From £25,000 chocolate eggs to staff secrecy contracts: Welcome to the mad world of Choccywoccydoodah


Loved by celebrities like Elton John, Joan Collins and Whoopi Goldberg, chocolatiers Choccywoccydoodah have a reputation unlike any other for their extravagant cake creations and incredible chocolate masterpieces.

They're number one in the royal speed-dial list for special occasions and visitors make pilgrimages from as far away as Australia to tick the shop off their bucket list.

Anyone who's ever dreamed of being Willy Wonka will have to make do with living vicariously through their mouth-watering TV show, which goes behind the scenes of their Brighton and London stores as 50 staff make chocolate-y dreams come true.

First up in the new series, which begins on Monday on the Good Food Channel, the team are tasked with bringing to life a cake for Mr Bean's 25th anniversary, after a worldwide competition to design confectionery fit for the Mini-driving, Teddy-loving TV star.

This series sees the team make a cake for Mr Bean's 25th anniversary (Jonathan Short/AP/PA)

But what's it really like to work there? Co-founder and creative director Christine Taylor and her creative manager Henry Everett take us behind the scenes of life at Choccywoccydoodah.

Here's five things you need to know:

1. You need to sign an NDA to work there.

If you thought Christine was the next Mary Berry, ready to give you on a masterclass so you can make these cakes at home, you're very wrong.

She said: "I'm self-taught and I've learnt techniques that make chocolate perform that are not very well known at all. Everyone that joins the company has to sign a secrecy contract.

"It takes three years to get to grips with the skills we train our people in. You can't expect someone at home to do that - we do it day in day out for three years - it would be pointless."

2. Commissions can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

For Easter, the shop created the world's most expensive eggs: a trio of Fabergé-style creations, weighing 100kg and costing an eye-watering £25,000.

While the ones in the shop were destroyed (as all display chocolate is), Henry revealed that a billionaire actually commissioned one for his son.

He said: "It was a very lucky two-year-old. The egg was bigger than the child, they sent us a photo."

3. They're the royals' go-to cake makers for events.

"All the Palaces use us. This year, we made a cake for the Duchess of Cambridge for the opening of the Secret Garden of Hampton Court Palace. Last year we made Henry VIII's 500th birthday cake."

Real royalty and Hollywood royalty love their cakes (Jon Furniss/PA)

Despite that, Christine's dream client would be Jean Paul Gaultier, while Henry's got his eye on drag queen RuPaul.

4. It genuinely is a bit like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

You know how Wonka's arch-rival Slugworth tries to convince the children to give him trade secrets? Well, imagine that with cake designs.

Christine said: "We are the most imitated company of this size you could conceive. We keep everything under wraps, we have to.

"When we release a new collection, all the key buyers from all the major companies come and photograph it, every cake maker in the world looks to see what we're doing and to emulate it - and often very badly."

5. The staff might make you cry.

Christine said this series you'll see the staff in their natural habitat - dressed up for Halloween.

"The staff always dress up at Halloween, it's a massive event in their personal lives and they're ridiculously competitive.

"This year the competition got out of hand, we had a couple of customers crying of fear," she confessed.

Choccywoccydoodah returns to Good Food Channel on Monday at 8pm.