Garden in February and Chocolate Kit

This is one benefit of living in California:
Garden produce in February

Radishes

Flowers in February too… (and yes someone bites her nails *cough cough* Emily *cough)

Yellow rose

Thanks to Alyssa for her black and white frame action!

Today Otter completed a really fun activity I scheduled in to go with our geography study. We are studying South America and one of the things we learned about was chocolate. After reading Chocolate: Riches from the Rainforest we did the Make Your Own Chocolate Kit.

Make Your Own Chocolate Kit

First we opened up the package and read the informational sheet that discusses how cacao is harvested as well as some of the history of chocolate. On the flip side of the sheet are the instructions on how to make your own “homemade” chocolate. The kit also included two actual cacao beans to taste.

First we put the cocoa butter in a bowl.

cocoa butter

The cocoa butter was quite hard and smelled very chocolaty. Cocoa butter is the fat extracted from the cacao bean. After microwaving it for 3 minutes it looked like this:

melted cocoa butter

We stirred the remaining lumps until they melted.

stirring

We then added in cocoa powder.

cocoa powder

Then we added powdered sugar.

powdered sugar

Stirred…

…and stirred some more until there were no lumps.

After the concoction was smooth, we inserted a small temperature strip and waited until it registered 94 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the next step we added a small package of crystallized chocolate in order to “temper” our chocolate. Tempering makes the surface of the chocolate shiny and also is what makes candy bars “crack” when you break them.

We now placed the candy wrappers from the kit onto a plate and added some peanut butter and marshmallows on the bottoms of some.

Then we spooned the thickening chocolate into the candy cups.

The finished product was then put into the fridge for about 20 minutes or so to fully harden and after that everyone had to have a taste, or two…or three….

Now don’t you wish you were studying the rainforest too?

If the pictures are tempting, you can order your own kit from Rainbow Resource. Gosh, I love homeschooling!