Friday 2 December 2011

Hot Chocolate Gift Sets

   Ok, I'll admit, I've been feeling a little lazy lately. The sun goes down much sooner than it should, the weather is getting colder, it's also starting to get ridiculously windy, and I'm having difficulty finding anything to make, and the time to do it. I've been swamped by work for the Christmas Fair tomorrow (I'll let you all know how it goes), making ornaments for a raffle prize - which I forgot to photograph before packaging it up in brown paper and baker's twine - making replacement jewellery pieces for what was sold during the summer, and making some special Christmas products (ie, more ornaments, and some hot chocolate gift packs).

   So, while looking through pinterest, and the ideas I'd written down when they'd come to me, I decided what better thing to share than what I'm selling? No, not the jewellery, simply the chocolate sets. They're lazily easy, but make a nice gift if packaged nicely, and would certainly be welcomed on a cold day.

These came out a lot better than I expected! The best part is
that I can give them as gifts if they don't all sell!

You will need:
•Chocolate of your preference (though be aware that if your chocolate melts in the mouth in a most luxurious manner, it might not work that well - you need good, sturdy chocolate that doesn't melt as quickly. I used Dairy Milk, though I personally prefer Galaxy, but it melts too fast.)
•Plastic spoons (number depending on number of recipients)
•Saucepan and bowl (or alternatively use a microwave - I don't trust mine)
•Baking tray
•Hot chocolate powdered mixture
•Marshmallows (you can give it a nicer twist if you make them yourself! Though this may need to be done first if you're in a hurry as they're left to set over night.)
•Packaging of your choice

   Now, let me start off by saying that there are variations of this sort of thing. You could use peppermint candycanes for the colours, you could combine the marshmallows and peppermint candycanes to make minty marshmallow stirrers, but in this method I'm using the chocolate stirring spoons that I'm selling as part of the packs.

1. Run some water into your saucepan and stick on on your stove, then put a bowl on top and add your chocolate to it. Boil the water, and the heat will rise up, melting the chocolate. I forgot to make any note of how much chocolate I used, I just put what looked like enough in. Clean down a surface like a baking tray and have it next to you.

2. Once the chocolate has completely melted, take your spoons and cover the heads completely in the chocolate. You might find that you've not added enough, so by all means add more and mix it up until it melts further. Each time you coat a spoon, place it on the baking tray to cool.

3. Once you've covered them all - or, maybe, before they've even dried - add some sort of embellishment. Some sprinkles, perhaps some small pieces of marshmallow, maybe some pieces of crushed candycane, or you could melt some white chocolate and use the handle of a teaspoon to swirl it into a pattern into the darker chocolate (or, if you used white chocolate, you could swirl in some milk chocolate).

4. Now leave them to set. Don't put them in the fridge. During the process of making chocolate, it gets tempered - which means it goes through different temperatures, both hot and cold, until it's solid and can stand being moved from a cold environment (ie outside in a lorry on a winter's day for 12 hours) to a warmer one (your local store, or your house) without melting. If you put them in the fridge, there's a good chance that when you take them out to package them up, they'll start to melt a little. If you leave them at room temperature, it'll just be easier. This will take a few hours and your safest bet is to leave them overnight.

5. Now you can move onto the next bit, and really now it just becomes more putting it all together than really making anything. If you're making marshmallows, now's the time to start. This will also require leaving it over night, so depending on how soon you want them finished, you might have wanted to do this in the beginning, as mentioned above. Either way, assuming you have them - be they store-bought or self-made - separate them into the amounts you wish to give each person and package them in your chosen way. Some cute sweetshop bags, some cello wrap, it's up to you. Now do the same with the hot chocolate. I admit to cheating, I didn't have time to mix up a concoction of my own so I've used store-bought Options and separated it myself. At least that way I know it's edible.

6. Once your spoons are dry (and you're sure! Don't be afraid to poke - the worst that could happen is you get chocolate on your finger that you'll have to begrudgingly lick off), wrap them in your chosen packaging. Now, I chose to use patterned cello wrap (it's actually a roll of unused florist cello from ebay, 5m for like £3), so I cut a square, placed the spoon face down in the middle, folded the top over the back then folded one side of the celloover the back, then wrapped the other side around it and used string (good old string!) to tie the bottom nice and tight.

7. Separate your marshmallows into a nice quantity for each recipient, and put them in a bag. I made mine from more cello. I cut a long rectangle, folded it in half, cut a centimetre strip from both edges of one side. I put some double sided tape on the un cut edge of the other side, folded them in and secured it to the inside of the packet. I never thought to take pictures of this, but given how well it worked for me I'm sure I'll use them again, and I'll be sure to photograph it next time. I chose to use 10 marshmallows, so I arranged them to make the most of the small bags I made, then folded the top over, got some card, folded it over the top and stapled it in place.

8. Finally, tie it all together. I lay out some brown ribbon, then lay the hot chocolate down first. I placed the spoon on top, then hole punched one corner of a packet of marshmallows, threaded the ribbon through that and some tags I made, then tied it up.

I'm quite pleased with how they came out, and they'll look lovely sat on my table tomorrow afternoon! If they don't sell then I'll give them to my friends, I'm sure I'll see them soon enough when they get back from Uni ♥ I have 2 sets put aside for myself and Seeg for Christmas morning ^^ If you try this, do let me know how it goes! I'm sorry it's not been put together that well, but Christmas has addled my brain!

1 comment:

  1. That's such a good idea! I might just have to try this!
    With homemade marshmallows, maybe :)


I do read every single comment, and I will try to respond where I can. If you have an important question about my blog or my shop, however, then you might be better off contacting me directly by email. Thanks so much for reading my blog!