In a fit of madness I bought this ‘Make Your Own Chocolate House’ from Prezzybox – the idea was that I could have some fun playing with chocolate and see how good bad I am at working with such a wonderful medium. What I realised was that whatever I produce, it never looks like the photographs I see before I buy it.
The gift isn’t cheap as its £14.95 and for that you get a milk and white chocolate house plus two trees. But saying that you also do get a good couple of hours of chocolate-related distraction. Of course I read the instructions, but I didn’t think it’d take so long to finish its construction – with the main part of that taken up by the cooling process. In fact, a whole Friday evening was spent checking and re-checking the moulds to see if they were ready to build my ‘dream’ home.
For any child-focused educational product the instructions have to be clear and engaging, and I just can’t fault that aspect of it. In the box you’ll also get the two bags of chocolate – one white and one milk as well as a sheet to build your house upon and some moulds for the walls, roof and a couple of trees. You also get a chef’s hat, but seeing as it was just me and the dogs I decided not to make an idiot of myself and wear it.
The process required some microwaving of the chocolate buttons so it became almost liquid in texture. At this stage you should let it cool for a few minutes and then pour the ‘slop’ into the moulds and wait for what it says for what the instructions state as twenty minutes, but for me it was much closer to an hour. During that process I was tapping the moulds gently to try and bring out the bubbles and ensure that all the recesses of the moulds were filled properly with the chocolate – and that aspect I was pleased with. I thought the definition of the windows and doors was fantastic.
Putting the different pieces together was less easy. You really have to make sure that if you slightly over-fill the moulds that you chip away at the joins to make sure they fit snugly. Also be prepared to touch up those joins with some additional ‘chocolate cement’ to make sure they withstand the building process. I found the roofs didn’t fit so well and would have severe case of damn if it were a real house.
Because it’s Christmas I tried to give it a more seasonal look with some ‘snow’, but as I was all out in icing sugar I adorned the scene with some powdered almonds – so it’s less of the pure driven snow look I was trying for.
If you’re looking at purely financial terms then I do think it’s good value for money as a child could learn some good skills about reading instructions, planning what you’re going to do, teamwork, hand-eye co-ordination and artistry. But don’t expect the quality of the chocolate to be anything more than average. Of course you didn’t expect anything else, but it’s certainly not chocolate I’d like to consume more than the slightest nibble of.
Perhaps I should have taken lessons from this lady?