Chocolate molds (or moulds) have been around since chocolate consumption moved from predominately "drinking chocolate" to predominately "eating chocolate" with the discovery of the conching and tempering processes. Learn from Ecole Chocolat about making gourmet chocolate with molds.
In order to produce bite-size pieces, large blocks of chocolate are molded into smaller forms. In the late 1800s, creating fanciful chocolate molds of metal was at its height. Small bakers and chocolatiers produced intricate shapes, both flat and three-dimensional.
Since then, time-consuming, hand-filled molds have been replaced by simplistic forms that lend themselves to volume production. The introduction of plastic molds revolutionized both the industrial and home markets. Now, plastic molds – usually based on historical designs first done in metal – can be produced inexpensively.
Modern chocolate molds made from plastic vary in quality. When purchasing, look for strong plastic with deep intricate designs. These will produce a much more elegant product than shallow, less detailed molds.
Chocolate molds made for home cooks are usually thin plastic with shallow cavities that release easily and work well for solid chocolate items. They will stand up to occasional use.
Professional chocolate molds are made from rigid, thick and strong polycarbonate with deep cavities. They are built to survive volume use and produce a taller chocolate.
After the finished chocolate is removed from the mold, it leaves a light film of cocoa butter which makes the next chocolate molded in the cavity gleam even more.
Chocolate molds should never be washed with soap – if they become caked with chocolate, use hot water to scrub out the mold carefully. Soap scum can mar the taste of the chocolate if not thoroughly removed.
There's nothing more beautiful than a perfectly molded chocolate!