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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Broc Fabrique, Switzerland Maison Cailler Chocolate

Updated: Oct 14, 2019

La Maison Cailler welcomes visitors to one of Switzerland’s oldest and most important chocolate factories.

A visit to the Cailler chocolate factory starts with a 20-minute multimedia animation show available in French, English, German, Spanish, and Chinese. (New groups depart every 4 minutes.) During the animation show, visitors learn the history of chocolate including its origins in Mexico, introduction to Europe by the Spanish conquistadors, acceptance by the pope as a wholesome drink, entry into the boudoirs of France (trust the French to take chocolate not only into the bedroom but actually consuming it in bed), and the refinement of chocolate by the Swiss during the nineteenth century. Doors open and lights switch on automatically to guide visitors along at a set pace.

After the animation show, visitors are free to explore the rest of the factory open to visitors at leisure. Audio-guides explain the various aspects of growing cocoa and the production of chocolate.

A fully automated chocolate production line can be seen in action producing Mini Branches, one of Cailler’s most popular brands. Sampling is allowed at the end of the line. Don’t overdo it here, the best stuff is served at the end of the tour.

We were surprised to find out 75% of the Swiss prefer milk chocolate, 20% dark chocolate and 5% white chocolate.

Visitors can glance through windows into the main factory floor before ending the tour with a tasting.

Some reasons you should eat and enjoy that chocolate bar!!

Once again, the better chocolates and pralines are served nearer to the end. Sampling is largely unsupervised and Cailler is not stingy with its chocolates.

For years, Michael and I have been taking classes at the Atelier du Chocolat. They have three instructors (left to right): Patrick Schneider, Geraldine Maras and Thomas Mair.

Thomas worked at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona years ago. We have had classes with all of them. Excellent instructors whom love what they are doing. They also love to share many tips and tricks. Geraldine is on maternity leave so we had Antonio. He has only been teaching this class for a month. He is very personable! We were laughing and smiling all the time. Great group!

In the past, we have taken three different truffle making classes (hand rolled, in molds and with alcohol). We have also taken praline making classes. Also, we have learned to make chocolate cakes and lava cakes.

Today's class is Café Gourmand, a French Tea Time. We made Caramelised Tuiles, Chocolate Financier (mini chocolate cakes), Chocolate Biscuit (cookies with apricot jam), Crème Brûlée with white chocolate and passion fruit. We have the recipes both in English and in German. If you would like a copy, please let me know and I will get one to you.

Antonio would show and explain what to do then we would be sent back to our stations and recreate what he had done. There were 7 in the class. A family of three, a mother and daughter (the daughter gifted this class to her mother for Mother's Day) and us.

For some of the procedures we had to work in teams.

Caramelised Tuiles

These are so simple to make.

Chocolate Biscuits

Crème Brûlée

This was made with white chocolate and passion fruit. Since it has white chocolate, you don't need a water bath for them. Just put them in the oven to bake.

Chocolate Financier

Tempered chocolate spoons for hot chocolate or coffee. We learned how to temper chocolate, too.

We boxed the desserts we made. We could take them home with us. We shared the demonstration desserts.

We went to the cafeteria and enjoyed the desserts with either tea or coffee.

We all received diplomas, too.

Fun class!!!! What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Of course, we bought our usual amount of chocolate to bring back home with us.

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