Modeling Chocolate for Cupcakes
This is a Beginner Tutorial on Working With Modeling Chocolate
Anything new takes a little practice and while modeling chocolate is fairly easy to work with, there are a few things to watch out for. Cupcakes along with cookies, are the perfect medium to start working with this awesome candy clay.
Unique Cupcake Decorating With Modeling Chocolate
Modeling chocolate can provide some of the easiest and most elegant toppers for cupcakes that make them look like you have spent hours decorating. So slap a smudge of flour on your face and a dab of icing on your nose and soak up the compliments. Get ready for some awesome fun.
All you need to remember is not to handle it too much and the white modeling chocolate can be colored with oil based gel colors, while the milk and the dark stay just the way they are. For the recipe for modeling chocolate see my How to Make Modeling Chocolate Hub. Let's play.
Tips and Tricks to Working With Modeling Chocolate
When you make modeling chocolate for the first time, you can wonder what happens when you have this hard lump of modeling chocolate that you can hardly indent with your finger. Well, it takes making modeling chocolate a few times to get the nice soft pliable candy clay-like consistency. But never fear there is a solution.
- If you handle modeling chocolate too much it "breaks" and oil and lots of it starts releasing from the chocolate. To avoid that, I stick a piece of wrapped modeling chocolate in the pocket of my sweater as I'm doing my household chores. You can heat it in the microwave for about 5 seconds, but that can create hot spots which can get really oily.
- White modeling chocolate is a little more fussy to work with than the milk or dark chocolate ones.
- The less you can handle modeling chocolate with your hands the better. If you are making cute figurines or bits that you have to work with your hands, and it starts to get too oily, put it down and leave it until it hardens slightly or put it in the fridge for about 10 minutes or so.
- Modeling chocolate sets more rigidly than fondant so it is much more versatile and much tastier too.
- To color white modeling chocolate use oil-based color pastes or the modeling chocolate will seize into an irretrievable hard lump.
- If your modeling chocolate has seized and nothing you have tried on any of the on-line tutorials has worked, grate the modeling chocolate and add it to cookies, squares, desserts or candies so it isn't wasted.
- Modeling chocolate keeps for quite a while at room temperature as long as its well wrapped and the temperature is not too hot.
- You can make a ton of decorations and put them in sealed containers in your fridge. When the baking urge happens or you are decorating lots and lots of cupcakes or cookies all you have to do is assemble the toppings. Put them right on the cupcake right out of the fridge.
Let's Make Miniature Modeling Chocolate Roses
There is something about roses that speaks of elegance and white roses on chocolate cupcakes are not only highly attractive, they are tasty enough that they aren't left on the side of the plate after all your creative work. Besides this is a nice easy project to get you working with modeling chocolate and having some success.
What you Will Need
- a pocket-warmed lump of modeling chocolate
- waxed paper or parchment paper
- a wide straw or a round 1/4 inch push mold
- a narrow straw
- a pencil or other long object
- a rolling pin
- a tablespoon of chocolate melted
- Take a small saucepan and put about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom.
- Sit a very small bowl like a custard cup into the water.
- With the heat on low, add about a tablespoon or two of chocolate to the small bowl, that is the same color as your modeling chocolate.
- Unwrap your lump of modeling chocolate and break off a lump about half the size of your fist. It is important to work with the modeling chocolate in small enough batches so it doesn't "break".
- Slightly knead the modeling chocolate into a round or oval ball with two or three squishes (note the professional cooking term).
- Lay a piece of waxed paper on a clean flat surface, put the modeling chocolate on top and another piece of waxed paper on the top.
- Using your hand, push the ball flat with your hand on top of the waxed paper.
- With a rolling pin, roll the ball out until it is about 1/8th to 1/16th of an inch thick.
- Using the straw or the push mold, cut circles out of the modeling chocolate and set them aside.
- If you have more modeling chocolate rolled out than you need, move the remainder onto a piece of plastic wrap along with the scraps (if you haven't eaten them) and carefully wrap it and leave it at room temperature.
- Meanwhile take your circles and lay them on a piece of waxed paper about two inches apart. Lay another piece of waxed paper over the top.
- Using your rolling pin, roll the rolling pin over the circles back and forth in one direction only, creating a longish oval, keeping them as thin as you can.
- Peel off the top layer of waxed paper carefully.
- Carefully pick up one oval and roll it into a spiral, from short end to short end working quickly. This will form the center of the rose.
- Take another oval and loosely wrap it, short end to short end around the center spiral. pinching it slightly at the bottom.
- Keep wrapping ovals around the center, overlapping them slightly. Gently flare the tops of the petals outward like you would see on a real rose.
- When you are satisfied with the look and shape of your flower, take the tip of a knife and dip it in the melted chocolate. Dab a bit on a piece of waxed paper and set the rose on it.
- Hold it for a few seconds in an upright position until the chocolate is set enough to hold the rose in place.
- Repeat with the remaining ovals until you have enough roses.
- Ice your cupcakes with your favorite icing and sit as many roses as you wish decoratively on the top.
- See how easy that was! Now you are on your way to being a modeling chocolate expert!
