The Chocolate Workshop is the creation of Praxi and John Adams who live in the village of Platres in the Troodos Mountains of Cyprus.
John, born in London, was a war baby and grew up in the era of food shortages and rationing. Condensed milk (or tinned milk as John knew it) was a normal household product in those days but as the British economy improved everyone reverted back to fresh milk and tinned milk became a thing of the past and faded from memory.
When John first came to Cyprus with his new Cypriot wife (Praxi) and two young children in the early 1980’s he had already – many years previously - trained in France and Venezuala as a chocolatier but never operated as such in the UK.
The intention was to just enjoy life in Cyprus; they had a small UK based income and did not need to work. By chance, John was delighted to find that condensed milk was still very much in use in his new country. When he saw it, it evoked memories of his childhood and he purchased a tin to show his young children (they weren’t very impressed!). On the side of the tin was a simple recipe showing how to make a form of chocolate sweet using condensed milk, cocoa and crushed digestive biscuits.
He made some of these chocolates and the kids loved them. He then took it a step further, by now he had tasted and enjoyed the unique Cypriot ‘Spoon Sweets’; a sweet delicacy that he realised was something all Cypriots enjoyed and yet would also appeal to tourists, eager to try the tastes of Cyprus. He purchased an ordinary bar of chocolate, melted it and dipped a selection of these spoon sweets in it - the first steps in what was to become an all consuming passion – the creation of delectable, delightful and very original Cyprus Chocolates.
As fresh cream was not (and still isn’t) readily available in Cyprus, John created his own form of ganache (the cream filling that is used inside chocolates), by using his newly discovered condensed milk, mixed with chocolate. He called it ‘Cypriot Ganache’ and this type of cream filling is now widely used on a world-wide basis.
Cyprus – more particularly – Platres has become the centre of Praxi and John’s life. They realized that much of the uniquely Cypriot Mountain produce produced in Platres lent itself to providing exciting and original fillings for their chocolates.
Kommandaria cream (using the unique and famous wine of Cyprus), Zivania Cream, Kidromolo (bitter orange) and many of the other forms of Klyco (the Cypriot term for uniquely preserved fruit or nuts), Platres Loukoumia (a local form of Cyprus Delight), Aphrodite Cream, (a chocolate designed for lovers as it contains honey, Royal Jelly and cream!), Walnut Palouze (a smooth, aromatic dessert sweet made from concentrated grape juice), Cyprus Coffee cream and many others.
These fillings make the chocolates unique and very, very Cypriot. The chocolate is unique in so far as it is pure dark chocolate (no dairy product at all), a little sugar, natural vanilla and then enhanced with Cyprus Royal Jelly to make it a smoother, richer, healthier chocolate, the likes of which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Information about Royal Jelly.
The demand from friends and friends of friends for Johns unique and luxurious chocolates became so great, that the idea of opening a Chocolate Workshop in the village grew from just an idea to reality.
Praxi and John spent months researching (that’s another word for tasting!) all the different kinds of chocolate available, going on refresher courses in France and London to learn modern techniques and procedures and eventually decided on sourcing and using their own unique chocolate to create the stylish and very original cups used to highlight and enhance the flavour of those unique Cypriot centers.
Each chocolate is carefully hand prepared (no mass production here!) and finished in full view of the public in the Workshop window. Some of the ingredients are seasonal so the variety changes with the season and other products are produced according to demand – for example Easter Eggs at Easter etc etc.
When the Chocolate Workshop opened its doors for the first time just before Easter several years ago. John and Praxi produced an original range of luxury Easter Eggs and the star of the show was what then, the worlds most bejeweled and expensive chocolate Easter egg. A large chocolate egg adorned with an artistic array of diamonds, emeralds, rubies, opals and many, many other valuable gemstones. This egg was put forward to the Guinness Book of Records who agreed that at that time it was unique and a world record. The intrinsic value of the gemstones exceeded €60,000.
The 'Workshop' is of course the main salesroom for the Cyprus Chocolates but the business has expanded dramatically since those early days. Retail sales are not the only market, Weddings, Hotels, Business (corporate gifts) and Parties of all sorts. So many different sales areas, but still the main aim of the business is to produce ‘top end’ original and luxurious chocolates.
The Platres Chocolate Workshop's fame has spread on a world wide basis, the chocolates being enjoyed in many countries and the Workshop has been the subject of numerous international television documentaries showing in England, Germany, Greece, Sweden and the United States of America.
The chocolates are expensive! Large chocolate cups (made from the finest chocolate), filled with locally produced, original and tasty fillings. These chocolates are the last word in pure, unadulterated luxury. There is nothing quite like these anywhere else in Cyprus (or anywhere else for that matter).
CHOCOLATE - AND CYPRUS - AT ITS VERY BEST.