Looking for a super activity to entertain the kids at Easter? Why not combine cooking and chocolate, the go-to treat on this special holiday!
The Easy Chef Chocolate Bar Maker, an Australian product imported by a Boisbriand company, can be shopped here and there. I personally saw it at my Jean-Coutu drugstore, Toys’R’Us, Archambault, etc., for around $19.99.
Essentially, it’s a chocolate making kit comprising multiple mini silicone molds with which kids can make small chocolate bars for their personal enjoyment or to offer as a gift. The kit includes 4 molds, 6 texture inserts, 1 decorative nozzle, plus 4 pretty gift sleeves with stickers to gift your chocolate masterpiece. You can even create chocolate bars with your choice of filling. Warning: This is a “cooking” kit only, so you need to buy your chocolate chips and decorations.
While you could probably purchase similar silicone molds for less at the nearest cookware store, it can’t replicate the thrill of opening your “kit” and discovering the multiple gizmos inside. It reminded me of my favourite toy as a child, my Easy Bake Oven, and all its prepackaged cake mixes, molds, etc. that were the apple of my eye. Not too surprising to learn I became a food writer, n’est-ce pas?
I can tell you that kiddo was positively chomping at the bit, waiting for my go as I struggled with a schedule too busy to plan a “photoshoot.”
Before you start
You’ll want to prepare all your ingredients before you start: nuts, gummy bears, Smarties, caramel, chocolate syrup, etc. With a foodie mom in the kitchen, wouldn’t you know, we tested the kit with Valrhona Guanaja dark chocolate with 70% cocoa, and a filling made of natural peanut butter. A seriously torqued Reeser’s Cup in other words.
It’s quite a bit of work just to make a couple of chocolate bars, but kiddo usually loses interest after 30 minutes, so it kept him busy the prerequisite amount of time. And me too, let’s face it. This is not an activity where you plump your kid down and walk away, you will need to supervise Junior, if only because chocolate melted in the microwave can burn with a touch (mind you, the silicone never became too hot to handle). A less-impatient child could easily spend two hours making up multiple variations using different types of garnishes.
The Low: Don’t expect your chocolate bars to shine. Essentially, when melting chocolate to produce bite size chocolates or bars, you need to control what chocolate makers call “crystallisation,” i.e. the precise temperatures that regulate heating and cooling chocolate to produce a shiny exterior. A feat impossible when all you do here is heat chocolate in the microwave then pour and chill it, with no regards to temperature at any step. Of course, it’s not the point of the exercise, namely to entertain your kid(s), interest them in cooking, and foster the kind of pride and sense of achievement that makes one boast “I did this myself.”
The High: I was impressed that a company would go the extra step in developing silicone, and not cheap plastic, molds. This level of quality runs rare in kitchen gizmos aimed at kids, truth be told. While you could essentially pour hot chocolate into the molds, with no need for an extra “easy squeezer,” it does ensure a level of safety, significantly so when you have kids that tend to be accident-prone. Ahem.
So if your munchkin (5 or more) enjoys the experience, encourage him/her to dream up new and different garnishes… or in time suggest a visit to the nearest cookware store to stock up on even more chocolate making paraphernalia. It beats a commercial candy bar at the nearest corner store any time.
Easy Chef Chocolate Bar Maker
Recommended for children 5+ only
Disclaimer: I requested and received this product for free to test and review. This post is not sponsored and all opinions expressed are my own.
Nous aussi, nous avons bien aimé! (Et même mon garçon, qui n’a que trois ans, a eu beaucoup de plaisir à fabriquer ses barres). Pour les intéressé(e)s, nous faisons justement tirer un ensemble «La Fabrique de barres de chocolat» sur notre blogue (tirage le 6 mai): http://familleaumenu.com/2015/04/22/la-fabrique-de-barres-de-chocolat-a-la-maison/ 🙂
Oui, d’ailleurs fiston veut récidiver avec du lait au chocolat et des biscuits à l’intérieur, à suivre ! Je mentionnerai avec plaisir le concours sur les medsoc. À +