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Children take bite out of world's largest chocolate bunny

By Kathryn Tancos, CNN
The huge chocolate bunny was carved by four professional sculptors.
The huge chocolate bunny was carved by four professional sculptors.
  • In South Africa more than 250 kids eat the world's largest chocolate bunny
  • World Records Academy confirmed the bunny broke record for largest chocolate structure
  • When finished the monolithic rabbit towered up nearly four meters high

(CNN) -- The joyful peal of children's' laughter could be heard Saturday at a popular shopping center in Johannesburg, South Africa, where more than 250 underprivileged kids gathered with local celebrities to help dismantle and eat the world's largest chocolate bunny.

On most days, the children have few reasons to laugh. Many live in unfavorable conditions; some come from child-headed households with little food or time to play. But on Saturday they were just kids.

"It is truly amazing to see them act like children," said Portia Mongake from Abangani eNkosini, a local charity.

Last week, four professional sculptors undertook the painstaking task of carving the bunny out of three solid tons of chocolate. Because of the brittle nature of chocolate, it was first melted down into blocks then placed one on top of the other to form the basic structure. When finished, the monolithic rabbit towered up to 3.82 meters high (12.5 feet).

The sculpture was built inside a plastic, temperature-controlled casing to prevent it from melting and to meet rigid health guidelines while on display.

"Chocolate is very difficult to work with," said Harry Johnson, a world-renowned sculptor who helped sculpt the bunny. "You can't carve it in one giant piece. When you cut into one corner, the other corner breaks off."

Johnson, known as one of the fastest sculptors in the world, said this was the first time he worked with chocolate.

"The first time I melted chocolate on the stove, I burned it," he laughed.

Tom Howard, with World Records Academy, confirmed the bunny has broken the world record for largest chocolate structure. The previous record was held by Brazil.

As for the kids, their smiles say it all.

"Eating this remarkable chocolate structure will stay with them for a long time," Rose Kubayi, from Banakekeleni Orphanage, said.