The Big Fat Chocolate Wedding Plan. Episode 2

I’m back. And ready to lay out the rest of my chocolate wedding plan inspired by ChoCo’a’s edible designs at the Abu Dhabi Bridal Show. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, and if you’re one of those two hundred aunties who has been conniving to get me married off, kindly humor me by reading the prequel to this post. And if you’d prefer not to, then I’d like to make perfectly clear that I am pre, pre-planning for a wedding that has not even been conceived yet. But like all type A’s out there, I like to get my plans in early.

The chocolate wedding master plan, skillfully drawn out on the nearest available napkin

(PS. In case you see numbers in square parentheses, those map to my very systematic napkin plan)

At that precise moment, just as you were on the verge of stealthily snagging a sugar rosette off the arrangement on the side table…

…a group of ladies emerge from the entryway, wheeling – and wearing – their own tables holding Chef Frederic’s Belgian chocolate masterpieces moulded into their many forms [4] – mousses, petit gateaux, chocolate bark, truffles…
The Showstopper - ChoCo'a's bridal dress with a table of gourmet chocolate dresses

(Getting out of dreamy planning mode for a second here – This personalized chocolate bridal bar was the highlight of the edible ChoCo’a show, and while ChoCo’a intended for the bride to wear this circular dessert table on wheels, this wouldn’t work at my chocolate wedding for three main reasons (a) it seems like WAY too much work to wheel that table around, (b) I would probably tip the darn thing over like a clutz before I’d wheeled one step out of my dressing room, and (c) if the table did tip over, I would most definitely drop to the floor and roll around (in my pretty bridal dress) in the fallen chocolate in a fit of totally uncontrollable chocolate desire. Hence, I have delegated the portable chocolate dessert bar to the trusty servers who shall be present at the wedding)

When approached by one of the twirling dessert bar ladies, you lift off a glass of what looks like thick chocolate mousse garnished with edible gold flakes,…

…turning around to place it momentarily on the white, linen-draped table behind you. Except that the linen isn’t really linen at all, it’s chef Raymonda’s sugar wizadry at it best, simulating the smooth folds of white linen so perfectly that it takes your having to touch the table to confirm that indeed, the cloth is entirely woven of sugar.
ChoCo'a's Hermes cake bag, with a stunningly realistic sugar-moulded kerchief that has inspired how the cocktail tables at the chocolate wedding will be draped
As you momentarily pause to exhale between breathless spoons of addictively creamy chocolate mousse, you realize that all gazes in the room are gradually turning toward the entryway. The Bride glides into view. In a long, flowy Indian skirt, made of thousands and thousands of shimmering chocolate scales laced with intricate, edible golden designs.
The plan is to design a traditional Indian wedding blouse and flowy skirt ("ghagra") inspired by the 1,200 chocolate scales that ChoCo'a strung together for this outfit
Twirling around the bride’s arms are the typical local henna designs…all in gleaming Belgian chocolate. You are stunned at how the chocolate henna mimicks the real thing, doesn’t melt under the lights, but continues to gleam with pure Belgian decadence. You vow to never again subscribe to old-school henna – not when there’s a gourmet chocolate version out there that places dessert within licking distance.
Chocolate henna...INGENIOUS.
As the evening draws to a close, you approach the bride to say your goodbyes, and get one last whiff of that tantalizing chocolate henna. She whispers a thank you in your ear, and places a tiny carob mound in the palm of your hand as a warm gesture of appreciation.
The Aura, one of ChoCo'a's exquisite gourmet creations
As you step outside the reception hall into the cool midnight air, you place the carob mound on your tongue. As your teeth crack the surface, the carob case erupts into thick, molten caramel lava on your tongue. Not just ordinary caramel lava, but lava spiked with spices, an astonishing contrast, but one that makes the caramel course down your throat with the sensational naughty warmth that only spice can induce.

If you had gone through the first half of you life happy to never succumb to chocoholicsm, this evening promises to leave you afflicted for the second.

***ABRUPT END OF PLAN (because I ran out of inspiration right about now)***

B..b..but we never spoke about the groom, you ask? Priorities people, gotta get the big things out of the way, and the small details will fall into place later.

Before I forget, let me applaud ChoCo’a’s Aura chocolate – the last delicacy that you savored as you stepped out into the cool midnight air – on making it to my list of Best Seven of 2011. There’s something so seductive about what spice can do to chocolate, and the Aura, a carob molasses and spiced caramel creation, really harnesses the full heaty power of that.

This plan is just the beginning. I have been inspired by one of the most passionate and artistic of chocolate artisans and cake makers in this city. If this sounds biased, well then, it’s because I AM. ChoCo’a is worth being biased over – because of the quality of their culinary workmanship, and additionally, the refreshing attitude they have to connecting with customers, educating people about their product (check out their site for their factory tours and courses), and being cool with having a blogger like me snooping around backstage in those nerve-racking moments right before a show (thank you Hala, you are a rockstar!).

