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Molding with Chocolate

by Pam Williams

Chocolate molds have been around since chocolate consumption moved from predominately drinking chocolate to predominately eating chocolate. In order to produce eating chocolate in bite-size pieces, the large blocks of chocolate have to be molded into smaller forms. In the late 1800's creating fanciful chocolate molds of metal was at its height. Small bakers and chocolatiers produced intricate shapes both flat and three dimensional. Since that time, time-consuming and hand filled molds have been replaced by simplistic forms that lend themselves to volume production. The introduction of plastic molds revolutionized both the industrial and home markets. Now plastic molds, usually based on historical designs first done in metal, can be produced inexpensively. This has led to a resurgence of interest by amateur chocolatiers. Chocolate molds can now be found in most good cookware shops or on the Internet. We have a page of chocolate mold suppliers on our www.ecolechocolat.com site.

When purchasing chocolate molds, look for strong plastic with deep intricate designs. These will produce a much more elegant product than shallow, less detailed molds.

The molds should never be washed. Soap scum can mare the taste of the chocolate if not thoroughly removed. Most of the chocolate can be flaked off with a soft cloth. Use a soft dry cloth or 100% cotton batting (polyester leaves tiny "hairs" on the plastic) to wipe out the cavities after each use. After the finished chocolate is removed from the mold it leaves a light film of cocoa butter with is then polished by the soft cloth or batting and makes the next chocolate gleam even more. The following recipe presents a step by step process for molding. The chocolates can be solid chocolate or filled with truffle or fondant centers. A great project for a rainy Sunday.


 

Molds a la Chocolate

1 pound/450g Tempered chocolate of your choice
1/2 recipe Truffle centers or Fondant centers
Equipment:

Chocolate molds (these usually come with numerous cavities on a sheet of plastic)

Straight edge putty knife about 2- to 3-inches across

Solid Chocolate Shapes

Have the tempered chocolate ready to use - don't forget to keep the mass moving so stir frequently while you work. If your chocolate is not perfectly tempered, the chocolate will not release from the molds. If you haven't perfected your tempering technique then maybe use confectioner's coating instead which does not need to be tempered.

Lightly wipe out the cavities of the molds. Then, using a regular teaspoon, fill each cavity with chocolate. Don't worry about making a mess, just get the cavities filled as quickly as possible.

Tap the filled mold on the counter to settle the chocolate and release any air bubbles. This can be accomplished by simply holding the mold horizontally and dropping it on the counter. Do this a few times until no air bubbles appear. Don't worry if your mold is messy and the chocolate is running over the cavities.

Using a flat edge putty knife, scrape across the mold, removing the excess chocolate from on top of and around the cavities. This will leave a clean edge around each cavity and clean the mold of excess chocolate at the same time. The chocolate on the putty knife can be returned to the pot of tempered chocolate.

Leave the mold in a cool place. The cooler the place -- the less time it will take to harden the chocolate. If you are in a hurry to reuse the mold, it can be placed in the refrigerator or freezer for a few moments. Don't leave the molds in the refrigerator or freezer too long as condensation will occur and your chocolate will be harder to release.

You will know when the chocolates are ready to be released by looking at the back side of the mold. The chocolate will have pulled away from the mold slightly and the cavity will appear grayish.

To release the chocolates, carefully but quickly reverse the mold over a flat surface and tap it firmly on that surface. The chocolates should just fall out. If they don't, let the mold cool for a few minutes (or moments in the refrigerator or freezer ).

 



Filled Chocolates

Have the tempered chocolate ready to use. Lightly wipe out the cavities in the molds. Then, using a regular teaspoon, fill each cavity with chocolate. Don't worry about making a mess, just get the cavities filled as quickly as possible.

Tap the filled mold on the counter to settle the chocolate and release any air bubbles. This can be accomplished by simply holding the mold horizontally and dropping it on the counter. Do this a few times until no air bubbles appear. Don't worry if your mold is messy and the chocolate is running over the cavities. Next, reverse the filled mold over your pot of tempered chocolate and by tapping the tops of the cavities with your fingers, release the melted chocolate back into the bowl. After tapping for a few moments the cavities will be hollow with just a thin layer of chocolate remaining.

Using a flat edge putty knife, scrape across the mold, removing the excess chocolate from on top of and around the cavities. This will leave a clean edge around each cavity and clean the mold of excess chocolate at the same time. The chocolate on the putty knife can be returned to the pot of tempered chocolate.

Leave the mold in a cool place. The cooler the place -- the less time it will take to harden the chocolate. If you are in a hurry to reuse the mold, it can be placed in the refrigerator or freezer for a few moments. Don't leave the molds in the refrigerator or freezer too long as condensation will occur and your chocolate will be harder to release.

When the chocolate shells are hardened slightly, fill the cavities with your preferred center. Don't worry about filling the entire cavities as chocolate will find its way around the filling as you put on the "bottom". Also make sure that the filling is 1/16 of an inch from the top of the cavity leaving you room for a chocolate to form the bottom. Then using a regular teaspoon, again fill each cavity with chocolate. Don't worry about making a mess, just get the cavities filled quickly and use the scraper as before to clean across the top of the filled cavity.

Again, cool the mold. You will know when the chocolates are ready to be released by looking at the back side of the mold. The chocolate will have pulled away from the mold slightly and the cavity will appear grayish.

To release the chocolates, carefully but quickly reverse the mold over a flat surface and tap it firmly on that surface. The chocolates should just fall out. If they don't, let the mold cool for a few minutes (or moments in the refrigerator or freezer).

Pam Williams is founder and lead instructor of Ecole Chocolat Professional Chocolatier School of Chocolate Arts.



Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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