Hotshot Sir Richard Branson has long appreciated giving Virgin clients classy, memorable experiences, whether they’re staying on his ultra-lux Carribean island in the British Virgin Isles or closer to home: as Virgin Atlantic flyers in Heathrow’s Terminal 3 to be precise.
David and I spent the day in the upperclass lounge, aka the Clubhouse, of Virgin Atlantic at Heathrow airport, hosting a Divine chocolate masterclass, wowing and wooing the taste buds of passengers and staff alike making knockout white chocolate & tequila truffles and plenty more Divine-style treats besides.
Virgin Atlantic and Divine have worked together for a number of years now. Today our National Account Manager and trained chocolatier David and I were to host a series of Divine cookery demos throughout the day. So we set up our stand at the end of the bar and spent the day chatting to interested passengers and staff about the company and cooking with Divine. And of course there were plenty of samples to go round. At various intervals during the day we demonstrated how to make truffles. David’s very own creation, Divine White Chocolate Tequila Truffles, was a unanimous hit. They combined melted white chocolate, cream, tequila, lime zest and juice. After cooling in the fridge the mixture was then moulded into balls which were then dipped into a vat of melted pure 70% chocolate. After a second dipping in the melted chocolate, the truffles were left to set. Finally they were sprinkled with a few grains of sea salt and a little lime zest. A Divine take on a tequila shot!! See the full recipe here.
We also demonstrated how to make dark chocolate truffles – nothing more technical than making a ganache by melting Divine 70% Dark Chocolate with some double cream, using a melon scooper and your hands to roll into truffle balls and coating in Divine Cocoa Powder.
Later in the day the Virgin Atlantic kitchen gave us some strawberries so that passengers could dip them in our cauldron of melted dark chocolate (actually a rather clever tempering machine which keeps the chocolate at a steady temperature so that it remains in melted form). David got some passengers to sample a square of the 70% bar with a few granules of sea salt – he said it really brings out the flavour of the chocolate and both myself and the passengers were really excited to learn this. I remember now the most incredible pudding I ate at Gordon Ramsay’s Maze once – a chocolate fondant with sea salt ice cream – makes sense now!
A number of passengers we spoke to were returning home to the US and were delighted to learn that Divine is available to buy there as well as in the UK. After sampling the hand-made truffles, along with some of the Divine chocolate bar and gift range, they took with them a bar of their favourite flavour and some recipe cards from David. One passenger said “this chocolate is magical!”, another was so taken with the chocolate he asked to have a bar of each of our nine flavours there and then, and then proceeded to tap away at his iphone to find his nearest Wholefoods store in the US so that he could keep stocked up on his new favourite chocolate brand. Passengers and staff alike were incredibly interested in the chocolatey goings-on and grateful from some Divine pre-flight action. They were disappointed to learn that we wouldn’t be returning until October in celebration of Chocolate Week. But we’ll be providing the Clubhouse with a regular supply of Divine Mini Bars from now onwards so they won’t be missing out altogether!
Thanks to Nikki and the team for a grand day out airside and we hope you enjoyed the demos & chocolate! I’m looking forward to returning as David’s sous-chef for Chocolate Week in October.