Earlier this month my son was doing a school unit on Rain Forests. He was asked to look around the house, and bring in the package/label of something that contained ingredients that could be found in the rain forest.
We looked around our house, and found several common items like coffee and bananas...but wanted something a bit unusual. It just happens that we had some gum that was made from chicle'. Natural chicle' comes from the Chicle tree that grows in the South American rainforest. At one time, most gum was made using natural chicle'. However, these days most gums are made using synthetic rubber...yuck! . Glee Gum (which is what we had) is the last gum manufacturer in the United States to produce gum using all-natural chicle.
Pretty cool eh?
Pretty cool eh?
We also recently had the opportunity to try out the Glee Make your own chocolate kit . Since my boy was studying the Rainforest and items that were produced there this seemed like the perfect time to bring out the kit and make some chocolate. Chocolate comes from Cacao beans which were originally found only in Central and South America in the Rainforest.
The kit was really pretty neat. It comes with everything you need to make chocolate from scratch. The kit contains organic cocoa butter, cocoa powder, confectioner's sugar, starter crystals, a temperature indicator, paper candy liners, and two real cocoa beans.
The instructions were easy to follow, you can use either double boiler or microwave. i don't have a double boiler and instead set a glass bowl in a couple inches of boiling water on the stove. It was hot enough to melt the ingredients. Just be very careful not to get any water in your bowl. On the backside of the instructions was The legend and story of chocolate. i had my boy read them before we got started. You can read it too here.
So the instructions are very simple. First melt the cocoa butter, then add the cocoa powder and sugar. Stir, stir, stir until it cools to the right temperature.
We set out our paper liners and got them ready by adding a few extras. Some peanuts, caramels and almonds. You can add whatever you want, or nothing at all. Either way, it's still good!
Then i filled the paper liners with the hot melted chocolate. Yum! It was really hard waiting for it to cool. :) The chocolates were delicious and the kids loved that they had made them themselves. They love to help 'cook' and they love chocolate. i know my boy enjoyed the history lesson, and it was cool that we were able to incorporate it into a lesson about the Rain forest as well.