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Polycarbonate Molds: Sources, Selection, Use, Care


Patrick S
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Does anyone know where I can find large (on the order of 8" diameter) plastic hemisphere molds? These will be used for molding mousses and ice cream cakes. I've found plenty of stainless steel molds that fit the bill, and that's what I'll use if I can't find plastic molds (which I am assuming will be a bit cheaper).

Thanks!

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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if you don't mind a slightly flat top, you can use flexi-pans. check jb prince's web site for a general idea of price (i'm sure they're pricier than most).

edited to add: read the post dummy (as i slap my head), 8" molds...sorry

Edited by alanamoana (log)
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Thank you, Melissa!

That definitely fits the description, however they are as expensive as the stainless steel version (JB Prince has the 8" steel for $32), and I was basically looking for plastic under the assumption that I could find it cheaper, but that may not be the case. . . I think what I'm looking for would be like those thin, clear plastic molds that are used for chocolates, only much bigger.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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That looks very promising, Melissa. Thanks again for your help!

Design and Realization has the same molds for $21.60 US. Click on "pastry molds and shapes" in the left menu bar, click on "plastic molds" in the main frame, then scroll down to near the bottom of the page. They also have 8" stainless steel domes for about $28 US (click on "stainless steel molds).

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Neil, when he asked about something other than metal, I came up with what I had found .. at another website .. isn't this (on yours) rather similar to my find?

Half sphere plastic moulds

Plastic mould. Set of 3 pieces with base. Diameters: 5 1/2", 6 1/4" and 7 1/8".

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Neil, when he asked about something other than metal, I came up with what I had found .. at another website .. isn't this (on yours) rather similar to my find?

Half sphere plastic moulds

Plastic mould. Set of 3 pieces with base. Diameters: 5 1/2", 6 1/4" and 7 1/8".

Yes, as I posted: "Design and Realization has the same molds...". What's the issue?

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That looks very promising, Melissa. Thanks again for your help!

Design and Realization has the same molds for $21.60 US. Click on "pastry molds and shapes" in the left menu bar, click on "plastic molds" in the main frame, then scroll down to near the bottom of the page. They also have 8" stainless steel domes for about $28 US (click on "stainless steel molds).

Awesome! Assuming they ship to the US, I'll be ordering tomorrow.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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  • 10 months later...

I've got this wacky idea about making chocolate "dice" to sell at a game convention. Role-playing gamers use all kinds of unusual shaped dice, one of which looks a lot like the geodesic dome mold. Which got me thinking about painting little numbers on the faces of pieces from that mold. These dice are usually sold in sets, so I thought it would be even better if I could do up a couple of other shapes. Most of the shapes would require a two piece mold and would need to be custom made, but I figured I could pretty easily do the pyramid shaped one and the standard six sided cube. Except I can't find either mold in any of the usual places. All the pyramid molds I'm seeing are ridged or patterned in some way, and I need smooth ones. And I can't find a cube/square at all.

Any sources/ideas?

I've looked through the threads on making my own molds using silicone, and that might be a possibility. Anybody have any experiences to share with doing filled chocolate pieces in silicone molds?

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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tammy, I think you'll have a hard time finding a smooth cube or pyramid because it's hard to get a good finish on big flat surfaces like that.

can you not cut ganache cubes and dip them for regular shaped dice? perhaps one of the flexi molds for pyramid ganache?

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Cutting ganache cubes... duh. Trishiad - you're a genius! It's definitely worth a try! Although I expect I'm *really* going to wish I had a guitar cutter.

And I may just try making my own mold for the pyramids - the actual shape of the die is not a standard pyramid anyway. I figured a regular pyramid would be good enough, but maybe I can just use this as an excuse to try out something new...

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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Cutting ganache cubes... duh.  Trishiad - you're a genius!  It's definitely worth a try!  Although I expect I'm *really* going to wish I had a guitar cutter.

And I may just try making my own mold for the pyramids - the actual shape of the die is not a standard pyramid anyway.  I figured a regular pyramid would be good enough, but maybe I can just use this as an excuse to try out something new...

Tammy,

I've got both liquid and playdough consistancy food grade silicone mold material. Would you like me to try pouring a die mold to test it out?

I've still got 4, 6, 12, and 24 sided dice. Were you thinking of making them standard size?