A few more trips to the ChoCo’a store, a couple more samples, another edible bridal show in the works perhaps?, and I’ll be ready to put the final finishing touches on a chocolate wedding so uniquely decadent that I’ll be left wanting to get married again and again. [oops. I didn’t just think that thought in public, did I? Gak. I see mom and two hundred angry aunties honing in on me…]

(Disclaimer: ChoCo’a has neither paid me or given me free gifts to write this post, unless you count those delectable Belgian chocolate discs they were handing out to everyone backstage. I did have to agree to timing my post after their PR release, and while I was not open to their editing any of my opinions, I did give them the option of asking me to put a hold on my post if they really felt like the content would be detrimental to their business. I was confident enough about the quality of their work to know that this post could not have been anything but positive, and hence gave them that rare editorial veto.)


Al Barsha, Behind Mall of the Emirates
Dubai, UAE
Tel: +971 4 340 9092

They also have a store in Abu Dhabi, check out their website for details on location

Author: InaFryingPan

With a family legacy of ingenious cooks, a nutritionist and chef-extraordinaire mother, and a father who introduced me to steak and caviar when I could barely reach the table, I had no choice but to acquire a keen awareness of food during my childhood years in Dubai. But it was only after I found myself on a college campus in Philadelphia – far away from home, too cheap as a student to spend on anything other than pizza, and with dorm rooms that had little rat-holes of kitchens if they even had them at all – when I developed a heightened appreciation of food. An appreciation of food that I once ate every night at the dinner table in Dubai, but that was now an entire ocean away. I lusted for the culinary treasures that lay outside the stale walls of my college dining hall, hijacked friends’ kitchens to try my hand at something, anything , remotely edible, and greedily raided different websites in search of highly-rated restaurants. With my move to New York to work for a consulting firm that secretly harbored self-professed foodies, my appreciation transformed into a passion, an addicition. I felt like everyone around me in New York was talking about food: where to get the best cupcakes, pizza slices, banh mi, kati rolls, pho, fried chicken, and every other food item out there that is just a plain old dish in some part of the world, but that’s become hyped to unforeseen proportions in New York. What fuelled my addiction over time was travel to different cities, both for work and play, which gave me unfettered access to the culinary havens of not only New York, but also of DC, Virginia, Chicago, Houston, Vegas, Austin, Seattle and even a little city called Bentonville (Arkansas!). After 9 years away from home, I’ve finally taken the leap to come back to Dubai – with not just an awareness, but genuine appreciation and passionate addiction for what I’d taken for granted as a child. Mom, I’m back to reclaim my seat at your dinner table, and to rediscover this city with its ever-expanding menu of international flavors.

14 thoughts on “The Big Fat Chocolate Wedding Plan. Episode 2

  1. Sukaina says:

    I loved the sequel as much as the prequel which is rare! And now off to beg the husband to get me the Hermes bag- chocolate version of course!

  2. Maeesha says:

    And she does it again!!!!! In the next episode can you please elaborate on the chocolate invitations, favors etc etc "-)

  3. Karishma Sundaram says:

    Sounds scrumptious! I can vouch for the combination of spices and chocolate, as a friend of mine has realised her true calling as a chocolatier. She makes these crazy delicious concoctions of chocolate and rose, honey, cardamom, and various other things.

    As always, enjoyed reading your post!

    1. InaFryingPan says:

      @Sukaina – ha! let me know if you get your hands on that designer bag and need help consuming it!

      @Maeesha – sweetie, I have to leave some suspense for the actual wedding itself, can’t give everything away now can I?! ;)

      @Karishma – That sounds divine Karishma…where is this spiced chocolate diva based? I NEED to hear Dubai as your answer.

    2. Karishma Sundaram says:

      Oh dear, I’m sorry Arva! She’s based in Pune.

    3. InaFryingPan says:

      @Karishma – bummer. Can’t fathom why doesn’t every awesome chocolatier come park themselves in Dubai.

  4. Rajani says:

    i love your footloose and fancyfree life as a singlette, tasting chocolates and writing breezy odes as you go along. good for you!!!

  5. Sally says:

    A very abbreviated reaction (how unusual) from me – Wow.

  6. Saleem says:

    Arva, now need to find a husband for you who has a chocolate factory. Well done and hope we get to eat a lot of chocolates at your wedding! When is it planned for?

    1. InaFryingPan says:

      @Rajani – oh, I LIKE that word…singlette. Next time aunty #111 asks me whether I’m married yet, I’m gong to respond by batting my eyelids and cooing, "no, I’m still a singlette…"

      @Sally – …and that one word says it all. Thank you!

      @Saleem – Dad, you’ve got the husband criteria down pat – he’s gotta own a chocolate factory to make this whole plan work! I love the rationalism folks, fathers are always the voice of reason. (and wedding is planned as soon as we find Willy Wonka)

  7. chrisbliss says:

    Thank you for your kind comments on my SugarHead Blog, really nice of you! As you may have noticed I started off with my Blog in Dubai as well. After three years I moved with my work to Bangkok, Thailand and of course, with me my Food Blog.

    Frederic is a very talented Chef and this shows in his creation. You did a wonderful covering of that event and your pictures a fabelous!! Everyone has their own style of photography, like cooking. If you put your heart into something one does not need to copy others.

    I will place your Blog into my Blogroll so that I can re-visit your site on a regular base. You found a new fan of your Blog!

    PS: Please let me know your Name; was not able to find out from your site.

    Best Regards from Bangkok,

  8. elainegan says:

    Oh my drools!! Choco everything! Can’t afford to have my wedding dress burst after cake, lol. Great pics as always :D


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