9. Cutting the Rose Petals
9. Cutting out the Circles
After you have rolled out the modeling chocolate between two pieces of waxed paper until it is between 1/8th and 1/16 of an inch thick, use a small round push mold or a fat straw like I did to cut out circles.
You'll find the circles don't come out of the straw very well so I used a narrower straw to push them out. If your narrow straw isn't long enough, like mine, use a pencil or you could even use a chopstick if it was long enough to push the circles out of the end of the straw.
We need to work fairly quickly as the modeling chocolate could stiffen and the petals could be hard to roll.
11. Set the Circles About 2 Inches Apart and the Rows About Three Inches Apart
Roll the Rolling pin Back and Forth Creating Oval Petals
You need to roll the ovals quite thin so they roll between your fingers into a loose spiral. You are going to roll the first petal like a jelly roll, starting on the short side and loosely rolling it. Gently pinch the bottom to seal. Then keep adding petals around the outside, pinching them at the bottom.
If the petals start to break as you are forming them, wrap them side by side on a piece of waxed paper and hold it flat between your hands for about 30 seconds to a minute. Holding them too long and they could get too oily or melt. You want them just pliable enough to roll.
14. Roll the First Petal Into a Spiral Starting on the Short Side
16. Wrap Petals Loosely Around the Center, Pinching Them at the Bottom
17. Continue to Wrap Petals Around the Rose Until you are Satisfied With the Shape
What to do Next
- place about 1/4 teaspoon of melted white chocolate onto a small square of waxed paper.
- sit the waxed paper on a small plate.
- Sit the modeling chocolate rose into the small mound of melted chocolate and prop it in place until the chocolate hardens. You can refrigerate it if you wish.
- Ice your cupcakes and set the modeling chocolate rose on the top of the cupcake or wherever you think it looks nice.
- Time to sample your handiwork, or give it to someone to enjoy!
Now it's Time to set the Rose on top of the Chocolate Frosting
An Easy Yummy Hobby
Well, I have to tell you, when I first tried modeling chocolate as a decorating medium, I went a bit crazy. Now I have a whole collection of impression mats, push molds, mini cutters, shaping tools and whatever else I could find to play with. I've got Rubbermaid containers full of modeling chocolate gadgets, so beware!
Chocolate Maple Leaf Cupcake
This is so elegant! You will need to warm the milk or dark modeling chocolate with your hands or in a sweater pocket until it is beginning to soften. Roll it out on a flat surface, sandwiched between two sheets of waxed paper until it is fairly thin. Cut the leaf out with a cookie cutter, then press the modeling chocolate it with the textured side of a leaf impression mat. You can see what they look like below.
Easy Modeling Chocolate Leaves
Pink Modeling Chocolate Cupcake Bouquet
See my Unique Cupcake Bouquets hub to see how to assemble one of these delightful bouquets. These cupcakes are decorated with modeling chocolate that is cut out with flower cookie cutters, leaf cutters and small circle cutters and assembled onto moist frosting. The flowers are decorated with textured daisy push molds The circles are stuck on with a dab of corn syrup or melted chocolate. So simple and so lovely.
The Blue Bird Of Happiness
There were some jokes going around a few years back about the blue bird of happiness but these modeling chocolate blue birds are so cute. When you use the blue gel color to color the modeling chocolate, use a rubber glove so you don't start looking like the bird. You can draw the pieces out on scrap paper, then use a sharp knife to cut them out of the chocolate. You can attach them to the cupcake with a dab of corn syrup or melted chocolate.
Very Elegant Black and White Cupcakes
These are like what you would prepare for a wedding or a more formal tea. The is a combination of modeling chocolate, dipped fondant and piped icing.
So Easy Modeling Chocolate Deocrations
These cupcakes are dipped in a pink fondant or a pink glaze, then the decorations are added just before the glaze dries. Decorations added on top are modeling chocolate and are stuck on with a little dab of frosting or glaze.
White modeling chocolate is dyed with white gel to make the chocolate more white. Cupcakes are frosted then these freeform ghosts are placed over the top. Add two black eyes and you are done.
These pink posies are strips of pink modeling chocolate rolled into a spiral and placed with cut out leaves onto glazed cupcakes. A little added piping and you have works of art.
Fancy Modeling Chocolate CupcakesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Modeling Chocolate Shaping Tools
These tools are must haves for touching up and shaping your modeling chocolate. You can also use them for gum paste and fondant, too
Use Small Cookie Cutters
Using a current theme like Easter, Valentine, Christmas etc, cut small flowers, snowflakes, stars, bells and leaves from colored modeling chocolate and sit them on top of frosted cupcakes for a nice fancy look.
Made Petal By Petal
These dainty roses can be made any color. They are made by wrapping petals around the base of each other like the tutorial above. You can alsowatch the chocolate rose tutorial on the Modeling Chocolate Cake Decorating Hub.
These are so much fun and so easy to make. When you color and roll out the modeling chocolate, use a crown cookie cutter to cut out the crowns.Co-ordinate the icing decorations on the crowns with the icing on the cupcakes. A star icing tip makes a nice pattern on the cupcakes and you need to make the icing thick enough that the crowns will stay in place when you stick them into the frosting.