Hands-on chocolate-making experience coming to Waipa

  • Courtesy Irmgard Mitchell

    Irmgard Mitchell, right, and assistant Maddie Taylor are behind the counter at Chocolat Hanalei in Ching Young Village Shopping Center.

  • Courtesy Irmgard Mitchell

    Chocolat Hanalei is a small but sweet business in Hanalei’s Ching Young Village Shopping Center.

  • Courtesy Irmgard Mitchell

    Irmgard Mitchell is surrounded by cacao fruits on her five-acre farm in Wainiha.

Chocolat Hanalei and the Waipa Foundation will collaborate in chocolate-making classes on the North Shore.

Classes starting April 27 will be weekly on Saturday mornings at the kitchen at Waipa. They will be conducted by chocolatier Irmgard Mitchell and her assistant Maddie Taylor.

In 2013, Mitchell started planting cacao trees by seed on her five-acre farm in Wainiha. Next came building a commercial kitchen on the farm in Wainiha, which was approved in August 2015.

“In September 2015 we opened a small retail shop in the Ching Young Village in Hanalei,” Mitchell said. “We are now producing our own Kauai-grown chocolate to make our ‘powerhouse bars,’ a 70 percent dark chocolate bar.

Most of the other confections sold at the store in Hanalei are made with chocolate grown on Oahu. Other ingredients, like passion fruit, ginger, macadamia nuts, bananas and more are sourced locally if available.

All confections are locally handcrafted in their commercial kitchen in Wainiha.

Mitchell likes to say “A day without chocolate is like Hanalei without a sunset!”

Fruit trees on the family farm “provide a year-round treasure trove of sweet, delicious treats, including the bright pods of the cacao trees. This all inspires us to create decadent, hand-crafted tropical chocolates unlike anything you have ever experienced,” she said.

Classes will offer a chance to learn much about chocolate, the processing and, finally, the molding and enrobing. Participants will learn how to temper chocolate by hand, not by machine, and use local inclusions as seasonally available to create their own confections, Mitchell said.

“This is a very hands-on workshop, and you will learn skills you can use at home,” Mitchell said.

Info: www.chocolathanalei.com, 826-4470 or 707-738-2218

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