Chocolate molds have been around since chocolate moved from predominately drinking chocolate to mostly eating chocolate with the development of the conching and tempering methods.
Chocolate molds are hollow vessels used to give shape to liquid chocolate when it cools and hardens and can be made of rubber, plastic, or unique polycarbonate materials.
Chocolate producers are always pushing the boundaries with their unique creations. And having the right tools and best chocolate molds can be the difference between creating good chocolate and excellent chocolate.
You need to be ready to find the right molds and equipment, which means you need to know what's available to you. Chocolate molds will help you create beautifully crafted chocolates.
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Chocolate molds come in all shapes
You can find any type of chocolate mold. The more traditional molds which have been around for some time include butterflies, Easter eggs, and simple shapes such as squares and circles.
Over time, chocolate molds' styles have become more modern, more unique, and at times, more abstract. We encountered molds shaped like chess pieces, skulls, musical instruments, a little boy peeing, and even one shaped like a naked woman on a recent shopping trip.
And the range of chocolate molds on offer continues to grow. Each year a hundred more designs are being created. In this way, there is no danger of us running out of new ideas for our chocolate creations.
The chocolate mold size does matter
Well, it seems that in the modern world of chocolate, small is beautiful. Over the years, chocolate molds have noticeably reduced in size. There is an increasing trend, especially in the last decade, for chocolatiers to produce more petite and more delicate pralines and chocolate shapes.
For example, the most famous molds produced by Chocolate World in Antwerp were always those for producing chocolates of between 15 and 20 grams. Essentially, all the molds they develop today are much smaller – between 7 and 10 grams (those figures are based on solid milk chocolate) measurements.
Water on your chocolate molds is the enemy
Do not get your chocolate molds wet. Water is indeed the enemy of chocolate. Being oil-based, water can wreak havoc to your chocolate's very soul if they are allowed to meet. Moisture on your chocolate mold will lead to ruinous chocolates.
So what about cleaning them? The protocol on this differs depending on who you speak with. Still, our sources, including Chocolate World themselves and a number of professional chocolatiers, advise that you shouldn't bother washing them at all.
Rather, they should be washed with dry kitchen towels until all chocolate is removed. If the chocolate is tempered accurately, most of the chocolate will be removable with a soft kitchen paper and scraper.
And the reason for this is that even if thoroughly dried after being washed with warm water. The tiny cocoa butter film that will have been deposited in the chocolate mold's cavities from initial use will have been removed.
It is this layer of cocoa butter that delivers such a beautiful gleam to your made chocolates. It can take four sessions of making chocolates with the mold to get it back to a place where it delivers such wonderful shiny chocolates to you again.
How to fill a chocolate mold
Fill every cavity of the candy mold with melted chocolate, and try not to overfill. The chocolate should not come up over the edge. And fill all of the holes and tap the tray down lightly onto your workspace to release air bubbles and bring them to the top.
Store in the refrigerator; chocolate usually takes 10 to 20 minutes to set in the fridge and set. More petite chocolate molds may take less time to set up, and larger chocolate molds could take the full 20 minutes.
What are the best molds for chocolate?
Contemporary chocolate molds made from plastic differ in quality. When buying, look for strong plastic with deep, intricate designs. Those will provide a much more elegant product than shallow, less detailed molds.
Chocolate molds made for home cooks are normally thin plastic with shallow cavities that release quickly and work well for solid chocolate pieces. They will stand up to occasional use.
Professional chocolate molds are made from firm, thick, and strong polycarbonate with deep cavities. They are built to endure volume use and produce higher chocolate.
After the finished chocolate is separated from the chocolate-mold, it leaves behind a light film of cocoa butter, making the next chocolate molded in the cavity gleam even more.
The chocolate molds should never be washed with soap. And if they become coated with chocolate, then use hot water to scrub out the mold carefully. Soap-scum can damage the taste of the chocolate if not thoroughly removed.
What kind of chocolate is used for molds?
- Pure chocolate contains cocoa butter must be properly tempered in order to set up correctly. It is available as unsweetened, semi-sweet, bittersweet, milk, and white chocolate. It can be purchased in bars, blocks, wafers, pistoles (bean-shaped wafers), and chips.
- Unsweetened - no sugar added.
- Bittersweet - small amount of sugar added.
