Snack for THE CANDYMAKERS? It’s got to be chocolate pizza, of course! It was served to the kids in the factory cafeteria, but we can make our own version of it at home. The book describes chocolate pizza as having a chocolate bread-type crust, with a mixture of chocolate and white sauces on it, topped with shredded marshmallow cheese. Let’s talk about crust choices first, then move onto ideas for toppings.
A Delectable Crust
Depending on how much time, energy, and cooking inclination you have, there are several options to choose from. The easiest option is to use a premade crust from the grocery store. I have seen cinnamon-sugar crusts for dessert pizza, or you could use a plain crust (just make sure it doesn’t have baked in cheese or garlic!)
A slightly more involved option is to use refrigerated pizza dough or make a sugar cookie crust, using your own recipe or refrigerated dough, pressed into a pizza pan. If you are using a premade pizza crust, refrigerated crust, or making a cookie crust, follow the instructions for baking and then add toppings at the end.
If you have a little more time and energy to devote and want to try something that is a little more like the chocolate pizza in the book, try making a chocolate bread pizza crust. I used a chocolate bread recipe I like, and just rolled and stretched it thin to make a pizza crust. I made 2-12” crusts from this recipe, let them rise for a bit, scored them a bunch with a fork to keep them from bubbling up, and then baked them for about 6 minutes at 425 degrees on a greased cookie sheet.
You can also find another recipe with more complete baking information here.
If you have a favorite homemade pizza crust recipe, you can use it as is, or adjust it by substituting in some cocoa powder for some of the flour and adding in a few tablespoons of sugar.
Chocolate Pizza Toppings
Get creative with the toppings! Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Sprinkle white and milk chocolate chips on the hot crust fresh out of the oven. Give them a few minutes to get melty and then spread the chocolate over the crust.
- Sprinkle mini-marshmallows around on top of the chocolate and pop the crust back into the oven under the broiler for a minute or two to toast. (Keep a CLOSE eye on it, though–the marshmallows toast FAST and if you leave it in too long, the chocolate can scorch.)
- After removing from under the broiler, shred a bit of a bar of white chocolate over the whole thing to mimic the cheese.
- If you prefer, you could use Nutella for a “sauce” instead, or swirl small blobs of marshmallow fluff into the melted chocolate chips instead of toasting marshmallows on top.
- If your kids like it, shredded coconut would make a good substitute for the grated white chocolate “cheese”.
For our local NHBA book club meeting, the manager at our local Pizza Hut donated tiny personal-size pizza boxes, so we will be able to make and cut up the pizza at home and distribute slices to the kids individually–very fun! (Thanks, awesome manager at Pizza Hut!)
More About Chocolate
A while back, a great chocolate exhibit came to our local history center. It was fascinating and a wonderful resource for learning about the history of chocolate and the process it goes through from cocoa pod to finished candy. The exhibit is still traveling and appears to be in Ontario for about another month (through April 15, 2012) before it moves on to California.
If you’re unable to actually go see the exhibit, you can still learn a lot about chocolate through their great website and the book CHOCOLATE: RICHES OF THE RAINFOREST by Robert Burleigh gives a great synopsis of the exhibit’s information in a beautiful picture book format that appealed to both the younger and older students in the group!
You can also watch this interesting video that demonstrates how chocolate was made by hand in the 18th century–it’s a great overview of the entire process!
Making Your Own Chocolate
Finally, if you and your students end up being inspired to try the process yourself, you can order a chocolate making kit! Here are two that we found:
- This kit, from a place called The Cocoa Pod Shop, is a little more difficult, but starts from an actual pod and cocoa beans
- The other kit is a little simpler to do — a Make Your Own Chocolate Kit starting from raw cocoa butter, cocoa powder and sugar.