The plan was simple. The After Eight mint provides not nearly enough minty/chocolaty goodness to satisfy the needs of any serious snack pimper – and whilst Nestle have taken an understated approach to design and packaging, we thought it needed a little high tech, sophisticated bling to raise the game in the after dinner snack market.
So was born the After Eight, 12” extended mix.
Construction of the mint began by purchasing the ingredients:
600g dark chocolate
5 tablespoons glucose powder
400g Icing sugar
5 teaspoons Peppermint essence
The first step was to melt half of the chocolate – we went for Co-op own brand fair trade chocolate, but the world trade politics of the snack world are probably best left out of this. To melt the chocolate use a bowl suspended in pan of boiling water – that way the chocolate will not burn and you can stir it to check consistency.
We poured the chocolate onto a baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper, and spread it thinly before chilling in the fridge.
To make the minty sweet centre, we put the water and glucose into a pan and heated, and then added icing sugar whilst heating to achieve a gooey sweet mixture.
There was a certain amount of trial and error to get the correct consistency – which was checked by taking a spoon of mixture and chilling in the fridge. Once we were happy, the mixture was taken off the heat and left to cool – take care with this mixture, and do not try to taste it when hot – think napalm.
The next day, we carefully scooped the mixture out of the pan and into a bowl, taking care not to scrape the edge of the pan as the sugar will have crystallised. Next we mixed the peppermint essence into the mixture, and spread it over the chocolate base.
In order to set this mint apart from the rest, we tried fitting some pimp style LEDs before the top layer of chocolate was poured – they would have been good, but it was pointed out to us that LEDs are probably not a legal snack item. Instead, we melted the rest of the chocolate and poured it over the top, spreading with the back of a spoon to achieve the After Eight’s sophisticated texture.
The completed mint was then chilled while we set to work on the pimp packaging that was going to set this bad-boy apart from the rest.
We made a quick trip to the craft shop to buy some fine card and luxurious gold paper. Using the original as a guide, the lettering was carefully recreated at the larger size, traced carefully onto the card and coloured with pen.
The clock motif was created with a mixture of gold paper appliqué and pen. This was then trimmed to size, and another same size card was cut for the reverse, with an extra “scoop” for easy mint withdrawal.
The cover looked good, but at night time (the After Eight is a nocturnal beast) it was a bit dull. We wired up those LEDs again, and fitted a row of red under the front of the sleeve, and two green around the pull-out notch.
Once the sleeve was stuck together, the lights glow done onto the mint – cutting out all that confusion over which end to access your mint.