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Cam's Corner: The Candy Maker


OK, so maybe 11 a.m. on a day where I had missed breakfast and was waiting anxiously on a 12:30 p.m. lunch wasn’t the best time to head to The Candy Maker at The Greenbrier to learn how to make a chocolate Easter egg. When I saw the brown liquid goodness flowing from a fountain at the end of the table, I had to fight myself to not stick my head under the stream of chocolate and slurp it up like a dog at the end of a hose on a hot summer day.
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But I resisted, and instead, I took instruction from veteran candy maker Cheryl Gum on how to create one of the popular eggs — filled with a pound of The Greenbrier’s chocolate candies, from clusters to barks to truffles and butter creams — that fly off the shelves faster than that latest must-have Christmas gift when spring rolls around at America’s Resort™.

The process starts simply enough, as The Greenbrier’s tasty chocolate is filled into egg forms to create the shell. Then it is stuffed with all of the goodness from the racks of chocolate that fill the back part of The Candy Maker shop and create the smells that cause guests to stop in their tracks. Others are stuffed with jelly beans, in the spirit of the Easter season, but with my mouth still watering, I chose chocolate for my creation. 

The next step was to decorate the other half of the shell, which would eventually become the top of the egg. Gum showed me how to use a small piping bag to create stems for the candied flowers, which she had already prepared in various sizes and colors.

We attached the flowers to my imperfectly-drawn stems, using icing, of course, and she then gave me a new icing bag, perfectly clipped at the end to make the shape of leaves, and she displayed with a few examples.

“Easy,” I thought, until I began trying to put the leaves on my egg. No matter how hard I tried, my leaves looked more like globs. They got better with Gum’s instruction, but they never came close to matching her creations. Still, I continued to make whatever it was I was attaching to the egg as she watched, and even chuckled a few times.

When the top was complete — with a little help from Gum to make it look presentable — it was time to attach the two shells. We used, what else, chocolate to bond the two sides together, and I carefully placed my decorated shell on top of the one filled with candy to create the egg.

The final step was decorating the seam, which was created upon attachment, with royal icing, using a larger piping bag, which I struggled even more to master. 

Again, Gum demonstrated the “easy” technique that looked so beautiful, and again I responded with a product that looked more like a second-grade art project than the incredible work that comes out of the Candy Maker at The Greenbrier each day. 

Thankfully, Gum was again there to clean up my work, and the final product was a beautiful egg that I was proud to call my creation — even though the amount of "help" that I had probably would have garnered me an F on that second-grade art project. 

These beautiful eggs that would make for a happy Easter morning for any child — or child at heart, for that matter — are available now at The Candy Maker in all different sizes. The extra-large egg, which holds 2 3/4 pounds of chocolate, is the biggest. The large egg holds 2 pounds of chocolate, and the medium egg, like the one I made, holds a pound. Small chocolate eggs are also on sale, and special orders can be made for white chocolate, as well.

Eggs aren’t the only Easter creations Gum and her team are crafting, either. There are standing bunnies, siting bunnies and chickens, all designed to fill that Easter basket with magic from The Greenbrier.

The Candy Maker has already sold more than 175 eggs this year, and many more orders are expected as Easter approaches. No matter how large the demand, Gum knows her team can complete the job. She has been working with chocolate at America’s Resort™ for 36 years and inside The Candy Maker since it opened in 1990. In 1986, she led the production of 10,000 truffles for the inauguration ceremonies for George H.W. Bush. She said the Easter season is by far the busiest for her shop, but she enjoys every moment of the chocolate creations.

To place your order, stop by The Candy Maker at the North Entrance of The Greenbrier, or call 304-536-1110, ext. 7468.