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Category Archives: Candies

Creating Molded Chocolate Treats (Part 2 of 2)

by Sherry Nixon

Last time, we ran through the basics of creating molded chocolate. If you’ve been successful doing that, maybe you’re ready to get more adventurous and add colour to your creations. Many molds have details that are made to be coloured, so use your imagination!

You’ll need a separate paintbrush for each colour and it’s important to let each area set before painting the next one, so they don’t run together. You shouldn’t need to refrigerate or freeze these, as they’ll set quickly but, if you do, make sure you let them return to room temperature before the next step or the different colours won’t fuse. Once you’ve got all the details done and they’re set, you can fill the mold with the rest of the chocolate and follow the steps from Part 1 above to set the chocolate.

For even more adventures, try creating a larger, hollow-filled chocolate like a bunny or an egg. Molds for these designs come in two halves. Fill one half with chocolate, clip the two pieces together, invert the mold and swirl the chocolate around so it’s evenly distributed over the two molds. When you chill it, take it out after a couple of minutes and swirl again, so you’re left with a nice even hollow chocolate.

If hollow treats just don’t satisfy your chocolate cravings, it’s easy to make filled creations, too. Simply fill both halves of your molds and allow them to set. Once they’re ready to go, make sure the top side of each half is flat, shaving off any excess. After that, apply a thin layer of warm chocolate to one half, press the halves together and allow them to set and form a perfect filled chocolate delight.

Once you’ve sharpened your skills, the next challenge is making your own filled chocolates. You can choose from a variety of different shaped and sized molds and be as plain or daring as you like with your fillings. To make the actual chocolates, paint in the details first and let the colours set, then paint the sides with chocolate, being careful that you’ve covered all the exposed areas.

Once that’s set, add your fillings and fill the rest of the mold with chocolate just up to the top, making sure the edges are sealed. Chill as normal and in a few minutes you’ll have some delectable handmade chocolates that are perfect for gifts or just to satisfy your own sweet tooth. Practice makes perfect, so you don’t want to be gifting until you’ve sampled all your products to ensure quality control!

After you’ve finished making chocolate for the day, don’t forget to take proper care of your clear plastic molds. These molds are made from a special plastic, which allows your chocolates to slide out easily, but they also require a bit of TLC. Be careful to clean them with warm (not hot) water and no dish soap or detergent, otherwise they’ll begin to crack and deteriorate. Dry them gently with a clean towel or allow them to air dry.

After time, the chocolate may start to stick. If this happens, give your molds a light spray with vegetable oil, allow the molds to sit overnight and gently buff them with a clean cloth to remove any oil. With proper care, you should get years of use and enjoyment from your molds.

I’ve tried to touch on the basics of making chocolates but, as you might expect, there’s much more to learn and experiment with. If you want to know more, visit isntlifesweet.com. As well, there are plenty of great books and articles you can explore – or you can even take a class to learn some amazing new tips and techniques. Happy choclatiering!

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Creating Molded Chocolate Treats (Part 1 of 2)

by Sherry Nixon

With Easter on the way, it’s a perfect time to think chocolate. Of course, when ISN’T it a perfect time to think chocolate? You can always take the easy way out and pick up pre-made packaged chocolates. But, this year why not consider making your own? It’s a lot easier than you think – and it makes a perfect activity with kids of virtually any age, even grown-up kids!

The first thing you need to know is that there are two types of chocolate – “real” chocolate and chocolate melting wafers. The former must be tempered and is difficult to handle so, instead, I recommend wafers. They’re easy to work with, have a great chocolate taste, come in a variety of colours and are readily available at most bulk stores, craft stores and candy making suppliers – including Isn’t Life Sweet.

You’ll also need to decide beforehand what you’d like to make – solid or hollow chocolate treats, suckers, filled chocolates or whatever else you can think of. If you’re short on ideas, try the location where you found your chocolate wafers. They’re sure to have plenty of molds plus other candy-making supplies, including sucker sticks, colours, decorations, etc.

Now that you’ve got all your supplies ready to go, it’s time to make some chocolates. The first (and most crucial) step is melting, which must be done gently and never over direct heat. The most reliable way is to place your bowl of chocolate wafers in an electric frying pan filled with water that’s warm enough to melt the chocolate, but cool enough to put your finger in. Usually, “simmer” is a perfect setting. Alternately, a double boiler works great.

The simplest method is to put your oven-ready bowl of chocolate in a microwave. Start out with the timer set for one minute, remove the chocolate and stir, then repeat in decreasing intervals of 45 seconds, 30 seconds, etc., being sure to thoroughly stir the chocolate each time.

Whatever method you use, the ultimate goal is to have chocolate that pours easily and contains no lumps. If you overheat the chocolate it will harden and there’s no way to save it. So, slow and easy does it! It’s also important that no water, milk, alcohol, water-based flavours or liquid food colours come into contact with the chocolate or, once again, it will be ruined.

While your chocolate is warm, carefully pour or spoon it into your molds. Try to be as accurate as you can, as it will save you time trimming off the excess later and make for cleaner, more professional looking results. You want to fill the molds right to the top, but it’s always better to slightly underfill than overfill. If you’re making suckers, now is the time to insert the sticks into the slot on the mold, making sure the end of the stick is entirely covered in chocolate.

Once the molds are filled, tap them lightly on your table to remove any air bubbles or pop the bubbles with a toothpick or pin. Transfer them to the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to allow them to set. Once the chocolate is set, remove the molds from the freezer, invert them over a baking sheet or your table and, if properly set, the chocolates should fall right out. Make sure you hold the mold close to the table to lessen the chance of breakage and, if desired, have a piece of Styrofoam or clean towel to catch the falling chocolate.

If the chocolate is difficult to remove, give the mold a slight tap or twist it gently. If you’re still not having any success, your chocolate is probably not set and should be returned to the freezer or fridge for an additional few minutes. Voila, you’re a chocolate maker!

Next time, we’ll go beyond the basics to discover some other delicious treats you can experiment with.