Hungry Happenings: Chocolate Making Tips

Chocolate Making Tips

How to:


 Melt Chocolate & Confectionery Coating/Candy Melts

Color Confectionery Coating and Paint Lollipops

Make Modeling Chocolate/Chocolate Clay

Fix greasy, oily, dry, or sticky modeling chocolate


CHOCOLATE INFORMATION:

There are several different types of chocolate  that are available to the home cook for use in candy making:  pure chocolates, confectionery coating, and chocolate chips.  Pure chocolates contain cocoa butter and must be properly tempered in order to set up correctly.  Tempering refers to a process of heating and cooling pure chocolate to ensure that the cocoa butter in the chocolate hardens in a uniform crystal structure. Chocolate that is tempered has a smooth texture, a glossy shine and snaps when bitten or broken. Chocolate that is not tempered corectly might be cloudy, gray, or sticky at room temperature. There are four types of pure chocolates: unsweetened (no sugar added), bittersweet (small amount of sugar added), semi-sweet (more sugar added), and milk chocolate (milk and sugar added.)  White chocolate can also contain cocoa butter and need to be tempered, however, it doesn't contain any cocoa powder, so it isn't technically considered chocolate.  I will refer to it as white chocolate, when using it in a recipe, for lack of a better term. Tempering chocolate requires practice, but can be done in a home kitchen. I have been making chocolate for almost 30 years and I am fortunate to have two Savage Brothers 50 lb. chocolate kettles that do the tempering for me, so I don't have to hand temper my own chocolates.  There are so many great resources for those of you that would like to temper chocolates click here for directions.  If you don't have any chocolate making 

experience or you just feel that tempering is too difficult, don't fret as there is a chocolate product that is easy to melt and sets up beautifully with very little effort. Chocolate manufactures, such as Peters, Merkens, and Wilton make  products called candy melts, confectionery coating, or summer coating . These products do not contain any cocoa butter which is what needs tempering. The cocoa butter has been replaced with a vegetable oil, usually palm kernel oil, so that the product melts smoothly and sets up easily. The flavor is
definitely not the same as chocolates made with cocoa butter, but it is an acceptable alternative. This product is available in milk, dark, white, and even flavored and colored varieties. These coatings can be purchased from craft or cake decorating supply stores in wafers or blocks. I personally prefer the taste of Peter's confectionery coatings, but Merkens coatings are very popular and Wilton's coatings are easily available at most craft stores. The third type of chocolate available to home cooks is chocolate chips which are available in bittersweet, semi-sweet, milk, white (some with cocoa butter, some with palm kernel oil), peanut butter, butterscotch, and cinnamon flavors. Dark and milk chocolate chips usually contain cocoa butter and can be used for some recipes, however they have additives that allow them to retain their shape at higher temperatures so they don't melt as easily as a chocolate bar. If you melt chocolate chips and use them for candy making, unless you temper the chocolate, your candy will be soft and sticky. Please don't add paraffin (wax) to melted chocolate chips for dipping as some recipes suggest. Why would anyone want to eat wax? You are better off using a confectionery coating or learning to temper. Store chocolates in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.  Pure chocolates have a shelf life of 18 months from the date of manufacturing and confectionery coating can last up to 9 months if stored properly but are best if eaten within 6 months.

MELTING CHOCOLATE OR CONFECTIONERY COATING INSTRUCTIONS:

If you are using a large block of chocolate or a candy bar, chop your chocolate into small uniform pieces. The best way to do this is to use a serrated knife to shave off small bits of chocolate.  Place the knife blade on the edge of the chocolate block, and press down on the top of the knife while shaving off a small amount of chocolate. Then just chop any larger bits before using. You can also use a food processor to chop your chocolate. Add small chunks of chocolate to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs.


Melting chocolate or confectionery coating in a double boiler:

Heat 1” of water over low heat in a saucepan. Place a bowl over the saucepan, being sure the bottom doesn't touch the water. Put chopped chocolate, wafers, or chips in the bowl and stir occasionally until melted. It is very important that you do not allow any water to come in contact with the chocolate. Chocolate mixed with a drop or a few drops of water with seize (stiffen or harden). If this happens your only option is to add more liquid in order to get the chocolate smooth again.  However, you can not use this thinned batch of chocolate for tempering or dipping as it will never harden properly.  All is not lost as you can turn it into a delicious chocolate ganache or use it for baking.

Melting chocolate or confectionery coating in a microwave:
Every microwave is different so this is just a guideline, but it is safest to go slow and stir often. I always use high power for short busts of time. Pour 16 ounces chopped chocolate or confectionery coating wafers into a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high power for 30 seconds, remove from microwave and stir. Your chocolate wont look melted much at all at this point (1), but if you don't stir it, you may burn the chocolate in the center of the bowl. Return to the microwave and heat for 25 seconds. At this point the chocolate will look only slightly melted around the edges (2) but if you stir vigorously the chunks will indeed start to become liquid (3).
Continue to heat for 20 seconds. Now your chocolate will look more liquid (4), but you will have chunks remaining. Stir vigorously and the heat from the melted chocolate will indeed melt the chunks (5). If, after stirring for a while you still have chunks of chocolate remaining (6), heat for 10-15 second intervals, stirring in between each until melted (7). Do not rush this process. Chocolate burns easily. If you do burn the chocolate, throw it away and start over in a clean bowl.  To melt more than 16 ounces, you can increase your times by 10-15 seconds per interval. For 2 lbs. (45 seconds, 35, 25, 10). For 3 lbs. (60 seconds, 45, 30, 20). If your microwave is less powerful, increase the times, but go slowly. If, once melted, your confectioner coating is really thick, add Paramount Crystals which are flakes of palm kernal oil to thin out the coating. You can use Crisco or vegetable oil instead, but your candy coating may be a bit soft once hardened.


Melting Confectionery Coating in a Skillet:
If you are planning to make a lot of chocolates using various colors of confectionery coating, then melting them in a skillet is a great option. Fill your skillet with some warm water.  Fill glass jars, coffee mugs, or ramekins with the confectionery coating wafers.  Place jars in water in skillet. Make sure the water comes up about half way on your shortest jar. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and allow the wafers to melt, stirring occasionally. You can keep your coatings melted all day using this method.  Just be sure to replenish the water as it evaporates and be careful that you don't spill water in the chocolate, or it will be ruined.

Coloring Confectionery Coating:

Confectionery coating wafers are available in a rainbow of colors and even various flavors.  Most colored wafers taste like vanilla, but there are mint, fruit, peanut butter, and butterscotch flavors available.  If you need a large amount of one color or need dark red or green, I suggest buying the pre-colored wafers. If not, then just melt down white wafers and color them yourself.

You need to use colorings that are specially formulated for chocolate.  Standard grocery store food coloring is water based and it will not work. Gel, paste, or powdered colors will work to beautifully color your confectionery coatings.  These colorings are easy to find at craft and cake decorating stores just look for candy or chocolate coloring. If you are using colorings in a squeeze bottle, squeeze in a small amount of coloring at a time and stir well.  Add more coloring if needed to achieve the desired shade.

Just a note, that some colorings are more vibrant than others.  Pink for instance is very vibrant.  Add one drop at a time. You can always add more, but the only way to tone down a color is to add more chocolate. If you are using candy coloring (icing coloring) from a  jar, stick a toothpick into the jar, pull out some coloring and stir it into the candy coating. DO NOT put the toothpick back in the jar of coloring or you will contaminate the coloring. Use a new toothpick every time you want to get more coloring. If you add coloring and your coating becomes thick, add a small amount of vegetable oil or some Paramount Crystals stirring after each addition until thin and smooth.

MODELING CHOCOLATE (CHOCOLATE CLAY) RECIPES:
I created these calla lilies out of
white modeling chocolate.

Modeling chocolate or chocolate clay can be used like fondant to decorate and cover cakes or it can be used as a sculpting material to create forms and shapes. I personally think modeling chocolate tastes much better than fondant and use it almost exclusively. I love working with modeling chocolate and find that almost anything you can create with polymer clay, you can also make using modeling chocolate. It will harden when left at room temperature to dry, but can still be eaten once hardened. You can purchase pre-made modeling chocolate, but it only requires two ingredients, and is very simple to make.

You can use pure chocolate for this recipe without having to temper it or you can use confectionery coating.  I use pure milk and dark chocolate, but use white confectionery coating to make my modeling chocolate.  The pure milk and dark chocolate have a richer flavor than the coatings but I actually prefer the taste of the white confectionery coating in this application and it is much less expensive than pure chocolate.  Use your judgement when selecting a chocolate for this recipe.  You will definitely taste the chocolate, so choose what you like to eat. *Every chocolate has different amounts of fats and sugars so this recipe is a guide. Some chocolates will require more corn syrup than others. Also, the moisture in your room can also effect the moisture in your modeling chocolate. See the troubleshooting section below for instructions to solve problems with your modeling chocolate. 

Chocolate bucket
decorated with modeling
chocolate.
Modeling Chocolate Ingredients:

White Modeling Chocolate:
16 ounces white chocolate
1/3 cup light corn syrup (add more if needed)*

Dark Modeling Chocolate:
16 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup light corn syrup (add more if needed)*

Milk Modeling Chocolate:
16 ounces milk chocolate
1/3 cup light corn syrup (add more if needed)*

Modeling Chocolate Instructions:


Melt chocolate or confectionery coating (1).  Allow the chocolate to cool to about 91 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring often.  If you add the corn syrup when the chocolate is too hot, the cocoa butter or oil will rise to the surface and you will have a greasy mess. (See trouble shooting below.) If you don't have a thermometer, test the temperature of the melted chocolate by putting a drop on your lip. It should feel cool. If it's hot, let it cool longer. Pour in corn syrup (2). Stir until well incorporated (3)

  
The mixture will become thick very quickly, so scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate all of the melted chocolate (4). Pour mixture out onto a counter top, preferably marble or granite (5) . Knead until glossy and smooth (6). My hands tend to be rather warm, so I use a plastic bench scraper to help me knead the modeling chocolate, so that I don't over heat it as this can bring out the oils in the chocolate. Store the modeling chocolate wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and placed in a zip top bag or airtight container.  Modeling chocolate will keeps for several  months, if stored properly.
  


Trouble shooting - How to fix dry or greasy/oily modeling chocolate:

Dry modeling chocolate:  As I mentioned, all chocolates have different amounts of fat in them.  That is why these recipes may need some adjustments.  If you are kneading your mixture and find that it is crumbling and dry (A), then you will need to add some corn syrup.  Pour on a small amount of corn syrup and mix it in (B). If you begin to knead the mixture and it still feels dry, add some more corn syrup and continue to knead until the mixture becomes smooth and soft (C).  Just a note, that if you are working on granite or marble, the surface is cold which is great for kneading this mixture. If, however, you are in the middle of kneading the mixture, and you walk away, when you return, you may have hardened bits of chocolate stuck to the granite or marble.  These hardened bits may not melt back into a smooth dough.



