To follow up with chocolate, after my article about the chocolate factory Orquidea, I publish this article about Alejandra’s Chocolate shop in Chachapoyas. As you know, Chachapoyas is the capital of the Amazonas region in northern Peru. From here you’ll have a great start for your excursions throughout the region. But Chachapoyas has also many things to offer: between artists, artisans, cultural museums and gastronomy – you just have to choose ! It is a great city to live and to visit during your trip to northern Peru.
The blog section of Phima Voyages is a mine of information on places to visit in Northern Peru. Do not miss the publication of our articles and to have our Free Guide of the 10 places to visit in the North of Peru. Click here.
Contrary to what one might think, the young woman behind Alejandra´s shop is not Alejandra, but her name is Giuliana. Passionate about chocolate, she learned the basics from her aunt. During her studies at the University of Amazonas, she participated in a competition. The goal was to prepare yourself to create your own company. Naturally she thought about making a business plan for a chocolate shop ! She won the second place and with the $600 of her prize, she bought her first professional equipment. After working several years in her kitchen and selling directly to her clients, she opened the shop two years ago.
To be honest, Giuliana is the one who had told us about the chocolate factory Orquidea in Tarapoto. This is where she gets the pure chocolate to make her own creations. Not all of it, because the Peruvians that are her principal customers, they don’t really like 70% chocolate. It is too bitter for them. So Giuliana works with a milk chocolate or white chocolate with more fat and sugar to suit her customers.
Her creations are among others chocolate truffles in different flavors, small ballotins with figs and other dried fruits, chocolate cigars filled with strawberry cream or vanilla. All this is for sale in her shop, Jr Ortiz Arrieta 710 in Chachapoyas, near the main square.
Giuliana told us that she also offers chocolate workshops, where you can make your own Sarcophagus of Karajia or a roundhouse of Kuelap. But that’s just great! We take advantage of the opportunity to book a course for 5 people in the afternoon.
When we arrive, Giuliana leads us to a large kitchen behind the store; she already has prepared the Bain–Marie with the milk chocolate and white chocolate. The moulds are waiting for us. Once the chocolate is liquid (Note to myself: Remove the casseroles of the fire and stirr!), we start painting our Karajias with milk chocolate. First only the externally visible parts, this is done with a small wooden stick. It is a little bit “complicated” because you should not put chocolate everywher, neither too little in your mould. As this is only a thin layer, it dries very quickly. We continue with a layer of white chocolate on the top – Much easier!!
While this mould dries, we begin our second job, a roundhouse of Kuelap. Everyone finds this one easier, as there are less details. We paint the house roof with milk chocolate. The body will be white chocolate mixed with yellow dye to better suit the colour of the real stones of Kuelap. The most important thing this time is to unify the two chocolate parts and not to leave any gaps.
In the meanwhile, the chocolate Karajia has dried and we add the “filling”, a creamy mixture with peanut and manjar blanco (a bit like condensed milk). This is another tricky situation, because the mixture is rather difficult to extend. Giuliana show us how not to leave too much air and to finish with a last chocolate layer. The house of Kuelap gets a filling with chocolate and kiwicha. This does not require any closure.
Now everything is placed in the fridge for a few minutes, before Giuliana unmoulds our art work ! But we still have to finish the details ! So we “paint” the head of the Karajia, the eyes (this is VERY complicated) and a line for mouth and forehead. Then we paint the door of the house of Kuelap in yellow. After we remove some chocolate from the sides with a sharp knife.
Giuliana puts the chocolate figures in individual and transparent bags and then in a small cardboard bag, which gives it a real glamorous look ! We leave the our chocolate workshop very happy and proud of our work – and eat it for dessert the same night !