Care And Feeding Of
By Bob Sherman
Our chocolate molds will last a very long time if taken care of properly. I have some that are over 13 years old and have been used several thousand times yet they still work as well as new molds.
What They Are
Our chocolate molds are clear plastic sheets with mold cavities vacu formed in them. They are made from U.S. FDA approved plastic. It is a low temperature thermoplastic which begins to soften at 165 - 170 degrees F.
- Never pour chocolate or any other materials into chocolate molds at temperatures higher than 160 degrees F. as it may damage the mold. Generally most chocolate is poured at approximately 90 degrees F.
- Never place chocolate molds in a dishwasher.
- Hand wash only.
- Wash with warm water before storing - there is no need to wash them between pourings.
- Most chocolate makers wash with warm water only, however some prefer to use dishwashing soap also. Note: using soap will cause the clear plastic to get cloudy - this is purely cosmetic and will not affect how the mold works.
- Allow to dry before storing.
- Storing in plastic bags will keep them clean and free of dust.
General guidelines. Specific illustrated step by step chocolate making instructions and individual projects may be found here.
- Wash molds before using to remove any dust from manufacturing, warehousing, and shipping materials.
- For best results the mold must be level. Approximately
half of our molds will sit level on their own, however molds which have
odd size cavities will need to be supported in a level position. Some
popular mold leveling methods:
- Position the mold atop a suitably sized bowl.
- Fold a towel in a shape that will hold the mold level. Placing a piece of wax paper atop the towel will protect it from drips.
- The mold cavities are filled by one of the following
or a combination of the following:
- Pouring from the melting container - best for large mold cavities.
- Spooning the chocolate into the mold - best for small to medium size mold cavities.
- A squeeze bottle - best for small and tiny mold cavities as it provides the best control. The chocolate may be kept soft by placing the bottle in warm water or heating in a microwave.
- A shed resistant brush - requires patience and a steady hand and is useful only for filling tiny mold cavities or painting the mold.
- Release trapped air bubbles by rapping the mold sharply against the counter top several times immediately after pouring.
- De molding - it should never be necessary to force the chocolate from the mold. I usually prefer to air cool molds until the surface is hard to make handling them easier. The molds are then placed in a freezer until they de mold easily - typically 5 to 8 minutes depending on the size of the mold and your freezer.
Chocolate for large molding projects is best melted in a double boiler.
Double Boiler - See Double Boiler Usage Instructions.
For small quantities a microwave oven is convenient:
- Place some chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.
- Heat on medium for 30 seconds. Note: Very small quantities may require a shorter heating time.
- Stir with a spoon.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the chocolate is melted.
- Test the temperature with a thermometer.
Tip: Never use water to thin chocolate as it will destroy your chocolate. Should your chocolate become too thick through extended or repetitive melting adding a bit of shortening or paramount crystals will help return it to the proper consistency.
Painting your molds before pouring allows you to improve the appearance beyond basic one color chocolate. Basic mold painting instructions may be found here.
The appearance of many chocolates is enhanced by the application of edible eyes, flowers, etc... Apply a dab of melted chocolate the the back of the applique and press in place.
Flat Back Molding
The majority of chocolate molds are designed to be molded one sided, or flat backed. Basically just fill the mold, cool, and follow the de molding instructions above.
Making chocolate lollys is the same as flat back molding except a lolly stick is positioned after pouring. For best adhesion, roll the stick with your finger after placement.
Multi Piece Assembly
Some molds (such as carousel and house molds) have pieces which need to be assembled. The most common way to do this is with melted chocolate, but royal icing also works.
Some molds designated as 3D or assembly molds may be hollow molded. Hollow molding makes them easier to eat and requires approximately 50% less chocolate to make. Detailed hollow molding instructions can be found here.
Smaller molds designated as 3D or assembly molds are often best made by solid molding. Small or thin assembly pieces are very difficult to hollow mold so solid molding should be used on them. Basic solid molding instructions may be found here.
Open Top Molding
This variant of hollow molding is used to create cups, baskets, cornucopias, and similar designs. Open top hollow molding instructions may be found here.
Feed your molds lots of chocolate.
Support Free Projects
You can help ensure the continued availability and production of free chocolate projects by telling your friends about them. The more popular they are the more we can produce so tell your friends, mention them on message boards, link to them from your web site, etc... More information is available here.
Disclaimer: The information presented here is accurate to the best of my knowledge and usage practices as of the time of this writing - originally published in December 2005 and updated in November 2010. The author and the publisher accept no liability for the use or misuse of any of the information presented in this article. This article is presented for informational purposes and is used at your own risk.
Author: Bob Sherman
Publisher: Bobby's Craft Boutique Inc.
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