Chocolate molds are molds which are designed to be used in candy-making, for the production of both filled and solid chocolates. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes which can be used to produce a dizzying array of chocolates. The best chocolate molds are made from silicone or metal, both of which have very high heat resistance. Less expensive chocolate molds made from plastic are also available, but they must be used carefully, as the heated chocolate used in candy-making can melt the molds if it is not handled properly.
When cooks make filled chocolate using a chocolate mold, they brush melted chocolate into the mold to create a thin shell of chocolate. Many cooks like to make several layers, ensuring that the chocolate is thick, and allowing the chocolate to cool completely between layers. Once the shell is set, the filling can be added, and more chocolate can be carefully poured in to seal the filling. After the chocolate cools, the mold can be inverted and gently tapped to allow the chocolates to fall out, at which point they can be decorated and packaged.
Solid chocolates are made by pouring chocolate into the mold, rapping it sharply on the counter to remove air bubbles, and then allowing the chocolate to cool completely before inverting the mold to allow the solid chocolates to come out. Many molds designed for solid chocolate come in decorative designs like trees, animals, plants, and so forth, with the details being preserved in the molded chocolate.
In addition to being used for chocolates, chocolate molds can also be used for a variety of other candies. For stickier recipes, the molds may be dusted with cornstarch or cocoa powder to ensure that the candy comes out cleanly and in one piece. Silicone molds are also useful for sticky recipes, since they can be gently peeled away to encourage the candy to pop out.
Molds are only one of an assortment of chocolate making supplies. To work with chocolate, people also need a good candy thermometer to monitor the temperature, along with spatulas and double boilers. Many people also like to temper the chocolate they use in candy-making, in which case tempering equipment will be needed as well. For people who are just starting to work with chocolate, tempered chocolate can also be purchased from cooking supply companies.
Chocolate making can be a messy process, but handmade chocolates tend to be a big hit as gifts and at parties. While the initial cost of chocolate molds can be moderately expensive, they can be utilized for years, making them an excellent addition to the kitchen for people who suspect that they will be making a lot of chocolates and candies. Numerous recipes for filled and solid chocolates can be found on the Internet.