Making chocolate containers is something I do occasionally. The great thing about it is that it requres very little equipment other than items found in the average home kitchen. Half the fun is experimenting with bits and bobs from the kitchen (and the toy box), and once your imagination gets going, there's no telling where the containermaking will go. Any disasters can simply be remelted. I use the various containers for serving desserts, presenting chocolates and cookies and for gift boxes when giving goodies away.
chocolate in temper
a variety of cookie cutters or cake rings
the odd tupperware containers and plastic bowls
acetate (plain, textured or transfer sheet) or just plain old freezer bags
Here's the variety of containers I used (some of them succesfully, some not):
The bowl and orange cup are plastic (from IKEA), the little black thing is a sake cup. The blue things are little oblong pieces of sponge (the softer the better), app. 2 cmx 2 cm x 4 cm, wrapped in saran.
The childrens plate has a sheet of textured acetate under the crumpet ring, but a piece of freezer bag stuck on with a few dots of chocolate would work just the same. The pudding basins are lined with waxed paper and saran wrap.
Things to be aware of when choosing moulds in the kitchen cabinets:
Make sure the bowls or containers you use are SMOOTH on the inside - The sake cup I tried with has matte finish and the chocolate hung on for dear life and had to be washed out with hot water.
Older tupperare containers or bowls that are slightly scratched can be a problem, as the chocolate has trouble releasing, and may break in the process.
The more sloped the sides of a container are, the easier the release is.
Make sure your containers are really clean, next time I think I'll polish them before using
When doing the moulding, remember to scrape the edge of the bowl clean. On this one, I forgot, and the edge chipped and the bowl cracked as I tapped it on the counter to release the chocolate.
For tempering the chocolate, I use a micowawe oven and a heat gun:
The chocolate is ready for melting in the microwawe. I melt it at full power (800w) in 30 second burst, stirring between each burst, until the chocolate is about 2/3 melted. At this point it looks like a terrible mess.
The 2/3 melted chocolate ready for the heat gun.
Finishing the melting with a heat gun (remember to stir to avoid hot spots). Remember to test the chocolate for temper when it is fully melted (dip the corner of a metal scraper or a knife in the choc - if it seets hard with a nice sheen (no streaks) in 2 to 5 minutes, youre ready to go). If the chocolate gets too cool while working with it, just blast it with the heat gun for a few secs.
Now for the moulding. I did this with a bunch of the containers depicted above, but I will just show the principles for:
moulding a bowl in a bowl or tupperware
making a lid for a bowl
moulding a bowl in a crumpet ring
making a lid for a crumpet ring bowl
making a cup
making a bowl in a paper or saran wrapped bowl
making bowl with sponge wrapped in saran
making bowl using balloons
Moulding a bowl in a bowl or tupperware:
Fill the bowl with chocolate
swirl right to the edge
dump out excess chocolate - tap the bowl gently to help the process along
Scrape the rim to get a clean edge, If there is chocolate stuck on the rim, you may have trouble releasing the item
refrigerate untill touch dry
fill bowl with chocolate
Dump out excess chocolate
Let the chocolate set
When the chocolate is fully set, you will se that it releases from the bowl (if the bowl is semi or fully transparant).
You can help the release process along by carefully tapping the bowl upside down on the counter. Gently ease the chocolate bowl out of the plastic bowl
If the mould has vertical sides the unmoulding can be tricky - try putting the bowl perfectly aligned upside down on an identical bowl and press down on the bottom (this only works with slightly flexible bowls)
The finished bowl. It could be used for serving fruit, ice cream, mousse, cookies, chocolates etc. or even as a container for giving away a selection of chocolates.
Making a lid:
Spread chocolate relatively thinly on acetate or piece of freezer bag plastic - the bigger the lid, the thicker the chocolate, but beware that chocolate tends to warp when setting, so too big may be a problem.
