Chocolate moulds can be confusing in that there are so many different types available. The mould to use depends on what your application is and how much money you are prepared to outlay. The thin plastic moulds made by vacuum forming, are an excellent starting point for the beginner in that they are made in thousands of different designs, are low cost and produce reasonable results.
It is important to remember that all moulds must be food safe and this requires using FDA food grade materials in their manufacture.
The Starter Mould: Vacuum Formed Plastic Moulds
These moulds are available in most supermarkets and represent a good way to try the art of chocolate making in your kitchen. They are mainly used for hobby or for doing short runs of a project where speed is of the essence.
They are particularly effective for making chocolate bars or large flat backed designs that release easily from the mould. The surface finish is adequate for most purposes and come in the largest range of designs and shapes of any of the chocolate moulds.
The method of manufacture, vacuum or thremofoming involves heating a sheet of plastic and pulling it over a master mould with vacuum. This means that designs are not as sharply replicated as say using silicone moulds, but are more than adequate for most purposes.
These moulds are not as sturdy as other types and have a restricted life span. They are more difficult to clean and heat applied during the manufacture of chocolate will eventually deform the mould. However they are an essential and useful tool. As they say you get what you pay for.
Silicone Chocolate Moulds
These mould reproduce detail at a quality level unobtainable by any other type of mould. A fingerprint can be reproduced accurately with this material.
Silicone is being used increasingly to manufacture food grade moulds, using the new platinum based silicone materials, all fully approved by the FDA. It is also the ideal material to use to manufacture your own custom moulds, with easily mastered manufacturing techniques.
Recently released is a food grade silicone mould putty that can reproduce a chocolate shape in minutes and give you a working mould in 10 minutes or so. A real breakthrough for the time short project.
See How to make a Mould Using Silicone Putty
Showing you how to make flexible molds for polymer clay, air dry clay, resin, fondant, hot glue, candles, soaps, chocolates, ice, wax, etc. I N S T A G R A M…
The main disability to using silicone, is the production of air bubbles on the mould surface during the course of manufacture. These can be removed by using a vacuum degasser and exhausting the air from the mixed catalyst and silicone, just prior to casting.
In actual practice, this is rarely a problem if care is taken while mixing. Follow up by pouring the mixed silicone from as high above the mould as possible, so any air bubbles are broken in the thin stream of silicone thus formed.
The surface finish of the chocolates from a silicone mould are only as good as the finish of the original from which the mould was made and can often lose the gloss finish possible with a polycarbonate mould.
Professional Polycarbonate Moulds.
These moulds are the acknowledged standard used by the professionals. They are hard wearing with a long life expectancy and produce a top quality finish. All chocolatiers and pastry chefs use them.
Normally the moulds are produced by the injection moulding process which rules out small scale, low cost production. These moulds cost much more than all other moulds, but produce results of a professional quality.
A special polycarbonate mould has been developed in Belgium, the home of top quality chocolate, the magnetic mould. These are used with a transfer sheet bearing a design in cocoa butter,that enables a single mould to be used in the manufacture of a variety of chocolates, with different surface designs.
Polycarbonate moulds produce a top quality finish on the chocolates, are easy to work with, can handle high heat and can be cleaned in a dish washer at the end of a day’s production.
How to Use a Polycarbonate Mould by a Master Chocolatier
Connect with Jacques Torres on OpenSky: http://s.osky.co/ZGR Jacques Torres shows how to make molded chocolates using polycarbonate chocolate molds. OpenSky …
Chocolate Moulds Used in Large Scale Manufacture.
These are made using the Cad/Cam computer generated CNC machined metal moulds and are extremely expensive. They produce extremely fine detail, with a flawless finish.
Producing a custom mould sounds and looks simple, but conceals a lot of difficult and time consuming machining and computer and design processes. A further article will give some idea of what is possible and for how much.
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