Common Modelling Chocolate Problems and How to Fix Them
Modelling chocolate is commonly used in cake decorating; it’s a tough and hardy material that is perfect for sculpting and moulding. But if you are planning to make your own modelling chocolate, there are certain challenges you can run into that can make it very difficult for you to use it effectively. Here are some of the most common modelling chocolate challenges you are likely to face and tips on how to fix them:
#1 Crumbly modelling chocolate
If the chocolate is crumbly and very difficult to work with, the temperature could be the main culprit. If you have stored the mixture in the refrigerator or if there is a nip in the air, you will have to be a little patient. Simply let the mixture sit at room temperature for a couple of hours; that will soften it up a bit and make it more pliable.
It’s important that you don’t attempt to heat it in an oven/microwave or hot water. This will only melt it down and affect the integrity of the mixture. The next thing to do is check back whether you have added the right amount of chocolate based on your recipe. An excessive amount of chocolate can result in drier, crumblier and stiffer modelling chocolate.
#2 Dry modelling chocolate
This isn’t a very severe problem; if you find that the modelling chocolate is just a little dry and that you can work it, moisten it with a small amount of shortening. That should make it more workable.
#3 Excessively hard chocolate
The three main reasons why this occurs are:
- Your measurements have been inaccurate while making the mixture. If you add more chocolate than what is required in the recipe, the final product will be much tougher than it’s meant to be.
- You’ve used some candy melts to make the modelling chocolate mix. It’s best to use high grade tempered chocolate instead.
- The mixture may be too old. Keep in mind that the modelling chocolate mix can’t last forever. It’s never a good idea to use chocolate that is more than five to six months old when you are making the modelling chocolate mix at home.
#4 Lumps in the modelling chocolate
There is a distinct possibility that the chocolate must not have melted down correctly. When you are making the mixture, you need to be extra careful with using all the chocolate that you have melted down, before you begin adding in the corn syrup.
In some cases, the lumps may be caused due to poor mixing techniques. If the melted chocolate and the corn syrup haven’t been mixed well, the unincorporated chocolate ends up setting as usual and will be too firm; the portions that have mixed well will be softer.
#5 Modelling chocolate doesn’t set well
This generally happens when there is too much corn syrup in the chocolate. While corn syrup is required to add pliability to the chocolate, too much of it just results in chocolate that’s too squishy or pliable.
Sometimes, this happens when the chocolate has become heated up without you realising. See if you have kept it near a hot oven or stove. Sometimes, warm weather softens the modelling chocolate. At times the chocolate just needs some additional setting time. Allow it to set for a few hours or even overnight to bring it to the required consistency.
#6 Greasy modelling chocolate
Chocolate has oils in it and when you handle chocolate the oils tend to separate from it due to the heat generated by your hands. The solution to this problem is to avoid overworking the chocolate. However, if you find that it has become too greasy, set it down on a slab or stone plate to cool it down and then use it
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