Oily modeling chocolate: There are several reasons you may end up with oily modeling chocolate (D).  First, if your chocolate is too hot when you add the corn syrup the oils may separate from the chocolate.  I recommend you allow your melted chocolate to cool to around 91 degrees Fahrenheit before adding the corn syrup.  Second, you may be working in a warm room or have warm hands.  As you knead the mixture, the warmth will begin to bring out the oils in the chocolate. I use a plastic bench scraper to knead because I have warm hands (E). and I knead my mixture on a granite slab to keep it cool, even if my room is warm (F).

If you do find that you have oily modeling chocolate, all is not lost. Don't just wipe up all the oil and get rid of it. You do want to get that oil back into the chocolate, or your modeling chocolate will end up being brittle as it dries.  You will need to continue to knead the chocolate until all of the oil is absorbed back into the chocolate. This can take a while, but don't give up. Eventually it will become smooth and glossy (G) . You may need to try one of these techniques to make this work:
  • Move the chocolate to a cooler work surface like granite or marble.
  • Dip you hands in ice water to cool them down and continue to knead.
  • Use a plastic bench scraper or a rubber spatula to knead instead of your hands.
  • Scape up the mixture and set it on plastic wrap for about 2 minutes allowing it to cool slightly. Then remove from plastic wrap and continue to knead. If you allow it to just sit directly on your work surface, you may end up with hardened pieces of chocolate that will not blend in to the mixture.
Sticky, Soft, or Wet Modeling Chocolate: You may find that you have added too much corn syrup or too much coloring and that your modeling chocolate is just too sticky, soft, or wet.  If it is sticky, wash your sticky hands then continue to knead until all of the corn syrup is incorporated.  Take the sticky, soft, or wet dough and roll it in a ball then flatten it out in a disc. Then wrap it in plastic wrap and allow it to sit for at least an hour so that it can dry out a bit before using. If it is really wet, allow it to dry at room temperature until workable.  As a last resort, you can try to knead in some melted chocolate, but you can end up with hard clumps of chocolate or an oily mess. Drying is your best option.

Hard Modeling Chocolate: Your modeling chocolate will harden as it ages. Always keep it formed into a flat disc and keep it wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in a zip top bag or airtight container. Even if you do this, you will find that your modeling chocolate is fairly hard when you go to use it after it has been stored for a few days.  You can break off a piece of modeling chocolate and hold it in your hands for a few moments in order to warm it enough to begin kneading.  Knead it until it becomes workable.  If you just can't get it soft enough, place a hunk in the microwave and heat on defrost for 3-5 seconds.  Remove and knead it carefully (there will be hot spots and you can burn your hands, so be cautious.)  The modeling chocolate may become oily if you do this and you will have to follow the instructions above to fix the oily mixture.

Coloring Modeling Chocolate:
White modeling chocolate can be colored using paste food coloring or powdered food coloring. I have even had success using store bought liquid food colorings, however the modeling chocolate becomes very soft and doesn't harden as well.  I recommend using food handling gloves when coloring modeling chocolate, or you will end up with brightly colored hands that may take days to return to normal. If you need a large amount of any one color, you can make the modeling chocolate recipe using colored confectionery coating wafers.

Coloring Modeling Chocolate using Paste Food Coloring:
Add a drop of color to the modeling chocolate and knead until well blended.  Add more drops of color until you reach the desired shade.  Remember, you can always add more coloring, but you can't take it out, so add drops slowly then knead and check the color before adding more.


Coloring Modeling Chocolate using powdered food coloring:
Sprinkle a small amount of coloring onto the modeling chocolate and knead until well blended.  Add more color as needed to get your desired shade.  I prefer to use powdered coloring for red and green, as I can get a more vibrant color that way.

To Store Modeling Chocolate: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in a zip top bag or airtight container. It keeps for months if stored properly. If it becomes hard, break off small pieces and knead until soft.  If you can't do that, place the hard modeling chocolate in the microwave and heat on defrost for 3-5 seconds. Remove and carefully knead.  It can be very hot, so proceed with caution.

To use Modeling Chocolate:
Chick made from modeling
chocolate in a hand made
chocolate egg sitting on a
chocolate pretzel nest.
Simply pinch off pieces of modeling chocolate and sculpt into shapes.  If you have a hard time working with the modeling chocolate because it is hard, warm it in your hands and knead until it is pliable.  If it is too, soft, wrap it in plastic wrap and allow it to cool down for a while before using.

Modeling chocolate can be rolled thin using a rolling pin or a pasta machine.  Dust your work surface or the rollers on the pasta machine very lightly with powdered sugar for white chocolate, milk, and colored chocolates or dust it with cocoa powder for dark chocolate to keep the modeling chocolate from sticking. Cut the modeling chocolate using a pizza cutter, knife, or cookie cutters. You can even mold the modeling chocolate using silicone molds that are dusted with powdered sugar or cocoa powder.


Have fun working with this recipe.  I will use it often in recipes, so check my recipe page for ideas.

Here are just a few of the modeling chocolate projects
from Hungry Happenings
Want to see all of the tutorials using modeling chocolate, click here. 






Elephant, giraffe, monkey, zebra, hippo, lion and tiger



HOW TO HAND PAINT LOLLIPOPS USING CONFECTIONERY COATING/CANDY MELTS

LOLLIPOP RECIPE
Ingredients:

Confectionery Coating/candy melts  in white, milk, dark, and colored varieties
  • (each small lollipop will take approximately 1 ounce of candy and larger pops will take about 2 ounces, so purchase your coatings according to the number of lollipops you would like to make)
candy coloring (you can not use grocery store variety food coloring to color the candy)
lollipop sticks


Special equipment needed:

electric skillet (this will make this process so easy)
glass jars, coffee mugs, or glasses
paint brushes (use new or food only brushes, I recommend plastic handle brushes)
candy molds

Notes:
  • Most white candy melts have a cream or slightly yellowish tint. When you add coloring to this coating, you wont get a pure color (ex. - blue will have a slight green tint.) If you want a pure white candy melt, Guittard makes a really vibrant white wafer, called Vanilla Apeels. Just note that it is  a very sweet product.
  • For some reason white candy melts that are colored with pink candy coloring tend to fade over time (meaning a few days), so I always buy the pink colored wafers. These colored wafers come in a very vibrant pink, so I tone them down by mixing them with white candy melts to make varying shades of pink. 
Instructions:

You will need to melt and color your confectionery coatings using any of the methods listed above. When I am making a lot of lollipops I use an electric skillet filled with warm water to keep small jars of colored chocolate melted.  That way I don't have to continually re-melt my candy. I usually make a lot of lollipops at one time, so I melt a big bowl of white coating in the microwave, then pour the melted coating into small jars and color them. If I'm only using a small amount of colored candy melts, I will just melt them in a jar in the skillet.

Melting Confectionery Coating in a Skillet:
Fill your skillet with some warm water and set the temperature to "WARM".  Fill glass jars, coffee mugs, or ramekins with the confectionery coating wafers.  Place the jars in the water filled skillet. Make sure the water comes up about half way on your shortest jar. You can keep your coatings melted all day using this method, just stir the coating throughout the day to keep the coating near the top of the jar from hardening.  And be sure to replenish the water as it evaporates. Most importantly, be careful that you don't spill water in the chocolate, or it will seize up and become too thick to use. So, if you pick up a jar to move it closer to you, put a towel under the jar as you move it, so drops of water don't end up in other jars of coating.

Coloring Confectionery Coating:

Pour some melted white coating into a jar.  Squeeze in some candy coloring (start with a drop or two if you aren't familiar with the strength of the coloring.) Stir. If you are using candy coloring (icing coloring) from a  jar, stick a toothpick into the jar, pull out some coloring and stir it into the candy coating. DO NOT put the toothpick back in the jar of coloring or you will contaminate the coloring. Use a new toothpick every time you want to get more coloring.

If you add coloring and your coating becomes thick, add a 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil or some Paramount Crystals stirring after each addition until thin and smooth.


Create all of the colors you want to use in your lollipops. For Easter, I like to use pastel colors for some of the pops and more vibrant colors for others.  You can adjust colors while you are working by adding more coloring (for brighter colors) or by stirring in some white candy coating (for more pastel colors). Get your candy molds and paintbrushes together and clean our your freezer, so you have some space to place the molds. Before you begin painting, decide what colors you want to use for the features and what color you want for the background. If you choose to make a white bunny, do not paint any of the features white, as they will just blend into the background color.


You can paint all or just some of the features on your mold.  Here I started by painting the mouth with bright pink coating. Dip a paintbrush into the coating and dab it into the indentation on the candy mold. Add more coating to your brush as needed to fill in the entire indented area.

By dabbing the chocolate (as seen at the top of the picture) you will end up with a nice opaque area. If you brush the chocolate on (bottom of picture), it will harden, streak, and leave you with a see-through area.   Also, always dip your brush down into melted chocolate and not along the sides of the jar, to pick up nicely melted chocolate. If you end up with hardened chocolate on your brush, just dip it in the melted chocolate and allow it to sit for a minute to melt away the hardened chocolate from the brush. 
 

Using a different paint brush for each color, paint more details on the candy mold. I used a lighter pink for the bunny's  nose and milk chocolate for the eyes. I wanted to create a layered effect for the bow tie. In order to layer the colors, I first painted on the yellow polka dots, then put the mold into the freezer for 2-3 minutes to harden the yellow dots.


When you remove the mold from the freezer, it will be very cold and look very cloudy.  Allow it to warm to room temperature before proceeding.


For the areas that require two colors, paint the next layer of color directly over the first layer.  I painted purple on top of my yellow polka dots.  Carefully turn the mold over and look to see if you have covered the entire area. I have a bit of purple yet to paint onto my bow tie (see the lower right side of the bow.)  After fixing the bow tie, I painted the ears (not shown) then put the candy mold back in the freezer for a few minutes.

Before filling the mold, allow the mold to warm up to room temperature.  Then spoon whatever colored coating you've decide to use for the background into the mold.  I usually spoon some in, then tap the mold gently on the table, allowing the candy coating to spread and fill in areas like the ears.  It's best not to overfill the mold, so tap as you go. Once the mold is filled, you need to tap it on the table a few times to remove any air bubbles that may have formed.

Notes: 
  • Don't fill in the indentation that is for the lollipop stick.
  • If you do overfill your mold, you can use your finger to wipe off the excess candy or wait until the candy is hardened and you will be able to shave it off with a knife.


Add a lollipop stick by setting the stick in the indentation and gently pressing it into the candy.  Use your finger to roll the stick around so it gets completely coated in the candy. 

Place the lollipop in the freezer for 5-8 minutes. It may take a bit longer, if you are opening and closing your freezer a lot during the process.

As the candy coating cools and hardens it will shrink slightly and retract from the mold. You can tell if the lollipop is hardened by carefully holding the mold up over your head and checking to see the the candy is one even color.  If you see dark spots, that means the candy is still wet in those areas.  Freeze the candy a few minutes longer. You can also check to see if the lollipops are ready by very gently tugging on the lollipop stick.  If the chocolate moves, it should come out of the mold easily.  If it sticks, it is not ready.  Don't tug too hard, or you may pull a lollipop out before it is completely hardened.


