In a nutshell: using a Dremel, carve a message or the name of your loved ones into Lego blocks. Using PinkySil Silicone, make moulds of the blocks. Make toffee or chocolate. Cast Christmas sweets with names or messages.
Kids enjoy the process (and the outcome).
Step 1: Inscribe Loving Message
I wanted my kids to have some unique end of year gifts for their classmates, so using a Dremel with a fine cutting bit I inscribed their names into some plastic blocks. (free advertising to Lego here, so hopefully no court cases…). I found this part pretty tricky - have the Dremel speed to high and the plastic melts. Too slow and it takes ages. For some reason the black lego piece seemed easier to cut.
Step 2: Make Moulds
You need food-grade silicon if you are going to eat whatever you make. For the mould casing, I used an old tin lid. Anything will do, as long as it it not porous - don't use a match box lid like I did the first time.
First, work out how much silicone you'll need. You'll need enough to almost cover your lego pieces. This takes trial and error, if you do it the way I did. A better way is to measure the volume of your vessel including the lego - I guess you could use water and then measure how much it took. Add a few extra mls for what you won't be able to scrape out of the silicone mixing container.
Measure your silicone - you have to get this right. Use a syringe or accurate measure. Pinkysil is a 1:1 mix, and you have to get it exact or your silicone doesn't cure properly. So if your final volume is 25 ml, you need 13ml of each part (leaving only 1ml spare - so mix 15ml of each instead). Mix thoroughly and pour it in, then insert the lego.
Step 3: Complete the Mould
Because the lego is hollow it will want to float up, so have something to weigh it down. I used some erasers. Try to keep at least 3-4mm between each mould space, otherwise the mould can tear.
If you have bubbles in the silicone, blow on them with hot breath - it will pull the bubbles out. Don't use a hairdryer - too powerful.
Step 4: Extract the Mould
The silicone takes about 30 mins to go off - more if you are in a cold place. When it is firm to touch, and no fingerprint remains on the surface, you can take out the lego pieces. Just gently fold the silicone back and work them out. If your mould casing is flexible, bend that around to loosen things.
You can see that by the third time, I got it pretty nice. The middle image is fine and useable, the last image here is the first mould I made and I didn't mix it properly, hence the discoloured and poorly formed mould. It still works, but the lego chocolate pieces are not nice and sharp edged...
Step 5: Make Chocolate or Toffee Lego Pieces. Watch As Kids Go All Smiley. Share With Friends.
My family and I live in Afghanistan, so getting good cooking chocolate is not an option. I did find some stuff in the cupboard and we made chocolate pieces to begin with - I imagine if you had good chocolate, they would come out really well. I then googled toffee recipes and came up with some good ones - 1 cup sugar, a teaspoon of butter, teaspoon vinegar, vanilla flavour. Heat it all till the toffee reaches a nice brown golden honey colour.
If you want a more airy candy, remove from the heat and stir in a pinch of bicarbonate soda. It will bubble up, and as it is doing so, pour the toffee our into the moulds. It will spill over the edges, but you can break that off later. More airy means less perfectly formed toffees, but lighter. No bicarb and they are more solid.
Either way, It cools pretty quickly - bend out the pieces and break off the rough edges. All done. The better your mould the better the shape. As my moulds improved, the bricks became more perfect.
** do use the vinegar in making the toffee - it helps the sugar melt properly and you can't taste it in the end.
There are tons of good toffee recipes - I guess you could make soft caramel bricks too...
** do be careful of hot toffee. It sticks to fingers and lips and burns like this: OWWWWWWW!