Have you ever wanted to make your own candy or gum? Well, i've never attempted to make my own gum, but i've tried to make my own candy before, and if you don't absolutely know what you're doing, let me just be the first to say that it can be an intimidating process that will leave you just wanting to stick with what you know.
I received the Make Your Own Chocolate kit from Gleegum.com and after successfully achieving making chocolates, i'm feeling like I can do this all over again.
Glee candy and gum kits are designed to do along with children. You may be thinking "Well geesh, if I can't do this on my own, how in the world am I going to include the kids..Won't that be even more of a disaster?" Let me answer that for you right now. No. :). It was an awesome experience. Everything comes pre-measured and the instructions are so clear that you have nothing to worry about. Even more, Glee is designed to be a learning experience for children, and proved to be for me too. There is a fact sheet that teaches more about the history of chocolate and you can go online for even more learning suggestions. I thought it was pretty cool that also included in our kit were 2 chocolate beans to try out with the kids.
Let me admit that everything didn't go 100 percent smoothly for us, but the fixes were quite easy. Here's our story and the mistakes made to help anyone wanting to try these kits to avoid making the same mistakes:
We started off melting the cocoa butter. Went smoothly.
When the time came to add the cocoa powder, I decided to let my six year old add it in. I ripped the package open and decided I wanted to open it wide enough so that he wouldn't have to do a lot of shaking. I should have used scissors, because I ended up spilling a good bit of it. Bummer! Fortunately, we had cocoa powder on hand and I made my best attempt to determine how much i'd spilled. In the end, seemed like my guesstimate must have been pretty much on target.
Oh my gosh things were really starting to look yum-my! After this step, it was time to let the chocolate temper. The glee candy kit has a neat thermometer included that you stick right onto the pot so that you know when the correct temperature is reached. I did happen to note on the instructions that I shouldn't worry and that my thermometer wasn't broken. It should have taken approximately 15 minutes for the candy to cool to 94 degrees. I think mine took longer. I did begin to think I had to have to one thermometer that actually WAS broken, lol.
Somewhere along the way of our candy making adventures, my son decided he wanted to play around with the starter crystals. This could have been a huge Oh NO, but fortunately he didn't get to play with them too long, and so they hadn't melted much. If they'd melted too much, we would have needed a replacement chocolate bar to grate up, which I don't think we had on hand. This was the second and only other oops.
After the chocolate reached the proper temperature and the starter crystals were added, we had the option of adding little things to fill our chocolate cups such as marshmallows, other candies, peanut butter, nuts or what have you to the cups before adding the chocolate. We kept ours all plain.
This is what we ended up with, the cups having been handled a little too much, but these were absolutely delicious. I had my share and perhaps someone else's too. My kids, of course, enjoyed these too.