The Hippo


Aug 24, 2019








The 3-D layered chocolate Christmas tree from The Chocolate Fanatic in Amherst. Courtesy photo.

Chocolate-making classes

Introduction to Chocolate Learn the history and myth-perceptions of chocolate, make chocolate like the Mayans by grinding beans, and taste four different chocolates. Thurs., Dec. 8 and March 16, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dancing Lion Chocolate, 917 Elm St., Manchester. Cost is $45 per person. Call 625-4043 to register. Visit
Decorate Chocolate Holiday Ornaments Paint your own chocolate ornament with colored cocoa butters in this two-hour class. There’s one for adults only (Thurs., Dec. 8, 10 a.m.; Sun., Dec. 11, 1:30 p.m.) and one that’s open to all ages (Thurs., Dec. 8, 4 p.m.; Sun., Dec. 11, 10 a.m.) La Cascade du Chocolat, Hooksett. Cost is $55 per person for the adult class, $45 for the kids class. Visit or call 264-7006.
Crafting True Chocolate Truffles Hands-on class covers tasting chocolate, creating ganache and forming and finishing chocolate truffles. Thurs., Jan. 26, 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dancing Lion Chocolate, 917 Elm St., Manchester. Cost is $65 per person. Call 625-4043 to register. Visit
Hands-on Truffle Class Learn the art of truffle making from chocolatier Jack Michael Pisciotta and leave with take-home supplies. Every third Sat., 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Van Otis Chocolates, 341 Elm St., Manchester. $95. Reservations are required. Call 627-1611 or visit 

Chocolate cheer
Festive chocolate treats for the holidays

By Angie Sykeny

 From solid chocolates in holiday-themed shapes to artisan chocolates with festive hand-painted designs, local chocolatiers are showcasing their creativity with all kinds of seasonal treats. 

For Richard Tango-Lowy, owner and master chocolatier at Dancing Lion Chocolate in Manchester, the holiday season is an opportunity to innovate and play around with different ideas about how to use chocolate. 
“We only make things once; every time we make something, it’s something new,” he said. “We experiment and make lots of crazy stuff and just try hard not to run out of it. That’s how it goes. It’s a lot of fun.”
You can try a sweeter alternative to a regular card with Dancing Lion’s chocolate holiday postcards. There are three designs to choose from with 3-D shapes including ornaments, holly leaves and Christmas trees. Each piece is hand-painted in color. Customers also have the choice of “Season’s Greetings” or, for an additional cost, a three- to five-word custom message painted on the card. 
Other holiday treats to be featured this year are hand-painted chocolate ornaments with cinnamon ganache; cacao pods with hand-painted holly leaves, filled with a Christmas tree-shaped brittle; a chocolate truffle Christmas tree; a large cacao bar with a hand-painted winter scene of snow and evergreen trees; and edible chocolate boxes with hand-painted Christmas tree or snowflake designs, filled with pistachio brittle. 
“And anything else we think of as we get going with these,” Tango-Lowy said. “I have some other ideas, too, but I won’t share those quite yet.” 
Chocolates at Dancing Lion are made in small batches, but you can see what’s currently available and order products on the shop’s website. 
At The Chocolate Fanatic in Amherst, owner and chocolate maker Maria Marini is working on her own handcrafted seasonal chocolates, including solid pieces in shapes like a Rudolph head, Santa Claus and a snowman. But one of the shop’s most popular holiday items is the four-layered 3-D chocolate Christmas tree, available in milk or dark chocolate, drizzled with white chocolate and spotted with rainbow sprinkles. 
“We pour [the branches] individually into a mold, pull them out and glue them together with chocolate so they’re stacked like a real tree,” Marini said. “They’re so cute. We sell a lot of those, and you can’t get them anywhere else.”  
Newcomer on the local chocolate scene La Cascade du Chocolat of Hooksett has some special treats prepared for its first holiday season in business, such as hangable chocolate ornaments with festive designs hand-painted in colored cocoa butter. 
“I’ve never seen other [chocolate ornaments] with a hole drilled into it to hang it, so I think it’s an original idea,” said Tom Nash, chocolatier and co-owner with master chocolatier Samantha Brown. “And they’re colored well enough that it doesn’t look like chocolate. It looks like a real, traditional ornament, but it’s completely edible.”  
For a sippable treat, try their chocolate snowman on a stick, which you can stir into hot water or milk to make a rich chocolate drink. You can get ones with just chocolate or ones that are filled with peppermint or other spices.

®2019 Hippo Press. site by wedu