An Icelandic confectioner is running what he believes are the world’s first chocolate-making classes in a food truck. Halldór Kristján Sigurðsson has been making chocolate for over 20 years and has taught the art to thousands of Icelanders.
Now he has international visitors in his sights. At the start of 2017 he had a trailer made in the Czech Republic, and the Danish-trained confectioner has started using it to teach tourists to make sweet treats in Reykjavík. “My goal is to introduce people to the special taste and texture of Icelandic chocolate and to teach everyone easy but professional methods to make high quality chocolates at home,” explains Sigurðsson. “Everyone can learn it and being able to make home-made fine chocolates to put on the table at home for guests is a real treat.”
Participants in the 60-minute courses get to keep both the chocolates they’ve made and the mould – which is shaped like Iceland – used to form them. “I keep it fun and easy, I want people to leave the course with a smile on their faces,” he says. “I teach them to do a little chocolate dance and then people learn to make a mouth-watering filling from Icelandic ingredients, including milk chocolate. You can even add a drop of Icelandic whisky to the filling according to taste. Then they learn to temper the fine dark chocolate and pour into the forms I provide and afterwards everyone gets to keep the chocolate forms so they can try again at home.”
Iceland is well-known for its high-quality fish and lamb, and Sigurðsson says that great ingredients are at the heart of his enterprise too, with Icelandic cream and milk – famous for their purity – and sea salt used. “The Icelandic chocolate we use is produced by an Icelandic company called Nói Siríus that‘s been owned by the same family since its founding in 1920. They still make chocolate by the old recipes and slow methods, making it unique and well suited to making fine chocolates. Icelanders love this chocolate and it’s very common for people living abroad to get it sent from home a few times a year for a special treat.”
The chocolate trailer is new territory for Sigurðsson, and he says the project has begun well. “As far as I know the Chocolate Trailer is the only one of its kind in the world and it‘s been a great success already. It‘s easy to move around if needed and it‘s always ready for the next group of people. The mobility means I can take my courses to every part of the country and even to other countries. Also, teaching the courses in a such small space makes for a more fun learning environment with people sitting closely together, helping one another and getting to know each other.”