Chocolate is one of the first things that we learn to love. The first time we taste it, we fall in love with it and that’s exactly why chocolate is the world’s most favored gift and also its most favorite treat. Everyone who loves chocolate will vouch for its luscious texture and amazing taste. It’s almost like you bit a slice off heaven and let it slide down your throat. Chocolate has been described across many cultures as the Food of the Gods and The taste of Love amongst various other things, but the truth is there are simply no words to describe the true feeling of eating chocolate and there never will be.
All of us are familiar with chocolate. It’s the first thing we fell in love with anyway. But how many of us know how chocolate is made? Chances are, most of us don’t. Chocolate making is an art that is practised by a few and perfected by even fewer people. Even in today’s world of freely available information, chocolate making seems to be an art that is restricted to a select few. Everyone of us has eaten at least one intricately shaped chocolate in our lives. But do we really know what went into its making?
Chocolate as any chef worth his salt would know, is a pliable edible medium. Meaning, one can set chocolate in any kind of shape desired as long as the correct process is followed. Chocolate is the name given to the pure extract that comes from cocoa beans. However, the chocolate that we know is in reality a complex mixture of milk solids, sugar, cocoa butter and a few other simple ingredients. This is a mixture that is viscous when heated and sets comfortably into any shape one can mold it into. This brings us to the topic of chocolate molds.
Chocolate molds are trays or hollow pieces of plastic or metal that outline the shape one wishes to give to finished chocolate. The standard chocolate bars you see in the supermarket are mostly made in flat compartmentalized trays. That’s what gives them their shape. However, since chocolate can be molded into any shape we wish, it is common to find chocolate molds in various shapes, sizes and designs. The shapes of chocolate molds are only limited by the creativity of the human mind and cholocate molds have come a long way from their origins with advances in material and mold making techniques.
There are various kinds of chocolate molds. The most common are standard chocolate molds that help you make chocolate in standard sizes and shapes. Standard chocolate molds usually have a uniform pattern of troughs of the same size. The troughs consist of shapes like oval, square, rectangle, trapezoid or in some cases plain standard bars or tablets. These are useful in case you’re making large quantities of similar looking chocolates. Standard chocolate molds are uniform in size, fit in with each other and are great to make large batches of chocolate.
Of course, what’s chocolate worth if you’re not able to customize it? Custom chocolate molds offer a great way of giving your chocolate ‘character’ and making them more presentable. Custom chocolate molds are available in a few common shapes and sizes, but can also be made to order. This is expecially useful when you want to make and sell chocolates that are unique to you or your business. Custom molds are mostly made of PVC or other similar material that is easily pliable with heat. Creating custom molds is an elaborate process that involves sculpting a model of the shape you need or getting it designed in 3D software. Any level of complexity can be achieved with separable molds.
Chocolate molds can be found in various kinds of material. There are firm molds made of PVC and softer molds made of silicone. Silicone is more flexible and suited to fluid shapes. PVC is more suited to sharp geometric shapes. Chocolate molds form a world of their own with 3D molds, Two part molds, Box tray molds and even magnetic molds amongst other varieties. Overall, choosing the right mold boils down to knowing exactly what sort of shape your chocolates are going to be in and the kind of mold that will set them best.