suggested to fill the table of each month with our own ideas of flavours, emotions, places and events we would like to experience in each particular time of year. Drawings were also allowed, it was time to be creative!
At the same time, the making of chocolate started. We started from the basics: slowly mixing melted cacao butter with cacao powder, nibbling and tasting raw cacao beans (it looks a bit like almond, and I loved the slightly bitter aroma), than adding extra ingredients that would make our chocolate special: ground carob, candied orange and lemon peel, Mediterranean spices, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds or even some salt. In parallel, our papers got filled by words, drawings, wishes and plans for the next year. Very inspirational moments, sweet and full of good energy – just how the end of the year should be. And… just to confirm above mentioned Irena’s idea of synchronicity: come Christmas morning, under the tree waited for me one of her delicious chocolate creations, a present from a very good friend, bought just like that! 🙂
Photo: Juraj Vuglač