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A chocolate mold machine is used to make chocolate forms to hold fillings used for making candy in chocolate production operations. A benchtop chocolate mold machine can range from those that hold over 2 pounds (1 kilogram) of chocolate to those that hold over 33 lbs. (15KG) of chocolate. A large chocolate mold machine that can also be used for melting and tempering can produce over 200 lbs. (440KG) of tempered chocolate an hour.
Tempering is the heating and cooling process chocolate must undergo to achieve the correct texture, hardness, and gloss. Tempering chocolate is an essential step in successful candy making. Automatic tempering machines are often set at about 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and about 30 degrees Celsius, but the temperature varies according to the chocolate used and the chocolate mold machine or tempering machine manufacturer's directions. Usually, chunks of broken chocolate go into the machine at the back, and are replaced with more chocolate chunks as the operator molds or dips chocolate.
Chocolate that does not undergo the tempering process in a tempering machine or chocolate mold machine may appear rough and dull and will probably be very difficult to demold. However, even if chocolate is tempered, it still may not always turn out properly. For example, overly greasy molds or excessive refrigeration can also cause demolded chocolate to appear dull. White marks on the tops or sides of demolded chocolate may be due to excess moisture in the mold. When working with a chocolate mold machine, always be sure molds are properly dried before adding chocolate as small amounts of water may collect in the elaborate crevices of the mold's design.
A scraper to remove extra chocolate off of the filled chocolate molds is a necessary accessory in making candy with a chocolate mold machine. A vibrating table is optional in chocolate production, and smaller candy making operations may have to forgo the table if the budget is tight. However, a vibrating table is desirable as it prevents the unattractive air bubbles that commonly occur in molded chocolate.
Manufacturer's directions should always be checked for the types of chocolate that can be used in each different chocolate mold machine. Real chocolate always contains cocoa butter and chocolate liquor. Some chocolate used in confectionery may or may not contain cocoa butter or chocolate liquor as it may have a vegetable oil base instead. The type of chocolate used is important when working with a chocolate mold machine and other candy making equipment as confectionery containing vegetable oil has a higher melting point than real chocolate.
I have a variety of small candy molds that I buy at my local craft store. These flexible molds are great for making chocolate. If you really want to make it simple, you can buy the bags of chocolate and just melt them in the microwave and pour into the molds.
After you pour the chocolate into the molds, then you can decorate them or embellish them. My kids especially enjoy doing this at Easter when we make chocolate Easter eggs and bunnies.
One of their favorite molds is a chocolate lollipop mold which they like to decorate with different colors of chocolate, but the best part is eating them!
When I was in college I worked part time at a candy store where they made their own chocolate. It was very interesting watching the complete chocolate molding process from start to finish.
Their candy was made locally in one building and then sent out to their difference locations. A tour of the building where they made the chocolate and had all of the different molds gave you an inside look at how all of the different kinds of candies were made.
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