 To un-mold your candy, you have a few options
  • Gently tug on the stick and pull the candy out of the mold
  • Place your hand over the candy, turn the mold upside down and allow the candy to fall out of the mold into your hand.
  • Place a baking sheet over the candy, turn the mold and the baking sheet upside down allowing the candy to fall out onto the baking sheet.

If you have overfilled the candy mold and the lollipop has excess chocolate around the edges, allow the candy to warm up to room temperature. Then use a small knife to carefully cut off the excess candy. If you have a lot of excess chocolate and it is very thick, you may want to heat up your knife by running it under really hot water (then drying it) or by holding the knife blade over a flame. Then as you cut off the excess the knife will melt the chocolate, as you go, making it easier to remove. Brush off any crumbs using a pastry brush.


Store your lollipops in a cool place preferably in an airtight container. You can package them in clear cellophane bags and tie them with a colorful bow.

I oftentimes will paint my candy molds with this colored candy coating, then fill the molds with pure tempered chocolate. Sometimes the painted features pop off, but for the most part it works. If you are using pure chocolate, you can also melt cocoa butter, color it, and paint it into the molds before filling them with the tempered chocolate.  You can also purchase colored cocoa butter, but the quantities may be greater than you need. You can keep your jars of melted cocoa butter in a water bath, just make sure the cocoa butter doesn't get too warm.

MY CHOCOLATE GALLERY

I have been making and designing chocolates for over 30 years.
Scroll down the page to view some of my favorite chocolate creations.
Handmade Chocolate Leaf Box filled with chocolate bark,
caramel nut clusters, buckeyes, and logo chocolates.

Handmade Chocolate Star Box filled with chocolate truffles,
dipped pretzels, and logo chocolate pieces.

Handmade Chocolate Tree Box filled with chocolate truffles,
dipped pretzels, company ovals and a logo candy bar.

Monster Movie Chocolate Bucket filled with white chocolate popcorn
drizzled with black and orange chocolates. This bucket
 is decorated with edible monster movie images.

Halloween trophies made from dark chocolate and
decorated with gold luster dust.


Thank You Kitchen Designs Chocolate Bucket. 
This bucket was designed as a gift for Sara Moulton
using modeling chocolate shapes.

Corporate Chocolate Bucket filled with
white chocolate popcorn drizzled in milk chocolate. 
Decorated with an edible image.

Small chocolate bucket filled with chocolate dipped
pretzel sticks.  Decorated with an edible logo image.

Chocolate Egg Decorated with edible luster dust and opal dragees.
Filled with chocolate truffles.


Decorated chocolate eggs filled with dark chocolate truffles.


Hand painted Easter chocolates.

Chocolate Calla Lily Bouquet.  These beautiful calla lilies are
sculpted out of modeling chocolate and arranged in a
vase filled with green colored white chocolate leaves.



QUESTIONS/COMMENTS

If you have any questions or comments relating to chocolate and these recipes please leave them below and I will answer them as soon as I can. Just know that I monitor my comments, so your comment wont appear until I have read it.

Up until recently there wasn't a way, that I was aware of, to add commenting ability on this page, so many people asked questions and I provided answers on one of my chocolate making tutorials. There were a lot of great questions  asked and some answers that might help you if you are having trouble. I suggest you check them out, here.

209 comments:

  1. I usually get by when working chocolate into my projects. I've never really thought about what the differences were in products, I just follow the recipes I find. Thank you for explaining all of the chocolates! I now understand why I've had difficultly sometimes. This is a great resource that Im going to share with friends :)

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  2. This is so helpful. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and also for providing an alternative recipe for people in England who don't have corn syrup. Your troubleshooting section is excellent. Thanks again

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    Replies
    1. I cannot find the alternative to corn syrup. Could you point it out or post here to tell me? Thanks!

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    2. In the UK we use Liquid Glucose, if that helps.

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    3. You can get Karo corn syrup in the UK from Waitrose and Ocado.

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  3. Thank you very much for all this information, pictures and helpful tips. Love this!!
    Just brilliant!
    Disa from Iceland.

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  4. Thank You so much. I have tryed the candy molds last year and said never again because of the work involved in keeping it warm enough to work with. Water in the skillet is a great idea. I will be trying that idea out. thanks again

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    Replies
    1. I've made tens of thousands of painted chocolate pieces in my lifetime and have been using the skillet the whole time. I can't imagine making them without it. It's worth the $20 investment.

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  5. Thank you for sharing all your awesome knowledge. I will most definitely be tring the skillet idea once I steal the electric skillet frommy mom..lol

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  6. Love all the tips AND the pictures - will be coming back here to read more when I have some free time! Tara Lidell

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    Replies
    1. Hi Tara,

      I have successfully used honey, dulce de leche, and rootbeer flavored ice cream toppers. Here are the links the recipe posts:

      http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2011/05/how-to-create-school-books-using-corn.html

      http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2011/06/celebrate-end-of-school-year-by-making.html

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  7. Could I use my crock pot in place of the skillet? I'm going to be dunking about 100-150 cake pops and cheesecake pops, but I don't have an electric skillet. Thanks- Stefanie

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    Replies
    1. Hi Stefanie, as long as you fill the crock pot with water then set jars or bowls of candy coating in the water, it should work. Crock pots are usually quite a bit taller than a skillet, so it will be more challenging to work with, but I do think it will work. Let me know how it turns out. God luck with your cake pops.

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  8. Thanks so much with a quick response! I'm doing as much homework as I can before hand! I'm planning a trial run this coming week, I'll let you know how it goes! You really do clean, beautiful work! Again, Thank you! -Stefanie

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I hope it all works out for you and that you have fun with your project.

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  9. Hi.. i made some chocolate lollipops... It is good. my problem is when i am trying to pack them and put some ribbon... it became greasy.. So what i do... I will put them back on the fridge... so it will set again... What should i do? I need your help... Thank you.

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    1. Hi, the problem you are having is that condensation has built up on your lollipops. They were in the freezer for too long, and they get sticky or wet when that happens. There is nothing you can do about this, other than let them sit at room temperature until they completely dry. They will have a bit of a texture once dry, because the beads of condensation will dry but wont really go away. You should only leave your lollipops in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes, until set.

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    2. I was told if you leave your chocolate wrapped until they come to room temperature, they will sweat less

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    3. Yes, if you buy boxes of chocolate and store them in the refrigerator, it's best to leave them in the box until the chocolates come to room temperature, but if you are making lollipops and they have sweat on them before you package them, this process isn't going to help. I never recommend storing chocolates in the refrigerator or freezer, but do know that people often do.

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  10. Your post on the modeling chocolate is so sooooo helpful. I made it using dark chocolate and was very excited to use it but somehow ended up not using it and it's been in the fridge for quite a while now. I definitely don't want to use it for any cakes now since its been so long but I thought I could some how use it to just practice roses. It has bloomed a lot sitting in the fridge. It was pretty hard and so I cut it into pieces literally hammering the knife. I tried to soften a couple pieces but they are crumbling big time and oil starts to show through a bit while I try to knead it. Is there a way to recover it at all? Or should just discard it and try making new one again....just didn't want to waste it :(

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    Replies
    1. I don't ever refrigerate my modeling chocolate. I just wrap in in plastic wrap or a zip top bag and store it in a Rubbermaid or Tupperware container. Modeling chocolate by nature will harden as it sits and will definitely harden if it's cold. You can certainly use it to practice with, you'll just need to get it to soften up. You can microwave it on DEFROST for a few seconds, then try to knead it. Then into the microwave again for a few seconds on Defrost then try to knead it. You do not want to get it so hot that it really begins to melt, or you'll end up with a greasy mess. You can also put it in a zip top bag and set it in a bowl of room temperature water, not hot or warm water. Try to knead it after a while. You should be able to salvage it, at least to practice with. Taste it, and if it tastes good, and you get get it softened and workable, then by all means use it for a project. Good luck.

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  11. Your post on the modeling chocolate is so sooooo helpful. I made it using dark chocolate and was very excited to use it but somehow ended up not using it and it's been in the fridge for quite a while now. I definitely don't want to use it for any cakes now since its been so long but I thought I could some how use it to just practice roses. It has bloomed a lot sitting in the fridge. It was pretty hard and so I cut it into pieces literally hammering the knife. I tried to soften a couple pieces but they are crumbling big time and oil starts to show through a bit while I try to knead it. Is there a way to recover it at all? Or should just discard it and try making new one again....just didn't want to waste it :(

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  12. This is an excellent article on molding chocolate!!! I love it, thank you!

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  13. I made rum balls but the chocolate coating kinda melts (sticky) the moment i took them out from fridge. What shall i do?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Hermes,

      The reason your chocolate is sticky, is that it probably wasn't tempered correctly. When working with chocolate that has cocoa butter in it, you must work using exact temperatures. You need to melt it and heat it to 100-115 degrees fahrenheit then it needs to be cooled down to 88-91 degrees, depending on the type of chocolate (dark is usually 90-91 and milk and white are 88-90.) There are several different tempering methods and you can do an on-line search to find all sorts of resources regarding tempering chocolate. There are lots of videos too. I have two machines that temper my chocolate for me, that is why I didn't add tempering directions here on this page. I don't feel I'm an expert at it, being my machines do all the work for me. Good luck.

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  14. hi beth! great article! very helpful!! thanks....
    ib been trying to make chocolate bouquets,,, i bought merkens chocolate buttons.... melted them and put them in molds... freezed for a short while just till set and took them out... waited till room temp and then tried to wrap them,,,but they were still slightly melting in my hands...
    what can i do abt that? i want to wrap them in colored foils and make a bouquet so i cannot refridgerate them, becuse i need to gift them out. pls help...it would be greatly appreciated. it is happening becus i live in a warm place like panama? if so what can i do? and how to store them till i gift them out?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,

      Did you use merkens pure chocolate with cocoa butter in the ingredients or their confectionery coating with hydrogenated oil in the ingredients? If you used the first, it needs to be tempered in order to set up properly. If it isn't tempered then it will always be soft, it will never harden properly. If you used the confectionery coating and it pops out of the mold but later feels soft, it has gotten too warm. The only thing you can do is to cool your room where you are working. It's best if your room is between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit, but that is a bit chilly for most, so 70-74 degrees would be alright. Anything above that, and you will have trouble with your candied melting. I never suggest refrigerating candies, as they will develop condensation, but if you just can't get your room cool enough, you may need to store them in a refrigerator, just be aware that they will become a bit wet upon removal.

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  15. Sorry it took me a fat min. to get back to you! The baby shower went really well. I made 55 cake pops, and 55 cheesecake pops. The crock pot worked like a charm! Thank you so much for all the tips! I'm not sure I would have had such a good outcome otherwise! If I knew how to post a pic. I'd show off a little...:) Thanks again! Stefanie

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    1. So glad to hear it worked and that everything went well :)

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  16. Hello :) I was wondering if I could decorate sugar cookies using melted chocolate instead of icing? I love you tutorials and use them often.

    Nina

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nina,

      Yes, you can decorate with melted chocolate. You can pipe on designs, just be aware that it is a bit more challenging to pipe than icing as it will run a bit more. One suggestion would be to pipe your design onto a piece of parchment paper then add the design to your cookies once it has set. I might just do a tutorial on that technique!

