He had never had any money for candy with the Dursleys, and now that he had pockets rattling with gold and silver he was ready to buy as many Mars Bars as he could carry – but the woman didn’t have Mars Bars. What she did have were Bettie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum, Chocolate Frogs. Pumpkin Pasties, Cauldron Cakes, Licorice Wands, and a number of other strange things Harry had never seen in his life. Not wanting to miss anything, he got some of everything and paid the woman eleven silver Sickles and seven bronze Knuts.
-Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, K Rowling
Did you ever get those licorice cigars or pipes as a kid? We used to play ‘all grown up’ with those. Pretend we were puffing away on them.
…and ‘as a kid’, I mean a few weeks ago when we were road tripping across Ontario.
I imagined licorice wands to have the same appeal to under-aged wizards. The littlies who weren’t allowed to have a wand yet. So you get thrilled when you get a licorice wand and flick it around pretending you’re doing magic.
And then you eat it.
To make this, I needed to make a wand mold. I based it off of Harry Potter’s wand, but I’ve added photos I took at The Making of Harry Potter/ Warner Bros Studio tour we did in London, so you can choose which wand you want to style it off of. I’ve uploaded the full sized file(~5-6MB), so just click on the images for a closer look.
I made mine based on Harry Potter’s wand. Using air dry clay, I rolled a 20cm ‘snake’ of clay. Press harder as you roll on one end to create the tapered wand effect. Then go in with sharp objects (I used tweezers). For Harry’s wand, his handle is 1/3 the size of the wand. So at the 13-14cm mark to the 20cm end, create wood lines. Just drag your tweezers lightly. I liked using the tweezers since I could get two lines at once, but also pinch the tweezers at times to create unevenness. Do some lines lightly, some deeper. At the 13 cm mark, there also seems to be an angled edging, so I took a pencil on its angle and dragged it up slightly. There’s also a knot of wood on Harry’s wand handle, so add a little blob and smooth it in.
Let it sit for 24 hours to dry.
Once dry, I took a hot glue gun and created the last two bits of the handle (if you’re good with clay, by all means sculpt it). But by taking the hot glue gun and dabbing a blob of glue and dragging it down (following the wood lines), it creates a natural knotted wood effect.
With this dry, you have two options- cornstarch/cornflour mold or food grade mold. I tried both to see how they would work.
Making a cornstarch mold is the nice cheap way. Messy at times, but cheap.
a package of cornstarch/ cornflour (gluten free if needed) (more packages if you want to do it all at once)
2 small but deep baking trays, both same size, longer than wand
metal skewer with rounded top or similar
your clay wand
a pastry brush with natural bristles
Pour your bag of corn starch into one of the baking trays.
Using your hands, gently smooth and press down the starch.
Take your other tray, place it on top and slowly and gently (I can’t emphasise this enough) press down firmly until the starch is packed together.
Remove the top baking tray.
Take your wand, attach some blue tack to the top and press the metal skewer in. Pat the blue tack around so it’s secure.
Press your wand into the starch, and use the metal skewer to lift it without shaking the clay wand too much (so the design is clear in the starch). This may take a few tries. If starch falls back in, or your wand wiggles too much, just use your hand to smooth the starch and press the baking tray back in.
Use the pastry brush on your clay wand in between each use as starch will get stuck and will make the design let definite.
Depending on the width of your tray, don’t press the molds too close together. The starch when pressed into, has to go somewhere, so presses outwards. Give at least 10cms in between.
My life revolves around food grade silicone putty when I’m creating unusual things. It’s my lifeline. Especially with Willy Wonka food where I need to make my own shapes. Or, in this case, licorice wands in the shape of Harry Potter’s wand. I buy Casting Craft Easymold Silicone Putty from Amazon, and it comes as a 1 pound kit. It lasts me a while and the molds are there to use another time.
1/4cup all purpose flour (gluten free flour works for this)
pinch of salt
1 tsp anise oil
black liquid food colouring (found it easier than gel)
4 tbsp/55g unsalted butter
1/2cup white sugar
4 tbsp glucose syrup
1/4cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp golden syrup (or molasses for a heavier taste)
Prep your molds and have them handy. I would also have a baking tray lined with baking paper in case you have excess. You can pour the excess licorice in, then reheat and reuse later (more on that further down).
In your mixer, stir together the flour and salt.
Nearby have your oil and colour.
Using a heavy bottomed saucepan, pour in the sugar, glucose syrup, butter, sweetened condensed milk and golden syrup. Stir constantly over medium to high heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium so it’s just at a slow boil. With your candy thermometer in place, watch closely until it reaches 250F/120C. This is very important! Any less, even by a degree or two and your licorice will be goopy and not hold its shape. You can reach up to 265F/130C. But any higher and the candy will become brittle.
Remove from the stove and pour into the mixer. Turn on medium speed and pour in the oil and colour.
Once combined (30 secs should be all it takes), begin pouring into molds. I used a ladle as pouring from the mixer is too messy and uncontrolled.
Any left over, pour into the baking paper lined baking tray.
Leave the leftover tray on the counter, as you don’t want this to cool quickly.
With the molds, place them in the fridge for 20 minutes until firm, or the freezer for 3 minutes.
When they feel firm, gently pull them out of the cornstarch mold or pop them out of the silicone mold. Set aside.
If you have leftovers, or only had one or two molds going at a time, repeat.
Your leftover may be more solid, however if easy to handle and soft enough, pull off into sections. Reheat one section in the microwave in a glass dish at a time (mine was for 20 seconds) and, using a spatula or spoon, scoop into your molds. Cool, repeat.
If you’ve had excess licorice flow outside your mold, forget the knife, grab a sharp pair of kitchen scissors, wash them and use to trim the extra licorice off.
adapted from glutenfreeonashoestring.com/gluten-free-red-cherry-licorice/
And finally, packaging. You can’t just have a wand laying around! While licorice wands are Honeydukes, I took the Ollivander logo and altered it to be a Honeydukes label, and placed it on a wooden style ‘wand box’. The ‘907’ was some text from a website (but from where I can’t remember… eep) and the label was from an image I took of wizard wand boxes at The Making of Harry Potter in the Ollivander’s store set.
Right click the image below and “Save as” for the free full sized printable Harry Potter Honeyduke’s Licorice Wand packaging. Print to A4 card, solid lines are cut marks, dotted lines are fold marks. Please don’t distribute this packaging, but please feel free to send others back to retrieve it from here!