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Mette

Demo: Molding bowls and containers with chocolate

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I was experimenting with making various containers and the like using chocolate, and feeling inspired by the great demos here, I thought I'd share. There was a fair bit of experimenting involved in makinig these. I did the containers in two sessions, so bear with the non-consistency of the images.

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.

HAVE FUN!!!!!!

You need:

chocolate in temper

a variety of cookie cutters or cake rings

the odd tupperware containers and plastic bowls

balloons

waxed paper

saran wrap

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):

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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.

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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.

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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

gallery_29514_1647_67905.jpg

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:

gallery_29514_1647_88858.jpg

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.

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The 2/3 melted chocolate ready for the heat gun.

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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:

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Fill the bowl with chocolate

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swirl right to the edge

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dump out excess chocolate - tap the bowl gently to help the process along

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Scrape the rim to get a clean edge, If there is chocolate stuck on the rim, you may have trouble releasing the item

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refrigerate untill touch dry

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fill bowl with chocolate

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swirl

Dump out excess chocolate

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Let the chocolate set

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When the chocolate is fully set, you will se that it releases from the bowl (if the bowl is semi or fully transparant).

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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

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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)

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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:

gallery_29514_1647_86045.jpg

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.

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When the chocolate is touch dry -

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- 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

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When the chocolate is fully set, remove the lid from the acetate - finished and ready to use

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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.

gallery_29514_1647_41507.jpg

Set the ring on a piece of acetate or plastic on a plate

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Fill ring up with chocolate

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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

gallery_29514_1647_63021.jpg

When completly set, peel the ring and chocolate container off the plastic

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Carefully release the container

Making a lid using a crumpet ring

Spread chocolate thinly on acetate or plastic from freezer bag

gallery_29514_1647_16364.jpg

When touch dry, use the ring as a cutter

gallery_29514_1647_68434.jpg

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)

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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

gallery_29514_1647_9035.jpg

Using a plastic cup - I placed this upside down to set, and it created an unsightly lip on the cup.

gallery_29514_1647_23586.jpg

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

gallery_29514_1647_70721.jpg

Bowl lined with waxed paper - try to make the paper as smooth as possible for easy peeling off when set

gallery_29514_1647_60017.jpg

Carefully spread the chocolate on the inside of the bowl after spooning it in, using either a spoon or your fingers (very messy......).

gallery_29514_1647_56145.jpg

Pop in the fridge till touch dry

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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

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Lift chocolate and paper/saran carefully out of bowl

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Peel paper or saran off very carefully. The paper/saran gets stuck in all sorts og grooves and cracks so be gentle.

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Finished bowl moulded in saran

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Finished bowl moulded in paper

This type of bowl woul be pretty filled with strawberries or maybe as a mousse bowl.

gallery_29514_1647_35076.jpg

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.

gallery_29514_1647_27064.jpg

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

gallery_29514_1647_45159.jpg

The little bowl can be used for individual chocolates or petit four type things, depending on the size of the bowl.

Finally

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.

gallery_29514_1647_9314.jpg

Balloons ready to go. It is a real challenge to make them the same size

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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.

gallery_29514_1647_23826.jpg

Dip the balloon

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Place on waxed paper or acetate to set

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When fully set, the fun starts - popping the balloons

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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

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Leftover chocolate can be spread out thinly to set and be reused -

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- and broken pieces can simply be remelted

Happy Moulding!!

/Mette

Edited by Mette for spelling


Edited by Mette (log)

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Very, very nice. You have given me lots of ideas for future dinner parties.

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I am quite fascinated by the balloon bowls! The fact that one can pop the balloon to unmold the bowl is one I might actually try ... Thanks!

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Super demo, Mette, thanks for posting! One variation that I have tried with the balloon molds is to rock the balloon in the chocolate to achieve a kind of tulip-shaped cup with petals along the top edge. But I've never considered using tupperwear and the like; thanks for the inspiration!

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Thank you, Mette!!! Great pictures and wonderful demo. I've seen Jacques Torres do a similar balloon thing on tv and it seemed so easy. But he makes everything he does seem so easy, y'know?? Your demo makes a believer out of me that the balloon thing is indeed do-able by mortals such as I. :rolleyes: I have zillions of molds specifically for chocolates, now I will branch out into the container world. I just needed that little nudge your demo provided.

Way cool thanks so much--I will share your demo with my cake buddies :)

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Very nice.

With the balloons i have "rocked them" my self but on a double tilt creating an oblong affect, almost like an unusual sea shell.

Also generally instead of allowing to set on a surface to create a falt bottom, i invert them into a cup/ring/galss to create the sphere while setting them.

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Really well-organized mette, congratulations. Two thoughts to add for those trying at home:

1) sometimes the top rims break because they are molded too thin--even after filling with a second layer--it can help to leave the bowl to set inverted after you've tapped out a coat, propped up a bit to allow cool air to circulate;

2) on the two-color balloons, the warmer dark chocolate (higher temper point and working range) may have pulled the milk chocolate (lower temper point and cooler working range) out of temper as it was setting if it was trapped inside. same thing could happen with dark and white chocolate. that's why when molding, it can help if you apply the warmer (dark) effect first then mold or apply the white/milk layer after.

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Really well-organized mette, congratulations.  Two thoughts to add for those trying at home:

1) sometimes the top rims break because they are molded too thin--even after filling with a second layer--it can help to leave the bowl to set inverted after you've tapped out a coat, propped up a bit to allow cool air to circulate;

2) on the two-color balloons, the warmer dark chocolate (higher temper point and working range) may have pulled the milk chocolate (lower temper point and cooler working range) out of temper as it was setting if it was trapped inside.  same thing could happen with dark and white chocolate. that's why when molding, it can help if you apply the warmer (dark) effect first then mold or apply the white/milk layer after.

Great tips, Steve, thanks!

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You don't even need to pop the balloons to remove the molded bowl. If you don't over inflate the balloons to start out with, you should be able to squeeze them a little to remove the chocolate. Probably better not to pop them anyway as it could crack your bowl.

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