Modeling chocolate, also known as candy clay, is a versatile paste to use for cake sculpting and modeling. It holds its own shape very well when you cut and make intricate shapes out of it, yet it is soft and pliable enough to be made into figures. Unfortunately, for the inexperienced cake decorator, working with modeling chocolate can be a frustrating experience – there are times when you come up with lumpy paste, or the final pieces will crack for no apparent reason. Well, cake decorating is something you can’t learn overnight. But knowing these modeling chocolate tips beforehand should make this easier, and before you know it, you will become an expert when it comes to using this paste!
To make a quick modeling chocolate, here’s a recipe. Now, here are some modeling chocolate tips you need to know when working on modeling chocolate:
- The proportion of the chocolate to the corn syrup requires some adjustments, and it will depend on the quality of the chocolate or the brand of candy melts you are using. For example, dark chocolate is firmer and more solid than white chocolate, so you are going to need more corn syrup to make the modeling chocolate. On the other hand, white chocolate and candy melts will require less corn syrup than dark chocolate. Another factor to consider is the type and brand of chocolate you are using. Different brands contain various amounts of fats, cocoa butter, and oil, which will cause your modeling chocolate to behave differently from other recipes that use a different chocolate brand. As such, having a standard recipe for modeling chocolate can be a little bit tricky at the start.
- It is always a safe bet to start with less corn syrup, and then add more as you go along until you come up with a soft and pliable modeling chocolate. Once you have made a few batches using the same brand of chocolate, you will eventually learn the best proportion of the chocolate to corn syrup.
- Watch out how you stir the chocolate and the corn syrup together. While understirring will result to a chunky mixture, overstirring will result to a lumpy and oily mess. While both can be fixed quite easily, having the right consistency to begin with will make it easy for you to decorate your cake. Just remember to stir just until the corn syrup has been incorporated into the chocolate. Do not mix too vigorously; otherwise, you will end up with a greasy modeling chocolate.
- Once done with the stirring, scoop out the modeling chocolate and place it on a plastic wrap. It needs time to cool down and sit at a room temperature.
- Before you begin modeling, knead the paste first for a couple of minutes until it becomes a soft dough, making it more pliable and easier to manage.
- However, resist the urge to knead too much – ten seconds should do it. Overkneading the dough will result to an oily and crumbly texture that you might find difficult to work with. After kneading, if the modeling chocolate turns out to be crumbly, that means it is lacking in corn syrup. If it turns out to be way too soft, that means you put in too much of the corn syrup.
- If you want to achieve an intense color for the modeling chocolate, you will need to use a gel food color. Now, food coloring may affect the consistency of your dough, but the application of a little bit of cornstarch should do the trick. It absorbs some of the moisture coming from the food color so that the modeling chocolate retains its texture. If the cornstarch dries out the modeling chocolate, knead in some vegetable shortening.
- Kneading the color in will soften the modeling chocolate to such an extent that you might need to rest the paste a bit before it can be worked on again. Plan the coloring at least an hour before modeling to give enough time for the paste to rest.
- After kneading, the paste may still have some oil oozing from the cocoa butter. Grab a paper towel and use it to pat the surface of the paste, in order to blot out the excess oil.
- In warmer environments, you may need to sit the modeling chocolate overnight.
Once your modeling chocolate has been set, it can be rolled thinly using a rolling pin or a pasta machine. You can use a knife or cookie cutters to form flowers or figures. Because of its versatility and yummy taste, the modeling chocolate will soon become one of your favorite mediums to work with once you get the hang of making it with these modeling chocolate tips!