Sweet Little Caramel Chocolate Fudgy Bears and a BentoUSA Giveaway

Are you familiar with Bento, the incredibly creative meals common in Japanese cuisine? I wasn’t until I began blogging about edible crafts and spending much of my time gawking at artistic foods on-line. The art of making lunch boxes filled with elaborately decorated rice bears, cartoon character sandwiches, heart shaped hard boiled eggs, and carved vegetables is awe inspiring. 
 
I work and eat at home most days and aside from an occasional picnic, I don’t pack lunch or dinner for anyone, so bento making has just been something I have been admiring from afar. I’ve spent afternoons looking at the works of imaginative bento makers and perusing the products they use to make their food come to life. Last week I discovered BentoUSA and I  couldn’t pull myself away from their site. I have a wish list a mile long of fun products that I can’t wait to try out.

BentoUSA graciously sent me some of their products, which I used to create my cute little fudgy bears, and one of you will be lucky enough to win $25 of their products.

For this project I used a plastic teddy bear shaped mold that is usually used with rice. It worked perfectly with my caramel modeling chocolate recipe that is made with Dulce de Leche (caramelized sweetened condensed milk) and milk chocolate that I’ve also used to make Chocolate Caramel Pumpkins and  Inside Out Chocolate Caramel Apples. I also used a punch that is typically used to cut sheets of nori. I cut frosting sheets instead. BentoUSA has all sorts of molds in various shapes and sizes, so even if you don’t want to make bears, you can make dolphins, flowers, pigs, fish and more. The set I used even includes a bunny rabbit which I’m excited to use for an Easter project.

Using the molds, I spent less than 15 minutes to shape all of my bears. These are a super simple and quick Valentine’s Day edible craft.

Caramel Chocolate Fudgy Bears (makes 9-10 bears)

Ingredients:

14 ounces milk chocolate
1 (13.4 ounce) can Dulce de Leche (caramel)

Teddy Bear Face:



dark brown or black frosting/sugar sheet*

*You can also just color some of the caramel modeling chocolate with black food coloring or some cocoa powder then roll it out thin and use the cutter that comes with the teddy bear rice mold to cut the face.

Supplies Needed:


teddy bear bento rice mold

teddy bear face nori punch*
                                               (you wont need this is you don’t use the frosting sheet)

Instructions:

Finely chop the milk chocolate.

 

Melt the milk chocolate and allow it to cool to about 91 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir in the Dulce de Leche. (For a detailed explanation of melting chocolate and why using melted chocolate that is too hot will result in oily modeling chocolate, read this tutorial. ) 

The mixture will thicken very quickly, but you need to make sure all of the caramel is mixed into the chocolate, so use your hands if needed. Once well mixed, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. When you unwrap it, knead it in your hands until smooth, about 30 seconds. 

Divide the caramel modeling chocolate into 9 pieces (about a heaping 1/4 cup.) Press one piece into the front of the teddy bear mold mounding it up on the backside.

Press the back side of the bento bear mold over the caramel modeling chocolate.

You can, if you want, put the front side of the mold in the white holder to keep everything straight then you can press in the back part of the mold. I found I really didn’t need it, though.

Squeeze the two sides of the mold together until the edges touch. Remove any caramel modeling chocolate that has oozed out.

Remove the back side of the teddy bear mold. Your chocolate bear should have little dots all over it. It it doesn’t, you didn’t use quite enough of the caramel modeling chocolate. You can just re-roll it and mold it again.

Gently tug on the chocolate bear, peeling it away from the front of the bento bear mold.

Pull the chocolate bear completely out of the mold.

Smooth out any rough edges.

Use a nori punch with a bear face to punch out a dark brown or black frosting sheet. Press the eyes and mouth onto each of the bears. If you look at the picture at the very top of the blog post, you’ll notice one bear has a different face. I used a different punch. At the bottom of the post, I’ve shared links for three sets of punches, each has three different faces that can all be combined to make many different faces.

If you have chosen to color some of the modeling chocolate with food coloring or cocoa powder, dust your work surface with some cocoa powder, roll it out thin, and use the cutter that comes with the teddy bear rice mold to cut the face. You can press the pieces on the bear. If needed use some corn syrup to make them stick. 

BentoUSA carries lots of different rice molds that could work with this project and you could be the lucky one chosen to win a $25 gift card to their site.

Mandatory Entry: 
Leave a comment below. That’s it. It’s that simple. 
You can tell me if you have ever made a bento.
 
