From amateur bakers to professional confectioners, using chocolate moulds is a popular method to create beautifully shaped chocolates at home or in a professional setting.
Whether you’re crafting personalised treats for a special occasion, or simply indulging your creative whims on a rainy afternoon, mastering the art of the chocolate mould can be a rewarding experience.
This post will guide you step-by-step, shedding light on the process of creating moulded chocolate masterpieces.
How to Use a Chocolate Mould Step-by-Step
Using a chocolate mould is a fun and satisfying process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
You’ll need a chocolate mould, good quality chocolate, a microwave-safe bowl or a double boiler, a silicone spatula, a thermometer, and a fridge for cooling.
You might also want a pastry brush if you’re making hollow chocolates.
Step 2: Melt the Chocolate
Break your chocolate into small, even pieces and place them in your microwave-safe bowl.
Melt it gently in the microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each one until the chocolate is smooth and fully melted.
Alternatively, use a double boiler on the stove, but make sure the bottom of the upper pan doesn’t touch the water.
Step 3: Temper the Chocolate
This is a crucial step for achieving shiny, snap-worthy chocolate.
Heat the chocolate to 45°C, then let it cool to 27°C, then reheat it to 31-32°C for dark chocolate or 30-31°C for milk and white chocolate.
Use the thermometer to track the temperature.
Step 4: Fill the Moulds
Pour the tempered chocolate into the moulds.
Make sure the chocolate fills every part of each cavity in the mould for an even result.
You can use a spoon or a pastry bag to help distribute the chocolate.
Step 5: Remove Excess Chocolate
If you’re making hollow chocolates, wait a few minutes for the chocolate to begin to set, then turn the mould upside down over your bowl of chocolate to drain out the excess.
Use a scraper or a spatula to scrape across the surface of the mould to clean off any leftover chocolate.
Step 6: Allow to Set
Place the mould in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes, or until the chocolate has completely hardened.
Step 7: Remove From the Mould
Once the chocolate has set, turn the mould upside down and gently tap it on the work surface.
The chocolates should fall out easily. If they don’t, they may need more time in the fridge.
Step 8: Enjoy or Store
Enjoy your beautifully moulded chocolates right away, or store them in an airtight container at a cool room temperature.
They should last for a couple of months, but chances are they’ll get eaten long before then!
Remember, the most important part of this process is to have fun.
It might take a few tries to get the hang of it, but with patience and practice, you’ll be creating stunning chocolate treats in no time.
What Chocolate to Use For Moulds?
The type of chocolate you choose for moulding can make a significant difference in both the process and the final product.
High-quality couverture chocolate is generally the best choice for moulding. “Couverture” is a term used for chocolates rich in cocoa butter.
It contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter (about 32-39%) compared to regular chocolate, which allows it to melt and flow more smoothly, making it ideal for moulding.
Couverture chocolate is available in dark, milk, and white varieties.
Dark couverture chocolate typically contains 70% or more cocoa solids, providing a rich and intense flavour.
Milk couverture chocolate is lighter and creamier, while white couverture chocolate is sweet and buttery.
These chocolates require tempering before they are poured into moulds, which gives the final product a glossy finish and a firm snap when broken or bitten.
It can take a little practice to get the tempering process right, but the result is well worth the effort.
If you’re just starting out or looking for a simpler option, you might consider using ‘compound chocolate’.
Compound chocolate substitutes cocoa butter with vegetable fat and does not require tempering, making it easier to work with for beginners.
However, it doesn’t have the same depth of flavour or texture as couverture chocolate.
As with all cooking and baking, using the best quality ingredients you can afford will result in the best tasting product.
How To Melt Chocolate For Moulds
Melting chocolate for moulds is a straightforward process but requires careful attention.
Here’s a simple step-by-step guide:
Step 1: Break It Down
Begin by breaking your chocolate into small, even pieces.
This will help it to melt uniformly and prevent any scorching.
Step 2: Choose Your Method
There are two main ways to melt chocolate – using a microwave or a double boiler.
