I attended Amy Levin’s all-vegan ‘chocolate experience’ that brings the chocolate factory to your own home.

Amy Levin is a classically trained professional chef living in Marlborough, who has worked for some of the UK’s top plant-based chocolate companies and executive chefs, and trained hundreds of chocolatiers.

Although locals may recognise her from the town’s Saturday market, Amy also runs ‘chocolate experience’ workshops from her own house. I went along to see exactly what all the fuss was about.

Swindon Advertiser: Sarah from the Gazette and Herald getting stuck in with class participantsSarah from the Gazette and Herald getting stuck in with class participants (Image: Helen Hambidge)

On arriving at Amy’s house in Marlborough, the smell of chocolate wafting under the door was enough to instantly make anyone’s mouth water.

The workshops are run from Amy’s homely but professional-looking kitchen, and offer a perfect mix of expert talent and trade with a friendly and accessible feel.

Each class is made up of four to five customers, and although we started the day as strangers, Amy’s lighthearted and relaxed nature meant that everyone left as good friends.

The two-hour workshop consisted of a hands-on experience tempering chocolate, experimenting with flavour, marbling, dipping, decorating and of course lots of tasting along the way.

Swindon Advertiser: Kate, a participant of the class, creating homemade truffles.Kate, a participant of the class, creating homemade truffles. (Image: Helen Hambidge)

Amy went above and beyond to share her knowledge in an accessible way, offering participants links and recommendations.

It was clear that the chocolatier was dedicated to giving not just an experience for the day, but something to take away too (and I don’t just mean the box of chocolates I left with).

“I want to show people that it’s absolutely possible to make high-quality chocolate at home. You don’t need expensive equipment,” commented Amy.

Swindon Advertiser: Amy Levin's setup, showing that anyone can make chocolate from their own home.Amy Levin's setup, showing that anyone can make chocolate from their own home. (Image: Helen Hambidge)

For any vegans or coeliacs who crave quality chocolate, these workshops are the place to be, as Amy is a specialist in dairy and gluten-free chocolate.

She expertly adapted her workshop to meet the tastes of participants and was quick to think on her feet when one participant revealed that they didn’t like nuts, which are a common substitute in vegan cooking.

While we dipped our peanut butter-filled dates in the chocolate, Amy produced crystallised ginger pieces as a dipping substitute for that participant.

Swindon Advertiser: Sheila from Marlborough attended the class with her daughter.Sheila from Marlborough attended the class with her daughter. (Image: Helen Hambidge)

After two hours, we walked away with a box full of flavoured truffles, chocolate-covered and stuffed dates, and marbled figurines.

But whilst the chocolates may have been quickly devoured, Amy’s recipes and expert tutoring are things that people can take away with them for life.

The chocolatier also runs three live-streamed classes per week, which act “like a cookbook but with someone showing you how to do it.”

Amy’s chocolates are also for sale at Marlborough’s Saturday market or through her website.