Remember those childhood memories where you got to make stuff with playdoh or silly putty?
Let me introduce you to modelling chocolate … it is literally edible playdoh!
It’s commonly used in cake decorating for accents, toppers, and many other things. Though I’ve heard of modelling chocolate a while back when I first started watching Duff Goldman on Ace of Cakes, I had never actually tried to use it in my baking or cake decorating. Plus, I thought it was just really complicated to make. But here’s the kicker – its actually only two ingredients!
What?!? Yes, mix together two ingredients and boom, the perfect marriage of sugary goodness creates this pliable solid mass of chocolate that can be folded, rolled, flattened, and moulded into whatever you can imagine. Neat eh? I used Wilton Candy Melts for my modelling chocolate, but I’ve read you can use regular chocolate as well. Wilton has a recipe on their site under ‘Candy Clay‘. Because I only needed to make a cake topper and flat disc, I only used half of the wilton recipe (at the end of the post).
I ended up choosing a white rose as a cake topper. A rose was an easy decision for two reasons: 1) roses are beautiful and 2) it was the only flower that I found where you could kind of free-hand the petals and don’t need to use a cutter set. Though it may look a little complicated, it actually wasn’t too bad thanks to the help of this awesome video. She does a great job explaining everything and its super easy to follow. Plus, the great thing about modelling chocolate is that if you make a mistake, no worries, just roll everything into a ball and start again! Once you’re done with your masterpiece, let it sit out to dry and harden then store in an airtight container.
And if, once you’ve made say a chocolate disk and you’d like to add some kind of script or piped wording to it, you can do so with some melted chocolate. Free-hand piping is tough on its own, but when you have to neatly pipe legible words for say… a cake? Yah, pressure is on and it just gets even harder. Remember that grand marnier cake I made and had to pipe Happy Birthday onto the cake? Well, I should have actually piped it onto a chocolate disk instead of right on the cake! Using a disk is a lot easier for a couple of reasons: 1) If you make a mistake, its all good – just flip it over and try again or use a new disk and 2) you can put the disk on the flat counter top where it isn’t elevated like half a foot off the table (I find that I have a bit more control when its lower).
I came across this great site (Wicked Goodies) for tips on how to write with chocolate – I’d definitely recommend to check it out for great tips and tricks. I tried the recipe from the Wicked Goodies site, and I have to say that I really like it for piping. They suggest to use parchment cones for piping – not going to lie, this was a bit of an adjustment as I never use parchment cones. It took a few tries of piping script and playing around with the different hold to actually feel more comfortable. If you’re going to write something on a cake, chances are you’ll probably want to make it look as professional as possible so… practice, practice, practice! Do some test-runs and practice piping out the phrase(s) on a baking mat as many times as you need till you feel comfortable or just play around with different ways you can write it.
And if you have any extra chocolate, use it to practice piping numbers, and other phrases – the more you practice, the more confident you’ll feel and the more professional it’ll look!
Goodluck and stay tuned for the final cake that I used these pieces for!
Head on over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday party – as usual, there is a great line up of awesome food to share!
- 1/2 package Candy Melts (6 oz)
- 2 tbsp corn syrup
- Melt candy melts according to package instructions and stir until smooth and no more lumps
- Stir in corn syrup. At this point, the chocolate will kind of seize and become more solid.
- Place into saran wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until solid. (I left mine for about half and hour)
- Break off a piece (it’ll be fairly hard), roll and warm it with your hands, then shape it into whatever you’d like
- 1/4 C chocolate chips, melted
- 1/2 to 1 tsp vegetable oil
- In a heat-proof bowl, melt chocolate.
- Stir in vegetable oil, mix until completely combined. Check the consistency at this point – should be a little drippy, but not completely runny… if that makes sense.
- Transfer into a small parchment cone for piping.