      Good luck and have fun.

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  17. Thanks so much for your help Beth! How do you attach the design to the cookie after it dries on the paper? Thanks again!

    Nina

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    Replies
    1. Just pipe a bit of melted chocolate onto the cookie and press the design down onto the cookie.

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  18. I was looking at the pictures of your favorite creations. I love your packaging! Is the egg also chocolate? If so how did you get the two hollow halves to fit so perfectly?

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    1. Hi, Yes the egg is chocolate decorated with luster dust. I use plastic molds that were made to create sugar eggs and the two halves line up perfectly. I bought the plastic eggs years ago.

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  19. I am playing with candy melts and chocolate chips. I really want to infuse coffee into my chocolate. I don't want to use coffee grounds or add a ganache to the center. I was thinking of adding instant coffee grounds to melted shortening, then adding the shortening to the melted chocolate. Is this a feasible idea or would this leave the chocolate to soft to harden properly?

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    1. You wont be able to add shortening to the chocolate, but you can just stir in the coffee grounds. Make sure you use really good quality coffee. I have done that before with a lot of success.

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  20. Thank you for your timely responses! I find that to be as impressive as your fantastic chocolate creations. I plan on trying it tomorrow. If all goes well I will send them in a care package to our church's college kids.

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    1. I was thinking back to a bark I used to make - I spread dark chocolate in a thin layer, sprinkled on some coffee, then drizzled on some milk chocolate. It looked pretty and the coffee lovers really enjoyed it. Just be sure to package it separately as it will be very aromatic.

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  21. Oooo... That sounds lovely! Coffee is one of my favorite aromas. Was that instant coffee grounds or brewed coffee? I found a recipe for coffee syrup the other day. It's similar to chocolate syrup. You mix it with hot or cold milk to make a coffee beverage. By itself it might make an interesting center to a dark chocolate candy. I'm afraid the concentrated coffee flavor would be to strong for a milk chocolate. I'll admit, that although my palate is very limited, planning flavor profiles and combinations is a lot of fun to me. Now I just need to get in the kitchen and explore them.

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    1. I sprinkled on ground coffee, that I ground myself from fresh beans. Use a really good quality coffee. I too love playing with flavors and understand your desire to experiment!

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  22. Hi - this is a brilliant site. If you are making chocolate shapes using a silicone mold does it matter if you leave the cholocate to harden at room temperature or is it best to refrigerate? Thanks

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    1. Thanks! If you are using pure chocolate (with cocoa butter in it) then you can leave it at room temperature to set. I use the refrigerator just to speed up the process. If, however you are using candy coatings (with palk kernal oil or some other oil) then you do need to freeze them so that you don't end up with spotting or streaking in your candies.

      Delete
  23. Hi,

    I just got connected to your blog and found it to be a HUGE help in understanding and working with chocolate. I started experimenting with it about 2 years ago and done small things but now I am ready to up the challenge. Is there a way to infuse flavors into the chocolate without messing up the setting process? and where do I find these flavors and can you give me some flavoring ideas? I usually use Ghiradelli's chocolate blocks that I buy in bulk don't know if that will help to know what kind of chocolate I usually work with. I don't particularly like to work with the colored wafers because they lack flavor in my book and seem to have a waxy after taste. I just use the White Ghiradelli chocolate and use the chocolate coloring to make the colors I want. I also love the idea about the water in the skillet and using jars, that will help sooooo much, I hate running out of bowls.. LOL

    Tami from Missouri

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    1. I love working with pure chocolate and agree that the flavor is so much better, but find most home cooks prefer using the confectionery coating because it is so easy to work with, so I do a lot of projects using them. For the most part, if you can temper chocolate you can always swap out pure chocolate for the candy melts in any of my projects. As far as flavoring goes, Lorann Oils does make an oil specifically for chocolates. If you click on this link, you'll go to Amazon and see the Irish Cream Chocolate Oil. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000MS69CS/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=B000MS69CS&link_code=as3&tag=hungryh-20

      LorAnn makes quite a few flavors of chocolate oils like Royal Raspberry, Kona Coffee, Orange Brandy, and Canadian Maple. I have tried these, and they have really good flavor. Don't use LorAnn hard candy oils, they wont work well in chocolate. You can't use anything that has any water in it either. Dry spices work well too. You can use wet ingredients when you are flavoring chocolate truffles. Fruit purees are great as are things like Rum, Frangelico, etc.

      Hope this helps. Have fun and let me know if you have any more questions.

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  24. What a great webpage you have here! You are obviously a perfectionist, as am I, and you need to be to turn out the fussy little details which I love! I don't know what to try to make first! Thanks for inspiring me.

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    1. Oh, I am totally a perfectionist. Some days that's a great thing, others, not so much. I spent 9 hours yesterday working on a recipe that I had been thinking about for over 6 months. It had to be perfect, and I had a few failed attempts early in the day before I got my perfection! I'm glad you can understand and relate:)

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  25. I have had recent problems with my modeling chocolate but all otger web resources have been vague or contradict each other. This page has by far been the most helpful yet and will definitely be bookmarked!

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    1. Thanks Sunni. I'm glad I can be of help. I've encountered so many issues with modeling chocolate over the years and have learned how to fix every problem. I hope you now have the knowledge you need to be successful in making modeling chocolate.

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  26. Hi, i'm new to chocolate making, I've tempered some chocolate and used some just poured over some ginger which looked fine but then i poured the same chocolate into a silicone mould and these all went cloudy. Any advice on why the silicone went cloudy and the poured over didn't. Thanks

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    Replies
    1. There can be a number of factors involved here. It could simply be that by the time you poured the tempered chocolate into the molds it had cooled down to a point that it was no longer in temper. It is tricky keeping hand tempered chocolate in perfect temper while you are working as you only have a few degrees to work within (which depends on the chocolate you are using but is usually somewhere between 88-91 degrees Fahrenheit.) If the silicone mold had any residue in it that can effect the look of the chocolate as well. If the mold was cold or warm it can effect the outcome as well. I'm sorry I can't give a specific reason for your problem but I hope this helped. I suggest you keep an eye on the temperature of the chocolate at all times. That's the most important thing. If needed warm the chocolate back up by using a blow dryer to warm up the bowl (don't blow into the chocolate, rather around the edge of the bowl.) Just warm it briefly as you are just trying to raise the temperature a degree or two.

      Good luck.

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    2. Karen, here is an explanation from a chocolate maker that is really well written. His comments where in response to someone having trouble with hand tempering.

      Hand tempering is difficult because building the correct crystal structure can be thrown off by many things. Two things that are crucial to tempering are temperature and moisture. Assuming you have the precise recommended temperatures for the kind of chocolate you are using, the moisture level in your environment is most likely the culprit. Moisture in the air(too much or not enough)can be a challenge when working with chocolate(and that factor changes day by day because of weather, heating, etc). I'll explain: imagine a tinker toy tower designed by a 5 year old child; he/she manages to get a tower together upright on Monday. Give the same 5 year old the same pieces on Tuesday thru Friday; the tower will stand 5 different ways likely looking as if it will fall at any moment. This is what much of the tempering out there looks like. All the variables will work on any of the five days but if the conditions change, it may not work like the day before. So too with CHOCOLATE. There are six beta crystals one needs to place in order to temper and, like the toy tower, various conditions in your space will dictate which crystal could become out of joint. If only 4 crystals are lined up no temper will result; If 5 crystals, maybe or maybe not; but 6 Crystals = perfect temper every time. (By the way, the line up for each crystal is temperature; exact temperature is essential.) Use a thermometer if your business depends on it. People spend years to perfect this science so don't become discouraged. A dehumidifier might also help if you have too much moisture in the air, which is a common frustration. Good Science too you, Eric W. Case

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  27. I am glad I found your site. The information is so clear and detailed. Thank you.

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  28. Thank you for the detailed information provided about chocolates and their variations. Very helpful for a beginner.

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  29. Chocolate Calla Lily Bouquet!!!! I am so fancinated by this. Could you please send me the directions on how to make this beautiful bouquet.
    Thanks,
    Connie
    cmail64@msn.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Connie. I will do my best to work on a step-by-step tutorial for this project sometime this spring.

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  30. Hi Beth,
    I am planning on a chocolate making party for 9yr olds. Id like to add some colours but im confused about doing that. Do i buy white chocolate and liquid/powder colouring? or is the coloured chocolate a different product altogether?
    I here talk of 'candy' but not sure what that is comprised of and if it works with Chocolate (im in Australia)
    Kind regards,
    Sarah

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    1. Hi Sarah,

      I'm not exactly sure what products are available in Australia, but if you are having children make candies, it will be much easier to work with confectionery (candy) coating than pure chocolates. Here in America we can buy the candy coating already colored or we can buy white coating and color it ourselves using candy coloring or powder coloring. You have to make sure any coloring you use does not have any water in it, so look for candy or chocolate coloring.

      If you use the confectionery coating, you can melt it using my instructions above. If you buy pure chocolate, you should temper it in order for the chocolate to set properly. Tempering can be very challenging, that is why I would recommend having the kids use the coating.

      I hope this answers your question.

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  31. Hi very thanks for the info and tips. I was wondering what brand of white chocolate you use for making modeling chocolate.

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  32. I use Peter's Chocolates for all of my professional candy making, but they aren't often easy to find for the home cook. If you have a cake/candy supply store in your area, you can ask if they carry the Peter's products. I tend to use the Peter's White Caps confectionery coating to make my modeling chocolate as I like the flavor. It does have a cream color instead of white. I have also used their pure white chocolate which has a really rich cocoa butter flavor but it is even more cream colored.

    Since Peter's is harder to find for most people, I tend to create a lot of my recipes for my blog using Wilton Candy Melts. They can be found in craft stores and in places like Walmart. The flavor is quite a bit sweeter than the Peter's but the advantage to it is that it is bright white.

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  33. Hi Beth. I found ur site while looking for help with keeping numerous colored chocolates warm for an extended period of time - great with the water bath concept! Thank u! I am about to attempt the project again, but wanted to hear what your thoughts are about using plastic "squirt bottles" instead of glass jars or bowls when keeping the chocolates warm and usable. I was thinking of maybe putting a dishcloth in the bottom of the pan to keep the plastic bottle from too much direct heat. Any advice? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Mikol,

      I do use the squeeze bottles on occasion. The only thing I don't like about them is that the chocolate in the tip hardens and I have to clean it out constantly. If I'm doing something were I will use up most of the chocolate in the bottle quickly, I'll use them. If not, I use the jars. I do think you could keep the squeeze bottles warm by using the water bath in the skillet method. If you keep the skillet on the lowest setting, it shouldn't get too hot for the plastic bottles, but a dishcloth on the bottom is a good idea. Just be sure to dry the bottle each time you pick it up out of the water.

      If you try this, let me know how it turns out for you.

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  34. Hey, I just started playing with chocolate and decorations. Thanks for all the advices. Your work is amazing. I invite you to my blog:
    http://ausschokolade.blogspot.de

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    Replies
    1. I stopped by your blog. You've done some really amazing artwork in chocolate.

