A WEEK dedicated to chocolate sounds like many people’s idea of heaven.

From October 9 to 15 that dream becomes a reality as the UK celebrates national chocolate week with events and tastings taking place across the country.

Chocolate was once considered the food of the gods and was at one time only available to the aristocracy and members of the clergy.

It has been used as a medicine, a stimulant and even as a currency and it is still considered one of life’s little luxuries.

Many chocolate-lovers still worship the sweet treat and making chocolates has to be one of the best ways to spend a few hours.

Former teacher Pam Killick, who lives in Pontypool, started her chocolate workshop business in 2007.

Her company Chocs Away offers chocolate workshops for people of all ages, from young children to hen parties.

“I love the different flavours you can create,” she said. “You can mix a centre with a different outside can alter the flavour completely.”

It was when she was volunteering at an old age pensioners provision near her home she discovered chocolate moulds and realised the potential of making chocolates.

She still wanted to return to work with children and saw the potential of chocolate making as a business. She originally worked from a café in Blaenavon, but she now has a mobile business which visits schools, community centres and people’s homes.

She attended a course in a London cookery school run by celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson where she learned some of the tricks of her trade.

She said: “The course in London was all about tempering chocolate. I have used some of the recipes I learnt there and adapted some to what I need.

“I learn that you have to keep an eye on the chocolate all the time when melting it because if you forget it you will ruin it, so you have to be on the ball on the time. Then when you have melted it down you have to be aware of the temperature outside and in the place you are working at so you have to think on your feet the whole time.”

Sitting together in a kitchen we start with melted chocolate and our moulds. With a paintbrush I paint white chocolate into the mould and then fill it with milk chocolate. It might look a little messy, but a look underneath shows the beautiful effect of white and milk chocolate.

There are moulds of all designs, with fish that I paint brown and then top with white chocolate and a chocolate cat, which has to be my favourite. These are then put into a freezer to cool so they are ready for me to take home at the end of the session.

We then creating filling for the chocolates in caramel and lemon. These are then put into a freezer to cool so they are ready to be covered with the delicious melted chocolate and then decorated with sprinkles.

Chocolates can be made in almost every flavour. Mrs Killick’s own favourite has a slight kick to it.

“I love a little Malibu, then coat the filling in white chocolate and then cover it in coconut and that tastes like a solid Pina colada. You don’t have many of them because they are so rich.

“During the sessions I will ask people if they want to add something and people come with up with all sorts of ideas. It’s just nice to hear people’s ideas.”

It’s amazing how easy it is to create these luxurious looking chocolates, and it’s incredibly relaxing, taking me back to a time when I used to do cookery in school.

Cooking and baking has become more about speed and simplicity as I’ve got older, so spending time and focusing on creating something delicious is a treat in itself.

Children also love the session and are often curious about chocolate and its origins.

Mrs Killick said: “Some of the children ask where the chocolate comes from and I have a cocoa pods and nibs to show them what is used to make chocolate.

“I’m not about stuffing as much chocolate as people can into children, the experience and having a go at something completely different is always good, and if you’re someone who enjoys baking and creating then it might ignite a spark in them and they could go on to become chocolatiers.”

It isn’t just the people taking part in the sessions that have fun. Mrs Killick says she enjoys making chocolates, and loves seeing people’s reactions when they see the finished article.

“I love it,” she said. “I like being with people and the kids, and I love it when they are excited. When the chocolates come out of the moulds, it doesn’t matter how old you are, when they come out everyone loves to see their chocolate and I love that.”

She added: “People will get really excited, and some get really competitive. Then when they get a box of chocolates that they made to take home, people love them.”

To find out more about Chocs Away visit chocsparty.com or email chocsawayparty@gmail.com