CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Yorkshire Life today CLICK HERE

Chocolate heaven at Cooks, The Carlton School of Food

PUBLISHED: 00:00 07 August 2014

The Carlton School of Food kitchen

The Carlton School of Food kitchen

Archant

Learning to make chocolate with Fiona Sciolti, of Sciolti Botanical Chocolates.

Fiona encourages 11 year old AmberFiona encourages 11 year old Amber

Fiona came to her award-winning career when, like a lot of mums, she sought a way to combine her love of food with motherhood and create a business from home. Her Italian passion for food perfection led her to develop a range of ‘botanical’ chocolates, filled with seasonal fruits, teas, herbs and local creams and honey. Her down-to-earth British side is what makes her the ideal teacher however, which is what led me to Cooks, The Carlton School of Food, in Yorkshire.

The setting for Cooks is possibly the most extraordinary location you’ll ever find a cookery school. Carlton Towers looks on first glance like the sort of bonkers place a mad Yorkshire industrialist might have built to celebrate his newfound cotton or coal wealth, but in fact is an ancestral home belonging to the Duke of Norfolk’s family, dating back to the 17th century and home to the Duke’s brother and sister-in-law, Lord and Lady Gerald Fitzalan Howard.

Upon arrival, along a satisfyingly crunchy driveway, you are directed through an undercroft, filled with highly contemporary seating, into what can only be described as a scene from Downton Abbey, with a Housekeeper’s Drawing Room, Butler’s Pantry and, of course, a magnificent kitchen, now sensitively converted to cookery school.

Fiona’s chocolate course starts at 10am and finishes at 2pm (or a little later if you’re fighting hot sunshine and soft chocolate!) and attendees range from school-aged to pensioner. In that time we learned to temper chocolate and create hazelnut praline chocolate bars (with a proper ‘snap’) and made the most amazing chocolate truffles, filled with a ganache of strawberry and balsamic vinegar or raspberry and pink peppercorn. The perfect combination of Italian flavour obsession and British no-nonsense, these truffles were astonishingly easy to make, so easy I could talk you through it right now... but I won’t, as I don’t want my family to realise how little effort I’ll be putting into their Christmas presents this year.

11 Year Old Amber Creating The Perfect Chocolate Bar11 Year Old Amber Creating The Perfect Chocolate Bar

Fiona was, delightfully, almost happy about the sun-related challenges we faced, announcing that if we could make fabulous chocolates under such trying circumstances, imagine how easy we’ll find it on a more reasonably cool day.

This is Fiona’s way, of course. Her mantra could be ‘Why complicate what should be simple?’ And this includes her chocolate recipes and teaching style. No wafting about slapping melted chocolate on a marble slab; no sweetie, just beat it into submission!

Cooks doesn’t only offer chocolate courses of course, this year you can learn to bake with Bake Off finalist Brendan Lynch, preserve the summer harvest with Jams, Jellies & Pickles in September and perfect your pie making in October.

If the thought of a 90 minute drive for a day course in Yorkshire doesn’t appeal, then – joy of joys – you can stay the night at Carlton Towers: not a hotel, but possibly the most sumptuous bed and breakfast you’ll ever find!

Personally, I’m currently waging an internal war about which course I want to attend next – baking with Brendan sounds fun, but Fiona is running an intermediate course later this year and I REALLY want to see what she does next!

cooksatcarlton.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Yorkshire Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Yorkshire Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Yorkshire Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Yesterday, 00:00

There is much to admire about the food and atmosphere at The Plough, Scalby, says Jeannie Swales

Read more
Friday, October 12, 2018

One of the world’s top chefs is winging his way back to Yorkshire

Read more
Friday, October 5, 2018

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – and flavour. It’s not a new technique – our prehistoric ancestors were preserving meat with smoke while still discussing whether or not to invent the wheel (they voted ‘yes’ in the end) – but it is enjoying something of a renaissance among contemporary carnivores.

Read more
Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Lunch Menu - £15 for two small plates & a drink.

Read more
Thursday, September 20, 2018

“Guests can expect to enjoy an a la carte menu packed with a unique take on British classics, as well as a wine list which is often recognised as one of the best in the city”.

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The winners of the 2018 Yorkshire Life Food and Drink Awards were announced at a glittering ceremony at Rudding Park Hotel.

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The winner of the Bar of the Year category announced

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The winner of the Food Hero of the Year category announced

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The winner of the Tearoom/Cafe of the Year category announced

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The winner of the Newcomer of the Year category announced

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The winner of the Chef of the Year category announced

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The winner of the Customer Service of the Year category announced

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The winner of the Producer/Product of the Year category announced

Read more
Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The winner of the Dining Pub of the Year category announced

Read more

Topics of Interest


Follow us on Twitter


Like us on Facebook

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy


Property Search