When the chocolate is touch dry -
- use the appropriate vessel as a cutter. Typically you want to use the same model as the bowl the lid is for, but other shapes may work, eg. a star shaped lid for a round bowl
When the chocolate is fully set, remove the lid from the acetate - finished and ready to use
Here's an example of a bowl made with a small tupperware container and a lid cut with an identical container.
Moulding a bowl in a crumpet ring - any cookie cutter or cake/tart ring can be used the same way, although a very detailed cookie cutter may be difficult to unmould.
Set the ring on a piece of acetate or plastic on a plate
Fill ring up with chocolate
Press the ring firmly to the plastic covered plate, using your thumbs to press the ring and the other fingers under the plate, and pour out the excess chocolate. Remember to scrape the edge clean (sorry - no pic - this is a two hand operation)
Refrigerate till touch dry and repeat as described in bowl making
When completly set, peel the ring and chocolate container off the plastic
Carefully release the container
Making a lid using a crumpet ring
Spread chocolate thinly on acetate or plastic from freezer bag
When touch dry, use the ring as a cutter
When fully set, peel off plastic and release from ring (I got impatient, and wanted to see the pattern before the chocolate was completely and fully set, hence the matte area on the lid)
Finished bowl with some truffles
Making a cup
The same principles as for making a bowl applies to making any container one can imagine - I made a couple of cups
Using a plastic cup - I placed this upside down to set, and it created an unsightly lip on the cup.
Using a childrens mug
making a bowl in a paper or saran wrapped bowl
The principles for making a bowl with saran and paper are the same. When using saran wrap, tape it to the outside of the bowl, as it tends to collapse. I use a pudding basin, as it has a flat inside bottom, giving the chocolate bowl a potential for standing on its own.....(doesn't always work)
Bowl lined with saran wrap - try to make the wrap as smooth as possible for easy peeling off when set
Bowl lined with waxed paper - try to make the paper as smooth as possible for easy peeling off when set
Carefully spread the chocolate on the inside of the bowl after spooning it in, using either a spoon or your fingers (very messy......).
Pop in the fridge till touch dry
Apply second coat. As you can see, there are areas where the chocolate is very thin. These will be holes in the finished bowl. If you want to avoid this, be more thorough than I was.....
Leave to set completely
Lift chocolate and paper/saran carefully out of bowl
Peel paper or saran off very carefully. The paper/saran gets stuck in all sorts og grooves and cracks so be gentle.
Finished bowl moulded in saran
Finished bowl moulded in paper
This type of bowl woul be pretty filled with strawberries or maybe as a mousse bowl.
This bowl broke into bits when removing the paper
Making bowl with sponge wrapped in saran
Cut a piece of sponge to an appropriate size - mine was app. 2x2x4 cm. The softer the sponge, the easier the unmoulding will be.
Wrap the sponge in saran and tie it at the top
Dip the sponge in chocolate to about ½ way up
Leave to set
Very carefully remove the sponge by squeezing it and easing it out of the chocolate shell
The little bowl can be used for individual chocolates or petit four type things, depending on the size of the bowl.
Bowls made with balloons
In the process, I realised that balloons are not just balloons, some have a smoother surface than others when blown up, making the final removing of the rubber simpler.
Balloons ready to go. It is a real challenge to make them the same size
You can do balloons in one type of chocolate, but I wanted stripes, so I dolloped in some tempered milk chocolate. To make straight stripes, dip straight up and down, for a more groovy look, twist the balloon while dunking.
Dip the balloon
Place on waxed paper or acetate to set
When fully set, the fun starts - popping the balloons
Finished bowls can be used for all sorts of dessert serving (maybe a bit retro, but they always get eaten around here). Next time I think I'll double dip them, to get a more sturdy edge (note the chipping) and to prevent some of them from having a small hole in the bottom where the balloon was resting. You may note some white streaking on some of the balloons - the milk chocolate was slightly over-crystallised....oh, well
Leftover chocolate can be spread out thinly to set and be reused -
- and broken pieces can simply be remelted
Edited by Mette for spelling
Edited by Mette, 23 August 2005 - 03:17 AM.