Saturday, 6 November 2010

Chocolate and tools i use all the time.

Been cooking lots today and decided to make Nigella's Sweet And Salty Crunch Nut Bars.
Here's what i made with my son Patrick... totally yummy!

Here's a link to how they are made:

If you can't watch it then here's what you need.

2 Milk chocolate bars - cooks size (forget the weight)
1 Dark Chocolate bar - cooks size (forget the weight)
4 crunchy bars, chopped up
2 tablespoons golden syrup
Butter - half the pack
Salted peanuts - how ever many you want.

Melt the chocolate and butter, turn the heat off and add the golden syrup. Break up 4 crunchy bars (chocolate honeycomb) tip into the chocolate mix and add as many peanuts as you think looks right.
Pour into a tinfoil tray, or a dish lined with tinfoil (i buttered the tinfoil), spread around and allow to set.
I really think this would be even nicer with popping candy sprinkled over the top... will do that next time! Or eve mini marshmallows pushed in the top and drizzled with white chocolate or toffee.
Its totally delicious... not good for the waistline though!


Thought i would Share with you my favourite tools and what i use each for.
A - My friend Lisa sent these in a mixed set of tools. I use them for creating holes, smoothing clay, making the holes in the necks of bottles and also for painting.
B - My friend Lisa sent these in a mixed set of tools. I use them for creating holes, smoothing clay, making the holes in the necks of bottles and also for painting.
C - My friend Lisa sent these in a mixed set of tools. Small drill - Really good for drilling into warm baked clay - when drilling in cold clay there is more chance of breakage - straight out of the oven is better.
D - My friend Lisa sent these in a mixed set of tools. Kind of hard to explain what i use this for. the top end i use to smooth the inside of mouths such as the skele bottles and the bottom is use to cut further into clay that has already been precut with a blade.
E - My friend Lisa sent these in a mixed set of tools. The top pointed end i use to create the start of eyeball holes or created a pricked texture. I also use it for glue dots or holding onto my bottle tops.
F The top end i use for blending and smoothing noses on my pumpkin faces. The bottom end is broken.
G - One of my most used tools and used daily - i use this for glue dots, sculpting, making really small holes and painting. This is a porcupine quill.
H - round head rubber tipped sculpting tools. I use these daily for sculpting and shaping in almost everyhting i make. They can be rolled to smooth clay, they can drag and smooth clay, they make nice texture by prodding and i also make holes with them. The white tipped is the softest with the black being the hardest.
The handles finish on these have reacted against polymer clay. Ive sanded them because of this and really i need to fully strip them so its just the wood left. Ive thought about removing the handles and making some from polymer so i don't have this problem. The polymer makes the handle coating sticky over time and the colour comes off on my hands, which then can dirty the clay. But apart from that they are the best tools ever.
I - Blade
J - Blade
K - Dragon scale tool - This is my newest tool and as yet not made anything with it, but ive given it a test and it really is wonderful the pattern it makes.
L - soft brush. I use this for smoothing polymer clay - smoothing with a brush isn't instant but you just brush back and forwards.
M - i use this for mixing polymer clay into liquid polymer clay.
N - This is a cake decorating tool. I mostly use it for making holes with the pointed end. The holes i like with this tool because they have smoother edges and are are slightly concave. The other end ive used for making pots and bowls and rolling the clay.
O - Stencil brush from my friend Lisa - i use this for stippling clay and creating a rough texture.
P - This is a pellet/nut drill from a fishing tackle shop. I need to get a new one because this is broken. The best make to get is ESP because they are the strongest.
Nut drills from tackled shops are 0.8mm. Pellet drills are 1.2 mm.
You can also buy small drill bits and attach to predrilled handles.
I use this for drilling warm clay, balsa wood, soft woods and whatever else.
Q - Forgot the name of this from the wool shop. I use this for most of the above.
R - Needles - i use these for sculpting and tiny holes. I have various sizes. Round tipped darning needles are great for sculpting.

Rubber tipped tools - I use these in nearly everything i make. They are the most useful tools ever and couldn't be without them.

Porcupine Quill - I got this at miniatura a few years ago. You kind of have to pick from the pot which suits you best. Know that sounds daft but no two are totally alike.
I had to sand the pointed end of this a little because it had a rough ridge on one side.

Not really a tool but more of an aid. Very quickly made from polymer clay. I use these to rest mushrooms on when i attach the tops to the stems. I pre bake the bases before the tops go on and this stops any movement from the mushrooms rolling on my baking tray. Mostly used to keeps the heads attached exactly as i want them and prevent the tops from becoming lopsided.


  1. Yummy treats ! and thanks for the tips on the tools. Rosanna

  2. Thank you for sharing Nikki - if only I knew what to do with them! I am sure the results would not be the same in my Hands!

  3. I have a lot of the tools that you have...but never seen rubber tipped tools nor the porcupine quill to buy. I'd like to get some of the former as they could be used for all kind of crafts and not just modelling polymer clay. Great tips too, many thanks!

    Michelle xxx

  4. Thank you for sharing your favorite tools! The Porcupine Quill is most ingenious! :-) I'm guessing it's an African porcupine?

  5. The rubber tools you can get on ebay, and i know morezmore stocks some too on there.

    Im not sure about the porcupine quill, other than just knowing thats what it is. Its ever so strong considering what it actually is.
    I think anyone that makes minis can make use of one. I'd not be without it.

  6. Those sound delicious! Thanks for the tool info!

  7. Yummy treats Nikki.

    I love my tools and now have a set that I use all the time. I do have pots of tools that I have tried and not like. I LOVE my porcupine quills (thank you for the tip), my kemper 3-in-1 and my shapers.

    Lorra Luffies

    Debie xxxxxxxxx


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