This is my last Spain related post I promise! It is a really good one though.
To my delight, this post is all about my favourite thing…chocolate. If you read the “Long for a chocolate brownie” post then you will know all about my pre-holiday chocolate embargo. Well all that sacrificing
made me a chocolate fiend by the end of the holiday and Mijas had the perfect place to allow me to indulge in my favourite thing.
Mayan Monkey Mijas is an amazing chocolate and ice-cream shop. We have been going to the shop in Constitution Square on our last few trips to Mijas but this year we found the other Mayan Monkey in Mijas which is the fabulous sister chocolate and ice-cream shop and also the world’s smallest chocolate factory. We enjoyed some lovely ice-creams, coffees and little chocolates here and even managed to fit in a fantastic chocolate making class.
I know I have been going on and on and on and on about how lovely the people are in Mijas but this place really did have some of the loveliest people so they deserve a special mention. The chocolate class was taken by Eli who is so unbelievably nice and passionate about chocolate. She was great to learn from and oozed enthusiasm. Her partner Jason and the rest of the staff are all so friendly too. The brightness of the shop and factory says it all. It is such a fun and lovely place to be.
The class was great. There was lots and lots of chocolate tasting which suited me entirely. We tasted chocolate from different regions and tried (and failed!) to pick out the flavours coming through in the chocolate (of course they were glaringly obvious as soon as Eli told us!). We also got to make our own chocolate bars and flavour them with whatever we wanted. There was a huge array of ingredients and Eli encouraged us to sample away which we all did gladly.
I opted for a Persiana inspired white chocolate bar with sour cherries, pistachio and dried rose petals (see the picture at the top of the post). I also made a crunchy milk chocolate bar filled with puffed rice, caramel curls and chopped salted roasted almonds. My final bar was milk chocolate with cocoa nibs, eucalyptus and a tiny sprinkling of salt. They were so delicious.
My Mum stuffed hers full and I was very over-critical and accused her of over-doing the ingredients as usual. The joke was on me though because her bars were delicious and with every bite of chocolate, you got a taste of all of the lovely flavours. So the moral of the story is if you are making your own bars of chocolate then more is definitely best (unless you opt for chilli or salt in which case less is definitely best). My Mum made a white chocolate bar with gogi berries, kiwi and poppy seeds, a milk chocolate bar with puffed rice, peanuts, cocoa nibs and caramel crepe and a tropical milk chocolate bar with ginger, coconut and pineapple. Unsurprisingly, we demolished all 6 bars in one night! Clearly a love of chocolate is a family trait!
One thing that deserves a special mention are these amazing chocolate taps. They keep the chocolate at a perfect temperature for melting and tempering and basically flow constantly with a stream of dark, milk and white chocolate. I’m not going to lie, I just wanted to shove my face under one of them and if I ever have the chance to get one in my house then I most definitely will. Running the chocolate through the mould is not as easy as you would think but luckily Eli is on hand to prevent any major spillages.
On the way out, the lovely ice-cream maker let us sample some delicious chocolate ice-cream. This brings me on nicely to the ice cream. It is incredible. It is so creamy and the flavours are delicious and actually truly taste of the flavours they are supposed to be which shouldn’t be such a surprising thing. You can get all sorts from strawberry cheesecake to mango to peanut butter to summer fruits to chocolate praline. Just to make it even better, they run the ice-cream under the chocolate tap and then top it with massive shards of chocolate. It is so amazingly good and was quite apt that we went to the Mayan Monkey on our final night where Eli and Jason let us taste endless amounts of ice-cream and topped our cones with the hugest shards of chocolate you could ever imagine. Lovely people indeed and the perfect ending to the holiday.
So on this lovely high and with this lovely picture, it really is time to say adios Spain! But I just can’t wait to get back to the Happiness Laboratory!