Bonus Entries (leave one comment for each thing you do)
 
Like Hungry Happenings on Facebook (see link in the side bar)
Follow Hungry Happenings on Twitter (go here to follow)
Follow Hungry Happenings on Pinterest (go here to follow)
Like BentoUSA/AllThingsForSale/All  or CuteZCute on Facebook
If you follow already, that counts too!
 
I moderate all the comments before they appear on the site,
 so it can take several hours for your entries to appear.
If you duplicate your entry, the duplicates will be deleted.
 
Rules: Giveaway begins 1/29/2013 and runs through 2/5/13. If you have trouble leaving a comment, you can send your entry to beth@hungryhappenings.com and I will add your comment. Winner to be drawn at random from all valid entries. Entrants must reside in the United States and be over 18 years of age. (I’m so sorry to all of my world wide readers. Hosting an international contest has become too difficult due to all of the laws around the world.) Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. Odds of winning are based on the total number of valid entries (maximum of five entries per person.) Winner will be notified and have 72 hours to respond. If the winner doesn’t respond in that time frame, another winner will be chosen. This contest is in no way sponsored by Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, but it is sponsored by BentoUSA. I did receive free products for writing this post, but all opinions expressed here are mine. 
Thanks for sharing this on Pinterest, Facebook, 
your blog, etc. by using the buttons below. 

Please post one picture, mention
 and link back to Hungry Happenings.

Be sure to send pictures of your
 recipe recreations
to share in the Readers’ Gallery

For a complete list of linky parties I attend, go here

Thank you for visiting Hungry Happenings 

– Beth


Items used to create this project that can be found on Amazon.com (commission earned for sales)

Thanks for sharing!

Comments

  1. says

    Those bears are one of the cutest things I've ever seen. No, I've never made a Bento. I've started hearing about it since I've been reading more blogs.

  2. Anonymous says

    Heather says: I have not made one of these yet but i sure would like to they are soooooo cute

    hg temp addy at hot mail dot com

  3. says

    Those bears are very cute!! That was really clever to use the sugar sheets to punch out the facial features!!! I need to try bento out!!! I would love to win some molds and punches to play with!!

    Thanks for sharing!!

  4. Julie Nesst says

    I would love to try using the molds for rice crispy treats. I wonder if the punches could be used with thin sheets of polymer clay. Too many crafts lol

  5. says

    I used to make Bentos for my husband…yes, really. Everyone in the office was jealous. Then he got a new job and I really miss it!!

  6. Anonymous says

    These bears are so cute. I have 16 grandchildren and my 10th greatgrandchild is being born as I write. The bear mold would be great for my own children as they all had a favorite when they were young and I could make them for them. Trish Butler

  7. says

    I'm new to this blog and to Bentos. I saw this post on craftgossip and had to check it out. I have never been much of a candy maker, not for lack of trying, just didn't seem to be my talent. But lately I have discovered easier, more fullproof recipes and my goodies actually are tasty! These bears are cute! My grand-daughter, a chocolate freak, would love them!

  8. says

    I make bento lunches for myself, and I've made them for my family when we go to COSI. I've used rice molds to make onigiri (rice balls), so I was intrigued to see a recipe that used rice molds in a different way. This is rather cool, so thanks for posting this.

  9. Genie says

    These are so cute. I could use them for several things! And I think I will have to make you caramel chocolate this weekend, yummy!!!

  10. Michelle Cordero says

    I lived in Japan and loved to see how they prepared and presented food. I would love to do more bento style creations for my son.

  11. says

    oh my goodness how adorable! I LOVE Bento and have tried to make a few things for my grandkids. The problem is that locally there is no source for cute supplies. If I don't win this, I'll just go over to this store and buy a few things myself!

  12. says

    ooops! I forgot! I already follow you on FB! Thanks for the great give away…forgot to say that too! (ditzy grandma, here!)

  13. says

    I liked you on Facebook. I forgot to mention in my mandatory comment that I make children's book themed bento style lunches every school day for my 1st grader.

  14. Danielle Phillips says

    I have just started to bento, and have made several bento lunches! I love making my lunch cute! 😉

  15. says

    I have made Bento for the Grandkids! But not with any fancy Bento tools! Just love these tools which are new to me! My tern Granddaughter would love this fancy Bento food to go with her Japanese Animae, which I just love!
    Thanks for this giveaway!

  16. says

    I have the molds for bento! I saw them in a store and couldn't resist. I've done rice and hard boiled eggs in them. I can't wait to try this wonderful sounding chocolate and dulce de leche combo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *