How to mold your own chocolate at home
Read this article to find out how you can easily mold chocolate into a variety of shapes right in your kitchen!
Photo Credit: Michael Blackburn
At holidays like Christmas and Easter, you'll often find colorful molded chocolates for sale in candy stores, at craft sales, and at bazaars. The chocolates can be dark, milk, semisweet, or even white chocolate. The shapes you'll often see are Easter bunnies, eggs, crosses, Santa's, Christmas trees, and stockings, just to name a few.
Instead of buying these molded chocolates, you can easily make your own confections at home. Molded chocolate is basically chocolate that has been melted and placed into molds. You don't have worry if you don't have a talent for crafts, because, molding chocolate is easy as long as you follow a few basic rules.
You'll need to keep these rules in mind as you're working with any type of chocolate:
1. Chocolate melts best at a low temperature. Don't allow it to reach more than one hundred and ten degrees. Otherwise, it can easily scorch or separate. If you scorch chocolate, you'll have no choice but to throw it out and start fresh with a new supply.
2. Melt only enough chocolate at one time that you can mold in just a matter of minutes. Once it's melted, you'll want to place it into your prepared molds right away. If you wait too long, it will harden.
3. Keep water and other such liquids away from the chocolate while it's melting! Water will cause the chocolate to seize up! You can add a few drops of vegetable oil to remedy the problem, but the taste of the chocolate will be adversely affected.
Now that you know the basic rules, let's get down to business. The easiest and quickest way to melt chocolate is to heat it in a microwave oven. You can use a double boiler, but then you run the risk of getting water in the chocolate. You can also use a baking oven, but it takes about an hour, so that process is rather time consuming.
So, to use the microwave oven method, you'll need a heat resistant, microwave safe two cup measuring cup. You'll also need a long handled spoon and some molds. You can purchase molds at your local candy supply or craft store. You can also purchase decorations for your chocolates, sticks if you want to make suckers, edible paints, et cetera. There are a variety of things you can buy that will make your confections colorful and more attractive. And, of course, you'll need a supply of chocolate. You can buy that at the candy supply store too.
Wash the molds in hot, sudsy water, and then dry them completely. Remember- there can be no water in the chocolate! Place the molds on a flat, level working surface.
Next, place a small amount of the chocolate- about a pound- into the measuring cup. Place the cup in the microwave and set the cooking level to low heat, at about fifty percent. Set the timer for thirty seconds, then remove the cup and stir the chocolate with the spoon. Place the chocolate back into the microwave oven for an additional thirty seconds, and then repeat the process. You'll need to keep melting the chocolate slowly like this until its smooth and creamy.
Once it's melted, quickly pour the chocolate into the prepared molds. Fill each mold up so that the chocolate almost reaches the top. You don't have to worry about leveling off the chocolate as it will smooth itself out.
Allow the molds to sit undisturbed for several minutes. To speed up the hardening process, you can place the molds in a freezer. You'll be able to actually tell when the chocolate has rehardened by its appearance.
Finally, carefully flip the molds over and twist them slightly in order to release the chocolate shapes.
The best way to store the shapes is to wrap them up in individual pieces of plastic wrap. Then, you can store them in a flat, airtight container until you're ready to eat them, sell them, or give them away at Easter or at Christmas time! Be sure to keep them at room temperature, at about sixty five degrees Fahrenheit so they don't melt.