When I was younger my mom used to mold her own chocolate for the holidays. At the time my sister and I didn’t know that she did this because it was cheaper than buying anything by Hershey’s, Nestle or the Mars Company. My family didn’t have a lot of money (farmers usually don’t), so this was the way that my mom helped to save a little during the holidays. It was just part of growing up for us. We knew that at Christmas we would have little chocolate Santas in our stockings, and at Easter there would be chocolate lambs, chicks, and flowers.
Now that we are older those molds don’t get used as often because time-wise it’s just easier to buy a bag of candy at the store. When you grow up eating one kind of chocolate you often find that other chocolates aren’t nearly as good. One year I was given a chocolate cat for Easter and was told that it was the best chocolate you could get in our area. I did not like it at all! It was waxy tasting and I felt bad that the person had spent their money on what I considered to be inferior chocolate. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m FAR from being a chocolate snob. lol. It’s just that I prefer the little chocolate melting wafers that you can buy in the bulk section of the store.
I enjoy molding chocolate like this, so I’ve taken over ownership of my mom’s molds and I’ve added to the collection by buying some of my own. I was looking around at them when I came across these jet sucker molds. I couldn’t resist! I knew that Jay and his flying buddies would get a kick out of them. I finally received them in the mail last week and I’ve been itching to try them out.
There are some people who are afraid to try something like melting chocolate and molding it. I’m not sure why because it’s so easy, but I thought that I would show you how it’s done. Maybe once you see how easy it is to do you will be tempted to try it yourself. This is what we start with: chocolate wafers ($2.99 a pound), sucker sticks, and the mold (you can barely see it laying on top of the sucker sticks).
You want to start out by melting the chocolate wafers. There are two ways to do this; using a double boiler, or using the microwave. My mom always melted the chocolate using a glass bowl and the microwave. Depending on how deep your mold is you are only going to melt a little bit of chocolate at a time. You don’t want to melt too much because it will start to cool and set up before you can use it. Then you have to melt it again and it can be a pain. Also, when melting it you want to be sure that you don’t burn it. I usually put it in for 40-60 seconds, stir it to see if I need to put it in any longer, continuing to heat it for small amounts of time until all of the wafers are completely melted.
There are also different ways that you can actually put the melted chocolate into the molds. Wherever you purchased the chocolate wafers you probably saw some squeeze bottles. You can buy one of these, fill it, and then use that to squeeze it into all of the crevices of the mold. Or, again doing it the cheaper way, you use a spoon to drizzle it into the mold. It helps if you have a pointier spoon because then you can control it a little better. If you are molding suckers don’t forget to put them into the mold before the chocolate sets up. I only had the short sucker sticks, but the next time I make these I will use the longer ones. These were just a little shorter than what I would have liked.
If your mold has a lot of detail to it, make sure that you really tap the chocolate into those crevices. There’s not a lot of detail to my jet mold, so I didn’t have to worry too much about that. Make sure that the chocolate gets pushed out to all of the edges. I didn’t have to do it to this mold, but if you notice a lot of air bubbles in the chocolate you can get the majority of them out just by tapping on the mold. After all of them are filled with chocolate, lightly tap by each one until it appears that most of the air bubbles have popped.
This is how my suckers looked after I finished filling the mold with chocolate. I probably could have smoothed the backs out if I had wanted, but they aren’t for anything special so I just left them as is. To level them out you can try tapping the mold a little bit. The fact that the back isn’t perfect lets people know that they were homemade and so they might appreciate them a little more. I made the mistake of making cupcakes look too perfect so my coworkers didn’t eat them because they thought they were store bought. So imperfections can make your goods even more valuable than you realize.
Make sure that there’s a big enough space in your freezer for the mold to lay flat. You don’t want any of the chocolate oozing out of the mold and setting up that way. Again, you’ll have to use your judgement as to how long to keep them in the freezer. The deeper the mold, the longer you’ll need to keep them in there. You will know that they are ready to come out when you can put some pressure on the backs/tops and your finger doesn’t go through or indent it at all. Once they are set up you simply turn the mold over and gently twist it like an ice cube tray. The chocolate should pop out. Just make sure that you are gentle with them because they will come flying out of there quicker than you think. If one breaks when you are removing it from the mold you have two options: 1) Eat the mistakes 2) toss the broken pieces back into the glass bowl and melt them down again. A combination of #1 and 2 works as well. 😉
This was just a simple example of what you can do with chocolate if you’ve never done it before. There are different colors, different types of molds, and more complicated designs. For instance, I’ve seen a mold where you mold pieces of a box, then you assemble the set pieces so that you’ve actually made a box out of chocolate. Very neat! Clean up is a snap, too. After you’ve licked your fingers and the spoon, all it takes is some hot water and soap to clean it all up. It really is a very easy process with great results.