Place the chocolate pieces in a microwave-safe bowl.
Heat on a medium power level for about 30 seconds.
Remove from the microwave and give the chocolate a good stir.
Repeat this process, heating in short intervals and stirring in between, until the chocolate is smooth and glossy.
It’s crucial not to overheat the chocolate as it can easily burn.
Double Boiler Method:
If you prefer not to use a microwave, you can use the double boiler method.
Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and bring it to a simmer.
Place a heatproof bowl (preferably glass or metal) over the simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
Add your chocolate to the bowl.
As the steam from the simmering water gently warms the bowl, the chocolate will begin to melt.
Stir frequently until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth.
Step 3: Tempering
If you’re using high-quality couverture chocolate, you’ll need to temper it.
This process involves heating and cooling the chocolate to stabilise it, resulting in a shiny finish and a good snap.
To temper, heat the chocolate until it reaches 45°C.
Then, remove from heat and cool down to 27°C, before reheating it to around 31-32°C for dark chocolate or 30-31°C for milk and white chocolate.
A good thermometer is a must for this step.
Step 4: Use Immediately
Once your chocolate is melted and tempered, it’s ready to be poured into your moulds immediately.
Chocolate begins to set as it cools, so it’s important to work quickly.
Remember, the key to melting chocolate successfully is taking your time and using low, gentle heat.
It might require a bit of patience, but the silky, smooth results are well worth it.
What Can Go Wrong When Melting Chocolate?
Melting chocolate might seem like a straightforward task, but there are a few pitfalls that can arise if you’re not careful.
Here are some of the things that can go wrong when melting chocolate and how to avoid them:
- Chocolate Burns or Seizes: This is one of the most common issues when melting chocolate. Chocolate burns easily, particularly when it’s heated too quickly or at too high a temperature. The sugar in the chocolate can seize and form lumps, turning the once smooth chocolate into a grainy mess. This is why it’s always recommended to melt chocolate slowly and gently, either in a microwave in short intervals, stirring in between, or in a double boiler over simmering water.
- Chocolate Becomes Too Thick: If chocolate is overheated, it can become thick and unworkable. This can happen even if it doesn’t burn, and it’s often a result of the chocolate getting too hot. Following the slow and steady approach can prevent this issue.
- Water Gets into the Chocolate: Even a small amount of water can cause chocolate to seize up into a grainy, clumpy mess. This is why it’s crucial to ensure your bowl and utensils are completely dry before you start, and to be careful when using a double boiler so that steam or water doesn’t splash into the chocolate.
- Chocolate Doesn’t Set Properly: If you’re melting chocolate for moulding, and it doesn’t set firm at room temperature, it’s probably because the chocolate wasn’t properly tempered. Tempering is a process of heating and cooling the chocolate to specific temperatures to align the cocoa butter crystals, which gives the chocolate a shiny finish and a good snap. Using a thermometer and following the specific temperature guidelines can ensure your chocolate is correctly tempered.
So, while there are several potential pitfalls when melting chocolate, understanding these issues and knowing how to prevent them can help you ensure a smooth, glossy result every time.
What Types of Moulds Can You Use for Chocolate?
The beauty of making your own chocolates is that you can experiment with a variety of moulds to create unique shapes and designs.
Here is a look at some of the types of moulds you can use for chocolate:
- Plastic Moulds: Plastic moulds are the most common type used for chocolate moulding, largely because they’re affordable and widely available. They come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, so you can really let your imagination run wild. However, do ensure to use food-grade plastic moulds.
- Silicone Moulds: Silicone moulds are another great option for making chocolates. They’re flexible, which makes it easy to pop the chocolates out once they’ve set. Plus, they’re durable, reusable, and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. Like plastic moulds, silicone ones come in a wide array of shapes and sizes.
- Polycarbonate Moulds: If you are a serious chocolatier or want a professional finish, consider investing in polycarbonate moulds. These high-quality moulds are used in commercial chocolate-making because they deliver an exceptional shine and detailed finish to the chocolates. They are typically more expensive than plastic or silicone moulds, but they’re extremely durable and will last a long time if cared for properly.