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  35. Wrapping Cakes with Chocolate? Any tips would be helpful -- such as how thick should it be -- how to attach to cake? Thank you, Susie

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    1. Are you spreading a thin layer of chocolate on acetate then wrapping it around the cake or are you covering a cake in modeling chocolate?

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  36. Thank you for this fantastic tutorial. I just made a batch of modelling chocolate with Milk chocolate. The chocolate dough has come together,but the dough feels grainy and not very smooth. Also when I try to shape/knead the dough using my hand, the dough becomes soft and oily very quickly. Is this normal or have I done something wrong? Is it normal for some oil to be released when you are working with the chocolate dough while shaping it?

    Just some background info about the ingredients that I used. I am based in Hong Kong so candy melts aren't easily available here. I used a bag of milk chocolate discs that were labelled as "Compound Chocolate - used for decoration". I used locally made corn syrup that is not pourable at room temprature - you could hold the container upside down and nothing would drop out! So I had to warm up the corn syrup in the microwave to make it pourable, but it sets up and hardens very quickly so I had to add it to my melted chocolate while the syrup was still warm. Hope this info will help you to help me :) Thanks a ton! Look forward to seeing more wonderful posts from you. Regards, Anita

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  37. HI Anita,

    Compound chocolate is very similar to Candy Melts, as it contains cocoa, vegetable fat, and sugar and it will work fine in this recipe. You can also use any pure milk chocolate containing cocoa butter. The recipe will taste better when you use pure milk or dark chocolate, but coating work well too.

    I am not familiar with your corn syrup product, I think your problem is that the mixture got too hot because you had to warm up the corn syrup which is what causes the oil to seep out. Yes, it is normal for oil to seep if the modeling chocolate gets too warm. Wrap your modeling chocolate up in plastic wrap and allow it to sit at room temperature to cool for a while. Then try to knead it until smooth. If your hands are warm, then try to knead it on a marble or granite surface. If the modeling chocolate is still grainy I would usually suggest adding some more corn syrup, but you can't add it hot. Do you have any honey? If so, you could add a small amount of that and knead it in. Add just enough until the modeling chocolate becomes smooth.

    If you make this again, try to warm up your corn syrup so it's liquid, then let it sit to cool to 89-90 degree Fahrenheit (32 degrees C) before mixing it in with your chocolate. That should help.

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    1. Hi Beth,

      Thanks for your prompt and detailed response! I agree - compound chocolate doesn't taste anything like real chocolate. Can I use any chocolate(like a Lindt chocolate bar maybe) to make modelling chocolate? If I use the chocolate bar, would I have to temper it? Or do I just melt it and add the corn syrup?

      Another thing - I don't fancy using the crazy corn syrup that I have. I like your idea of using honey. But I was wondering if I could use a simple sugar syrup instead? Or does it have to be "invert" sugar syrup? Do you think the sugar syrup (invert / regular) would work?

      Oh and I made another batch of dark modelling chocolate (compound) and it was a big disaster at first - crumbly and grainy. I followed your instructions, added a bit of corn syrup and kneaded it for a while and it was fixed! I could even make a few roses using it. Yayy! Thanks a bunch! :)

      Anita

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    2. HI Anita,

      I only use pure chocolate when making milk or dark modeling chocolate. The only time I use candy coating is for white modeling chocolate, mostly because I prefer the flavor, but you can certainly use pure white chocolate also. Bars are perfect and you don't have to temper it, per say, but you do always want to cool your chocolate to about 89-91 degrees Fahrenheit before adding in the corn syrup. This keeps your modeling chocolate from becoming greasy.

      I've had a lot of success using honey, dulce de leche and some other thick syrup. The first time I made modeling chocolate I did create my own simple syrup which I cooked until thickened. I actually learned this technique from Ewald Notter, a world renowned pastry chef. I felt it was a lot of work, being I have access to corn syrup, but it does work. I don't know where the recipe is and I couldn't find it on-line, but I vaguely remember that he cooked the simple syrup until it was very thick, probably at the soft ball stage, then he mixed it into the white chocolate. He then spent 30 minutes kneading the cocoa butter back into the modeling chocolate. It seemed like a lot of work, so be sure to allow the syrup to cool. You might give the invert sugar a try. I've not had any experience with that in this recipe but have used it to make marshmallows.

      I'm so happy to hear you were able to salvage your dark modeling chocolate. As I mention in the tutorial, my recipe is only a guide as every chocolate is different. I almost always have to add more corn syrup, but I like to feel it as I go and add it as I need it. I always end up with great modeling chocolate now that I know how to fix all the possible problems.

      Delete
  38. I'm wanting to use modeling chocolate for flowers on cupcakes at an outdoor event in May in Texas. Does it melt at the same rate as candy? I'd hate for my cupcakes to have wilted, melted flowers!

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    Replies
    1. Sad to say modeling chocolate is going to get soft and lose it's shape in the heat. It wont melt like chocolate and turn into a puddle, but the flowers will get very soft. If they are small and are not handled once warm, they might just hold their shape, but larger flowers will probably wilt. If you make them set them in the shade and if you can have a fan nearby that will help.

      Delete
  39. Hi Beth
    That's excellent information you have here.Is it ok to keep the modeling chocolate figures in the refrigerator till they are ready to be used on the cake.
    Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Modeling chocolate doesn't usually do well in the refrigerator as it picks up condensation, so it will look like it's sweating when it's removed from the chiller. If the figures are small you won't notice much, but if they are large it will be quite noticeable.

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  40. Incredible. I just stumbled on this site; was looking for ways to decorate marzipan eggs.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi,
    I used your Honey recipe to make chocolate modelling. When I added the honey to the chocolate and stirring it in gently to incorporate it well the mixture came along fine i.e. leaving the edge of the bowl. At this point I put the dough in a Ziploc bag as a ball and put placed it in airtight container as a nice soft ball on my counter top. About an hour later I could see honey/oil rising up – I still left it to set. But in when I checked in the morning it is ROCK Hard. This was my second attempt the first one I used golden syrup as I cannot find glucose or corn syrup in any of my local stores. With this my MC was crumbly mess. With the honey I get a rock hard ball. Why can this be? What am I doing wrong and is it wasted or can I fix it?
    Another question is if MC becomes very hard would the figures / shapes / 3D art stay soft looking on a cake and would it be soft enough to be eaten. I am desperately trying to be creative with my baking and decorating as I enjoy it and at the moment want to get it right as I’d like to make and decorate my daughter’s 6th Birthday cake.
    Any help and guidance will be hugely appreciated.

    Tina
    tinatinu01@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tina,

      Modeling chocolate will harden and can be kneaded until soft enough to use to sculpt. I often want really hard modeling chocolate to create boxes and things that need a lot of structure. It can still be eaten and softens in your mouth immediately. If you want it softer, you can add more honey to the mixture. At this point, your modeling chocolate can be salvaged. Cut it into pieces and try to knead it. If you can't, put it all in the microwave and heat it on defrost for 5-10 seconds. Then remove it and try to knead it again. Don't over heat it or the oils will come out. Once you get it soft and pliable, add some more honey, a small amount at a time. At first it will be very sticky, and you may need to scrape and wash your hands before continuing to knead. You will be able to salvage it! Get it soft enough to work with, but not so soft that it wont hold it's shape. I make and store my modeling chocolate and re-work it all the time. The white usually stays softer than dark modeling chocolate. I break off what I think I'll need and go through this process.

      Once you do sculpt with the modeling chocolate, anything made out of white or milk chocolate will look very much like fondant. Dark chocolate can harden a bit more stiff, so you can just make it a bit softer with more honey if you want. But no matter how hard the pieces get, just like with regular chocolate, once they get into your mouth they melt.

      Oh, yes, and your dry crumbly modeling chocolate can be fixed as well by doing the exact same thing as listed above. It needs more honey or golden syrup. Use your hands as much as possible to knead and soften it. Use the microwave cautiously. If you get a really hot melted spot, just cut it off, set it aside and let it cool before kneading it and go about kneading the rest.

      I hope this helps. I really have not had to throw any modeling chocolate out since I figured out how to fix every batch, no matter the issue. Once you feel like you've mastered it, there will still be times when you have a botched batch that you have to fix. It all comes together in the end.

      Good luck!

      Delete
  42. Hi Beth,

    Thank you so much for your swift and detailed reply. Much appreciated. It's indeed scary to salvage MC by reheating or adding more honey not knowing what the consquences might be. But your explanation is so clear I feel I can attempt to save my batch.
    Also one further point I used pink coloured button chocolate for melting to cover cakes - not any particular brand, would this therefore determine the amount of honey I needed to use as it might be softer chocolate and therefore I needed more honey?
    Ones again Thank you very much!

    I absolutely love your creations!
    Tina

    ReplyDelete
  43. You are welcome, Tina. Yes, if you use white chocolate or confectionery coating (pink candy buttons) then it will be softer than modeling chocolate made with dark chocolate or even milk chocolate for that matter. This is why my recipe is only a guide. Every brand and type of chocolate or coating is different. I usually ere on the dry side adding less honey to begin with, then add more corn syrup or honey as needed. It's much more difficult to add melted chocolate to excessively soft modeling chocolate. I've done it before, but it is even harder to work with as the chocolate can harden in tiny pellets throughout the modeling chocolate.

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  44. Hi Beth, I'm so lucky to stumbled upon your site and read all this useful information. I have a huge problem with my wilton candymelts,they don't melt properly,I've followed the instruction carefully and still couldn't get them to the coating consistency,unless I add a lot of vegetable oil to it,I mean a lottt. But then the problem is after they have set on the fridge and I took them out,the oil seems to be melted and dripping down the sticks,oh nooo....such a horror. What should i do? Another question,after they're fully set,they're not supposed to be kept in the fridge?or can they? My cakepop is quite soft,if i keep them in room temperature they can get way too soft,so what's the best way to store them since i need to make them and decorate them at least 1day before. Thanks Beth!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hi,

    Often I find that Wilton candy melts do seem to be thicker than many other confectionery coatings, but other times they seem to be normal. I think some packages of the coating end up thicker when melted because of improper storage. If candy coating is not stored in a cool dry place the texture of the melted candy will be effected. I think that often happens with candy coating that is purchased at craft stores.

    I use Peter's chocolates and confectionery coatings and rarely have any trouble with them, but realize they are harder to find. You need to buy them at a cake/candy decorating supply store or on-line.

    I highly recommend buying a package of Paramount Crystals to use instead of vegetable oil to thin your confectionery coating. The crystals are solid fat that melt easily in the candy coating. Your coating will set better if you use the crystals verses the oil. Oil can make your coating soft.

