I feel like every cake blog has to have a post about modeling chocolate. It’s almost like a right of passage. Or a prerequisite to bigger and better cakey things!
Maybe I’m exaggerating, but lets get it out there so you have access to the resource. Modeling chocolate is a really fun medium to play with. Living in a warm and humid environment, I haven’t played with it as much as I want to…. yet. The more I use it, the more I love it. Blending seams is SO easy. Just rub it with your finger and the warmth of your hands buffs it right out. Which means, as you are modeling something, you can continually add chunks of modeling chocolate to your creation to build out certain areas or add extensions to what you are creating. This came in especially handy when making some reindeer antlers for a Rudolph cake I’ve been dying to do!
So let’s run through the basics. You can make modeling chocolate from chocolate (obviously), white chocolate, and even candy melts. While I would say the chocolate and white chocolate give the best flavor, candy melts make a slightly sturdier product and open up a wide range of color options. You can certainly color modeling chocolate with gelpaste. But sometimes it’s nice to start with a base color or even be able to skip coloring altogether. Candy melts can also give you a purer white color. I’m going to show you the process with modeling chocolate as well as candy melts. So the bowl of off-white disc are Guittard vanilla a’peels. (I am a HUGE fan of Guittard chocolate. I am NOT a chocolate person. *GASP!!!* But I would grab a handful of any Guittard chocolate to eat any day of the week!) I love that you can melt these without having to worry about tempering. The bowl of green discs are Wilton candy melts.
First thing’s first. You need to melt your chocolate. I like to do 30 second increments in the microwave. Quick and easy. (I REALLY like easy!) When stirring, use a rubber spatula so you can really scrape down the side to avoid any dried out chunks or weird spots.
Melted chocolate is just so pretty!!!! Now warm up your corn syrup just a little. Probably less than 10 seconds in the microwave will do it. The measuring cup shouldn’t be hot to the touch. Pour the corn syrup into your chocolate and start to stir GENTLY. It is really easy to over-stir when making modeling chocolate. So be careful to not go crazy and stir till the oils start to separate out of the chocolate. It is not fun. (Been there, done that, probably should get the t-shirt.)
When your mixture looks like soft serve ice cream, STOP!!!!!!!! Do not pass go! Do not collect $200!
And here is what it looked like with the candy melts.
Notice that the candy melts look thicker? That plays into our finished product being sturdier.
Now pour/plop this mixture onto some plastic wrap, pat it out flat to encourage cooling, and wrap up to protect from the air.
Once this has cooled enough to still be pliable but not stiff, it’s time to work it up.
See that cloudy white stuff? This seems to happen mostly with the candy melts. It is some sort of waxy substance from the candy melts that needs to be worked back in. So start kneading! You are going to find hard little chunks within your modeling chocolate. This is normal!!!! Just smoosh them up with your fingers and knead back in.
Once you have those bits all worked in, you will have a gorgeous, smooth chunk of modeling chocolate just waiting for you to create some magic!
So go create something amazing! See you next time!