Modeling chocolate recipes create a thick, paste-like dough that is used to shape and form edible cake decorations and adornments. The right consistency of modeling chocolate can be chilled and kneaded to form a clay-like substance that acts similar to fondant in many situations (but often tastes better).
Modeling Chocolate Recipe
It's easy for even beginning bakers and decorators to make modeling chocolate. The paste is available pre-made in tubs, but it tends to be expensive and is often sold in larger amounts than a home baker would need. To make about half a pound of your own modeling chocolate, you need just a couple of ingredients:
- 7 ounces chocolate
- 3-4 tablespoons corn syrup
You will also need a double boiler or microwave-safe bowl in which to melt the chocolate. Chocolate is less likely to burn in a double boiler over low heat than it is in the microwave, so if you have the time and equipment for the double-boiler method, use that. An alternative is to place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.
- Place the chocolate on top of the double boiler. Set stove heat to low, and stir the chocolate with a whisk about every 15 to 20 seconds until chocolate melts.
- Remove the chocolate from the heat, and continue to whisk until it is completely smooth.
- Let the chocolate cool for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Whisk in the corn syrup. The chocolate mixture should stiffen and change in texture. Whisk until both ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Use a nonstick spatula to transfer the chocolate mixture to a zip-top bag or a piece of plastic wrap.
- Wrap and secure the chocolate dough, and put it in the refrigerator. Chill for at least two hours.
- Melt the chocolate gradually in the microwave. Place it in a heatproof bowl, and set the microwave to low power.
- Microwave the chocolate for 20 seconds. Remove it, and stir briefly with a whisk.
- Microwave the chocolate for another 20 seconds. Repeat, microwaving at intervals of 20 seconds and whisking after every time, until the chocolate melts.
- Stir the chocolate until it is completely smooth.
- Follow directions 3 through 6 from the double-boiler method listed above.
When the chocolate dough is thoroughly chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and coat a flat work surface with a thin layer of cooking spray. Knead the modeling chocolate on the work surface until it is soft and malleable. The paste is then ready to use. It can be molded into shapes, braided, rolled, imprinted with a pattern, cut with fondant tools or cookie cutters, or used to make flowers and other intricate objects.
Notes and Tips
- Make modeling chocolate from any type of chocolate: bittersweet, semi-sweet, milk, or even white chocolate. Some varieties may need less corn syrup than others, so start with about 3 tablespoons and add more if necessary.
- White chocolate modeling clay does not require as much corn syrup as chocolate made with cocoa solids. When making white chocolate dough, start with 1 1/2 tablespoons of corn syrup.
- You can add melted cocoa butter or cocoa powder to your modeling chocolate if you like, but the extra ingredients are not necessary.
While the modeling chocolate recipes listed might sound easy, it is best to practice working with them several times before you need to use the actual modeling chocolate on a cake. This way, you do not burn the chocolate while melting or add too much corn syrup to the recipe.