You totally can!
It turns out that chocolate is a pretty do-able DIY project, and easy to customize with your own mix-ins and flavor combinations. Never had a peanut butter/sesame seed/dried cranberry chocolate bar? Well, now’s the time to make that happen.
Being DIY chocolate novices (and one-half of us being under the age of 10), my family made our own chocolate using Glee Gum’s Make Your own Chocolate Kit, given to us by Glee Gum. The kit uses organic and fair trade ingredients, comes with a history of chocolate and a description of sustainable cacao bean farming, and is about as kid-friendly a cooking project as you can come up with.
Here’s what we did, and how we liked it:
1. We read about cacao. One of my favorite parts of each of Glee Gum’s DIY kits (and I’ve made them all) is reading the story of how each of these special foods can be sustainably grown by the people who live near the food’s native environment. When we completed the Make Your Own Gum kit, we learned about Eduardo, who sustainably harvests chicle and helps the rain forest. When we completed the Make Your own Gummies kit, we learned about Divina, who farms carageenan from the sea instead of contributing to overfishing. And when we made this Make Your own Chocolate kit, we learned about Lucia, who sustainably harvests cacao beans organically.
The knowledge of how each of these foods can be conscientiously obtained, while supporting local workers in making a living as they conserve their native environment, is powerful, and for kids, I prize these positive messages over the scary rainforest destruction/ocean pollution/GMO farming stories that make my kiddos, at least, feel stressed-out and sad.
Because we homeschool, we also use the lesson plans and educational links to enrich our kit. So far, we’ve also put the history of chocolate on our big basement timeline, listened to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on audiobook, and found Costa Rica on a world map.
2. We mixed and stirred. Since all the ingredients in the Make Your own Chocolate kit come pre-measured, all we had to do were dump and heat and dump and mix and heat, etc., while getting a lot of melted chocolate all over ourselves, carefully watching the included candy thermometer, and listening to the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory soundtrack, of COURSE.
3. We added our mix-ins. I’m glad that the kit encouraged us to do this, because it makes a LOT of chocolate, and it was one more fun way to experiment and add variety. We dragged out from our cupboards peanut butter, raisins, dried cranberries, and sesame seeds, and made ourselves some very interesting combinations from these selections.
4. We waited and waited. Some of us got impatient and whined about how long it was taking for the chocolate to cool (15 whopping minutes, if you’re curious), so others of us sent those whiners outside to play.
5. We ate some chocolate! I’m not sure if our chocolate tempered perfectly (Waiting for 94 degrees tested the patience of three of us until they cracked and put the starter crystals in anyway, while I protested), but the beauty of a kit like this is that with ingredients like cocoa, cocoa butter, and powdered sugar, not to mention raisins and peanut butter and sesame seeds, you can’t go wrong.
6. We offered some chocolate to you! Do you want to make your own chocolate (or gum, or gummy candies), too? Here are a couple of ways you can!
- Use the discount coupon GLEE15F to help yourself to your own Make Your own Candy kit at Glee Gum.
- Come back tomorrow, look for my giveaway announcement, and enter to win your own choice of a Make Your own Candy kit, all for you!
I received this Make Your own Chocolate kit free from Glee Gum, because I can’t write about something unless I’ve drenched it in melted chocolate and eaten it!