My daughter is a chocolate fiend. Any given day, we can expect to find candy wrappers stashed in her room. So, naturally, when I saw the Real Cooking Chocolate Pen Kit, I thought right away about what a great gift it would be for her 9-year-old chocolate addiction. I was correct in that thought too, by the way. After we opened the box and put everything together for the first time, we made a mess and had a great (and tasty) time.
Setup is nothing difficult. Put two AAA batteries in the pen and get a bowl of hot water out to melt the chocolate packs. We used water from a tea kettle and it did the trick easily–probably a little too hot, actually. The instructions suggest using water about 120 degrees, leaving the packs in for three minutes, and checking back. Near boiling water took about one minute, but I was doing all the work. I would not let a child use a bowl of boiling water or sharp scissors to open the chocolate packets, which is required, also.
Once the chocolate is melted and the packets cut open, it is as easy as loading the pen. The pen top locks on top of the packet, and the entire piece loads into the pen contraption. Then just press the button on the pen and liquid chocolate comes out.
The Chocolate Pen works like a caulking gun. There is a plunger that is pushed forward and dispenses product from the packet. Think mechanical piping bag. It does work well, but have something ready for the “oops” factor. We found that the assistance of a butter knife helped much, especially when making the candy in the molds.