- Semi-sweet - more sugar added.
- Milk chocolate - milk powder and sugar added.
- White chocolate can likewise contain cocoa butter, but it doesn't hold any cocoa liquor, so technically, it is not considered chocolate.
Compound Chocolate is also known as Confectionery coating/Candy Melts/Almond Bark. It holds vegetable oil, typically palm kernel oil. It will melt and set up quickly with little effort is not as creamy or as rich as pure chocolate.
Still, it's easy to use and has a delightful flavor available in dark, light, white, and tastes like mint, peanut butter, and butterscotch can be colored using candy coloring available in colored wafers is less expensive than pure chocolate.
Where can I buy chocolate molds?
Some brands of chocolate molds I recommend using are available on Amazon.com. Or click the pictures in this article.
How do you melt chocolate for molds?
- Heat water over low heat in a pan.
- Place the bowl over the saucepan, being sure the bottom doesn't touch the water.
- Put chopped chocolate, chips or wafers, in the bowl and occasionally stir until melted.
It would help if you didn't allow any water to come in touch with the chocolate. If the chocolate mixed with a drop or a few drops of water will seize (stiffen or harden).
And if this occurs, your only option is to add more liquid to get the chocolate smooth again. Nevertheless, you can not use this thinned batch of chocolate for tempering or dipping as it will never harden properly.
But all is not lost as you can turn it into a tasty chocolate ganache or use it for baking.
How to melt chocolate in the microwave
Each microwave is different, so this is just a guideline, but it is safest to go slow and stir often. I regularly use high power for short bursts of time.
The amount of time required to melt your chocolate will depend on how much chocolate you need to melt. The direction below is based on 16 ounces of confectionery coating wafers or chocolate.
- Pour finely chopped chocolate, chocolate callets, Candy Melt wafers, or chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl.
- Then heat on high power for 30 seconds, and remove from microwave and stir. Your chocolate won't seem melted much at this point. So, remember, if you don't stir it, you may burn the chocolate in the center of the bowl.
- Then return it to the microwave and heat for another 30 seconds. And at this point, the chocolate will look only somewhat melted around the edges.
- Proceed to stir, and the chunks will indeed start to become liquid.
- Then continue to heat the chocolate for 30 seconds. And now your chocolate will look more liquid, but you will have chunks remaining.
- Let the chocolate sit for 1-2 minutes, optionally in the microwave. then stir vigorously, the heat from the melted chocolate will melt the chunks.
- But if you still have chunks of chocolate remaining after stirring for a while, heat for 10-15 second intervals, and continue stirring in between each until melted.
Remember not to rush this process. The chocolate burns very easily. And if you do burn the chocolate, throw it away and start over in a clean bowl.
Furthermore, to melt more than 16 ounces, you can increase your time by 10-15 seconds per interval. For 2 lbs. (45 seconds, 35, 25, 10). For 3 lbs. (60 seconds, 45, 30, 20). And ff your microwave is less powerful, extend the times, but go slowly.
How to temper pure chocolate
Once pure chocolate is completely melted, it needs to be tempered in order to set up correctly.
Tempering relates to a process of heating and cooling pure chocolate to assure that the cocoa butter in the chocolate sets in a uniform crystal composition.
When you buy pure chocolate, it is in a temper. When you melt it to reuse, you take it out of temper and need to bring it back.
Chocolate that is tempered has
- a glossy shine
- a smooth texture
- snaps when bitten or broke
Are silicone molds good for chocolate?
Below are the following are the advantages and disadvantages of using silicon mold versus plastic mold for making chocolates.
Advantages of using a silicone mold
Firstly, the silicone molds are very flexible in the sense that it is much easier to demold your chocolate. It would really decrease your afford to demold your chocolates, which in turn allows you to do the more complex casting of your chocolate. Secondly, your castings may tend to come out shiny. Generally, after demolding your chocolates, they come out shiny if the original mold you used was shiny.
Disadvantages of using a silicone mold
Expensive. Silicone molds are much more expensive than plastic molds. They cost 2-3 times more than plastic molds. Silicon molds require more care. Silicone molds must be cleaned after every use. They should also be stored flat in a cool, dry area.
Finally, remember, there's nothing more beautiful than a perfectly molded chocolate!