Thursday, August 09, 2012

DIY Chocolate Frogs and Honeydukes Sweetshop at the Harry Potter Party

It is a truth held to be universal that kids love candy.

What better for a Harry Potter party than to provide a sweet shop to indulge the delights of the kids?

So that's what I did. I would call it the biggest hit of the party, actually, and I encourage all hosts of wizarding parties to include a sweet shop or a Hogwarts Candy cart. 

Now, the thing about Wizard Candy is it's unusual to us muggles, but as muggles, what can we do to approximate the wonders of the candy of the wizarding world? There are, of course, Bertie Botts Every Flavour Bean, which even muggles can enjoy, and the kids certainly do, but outside of that, what do we do?

We use our imaginations. 

Peruse the candy aisle and keep your mind open for near approximations of wizarding candy.

All sorts of gummy treats can be used, some that they mention in the book, and sometimes you can just make up ooky sounding treats that MIGHT be wizarding treats. I found:

Jelly Slugs (aka gummy slugs)
Sour Caterpillars (aka sour gummy worms)
Wiggling Snakes (aka gummy worms)
Boneless Frogs  (aka gummy frogs) 

As you can see, much of the wizarding verve comes from the names you give the candy, so make sure to add labels.

And we don't need to stop there, with creative naming, we can turn all sorts of regular candy aisle stuff into wizarding treats.

Cockroach Clusters (chocolate covered nut clusters)
Chocolate Flies (raisinets)
Cobweb Crunch (white chocolate bark)
Drooble's Best Blowing Gum (gum balls)
Wizard Wands (twizzlers)
Candy Floss (cotton candy)
Lemon Drops (actual lemon drops... Dumbledore's favorite was a muggle treat)

And then there's another option. 

You can create your near magical candy with muggle recipes meant to recreate wizard ones. 

 or todays recipe,
Chocolate Frogs

I've seen plenty of chocolate frogs around the internet where they got frog molds and then made chocolate shaped candies in the molds, but it was not in my plan to do so. I wanted something short cut-y-er.  Enter...

Crunchy Chocolate Frogs

I found the original recipe here and pretty much that's what I did but I'm going to pass on some of the things I learned along the way. You need Haribo Gummy Frogs, Dark Chocolate and Pop Rocks candy.

Start with Haribo Gummy frogs. They are yummy on their own and were a big hit, naked, at Honeydukes.

I used about two bags. I could have done with one bag, but I guess I forgot that I was serving other kinds of candy. I have plenty of these chocolate frogs sitting in my fridge right now, waiting for me to nibble as I watch tv or read books or what have you.

Melt your chocolate over a double boiler until it is smooth.

I used one extra large bar of Hersheys Special Dark. It is a tasty dark chocolate that works surprisingly well in recipes.  It melts smoothly and tastes great.

When the chocolate is melted, dump in two pouches of  Poprocks candy. They will pop on contact, but mix them into the chocolate and most of them will retain their crunch/pop.

 Dip your gummy frogs into the chocolate. Flip over until covered in chocolate and then remove, quickly. I found that the gummies started to melt if you left them in the chocolate too long, so don't attempt to dump all the gummies in and then take them out as you go along, as I was tempted to do... which would have been a gummy massacre. Don't do that.

Instead, dip them one at a time.

 They cover well. They look nice covered with the lumpy chocolate, too. The frog shape comes through but is not too bold. The crunchy poprocks look a little bit like warts. (Note the plain cookie sheet underneath these frogs. This was a mistake.)

Place your chocolate covered frogs on a silicone mat or parchment paper or waxed paper. Initially I just put them on a cookie sheet, but that was a BAD idea. The chocolate sticks like glue. I had to redip  my frogs because of this mistake.

Put the chocolate frogs in the refrigerator to harden.

Ideally, they should be in a covered container to avoid condensation issues, but I found that impossible until they were actually cool and hard. So I chilled them on the mat, and then transferred them (easily, thank you wonderful thing that is a silicone baking mat) into a tupperware container with foil between the layers. They store there very well, without condensation issues.

I'm really glad I remembered that I found that silicone mat on one of my safaris to the thrift store. And really glad I didn't leave it behind, thinking it was just some useless kitchen junk. How did I ever make anything in the kitchen with out a silicone mat?

Back to the story.

Once chilled, you may take out your chocolate frogs and present them to your wizarding guests.  Please remember, though, that these are chocolate covered and they do indeed melt in summer temperatures.

Leave them in the refrigerator until they are ready to be served. Also, they are small enough that you can eat them in one bite. Two bits makes for messy melted chocolate. I guess that's because  they are trying to get away. *wink wink*

As for presentation of my Honeydukes Sweetshop, I always keep my eyes open for interesting containers. I was strangely drawn to those cylindrical containers that you find brie and other cheeses wrapped in. I've been collecting them for a while.

When it came time to create my Honeydukes containers, I thought these would be the perfect thing. They were the right size and they looked as if they were packaging, but were not like our normal muggle type packaging of plastic and cardboard.

So I peeled off the paper labels, turned them upside down and filled the inside of the white or tan containers with... well, the paper plates from last year's birthday party, cut to size. Thus there was a bright pop inside the candy containers and also the plate kept grease spots from showing on the containers themselves.

I could place my candy labels inside the containers or tape the labels to a skewer and then tape the skewer to the container. (Please ignore the fact that I forgot to label some containers of candy. It is very hard to hold kids off of candy, once they see it, just so you can put up the fancy labels.)

(honeydukes sweetshop frenzy)

I put the round containers on a pretty tray and brought them out and before long, the containers were mostly empty and the kids were buzzing with sugar highs.

YAY CANDY!!! (Wizard and otherwise.)

P.S. Is it possible that silicone baking mats were created by wizards?


Spencer said...

How cute! I reckon I could eat about 100 of them!

Rowena said...

I reckon I might actually eat about a hundred of them, by the time they are all well and done.

Cat said...

love the use of the brie containers. I dig them as well, and never want to throw them out.

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