Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Branching Out

My friend, Jan, asked me to make some cupcakes for a baby shower she was throwing for a friend. Her friend really likes frogs and the party was girl-themed, so Jan asked me to make vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with pink and green frosting. I asked if I could expand my decorating horizons and try making some chocolate candy for the cupcakes. Luckily, Jan has faith in my abilities and said yes, so I made green frogs and pink baby feet from molded chocolate candy. Now, I know there are people who have a great deal more talent than I do with this technique, but it has been fun to learn and I think the end result was really cute and great-tasting.

Because I was making these cupcakes for a party and I didn't want to mess up the final product, I decided to go with an easier method of making the molded candies. I used Wilton's Candy Melts, which come in a variety of colors. Since they sell both pink and green candy melts, I was able to use those to make the candies. This time, I focused on getting the candies molded well and making sure there were no air bubbles. Next time, I want to use white chocolate or almond bark and dye it successfully (small steps!).

Here are the simple steps to making your own molded candies:

1. First, make sure your molds are free of any water. Water and chocolate (or candy melts) don't mix well, it can cause discoloration or streaking.

2. Next, pour the amount of chocolate into a microwave-safe container. You can also melt the chocolate over a double boiler. If you are using the microwave method as I did, start by microwaving for about a minute, then mix with a spoon. If more time is needed to melt it, use 30 second intervals to ensure the chocolate doesn't melt. Once the chocolate becomes a smooth consistency, it is ready to put into the mold. (If you are using the double-boiler method, use a small amount of water, put the top bowl with the chocolate in it on and heat over medium-low heat until the chocolate is smooth, mixing constantly.)

3. I found that piping the chocolate into the mold was easiest and less messy. Fill in the molds and then gently tap the mold to remove the air bubbles. Check the bottom of the molds to make sure all the bubbles were gone.

4. Now, place the mold on a flat surface in the freezer for at a minimum of 10 minutes. They will harden and you will be able to pop them out easily. Once you remove them from the mold, trim the excess chocolate.

And here is what you get when they are done:

And once these cute little candies are done, you can place them on top of your frosted cupcakes and make a truly special treat for a party!

I hope you enjoyed experimenting with me! I hope to keep molding candy and developing my technique. I look forward to learning other decorating techniques to make my cupcakes unique and fun.

Tip of the Blog:

You can cool your chocolate candies in the fridge instead of the freezer, however, it will take longer. Also, setting your candy in the freezer helps to remove the chocolate easily from the mold and also helps to give the chocolate a shiny finish, which really makes your candy look great!

Next: PB & J cupcakes...a great way to celebrate back to school :)

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