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hi tammy,

there is a thread on this somewhere, but most people don't wash their molds much. the only time they do is when something goes awry and the chocolate isn't in temper and it adheres to the mold. the cocoa butter that stays in the mold (if it is just a sheen) is sort of like 'seasoning' on a wok or cast iron pan.

jean-pierre wybauw even suggests warming it up slightly with a hair dryer or something like that before lining molds.

if something does go awry, i usually just fill a sink with practically boiling water and a small amount of liquid dish soap and let them sit in there. then, rinse them thoroughly and allow to air dry. then, i use cotton balls to wipe out the cavities in the molds.

i'm sure there are other ways of doing it.

you could put them in the dishwasher if the water is hot enough, but i wouldn't recommend using soap as i think dishwasher soap is particularly harsh.

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Ok, the experiment is complete:

gallery_40084_4216_54636.jpg

The dice to be duplicated

gallery_40084_4216_108343.jpg

The food safe silicone mold liquid.

You weigh out equal portions of the two parts and mix it up in a disposable cup.

gallery_40084_4216_83313.jpg

Then you place the item to be duplicated in a makeshift mold box and pour it in.

gallery_40084_4216_50341.jpg

Rip the mold box off the silicone once it sets and you have your test molds. Note the pretty extreme protrusions for the die pips on the six-sided mold. Fortunately the finished mold is pretty flexible and will release without ripping.

gallery_40084_4216_11793.jpg

Then pour chocolate into the mold, let it set, and...

gallery_40084_4216_82172.jpg

Unmold the finished product.

The chocolate has a matte finish, and it was rather thick which left me with a few air bubbles even after using the vibrating table. However you can see that the silicone picked up all the detail in the dice and duplicated it nicely in the chocloate.

The dice are too small to do anything but solid casting, but if you wanted to try filling something like the six-sided with its protrusions you would probably have to make the mold thinner and back it up with a plaster support. That way it would be more flexible and you could demold a filled center without crushing it.

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David J, you're amazing!

The six sided die I'd want to duplicate has numbers on it rather than pips (like the d4), so that would help with the protrusion problem.

How feasible do you think it would be to make a mold with multiple cavities, so I could cast a few pieces at a time? Obviously I'd need multiple originals, but we have bags and bags of dice here, so that's totally do-able.

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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David J, you're amazing! 

The six sided die I'd want to duplicate has numbers on it rather than pips (like the d4), so that would help with the protrusion problem.

How feasible do you think it would be to make a mold with multiple cavities, so I could cast a few pieces at a time?  Obviously I'd need multiple originals, but we have bags and bags of dice here, so that's totally do-able.

Tammy,

It would be a simple matter of fastening several dice on a flat surface and forming a wall around them. I used a dab of modeling clay to do that for my single mold. The amount of mold material you will require depends upon how many dice you want to cast at once. The silicone isn't cheap so you might want to start with a plaster mold cavity and pour a thinner layer of silicone around the dice if you are going to make a large mold.

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I'm always debating with myself on this issue. JB Prince, where I bought some of my molds, included a flyer with the molds: The molds are made of high quality polycarbonate and they are dishwasher safe - even a commercial dishwasher - but don't use any abrasive cleaner like dishwashing detergent. (exact wording is already posted on another thread).

Personally, I don't really like washing them by hand all that much so I use the dishwasher. It is possible that this will decrease the life of the mold; but I assume that I'll be totally bored with the shape by the time I can no longer use it! :biggrin:

Obviously, you also don't want to use a dishwasher heating element anywhere near your molds. Also, I happen to know that my dishwasher has a cycle where the temperature never rises above 60 degrees Celsius, so I think they're pretty safe.

Alana is correct when she says that the unwashed molds are "seasoned." You'll probably get a better shine to your chocolates if you don't wash the molds. Or you could use fresh cocoa butter and a soft cloth to polish them, if you do.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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As Alana said, I dont wash my mold often ( its a pain to polish then ) but only if there something that went wrong and they really need to be cleaned.I do the same hot water and dish soap , then dry them and polish them . I used to use lint free cotton pads , but I just purchased some 100% cotton batting and I am using that , it works great .

Vanessa

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I scrape those dribbles off the sides as I scrape, though I'm much neater than I used to be.

I wash my molds by hand with a sponge on the top and side surfaces. If the cavities are dirty I use a Lee Valley vase brush with a soft cotton mop end to clean them. No soap unless they are filthy. Used molds I buy that have any sort of odor I run through the top shelf of the dishwasher with no soap, then mold them with dark chocolate the first time to build a layer of cocoa butter.

Vase brushes

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Although I'm getting better, I'm still tending to work "messy" when I'm molding, so I get a lot of chocolate on the sides and bottom.  Are you all just impeccably neat?

oh yeah tammy... :raz: , i'll have kerry post photos of me after the chocolate class in march...you'll be able to see how neat i am then!

but, i am getting better. as kerry posted, just scrape the sides while you're working. you'll find a rhythm that works for you the more you mold.

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