Chocolate Making FAQ Page 1
- How can I figure out how much chocolate to buy for a hundred chocolates?
- How can I learn more about chocolate making and chocolate molds?
- Why did my chocolate come out dull or soft?
- What are Coatings?
- What is the maximum temperature that can be used?
- What is the best way to melt chocolate?
- Can I microwave chocolate?
- What does cavity mean in the mold description?
- What are assembly molds?
- How do I use assembly molds to make hollow chocolates?
How can I figure out how much chocolate to buy for a hundred chocolates?
All our molds have the fill weight in their product description. Multiply the fill weight by the number of chocolates. Since the fill weight is in ounces this number should then be divided by 16 to get the number of pounds needed.
How can I learn more about chocolate making and chocolate molds?
We have a chocolate mold glossary that will help explain the mold descriptions. This page explains the care and feeding of your chocolate molds. A variety of free basic how to instructions and chocolate making projects can be found on our chocolate project and instruction index.
Why did my chocolate come out dull or soft?
Real chocolate requires tempering to attain the shiny, hard finish we associate with chocolate. Real chocolate contains both cocoa butter and chocolate liqueur which are required ingredients for a product to be called chocolate according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. See Chocolate Tempering Simplified for more details about this.
An alternative is to use coatings. Coatings look and taste like chocolate but require no tempering.
What are Coatings?
For many years it was common practice to combine paraffin wax with chocolate to make a more durable chocolate for coating candy. A common ratio was 6 parts chocolate to 1 part paraffin. This practice fell out of favor in the 1960's, so an entire industry has evolved to produce coatings which don't contain non food products. These generally contain vegetable oils and fats in place of cocoa butter which makes them less temperature sensitive and much easier to work with.
Since these contain no cocoa butter or chocolate liqueur they are technically not chocolate by the legal definition although they look and taste just like chocolate. Coatings are available in a wide variety of colors and in dark, milk, white, peanut butter, and butterscotch chocolate flavor. Colors are white chocolate flavor.
What is the maximum temperature that can be used?
This probably varies from one chocolate maker to the next, but the molds will not tolerate temperatures above 165 degrees F. so this temperature should never be exceeded when using clear plastic molds. Most chocolate requires temperatures lower than 120 degrees F. and a pouring temperature around 90 degrees F. More importantly, most chocolates are poured at 88 - 90 degree F.
What is the best way to melt chocolate?
A double boiler works best. See our Melting Chocolate In A Double Boiler article for the technique we recommend.
Can I microwave chocolate?
A microwave will work, but it is very easy to overheat the chocolate. If using a microwave, always check the temperature before pouring to make sure you don't damage the molds.
What does cavity mean in the mold description?
A mold cavity is an area of the mold designed to hold the chocolate. This ranges from one to many per mold sheet depending on the size of the cavities. As a general guideline, each cavity will produce one chocolate at a time, so a four cavity mold will make four chocolates at a time. The exception to this are assembly molds which require two or more cavities to make each chocolate.
What are assembly molds?
Most assemby molds are molds that form a three dimensional chocolate (such as a large Easter bunny) by hollow or solid molding. However some assembly molds are used by making separate chocolate pieces that are adhered together after demolding (such as house molds).
How do I use assembly molds to make hollow chocolates?
Illustrated step by step hollow molding instructions can be found in our Hollow Molded Easter Bunny Project. Cut the parts out of the sheet with a sharp scissors. It is important to leave a 3/8 to 1/2 inch piece of the sheet all the way around the mold cavity. One half is filled with chocolate, then the two halves are clamped together. Rotate the assembled mold until the entire inside is covered with chocolate. Place in a refrigerator and rotate every few minutes until cooled. Demold and you have a beautiful hollow chocolate.
Disclaimer: The information presented here is accurate to the best of my knowledge and common chocolate making practices as of the time of this writing in December 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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