What is it and what ingredients are used?
Modeling chocolate is soft, pliable chocolate clay made with a basic ratio of two parts chocolate to one part syrup. Ours is made with pure, all natural white and dark couverture chocolate. Similar products can be, and are made by other companies using imitation chocolate and hydrogenated fats. Our modeling chocolate has superior texture and workability because of the ingredients and process used in manufacturing. The chocolate we use has no artificial ingredients. It is gluten free with no hydrogenated fats. There are dairy, corn and soy products – milk solids and soy lecithin – in the ingredients used and in the modeling chocolate. In addition our facility is used for other products including tree nuts, soy, wheat and dairy.
How do you store it and how long will it keep?
Store in a cool place for a short time and always keep modeling chocolate tightly covered so it won’t dry out. Refrigerate or freeze for up to a year. Exposure to air will begin to dry it out and moist environments will make it sticky. Modeling chocolate can be reworked and left over pieces re-used if handled in clean and sanitary conditions but it is best to wrap the used and unused portions separately for storage.
Coloring and naturally colored modeling chocolate
To color, work in any type food color (gel, paste, powder). Because modeling chocolate is a mixture of fat based product and water based product there is no need to use special chocolate colors. When using natural colors keep in mind these will fade (they are natural, after all!) over time. To best results keep product in a dark place away from light. To keep natural colors as bright as possible with minimal change, store well wrapped modeling chocolate in the freezer for six months or longer.
How do you store decorations made with modeling chocolate? Can you make them ahead?
Decorations or parts of decorations can be made ahead of time and air dried, refrigerated or frozen. Drying delicate or large pieces for thirty minutes to twenty-four hours before assembling may make it easier to keep the shape of final decorations. Finished pieces can be stored for days or even kept for years as decorations in cool, dry environment.
Modeling chocolate got too warm and separated. How to fix it:
The combination of cocoa butter, solids and syrup can melt and separate when very warm. It is possible to recombine the mixture by working and cooling it at the same time. Use a cool surface – a clean stone countertop or refrigerated, non- breakable tray and knead the separated mixture against the cool surface. As the ingredients cool, solidify and blend together the mixture becomes smooth and uniform, turning back into modeling chocolate.
Be sure to start with the modeling chocolate at room temperature, separated, with the oil/fats soft. Start by working just a little piece of the separated mass against a cool surface until it is smooth and uniform. Then do this to the rest, emulsifying as much at a time as works for you.
The modeling chocolate is hard / soft / separated / dry.
The dark is harder than the colors or there are small bits of cocoa butter in it.
Modeling chocolate is firm on purpose when it has not been handled or warmed for a while. The dark is made with real chocolate solids and naturally has a harder consistency than the white or colored pieces. Both the white and dark will become pliable when slightly warmed, either by hand kneading or just one or two seconds in the microwave (more than that and it will melt or even burn!)
Slightly dry modeling chocolate will usually soften up with a little kneading or warming. Even a very dry piece can often be brought back to life by warming gently until it begins to melt, adding just a touch of water, and reworking against a cool surface.
My modeling chocolate gets too soft when I use it. What can I do?
If possible, work on a cool surface like marble or granite and use tools to
minimize contact with warm hands. A pasta machine/roller works very well for rolling out strips for cut out decorations. When shaping figures with modeling chocolate work in stages, allowing time for the chocolate to cool down between steps. This is real chocolate and will melt if held in your hands too long, so minimize contact, try to be gentle and precise, and for more difficult designs allow for some practice. Some crafters find it helpful to cool very warm hands with an ice pack.
To easily make shapes, roll in a pasta machine and cut shapes with a knife, pizza wheel, scissors or decorating cutters. Texture with a grater, mold or any clean crafting stamp.
Most shapes begin with a ball and evolve. If the modeling chocolate gets sticky roll with one hand against a cool surface instead of rolling between two hands. Make cuts with scissors or a knife to separate parts like a beak, legs, tail or fingers.
If parts don’t want to stick together moisten the edge with a little water or egg white. “Innies and outies” can help hold a figure together – make a pointy end on one piece to stick into a hole on the other piece (like a pointy neck into a hole between the shoulders of a figure).
Roll it thin to cover a cake, make ribbons or ruffles (if you have worked with fondant, use it the same way). To smooth a piece or bring out the shine, lightly rub it with your hand. The cocoa butter on the surface warms up and shines. To color, work in any type food color (gel, paste, powder) paint with food color thinned with a little alcohol or brush on petal or luster dust.