    I don't ever store chocolate or confectionery coating in the refrigerator as it will develop condensation and can bloom or develop white spots. As far as oil seeping from your cake pops it is coming from the actual cake. If your candy coating doesn't seal well around the cake ball you will have this problem, so be sure to coat them really well and make sure there are no holes or air bubbles. If I make cake pops I store them in an airtight container on my counter.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hi Beth, thank you so much for the fast reply. The thing is I live in Indonesia so we dont have that Peter Brand, even Wilton Candymelt cant be found here, I order them from some baking supplier, I have 5packs and they're all giving me the same result. I'm so frustrated with them. As for Paramount Crytals, we dont have them for sure:( Do you maybe can suggest any other coating besides candymelt? Chocolate is fine but i need to color them, and i think white chocolate just doesnt taste that nice,or are they? Or maybe coating with icing? Is that okay?
    Thanks again,
    Ike

    ReplyDelete
  47. You might try using shortening instead of oil. I have not tried this, but being shortening is solid at room temperature, like the Paramount Crystals, so it should help to keep your candy coating more firm.

    As far as working with the candy melts, be sure they don't get overheated, that can also cause it to thicken. Try melting the wafers just until about 2/3 of them are melted. Then stir until everything is melted.

    If you are making cake balls you could dip them in icing, but they wont have the same taste. But, if you are having such difficulty with the candy melts, you might want to give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Beth I've been collecting cookie cutters and molds for more than 50 years. Now thanks to you're great ideas and wonderfull examples (yours to Nina) I have been so inspired to make chocolate suckers and what ever. Can marhmellow be covered in ganache? Thanks -A - Bunch MLM

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  49. I'm glad you have found inspiration and will put your cutters and molds to good use. Yes, you can cover marshmallows in ganache. You'll need to make the ganache pretty firm so it sets up and wont be sticky. A pound of semi sweet chocolate to a cup of heavy whipping cream should work.

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  50. My first attempt to make modeling chocolate turned outto be a nightmare. My batch is oily AND dry :( i have no cold work surface to knead on an i have no clue how to fix this. I used white chocolate for baking. It would be great if you can help me find a solution.

    Thank you
    Cornelia

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cornelia,

      Your modeling chocolate is greasy and dry because the melted chocolate was too hot and it needs more corn syrup. If you don't have a marble or granite slab you can also use a metal cookie sheet to help cool it down.

      I suggest you wrap the modeling chocolate in plastic wrap, let it sit an hour or so, then try to knead in some corn syrup. Letting it rest often times helps it cool down so you can continue kneading it. You may end up with small chunks of hardened chocolate or even tiny bits of hardened chocolate in your modeling chocolate, but they can be picked out. It's time consuming but at least you can save the batch.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the tip. I had the same issue today again but i made dark and white chocolate this time. It only happenes to my white batch :( i could save it last time with kneading it inside a metal bowl that i cooled in the freezer. But good to know that its because i used the chocolate too warm.

      Delete
  51. How can I pin this to Pinterest? It will only let me pin all of your pinterest and not just this how-to. Any help will be appreciated.
    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you click on the Pinterest button (a red "P"), that is just below the blog post, above the comments, and in a row with Facebook and Twitter buttons, you will go to Pinterest. There you can just click on the picture that is most relevant to what you want to pin. I just checked it out and pinned the picture of the electric skillet filled with jars of colored candy melts. Once I clicked on the picture, I was able to select the board I wanted it pinned to, which was my Edible Crafts Board. I then wrote a description and clicked on the pin button. I hope this helps.

      Delete
  52. Hi. I read this tutorial. Its very informative I'm from India. Pls help in sharing one how u have made chocolate popcorn. N what u have used inside the glass pot of lili flowers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Srikanth,

      Here is a tutorial on making the white chocolate popcorn. - http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2011/09/do-you-think-you-can-handle-eating.html

      The calla lilies are made out of modeling chocolate. The flowers are attached to lollipop sticks that I painted with green candy melts. The leaves are created from the same. The bowl is filled with sugar, so that the flowers stand up nicely.

      Delete
  53. hi, i am trying to make a molding chocolate using milk chocolate. the mold is soft enough as i knead it with my hands. as i work it, there's a bit of oil on my hands. i am trying to make small roses, i can form the mold into petals but moments later it would crack. i already tried adding more syrup drop by drop, it still cracked. so i tried adding a few drops of honey to make it smooth, still the same problem. any idea how i can make it smooth, without making the mold too soft and oily? thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If it's cracking then it is too dry. I suggest you wrap it up and let it sit at room temperature for about an hour. Then try to knead in some more corn syrup. The oil is seeping because it is too warm. If you hand are hot or your room is just too warm, it will be hard to keep it from doing that. Wash your hands in really cold water before kneading the modeling chocolate. If you have a marble or granite slab, try to knead it on the slab using a spatula. Once you get the right amount of corn syrup in the mixture, it should work perfectly without cracking.

      Delete
  54. We're will I get candy colour in India?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Aditi,

      I usually order mine from Amazon.com. If you have access to their site, then they have everything. I'm not familiar with the types of stores you have in India, but here I could buy the candy color from a cake decorating store or a craft store, but I still will usually just buy it on-line.

      Delete
  55. This site is wonderful! Thank you for sharing it with us! If I have left over melted candy in the jars in the skillet, can I save it and reheat to use another time?

    ReplyDelete
  56. Thank you! Yes, I usually freeze the candy coating for about 15 minutes, then allow it to sit for about an hour, then put the lid on it and just keep it at room temperature until I need to use it again. Then I just reheat it and use it.

    ReplyDelete
  57. wow, you are a wealth of information, I will be referring to this a lot! Thanks for putting all this together Beth

    ReplyDelete
  58. How do I fix modeling chocolate that is too sticky to work with?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The easiest thing to do is to flatten the modeling chocolate into a disc, and allow it to sit at room temperature for about an hour. It should dry out and be easier to use. Depending on how sticky it is, it might need to be re-shaped and dried a bit longer. If you are really in a hurry you can add some powdered sugar or cocoa powder to the modeling chocolate, but use it sparingly.

      Delete
  59. Love the modeling chocolate thanks for the reciepe

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  60. Hi Beth, just loved all your explanation, I want to make a cake pop Flounder, Sebastian i'm going to buy a silicone mold of those characters, my questions is since the mold doesn't have a place to put the lollypop stick do you have any idea how should i do, cause i looked every where for some tutorial on how to make that cute fish and i didn't find it, and the mold will look very cute.I'm located in Brazil ,here i can find somethings that i need but the price is sky-high, and my passion is to bake, create things and it's a way to make my living.Thanks a lot.Best regards from Klaudia Amaral

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have seen where people cut a very small hole in bottom of the candy coated cake pop using a sharp knife, then they dip a lollipop stick in the melted candy and insert it into the pop. I've not done this but many people get it to work nicely. That way you can paint the mold with candy coating, create a shell using the candy coating, fill it with cake ball mixture, then top it off with more melted candy coating. You can see how I did that in my Cake Ball Brains post (http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2012/10/creepy-halloween-sweets-cake-ball.html) After you pop them out of the molds, allow them to come to room temperature. Then cut the small hole in the bottoms and insert the stick. Good luck. Let me know how they turn out.

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  61. Hi

    This may seem like a very random question but do you know the best way to rapidly harden chocolate / caramel.
    I want to make some toffee or 'candy' apples for an event and allow people to make their own. As such I cant wait the 15-20 mins it takes for the hot chocolate dipped apples to harden at room temperature.
    Do you know if a blast chiller would work....or even dry ice??

    Many thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Usually, you wouldn't want the chocolate to harden too quickly as it can throw it out of temper, but if you are just having people dip the apples then eat them right away, it really wont matter. You can use a refrigerator or freezer to harden the chocolate. If you have a blast chiller, it would work too. Dry ice should work as well, but be careful none of the chocolate apples touch the dry ice. You can also buy food grade cold spray which chefs use when making large chocolate sculptures, but it is quite expensive. Good luck!

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  62. I was wondering if I could use modeling chocolate as if it were fondant for covering a cake? If so would I still need a layer of buttercream or will that affect the chocolate?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you can use modeling chocolate to cover cakes just like you would use fondant and yes you still need a layer of buttercream on the cake. Just be sure when you are working with that much modeling chocolate that your room is quite cool. I keep my kitchen between 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit. My hands are always warm, so I will take breaks as I'm working with it, in order to allow the modeling chocolate to cool down. Rolling it out on a stainless steal table will also help to keep it cool. Good luck!

      Delete
  63. Can I use modeling chocolate in place of fondant to cover a cake? If so would I still frost a layer of buttercream first?

    ReplyDelete
  64. Sharon van den BergAugust 5, 2013 at 7:15 AM

    Thank you so much for your web page. I need to decorate a three tier cake with soft draped modelling choc and I was panicking big time(of course I told my client I can do it). I've only worked with modelling choc once and it was a disaster. With your online help I have the courage to try again. I do so hate fondant and often get requested not to decorate cakes with it. Hold thumbs for me, going to buy choc now and try a drape.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome! I'm glad my information was helpful. I always prefer to work with modeling chocolate. I hate fondant too. You will cover the cake with modeling chocolate just like you do with fondant. Just be sure that your house is cool. If it's too hot you'll have a hard time rolling it out and picking it up. Good luck. I hope your cake turns out great!

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  65. Awesome! I wanted the "look" that fondant gives without the taste for my daughter's Cinderella cake. How much would I need for a basic two layer cake? Will this recipe be enough?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One recipe should be enough to cover a 2 layer 8 inch cake.

      Delete
  66. Wow! Great!

    Can you crush the opal dragees to make silver dust?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose you could do that, but you can also buy silver luster dust and opal luster dust. I use them often and love how they make my food sparkle!

      Delete
  67. Love your idea for the Handmade Chocolate Tree Box! How do you make the chocolate truffles inside?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Meline.

      The truffles are made in a hard polycarbonate chocolate mold using chocolate transfer sheets. I have not done a tutorial on creating these chocolates, but will have to consider doing one!

      Delete
  68. Hi I've been making modeling chocolate with wilton candy melts but find that the end result has alot of tiny wax pieces in it. Eventually I am able to knead then out but it takes forever. Do you have any advice as to how I can eliminate this problem? What I do is once the corn syrup is mixed into the chocolate, I try not to use more that 15 stokes to incorporate it, i then pour it out onto clear wrap and let it sit over night. I have never kneaded it like you mention because I've always read that if you over work it the oils begin to separate from the chocolate. I hope you can give me some good advice :)
    Thanks
    Maria

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What you are seeing in your modeling chocolate isn't wax, it's just bits of hardened candy melts. I've had this happen several times too when I didn't mix the corn syrup in well enough. If I allow my chocolate or candy melts to cool to 90-91 degrees Fahrenheit before stirring in the corn syrup I don't have trouble with the oil seeping out. Then I can mix enough to make sure all the chocolate is combined with the corn syrup. When I rush it and do happen to end up with little lumps, I will just pick them out, but this is a time consuming process. If you roll the modeling chocolate out really thin, you can easily see the lumps and can pick them out.

