Of all the children in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” (the original, not the Tim Burton rendition), I feel like Augustus Gloop had the least gruesome fate.
This isn’t to say his fate — which varies from the book adaptation of the vacuous tube making him severely underweight to the 2005 film adaptation of him implicitly being made of chocolate — isn’t horrific. But between rapidly expanding into a blueberry or almost falling into an incinerator, being stuck in a tube sounds a lot less deadly and more like something a first responder could handle.
Maybe Wonka besets Augustus with the least gruesome fate because to be honest, who wouldn’t want to jump headfirst into a literal river of chocolate?
As I watched chocolate cascading out of the machinery whirring at Just Add Chocolate in Lehi, my sympathy for Augustus Gloop grew just a bit. Health code violations and etiquette aside, a faceful of smooth, melty chocolate turned my thoughts to the film’s lyrics, “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it.”
But Wonka-inspired fantasies aside, I was already in paradise as I was greeted by Just Add Chocolate’s friendly staff for my wife and I’s chocolate-making class.
Just Add Chocolate is a chocolate shop that opened in Lehi about a year ago near Harmon’s. On one half of the store is a store display filled with chocolate-covered goodies. On the other half of the store is the factory itself, where you can make your own custom chocolate candies, filled or topped with whatever your heart (and their inventory) can handle.
Each class is priced on a per-pound basis of how much chocolate is made. One-half pound is $15, and the price varies from there. My wife and I opted for the date night special chocolate-making class, which meant we made a pound of chocolate goodies between the two of us, decorated a candy apple and had a Coke to wash down all our free samples, all for a reasonably affordable price of $34.
Just Add Chocolate has four basic candy types to make: candy cups, molds, truffles and chocolate-coated goodies.
In the candy cups — think customizable miniature Reese’s cups — it’s easy to fill with basic fillings and toppings like cookie crumb, Reese’s pieces and even dried fruit. The trick to really nail is making sure they don’t overflow. The truffles are fairly similar, but rather than dispensing chocolate into a wax piece of paper, its into a premade chocolate mold.
The rack of plastic molds was truly impressive, with more than 100 molds available, everything from a basic bar to a poop emoji. Yes, you, or most likely your children, can make a poop emoji-shaped piece of chocolate. So sorry.
A few dozen different foods are available for coating, from the classic Oreo cookies to the trendy potato chips and bacon strips. Just pop it in one end of the conveyor belt, watch your goodie get smothered in silky chocolate and then retrieve your treat. And yes, they have cinnamon bears.
What kind of chocolate confectionery is made from there is entirely based on your imagination. Do you want a Twinkie wrapped in bacon coated in dark chocolate? Do it. What about a double-coated Oreo in one layer of white and one layer of dark chocolate? Go for it. How about a pretzel rod covered in white chocolate, drizzled in milk chocolate, coated in Oreo crumbs and caramel? You get the point.
At Just Add Chocolate, you have near free rein over the chocolate treats you make. I say near free because there are some obvious restrictions with respect to weight of products and temper of some food bases like their creams. Additionally, just three chocolate flavors are available: white, dark and milk. Aside from this, Just Add Chocolate lets your mind, and your stomach for that matter, wander to whatever chocolaty avenue you find most delectable.
This was my wife and I’s second time donning the paper hats and pumping candy cups full of chocolate. Each time, my meticulous mannerisms emerge as I (unsuccessfully) attempt a perfect drizzle effect on a dipped Oreo. My wife becomes an inventor of new candy flavors, spinning off of classics, like a cookies and cream or Nutella-filled candy cup, rather than the traditional peanut butter.
If you’re not in the mood for an entire class of customizable chocolate creations, head back to the front of the shop. There, you’ll find the typical display of truffles, chocolate-dipped pretzels, chocolate cups and other assorted chocolate candies. But rather than names that plainly describe the item, like a mint truffle or a chocolate Twinkie, product names are devilishly witty. Puns abound at Just Add Chocolate, with treats like the Mint Romney, James Brownie and Hillary Fluff. The best had to be the Hill Cumorah chocolate-dipped Twinkies served on gold (paper) plates. They know their market.
With the success seen in the Lehi location, Just Add Chocolate is soon expanding to Provo, opening a second location in the same shopping center as Fat Cats near BYU. Freshmen date nights just got a new option.
If you’re like me and had a soft spot for chocolate since you could handle solid foods, Just Add Chocolate is a must on your agenda. We’ve all dreamed of making a unique chocolate delight and been dismayed when our visions don’t come in brightly-wrapped packages at the grocery store. Make those dreams reality by creating your own customized chocolate delights at Just Add Chocolate.