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Modeling Chocolate

Modeling Chocolate

I love using modeling chocolate for sculpting; sometimes I'll mix it with fondant for covering cakes.  This is the recipe I always use because it's cheap and easy.  

If you've never used modeling chocolate before, be warned that it's not like fondant or gumpaste.  I advise to review several tutorials on how to make and use modeling chocolate.
  • Modeling chocolate does not stretch like fondant, so don't expect to cover a cake with it like you would fondant.  You can cover the sides in one section and cover the top separately.
  • Modeling chocolate does not dry, but it solidifies at room temperature.
  • Modeling chocolate is sensitive to temperature; it's more malleable when warm.  If it gets too hot, it will start to separate.
See the NOTES section afterwards for a few more tips.

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb white candy coating (aka almond bark, candy melts) or white chocolate
  • 1/3 c light corn syrup
 +

Directions:

In a bowl, gently melt candy until smooth either by microwaving for 30 second bursts (stirring in between) or over a double boiler.  



Add corn syrup and stir. 

It's going to start to get weird.

The candy will appear to seize.

Keep calm; keep stirring.

Yes, I know it looks awful, but it's ok.

Once the corn syrup is mixed in, this will look like an oily, clumpy mess.  Don't worry.  Put it inside an air-tight container.  I like to store mine in quart-size freezer bags.  Leave this on the counter overnight to set.  After a few hours it will solidify and re-absorb the separated oil.


After a good night's rest...

Remove from bag.

Knead well to get rid of any lumps.

Color as desired!
NOTES:
  • I use my local grocery store's brand of candy coating.  It's usually $3/lb.
  • I don't really care about taste, hence the cheap ingredients.  If you care, use tastier stuff.
  • You can color modeling chocolate with gel food colors (e.g. AmeriColor), but adding a lot may change the consistency and usability.  If you need deep colors, you can use powder food coloring or start with pre-colored candy melts (e.g. Wilton).
  • If you think your modeling chocolate is too oily, you can soak some of it up with a paper towel.
  • Got hot hands?  Try not to handle the clay too much.  Let it sit on a cool surface, e.g. marble slab.
  • It is possibly to airbrush modeling chocolate, but you must do very light coats with lots of dry time in between.  I have not done this before, but this was told to me by Mike McCarey at a demonstration ... and I will believe anything he says.
  • I store mine in ziplock bags in the pantry for a couple months.  I don't think it's necessary to store in the fridge or freezer.  
  • I sprinkle powdered sugar on my work surface to prevent sticking, just like fondant.

22 comments:

  1. Could you use this like fondant to make little flowers from silicone molds or your ruffle flowers? Or does it not solidify enough to hold its shape on a cake?

    Thanks,

    Casie
    CC's Cupcakes and Confections

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can- it actually holds up better than fondant, especially for characters, tastes better, and dries more firmly. You can even cover a cake with it.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this. It is very helpful!

    ReplyDelete
  3. The only think I don't like about modeling chocolate is that it seems to keep my finger prints on all of the things I touch! Whereas fondant has that smooth finish. Do you find that to be true as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean! When working with modeling chocolate, I usually wear disposable vinyl gloves. I find the vinyl helps me smooth out areas and keeps my hands from feeling greasy.

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  4. Mine came out crumbly. What'd I do wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Here's a link to a modeling chocolate recipe tip from Lauren Kitchens (who I love and adore): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxbcD1a4_OE She explains how it can turn out crumbly. Is this what you're experiencing?

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  5. can you color white almond bark Americolor brush food color

    ReplyDelete
  6. Replies
    1. Absolutely! I made some just the other night. Still 1 lb. almond bark to 1/3 cup of corn syrup. Smells so chocolatey!

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  7. Your instructions and pictures made this SO simple. Thank you for debunking the theory that it's so complicated and only for Master Bakers to attempt.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Can I make stable figures with modeling chocolate? Like animals standing? Do I have to use toothpics for support?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I tried to make modeling chocolate today using white CandiQuik candy coating and corn syrup, put it in a ziplock bag on the counter and went to work. When I came back home, it had hardened. What am I doing wrong?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nothing wrong! It'll be hard when cool. You'll have to knead it until it warms up a little and becomes pliable. Break off a chunk at a time to work with.

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  10. Can I cover cake with modeling chocolate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is not recommended. Modeling chocolate does not stretch like fondant. If you were to cover a cake, it would have to be in panels (which I have done for contests before with styrofoam dummies). Modeling chocolate gets hard, so it would be difficult to slice a cake covered with it.

      Delete
  11. Does it really last well for months in the pantry? I need just a little bit, but don't want to mess too much with ratios. Thanks! ☺️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your mileage may vary depending on the chocolate you use. It doesn't really go "bad", but the sugars may crystallize and separate (think of old chocolate and candy). It is too difficult to knead smooth at that point.

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    2. Thank you! I guess I'll just see what happens. It didn't cost much, so I'm not losing much if it's not good later!

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