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  69. Help p-lease.... Made white modelling choc this morning and as I was kneading, a lot of oil came out (which I discarded) - this was BEFORE I came upon your site - lots of lessons learned (thanks). I then threw the batch back through the microwave and added more corn syrup. Now it is very hard and extremely difficult to knead. Can I fix it?
    PS... also had a batch of dark modelling choc that was in the fridge (since Jan) - was crumbly, so followed your advice (added syrup and kneaded) and came out perfect (thanks again).
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
  70. Hi Beth

    I hope this is not a repeat of my first request... (was not signed in)
    Help please.... I made a batch of white modelling choc today and when I kneaded it a lot of oil came out, which I discarded. (This was before I came upon your extremely helpful site). I then microwaved to soften and added more corn syrup. It is now so hard that I cannot even knead it. Is there any way of saving it?
    PS: Had an old batch of dark modelling choc (since Jan) and was crumbly, so followed your advice and it came out perfectly (thanks again)
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If your modeling chocolate is really hard, I suggest breaking off really small pieces and trying to knead them. If that doesn't work, then put it in the microwave on the defrost (or lowest) setting for 4-6 seconds. Try kneading again. Re-heat for 3-4 seconds if needed. You just want to soften it up slightly. Don't overheat or the oils will come out again. I've been able to get rock hard modeling chocolate to work using this method. I hope you're able to fix it.

      Delete
  71. Thanks Beth, will try what you suggest

    ReplyDelete
  72. Hello Dear
    My name ıs Sophıa, I love chocolate ,i was wondering , is there anyway of make cold chocolate .what i know is that cocoa mix with milk and sugar.but this is too simple. i was wondering if you know how to make best chocolate in cold form . because I want to try it on a machine with degree at -6. just imagine the thickness as much as frozen yogurt. I would be so much appreciate if you can give me some feed back about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Zulfiye,

      I'm not exactly sure what you are looking for, but it sounds like you want something to drink. Is that right? If so, I would make my version of hot chocolate then allow it to cool in the refrigerator. I mix heavy whipping cream with some chocolate then pour it into hot milk. I don't really know the exact measurements as I just mix in enough until I like the taste. You can drink it hot or wait until it's cold. It's great either way.

      Delete
  73. I would like to create a river coming from a fountain. My question is, how to keep the chocolate from hardening in the "river area" pipe? do I put sterno under pipe to keep it hot?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You wouldn't want to use just melted chocolate, you would need to make a chocolate sauce or very thin chocolate ganache in order to keep it flowing.

      Delete
  74. Hi, love your site! I made modelling choc using liquid glucose and golden syrup and it's impossible to get light corn syrup over here, and it was a complete success, however milk choc not so good! It is very, very runny. Is there anything I can add to it to use now as a coating for a cake so that it won't running off? Hate to not use all that lovely chocolate because it tastes Devine!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, John. Milk chocolate has much more cocoa butter in it than dark chocolate, so it does take less of the syrup to make the modeling chocolate. Once, when my modeling chocolate was too soft, I was able to melt some more chocolate, allow it to cool to about 88 degrees then very quickly kneaded it into the modeling chocolate. If I remember correctly, it did end up a bit greasy, so I had to work it as I've mentioned above using a bench scraper and a granite counter top. I know it worked, but it did take some time. Another option, which will change the color a bit and the flavor a bit is to knead in some powdered sugar (confectioners sugar.) I've done that with the white modeling chocolate before on a hot day, when I wanted to make sure it would hold up. I'd love to hear what works for you. Good luck.

      Delete
  75. Hi - can you verify if chocolate was or can be made with potatoes int he recipe. Someone I know is sure chocolate used to be made with potatoes.. I doubt it but would like your thoughts.. thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chocolate itself is primarily made from cocoa beans and sugar. I know you can make candies using potatoes and it's possible the recipes call for chocolate. I've never had them, and am not really familiar with the flavor profile of the candies.

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  76. Hi...Have you ever added pure cocoa butter to compound chocolate for a richer flavor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have on occasion added cocoa butter to chocolate that already has cocoa butter in it, just in order to thin it out a bit. I have never added it to compound coating (a.k.a. confectionery coating) that has hydrogenated oils in it, and am not exactly sure how they would mix. By adding the cocoa butter, you would then have to temper the coating just like you would pure chocolates. It would also thin it out considerably.

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  77. Thank you! I was told by the manufacturer of the coating to wither add a little cocoa butter (2oz per 1lb of coating) or add some real chocolate to enhance the flavor. I have tried adding the real chocolate and it definitely enhances the flavor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure it would make the coating taste better. Have you had to temper it? I remember years ago someone telling me to mix the two together, then someone else said don't. At that point I had purchased tempering machines and didn't use coating for much other than painting lollipops, so I never tried it. I do use it a lot for my blog projects, just because it's much easier to work with for the home cook. I want to make sure whatever I'm making can be replicated at home.

      Delete
  78. Hi Beth,
    This is my first time making modeling chocolate. What do I do once my figures are made? Can they be applied right away, or do they need time to dry first? Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can use modeling chocolate like you do with fondant. If you are putting the figures on a fondant covered cake, you can apply them right after your sculpt them. If you are putting them on a frosted cake or cupcake, I would allow the piece to harden first, then add it, just so the fats from the frosting don't get absorbed into the modeling chocolate.

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  79. Thanks so much for the quick reply! I have been at this cake all day but am almost there. How do you apply modeling chocolate to modeling chocolate? My end result won't be the prettiest but I'm getting good practice. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brush the modeling chocolate lightly with water, then press it against the other piece of modeling chocolate. You might need to hold it until it dries, but that should happen quickly. You can also use royal icing, if you have some on hand. I'd love to see your cake when you are finished. You can send a pic to beth@hungryhappenings.com.

      Delete
  80. Hi Beth,

    I was wondering what you used to make the chocolate cups and popcorn bucket. Did you use regular chocolate molds?

    Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can use anything that is plastic and has a smooth surface. I have used containers like tupperware, plastic buckets, and plastic cups. Be sure they haven't had anything in them before other than food. Wash them and dry them well. Be sure the containers are smooth near the open edge so the chocolate can easily slide out. I have a tutorial showing how I made a small bucket here, http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2011/10/how-to-make-chocolate-canisterbucket.html

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  81. Just joining in with everyone to thank you for such amazing information.
    Question - would you think chocolate chips are considered "chocolate" or would you only use chunks of "real" chocolate?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Any chocolate, including chips, that are made with cocoa butter, and not vegetable oils like palm kernal oil, are considered to be pure or real chocolate. Just note, that chocolate chips are formulated to stay in a chip shape even at high temperatures. You can melt them, but they don't melt as easily as a chocolate bar. You also need to temper the chocolate chips if you melt them and want it to set properly and have a nice shine.

      Delete
  82. Hi! I am new for chocolate . What is the different between compound and converture chocolate? Can i use compound chocolate for modeling?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Compound coating is made with hydrogenated oils like palm kernal oil, while coverture is made using cocoa butter. I use both to make modeling chocolate. I almost always use white coating to make it, and always use pure milk and semi-sweet chocolates. As I mention above, the amount of corn syrup you'll need with depend on the type and brand of chocolate you use. You just have to play with the amounts until you find what works for the chocolate or coating you are using.

      Delete
  83. thanks for you wonderful site, made the white modeling chocolate today, almost gave up, it was very very crumbly, until I found your site, then just added way more corn syrup, voila, it worked am soooooo excited, and can't wait to get to work on my nieces Dolly Varden cake. THANK YOU soooo much :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you didn't give up and that you found my advice helpful. Once you figure out the formula to make modeling chocolate using the brand of white chocolate you are using, it will go so much smoother. I love working with it and just finished making several new recipe posts featuring modeling chocolate.

      Delete
  84. CAN U SUGGEST DT MORDE BRAND CHOCOLATE COMPOUNDS CAN B USED INSTEAD F D MODELLING CLAY?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry, I'm not familiar with DT Morde Brand Chocolate. You can use any brand or type of chocolate to make modeling chocolate/chocolate clay. You can not use regular chocolate in place of modeling chocolate/chocolate clay. Chocolate clay is flexible like fondant and can be sculpted like clay. I hope that answers your question.

      Delete
  85. Hi, Thankyou for the awesome post. I tried making molding chocolate by using 50 gms white chocolate compound and 1 tbsp light corn syrup. Morde's Chocolate compound available in India contains sugar, milk solids hydrogenated vegetable oil and antioxidant I wanted to try making flowers to decorate my cake (I dislike fondant). I now understand why so much fat got released (excellent skin softner btw!!) . I used the chocolate dough anyway, since it was still very pliable. The flowers came out beautiful, but some how did not harden and became a little soft when I placed them on a cake covered with whipped cream. I was searching the net for " how to make chocolate molding flowers stiff when I came across your excellent post. How do I get the flowers to become stiff. Pl help, I would like to make cake decorations with chocolate instead of fondant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First, I would make a flower and let it sit for at least a few hours to dry before putting it on the cake. All modeling chocolate will soften a bit once added to a frosted cake. If you give the flowers plenty of time to really dry, it will take much longer for them to soften once on the cake.

      If your modeling chocolate is just too soft and wont dry hard, you can do one of two things. The easiest is to just knead in some powdered sugar (confectioners sugar) to help dry things out a bit. Then make your flowers and allow them to dry before putting on your cake. Another method would be to knead in some melted chocolate. If you do this you need to make sure the chocolate is just barely warm (88-90 degrees Fahrenheit) before kneading it in to the modeling chocolate. You probably don't need much, to give your modeling chocolate more structure. I've had success doing this, but it can be tricky.

      I hope this helps.

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  86. Hi, I need to know the temperature of the white chocolate when I put the color in it. Thanks for your help.

    ReplyDelete
  87. HI, I need to know what should be the temperature of white chocolate when put the color in it, because looks like the color not mix very well when the chocolate is hot. Thanks for your help.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Hi, I need to know the temperature of the white chocolate when I put the color in it. Thanks for your help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you are using pure white chocolate (made with cocoa butter) the chocolate should be between 88-90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are using white chocolate coating (made with hydrogenated oil or palm kernal oil) it should be between 100-110 degrees fahrenheit.

      Delete
  89. This tutorial was a lifesaver-I was making a damask wallpaper cake this weekend, and I used your tutorial to sculpt all of the individual components! Thanks so much :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jane, I'm so happy you found my tips helpful. I hope your cake turns out great!

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  90. Many thanks Beth for the detailed explanation. You are awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  91. trying to substitute unsweetened cocoa/sugar & oil for semi sweet chips for a light frosting. The sugar is making the chocolate too grainy ...any solutions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's hard to dissolve granulated sugar in a frosting. You could try using powdered sugar instead.

      Delete
  92. Hi, this is very interesting. I want to try making a modeling chocolate. My question is, can I Substitute the corn syrup with e.g. maple syrup? I live in Germany and haven't seen corn syrup on the shelf! What other substitute may I use??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have successfully used honey (http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2011/05/how-to-create-school-books-using-corn.html,) jelly (http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2013/05/strawberry-basket-gifts-for-mom-teachers-friends.html,) dulce de leche (http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2011/06/celebrate-end-of-school-year-by-making.html,) and even peanut butter (http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2012/11/chocolate-peanut-butter-fudge-or.html) to make modeling chocolate. Take a look at these posts to see how I did it.

