This week my blog is going to be all about the first Children’s Book Fayre that I have ever participated in. Michael and I are so excited to be two of the approximately thirty authors who are participating in this event that is taking place on Saturday, 30 September in Johannesburg.
We have prepared our posters for the event as follows:
We have also spent a significant amount of time over this long weekend making the chocolate house raffle prize for this event.
Michael and I started planned the making of this extra large chocolate house while we were on holiday recently in England. We found extra large chocolate bars in the local Tesco’s in Faversham and we bought ten bars in anticipation of this chocolate house building exercise.
First we cut four chocolate bars to make the front and back pieces of the house.
We discovered when we made our previous chocolate house that cutting chocolate is not as easy as it looks. You have to saw it gently with a serrated edged knife to prevent breaking and cracking.
Next we made the side walls by cutting down four further bars of chocolate. We used a variety of different bars including plain, nutty and caramel.
Once all the chocolate pieces were cut, we put them into the fridge to keep cool and made our royal icing “glue”.
We assembled the house using the royal icing.
We used glasses to keep the pieces in place while the icing set [about 30 minutes].
I had planned to make the roof out of chocolate bars as well. This did not work out as planned so we had to think of something else. Chocolate bark!
Michael and I set about making chocolate bark late yesterday afternoon. We took all the chocolate that I had intended to use for the roof and a bit more, and melted it in a heat resistant glass bowl over a pan of boiling water. When the chocolate was all melted we tempered it by adding an additional one third of broken up pieces of chocolate to bring the temperature down and ensure that the cocoa butter doesn’t separate out later on.
We poured the tempered chocolate into baking trays that we had lined with baking paper. I then crushed some honeycomb into small pieces using a hammer [which I keep for this kind of exercise so it is clean]. We sprinkled the honeycomb pieces over the chocolate and put the trays in the fridge to set overnight.
This morning we very carefully cut the roof pieces to size and attached them to the house using the royal icing. That was this large and cute chocolate house finished. We are rather delighted with it, I must say.
If you live in Johannesburg, please come to the Children’s Book Fayre, we would love to meet you.
Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town