Children were being dragged reluctantly from the Tabernacle pub in Notting Hill yesterday, their eyes wild with sugar intake and faces smeared with chocolate, when I arrived at Willie Harcourt-Cooze’s one-off London-based Easter Egg factory yesterday.
A queue of people snaked for 100 metres down the stairs of the capacious venue as squalling infants and impatient parents strained to see how far they were from the huge chocolate dispensers, moulds and freezers with which they were invited to make their own Easter Eggs.
Elsewhere a line of chocolate fountains dripped various types and grades of the fine quality chocolate the self-styled ‘Willy Wonka’ Harcourt-Cooze makes. Little children ignored the wooden spoons beside the fountains and wantonly dipped their fingers in the gooey messes they were playing.
Those queuing to make Easter Eggs were taken through all the processes of crafting it; from tempering chocolate to moulding, cooling, wrapping in gold foil and personalising.
Hoards of eager chocolate-eaters combined with canapés made from recipes in Harcourt-Cooze’s new book Willie’s Chocolate Bible made for a chaotic and joyous crowd.
The Independent Online caught up with Harcourt-Cooze for a few minutes away from the madness to discuss why real chocolate is so important at Easter. Watch the video above. Or click here to see the chocolate-making process from bean to bar in pictures.