      Delete
  93. Wow! I'm impressed and excited! Can you use anything besides corn syrup to make modeling chocolate? I'm looking for something 100% natural or organic. Stopping by from Tell Me About It Tuesday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Melissa,

      I have successfully used honey (http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2011/05/how-to-create-school-books-using-corn.html,) jelly (http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2013/05/strawberry-basket-gifts-for-mom-teachers-friends.html,) dulce de leche (http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2011/06/celebrate-end-of-school-year-by-making.html,) and even peanut butter (http://www.hungryhappenings.com/2012/11/chocolate-peanut-butter-fudge-or.html) to make modeling chocolate. Take a look at these posts to see how I did it.

      Delete
  94. Hello Beth! I'm trying to buy a candy and deep fry thermometer but I'm not sure which one to buy. Is there any brand you recommend? :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Natalie,

      I have used both Wilton and Taylor candy thermometers and both are good. The very best thermometer I have is by Thermapen. It is very pricey, but I love it.

      Delete
  95. Hi, I have just started making things from fondant for my cakes. I've done well with flowers and toys, but realistic faces and animals do not turn out as well. I've practiced with regular clay and like how you can blend it together to make seamless joints and add features and muscles. Can modeling chocolate be used the same way? Would it work better on it's own for this or mixed with fondant or gumpaste? Thank you for sharing your expertise. Lynn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Modeling chocolate can be used the same way as clay. I've never mixed it with fondant or gumpaste. I like it just the way it is, and don't see the necessity to mix it. I like that modeling chocolate is easy to sculpt but hardens and holds it's shape really well, plus it tastes great.

      Delete
  96. Hi Beth!
    Thanks for all the excellent information. I did try looking through all the comments to see if someone also posted this so forgive me if you've already responded to this question.
    I would like to try using those chocolate transfer sheets or the textured sheets for chocolate but its seems like there are so many different versions out there (and so many different prices as well). Could you recommend good kinds and also good places to purchase online? Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love working with transfer sheets. I buy mine from a wholesale company, but there are quite a few places you can buy them on-line. Here's links to two of them - http://www.chocotransfersheets.com/shop/category.aspx?catid=27
      http://www.countrykitchensa.com/shop/food-items/chocolate-transfer-sheets/46/624/1544/

      Delete
  97. Hello, I am looking for the plastic brushes that you use, can you recommend me one, preferably from amazon?

    ReplyDelete
  98. Can you recommend me a plastic brush like yours, preferably from amazon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Yay! I actually found the same paint brushes that I use. Here is the link on Amazon.com:

      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006N6OGU/ref=as_li_tf_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B0006N6OGU&linkCode=as2&tag=hungryh-20

      Delete
    3. Hello, thank you for your instant reply, I found the following but are not plastic, ( I bough the second one) Now, I will buy this that you propose me :)

      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0050B1HR4/ref=gno_cart_title_2?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1GXT7IMS99GT
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00076TPKI/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
      Sent from my iPad

      Delete
  99. Hi Could you direct me to a site that sells the bunny sucker with the bow tie?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to say the company that made that mold went out of business last year, so it's no longer available.

      Delete
  100. Hi Beth,
    You have such great ideas and instructions. I can't wait to try them all. I have been making chocolates for many years using Merkens wafers and molds. I've bought the pre-made fondant and didn't like the taste, so I can't wait to make some using your instructions. I do have a suggestion, when I needed to have small amounts of different colors to "paint" the molds, I tried many times to use the hot water bath and many times I get water in the chocolate. I have since found a couple of different ways to keep the chocolate melted. I've used a heating pad but then I found an electric griddle that has a thermostat so you can set it on a really low temperature so it just stays warm. This has worked for me the best, no water to drip in my chocolate. I have even set the plastic bottles on it and it didn't melt the bottle, but kept the chocolate melted. I still use the microwave to initially melt the chocolate, but then use the warmer to keep it melted.
    Have you ever tried this?

    ReplyDelete
  101. Hi Beth...I've made some bourbon and bacon flavored chocolate covered caramels and topped them with a little sea salt and bacon crumbles. After trial and error I've gone to the Wilton melts to get the chocolate to set up properly. I will be traveling with them and will be using them in a contest in two days. I feel like I need to refrigerate them....I will be in an RV and the temp will probably be 76 plus...any suggestions for refrigerating them? Do the Wilton melts get bloom? Thanks !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kathryn,

      That is going to be tricky. If you refrigerate them, they might bloom and will most probably end up being sticky. Candy Melts get sticky when they've been chilled for too long. They develop condensation which will dry and make the candies look dull. I would suggest you keep them cool just by running the air conditioner. If you by any chance have a cooler that plugs in, this is a better option than a refrigerator. If you just put the chocolates in the cooler (wrapped and packaged in boxes) then you should be alright. I've done this before on long trips. I will often leave the lid open as we drive, then just close it when we get out to go to dinner or something. This works pretty well.

      I hope this helps.

      Delete
  102. I love your blog And your candy. Thank you for sharing..

    ReplyDelete
  103. Hi Beth,

    Many thanks for this helpful article. This might seem like a strange question on a chocoloate site but I'm hoping you might be able to help me with something due to your experience with colouring chocolate. I have been using oil candy colors to color homemade crayons. Overall, I've been happy with the results and most of the colors have mixed really well with the wax I use. However, I'm still having some trouble with the blue, green and purple colors - the dye can transfer onto hands from a set crayon. I was wondering if you might know why this happens with these particular colors when all the others are fine? Have you ever experienced any differences with these shades?

    I look forward to your reply. Many thanks in advance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is very interesting. I really have no idea why that would be happening with just a few colors. The only issue I have with some colors is that they fade, in particular bright pink and sometime bright purple. Pretty much any coloring that ends up on my hands stains, so I guess I'm surprised that when used for crayons they don't all stain.

      Sorry, I'm no help with this issue.

      Delete
  104. Thanks for your reply, Beth. I appreciate your time.

    ReplyDelete
  105. Hi don't have any marble to work on! I do have AC and can cool my kitchen down to what I need, so can I work my modeling clay on my small laminate table on parchment paper??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The best thing to use if you don't have marble or granite, is use a metal baking pan. It's reasonably cold which is what you need to cool down the modeling chocolate.

      Delete
  106. Hi. I wonder if you can help. I am trying to use PME candy melts in a silicon mould of an anchor and for the life of me i cannot get it out without breaking. I have tried popping it into the freezer, also tried using cake release but they always break. Can you offer any tips? thanks

    ReplyDelete
  107. Hi, I wonder if you can help. I am trying to use PME candy melts in a silicon mould of an anchor and for the life of me i cannot get it out without breaking it. I have tried popping it into the freezer and using cake release and cornstarch but it always breaks. Can you offer any suggestions? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jackie,

      I've never used PME Candy Melts, but have used lots of other brands and they should all just pop out of the molds once set. You should never use cake release or cornstarch. You shouldn't have to. Once the candy hardens it should shrink enough to pull away from the mold. The problem is probably the design of the mold. I've had molds that just never work. If an area is too thin and not engineered correctly the candy will crack. So I'm guessing the the thin part of the anchor is the problem. You'll probably need to get a different mold.

      Delete
  108. Good day!

    I am trying to make chocolate lollipops, i packaged them in plastic and seal with ribbons. Problem is my chocolates are sweating. Here's how I do it.. After filling the mold w/ chocolate I put them in the freezer for 10 mins then take them out, put each lollipop in plastic bag, tie it with ribbons, some of the chocolates are already sweating at this time but i still put them inside the plastic bag. After a few minutes i see sweating so i put it back in the fridge for 24 hours but I still see sweating after.

    How can I avoid this, please help me, Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The sweating is actually beads of condensation created by the moisture in a freezer or refrigerator. It can also be caused by changing the temperature too quickly. If your house is really warm, you may want to freeze the pop for about 8 minutes, then move them to the refrigerator for 4 minutes before bringing them into your room. It's very important to allow the lollipops to come to room temperature before packaging them in bags. Let them sit at least 30 minutes. I usually let them sit for an hour or so. DO NOT put them back in the freezer or refrigerator. You will definitely get sweating if you do that.

      If the pops do sweat, allow them to sit in a cool (about 70 degrees F) dry place until the sweat has completely dried. Your lollipops will look like they have a mat finish instead of a glossy finish, but at least they wont smear.

      Good luck.

      Delete
  109. Hi, I'm using Wilton candy melts with the pirate lollipop molds. I paint the first layer, make sure there are no bubble and put it in the freezer before filling the mold with chocolate and freezing for 10-15 mins. However I am running into two problems. Firstly when I pour the chocolate to fill the mold, I see air bubbles form in the painted base layer. Secondly, some of the color of the painted base layer starts to bleed. Any suggestions? Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Air bubbles are common, they form when you pour the candy melts into the mold. To remove them, tap the mold on the counter a few times. If that doesn't do it, then use a toothpick to pop them. I carefully hold the mold up over my head, keeping it perfectly horizontal, so the candy melts don't spill, then I look to see where the air bubbles are, and pop them.

      If your painted color is bleeding, the candy coating you are pouring into the mold is too hot. Allow it to cool slightly them pour it in. If you are keeping it hot in a skillet, turn the heat down. If it's down as low as it will go and the candy coating is still too hot, then remove the jar for a few minutes, to allow it to cool, then pour it into the mold. The closer to the bottom of the jar you get the hotter the candy coating will be, so it's helpful to stir it before you begin pouring.

      Delete
  110. Hi Ms. Beth.
    Love your troubleshooting section. It has helped me understand MC so much better.
    I have made MC using your directions before and it worked out fine. But recently I made a small batch and the oils it squatting out like mad. I think I put the corn syrup while it was still pretty hot as I was rushing it.
    It was very crumbly when i started to knead it and quite a bit of oil was on the surface. I added bit of corn syrup to it and kept kneading while making sure that my hands and the MC are cool and don't get warm... but the oil kept squeezing out :( ....The MC isn't crumbly now but the oil is not incorporating back in. Pleaaaaseee HELP!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Set a piece of plastic wrap in a plastic bowl and place your modeling chocolate in it. Let it rest for about 20-30 minutes, then go back to kneading it. That wont be long enough for the oils to solidify into small beads, but it will give the chocolate time to cool off and rest. Add more corn syrup if it's still dry and crumbly. Honestly, every time I make modeling chocolate it feels a bit different. Most days, I'm patient and wait until the chocolate cools before adding the corn syrup, but on occasion I rush and pay the price with greasy modeling chocolate. I'm always able to fix it, though, so take a break and come back in a bit and hopefully it will work out well.

      Delete
    2. Thank you so so so much for your prompt reply. I went back to knead it and like you said the oil incorporated back in easily. But the texture of the MC is still coarse. I added corn syrup to soften it. It is soft but not smooth at all. I don't know its like that.

      Delete
    3. Because so much oil seeped out, it may be a little more brittle. I would try adding a bit more corn syrup then let it rest for a while, then knead it again. I've even added corn syrup to modeling chocolate that was made weeks before. It's never to late to add more to get a smooth texture. Good luck.

      Delete
    4. Oh gosh! I went back to check on it after replying to you now. MAGIC! Smooooth!
      So "Waiting" is the Key!! Anything not coming together, just "wait" and go back to it.
      Sorry for bothering you so much. Thank you for your precious knowledge.

      Delete

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