Modeling chocolate is a simple variation on traditional chocolate that creates a flexible, pliable, moldable substance that is also edible. The combination of corn syrup and either white or cocoa chocolate is easy to make, but can also be purchased pre-made. Generally, modeling chocolate is used to craft decorations for cakes, cupcakes, or other pastry confections.
Homemade modeling chocolate is fairly simple to make, and can be useful in elevating cakes or other deserts from ordinary to something a little more special or creative. Most recipes only call for two ingredients, chocolate and corn syrup, although sometimes cocoa powder is added to achieve a certain desired consistency. Recipes vary, but usually the proportion is several ounces of chocolate to a few tablespoons of corn syrup. To begin making modeling chocolate, melt some traditional chocolate in a double-boiler. Then, stir in the corn syrup until the two ingredients are combined into a paste-like consistency.
After the mixture is allowed to cool, the resulting modeling chocolate will resemble a thick paste or dough similar to clay. This dough can be stored in the refrigerator for several months if it is kept tightly wrapped in cellophane. If making modeling chocolate from scratch seems too intimidating or time consuming, it is often packaged in tubs and made available for purchase in craft or baking supply stores.
The uses of modeling chocolate are really only limited by imagination, because it is an extremely versatile medium. To use the chocolate, simply remove it from the packaging and knead it on a non-stick surface to loosen it up and make it easier to manipulate. Allowing the dough to get too warm will probably cause it to become sticky and difficult to work with, however, so it is best to avoid working in overly warm areas. Once the chocolate is kneaded, it can be rolled out, carved, sculpted, or manipulated in any way to create the desired edible design or ornament.
Some common applications of modeling chocolate might include making decorative chocolate ribbons or flowers, cutting out two-dimensional letters or shapes, or sculpting figurines. A great example of modeling chocolate’s uses is a wedding cake: the cake decorator could choose to make borders, edible roses, or even marriage figurines out of different colors or flavors of chocolate. Modeling chocolate is an excellent addition to theme cakes, because there are so many potential uses and designs. Although it is possible to cover an entire cake with thinly rolled chocolate, this can be difficult and time consuming, so the dough is usually reserved for decorative accessories.