Tastes Wooden

Some time ago, an eBay user produced, for no discernible reason, accurate dimension wooden copies of Cadbury’s vending bars. In MDF to be precise.

No, it isn’t in any meaningful sense, banned in the USA.

Not surprisingly, these didn’t seem to be a roaring success, but when they were later sold off quite cheaply, I did purchase a couple for collectors fairs, photos and the like. Rest assured our actual machines won’t be serving up chocolate coated Poggenpohl any time soon.

They do look good though, and I thought you might like to see the dimensions as it’s something we’ve been chatting about on this blog recently, though only when very bored. And in no way an opportunity to brag about my new ruler.

Everyone’s a Fruit and Staircase Offcut
Write to us and you’ll get upgraded to Oak

The actual dimensions of the bar are h=90/91mm x w=45m x d=10mm. I don’t know how accurate the label is, though assume it’s a straight up copy, but no weight is written on the wrapper.

One of the benefits of the Barber-Weston Cadbury’s machine of course is that it can be readily adapted to modern bars, admittedly, all such machines are a little unhappy with modern flow-wrapped confectionary, but on the whole, they work once adjusted.

But what if you wanted that classic vending bar shape short of making your own by melting down chocolate chips into a mould? There are a couple of options, but neither of them are that great.

The first option is to purchase some Guylian Chocolate which comes in 4 small, polyfoil wrapped bars laid flat in a standard card ‘premium thin chocolate style’ outer package.

Mini Catch #1 – “With Sweeteners”
That’s 6.1mm

The Guylian bars (approx. 86mm x 48mm) contain Stevia in place of some of the sugar, and whilst this is a natural sweetener and sugar substitute derived from the leaves of the plant species Stevia rebaudiana, there is a slightly different taste to these bars which whilst not at all unpleasant is VERY different to the Cadbury’s taste you might be looking for! They are also quite thin at just over 6mm and some fine adjustment would be needed being this is probably the absolute thinnest bar that a Barber-Weston machine could cope with.

Fancy a bit of DIY? We did!

Quick as a flash, I said; ‘Don’t be blue, Peter‘”

You will need;

  • 15cm x 15cm foil, I used this one from Amazon but do support your local craft store.
  • A sharp knife.
  • A suitable bar of chocolate; these nice flat chunked bars which seem to be made in France / Germany for most supermarkets ‘ordinary’ range are fine. (Interestingly Morrissons do an identical looking one in a plastic wrapper for half the price. The %’s of Cocoa are literally only 2-3% different, but it doesn’t quite taste right).
  • A suitable paper label (coming soon!)
A nice 75mm x 60mm bar, about 7-8mm thick

Unfortunately, it is very hard to find Fairtrade and higher quality bars in this traditional shape. Tony’s Chocolonely is about the best Milk bar out there in our opinion, but the deliberately irregular shape of the bar makes repurposing it very hard.

Here is our first effort;

It’s not bad, but it’s OK

It needs a bit of work, I think the wrapper is just slightly too wide and the paper could do with being glossier. You try finding thin and glossy paper and made for a colour inkjet mind!

Ah well, I will update back here with how we get on 🙂