- Metal Moulds: Metal moulds can also be used for making chocolates, although they’re less common than the other types. They conduct heat quickly, so the chocolate can set faster. However, it can sometimes be more challenging to remove the chocolates from metal moulds, and they don’t offer the same variety of shapes as plastic or silicone moulds.
Regardless of the type of mould you choose, remember to clean it thoroughly before use.
Any dust or residue can spoil the finish of your chocolates.
If you’re using a plastic or polycarbonate mould, polishing the cavities with a cotton wool ball can give your chocolates a lovely shine.
Where Can You Buy Premium Quality Chocolate for Melting and Moulding?
As one of the UK’s longest-standing chocolatiers, Whitakers Chocolates has been an expert in crafting high-quality chocolate for over 130 years.
We’re proud to offer the finest cooking chocolate that is meticulously crafted using only the best quality ingredients.
With a commitment to purity, you can rest assured knowing that nothing nasty or artificial goes into making our chocolate.
Our ‘Easymelt‘ cooking chocolate is a testament to this commitment.
These mini shards of dark chocolate are specifically designed for baking and cooking, melting quickly and effortlessly to lend their rich flavour and smooth texture to your culinary creations.
Whether you’re moulding a delicate chocolate shape, adding depth to your sauces, decorating a stunning dessert, or dipping your favourite fruits, ‘Easymelt‘ is your go-to choice.
So, if you’re in the market for top-tier cooking chocolate, look no further than Whitakers Chocolates.
Available online, we’re ready to elevate your cooking experience with our century-long expertise and passion for chocolate.
Some Notes From an Expert Chocolatier
From our humble beginnings over 130 years ago, we at Whitakers Chocolates have honed and perfected the art of moulding chocolates.
To us, each piece of chocolate is not merely a treat, but an embodiment of our rich heritage and dedication to quality, crafted with love and expertise.
In our chocolate making process, moulding is a step that we cherish.
We ensure that every piece of chocolate is shaped to perfection, keeping the aesthetics as delightful as the taste.
Over the years, we’ve worked with a variety of moulds ranging from traditional plastic and metal to contemporary silicone and high-quality polycarbonate moulds.
Our vast experience allows us to select the ideal mould for each type of chocolate, ensuring that each one is a perfect symphony of taste, texture, and form.
One of our secret weapons in delivering consistently exceptional chocolates is our attention to detail during the moulding process.
We understand that each mould material has unique characteristics, and we adjust our methods accordingly to achieve the desired results.
Our chocolates are not only delicious, but they are also beautiful to behold, with a professional finish that comes from using high-quality moulds.
But moulding is not just about the technical aspects for us. It’s a form of art, an opportunity to express our creativity and passion for chocolate making. We take delight in experimenting with different shapes, designs, and textures, which is evident in the vast range of products we offer.
Whether it’s a simple square of smooth dark chocolate, a delightful milk chocolate shell filled with a surprise, or an intricately designed chocolate bar that tells a story, every piece is moulded to perfection with care and precision.
At Whitakers Chocolates, we’re more than just chocolatiers – we are storytellers, artists, and innovators.
And we bring all of these roles to bear in the beautiful, delicious chocolates that we mould, and that our loyal customers have come to love.
We’re proud to be masters of moulding, and we look forward to continuing to delight our customers with our expertly crafted chocolates.
Final Notes On How To Mould Chocolate
Moulding chocolate is an art form that combines precise technique with a touch of creativity.
It’s an integral part of chocolate making, transforming smooth, liquid chocolate into a myriad of delightful shapes that add to the pleasure of each bite.
Understanding how to properly use and select moulds, the right type of chocolate to use, and the crucial process of melting and tempering chocolate are all vital steps in perfecting this craft.
So go ahead, explore the wonderful world of chocolate moulding, and you might just discover a rewarding new passion and an appreciation for the intricate art of chocolate making.