Modeling chocolate has become a valuable ingredient in cake decorating. This simple and easy recipe is my foolproof method for making modeling chocolate whether you use dark, milk, semi-sweet, or even compound chocolate.
Before I started cake decorating I was most fascinated with chocolate roses. I always wondered HOW!! How do you make chocolate roses? The chocolate is so messy how can you actually make it into a rose. Of course, over time I realized the chocolate roses were not made with melted chocolate but were made from something called chocolate modeling paste also known as candy clay. Ah!! Now that makes more sense eh?
Modeling chocolate (MC) has now become a valuable ingredient in cake decorating. It is very fascinating what can be done with it. In fact, you can use it to extend the design of a cake or even to cover a cake such as in this tree stump cake.
As novelty cakes started becoming a trend so did the use of MC. MC, especially white modeling chocolate, became perfect to fill gaps and mold shapes, which was impossible with fondant. The biggest advantage, of course, is that you can rub off any seams. You just rub your fingers over the seam and it’s gone. Just like magic.
What is modeling chocolate?
Modeling chocolate, also known as chocolate clay or chocolate plastique, is a versatile edible medium used for sculpting and decorating cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts. It’s made by combining melted chocolate and corn syrup, which creates a pliable and moldable consistency.
Why is modeling chocolate so popular?
- Taste: One of the main reasons for its popularity is its delicious taste. MC is made from real chocolate, which provides a rich and indulgent flavor. It offers a satisfying combination of sweetness and chocolatey goodness that appeals to many people.
- Versatility: MC is a highly versatile medium that can be molded, shaped, and sculpted into various designs. It allows for intricate details and can be used to create lifelike decorations, cake toppers, and other edible art. Its pliable nature makes it easier to work with compared to other mediums like fondant.
- Natural Ingredients: MC typically contains just two main ingredients: chocolate and corn syrup (or candy melts). It doesn’t require any artificial additives or preservatives. This makes it an appealing choice for those seeking a more natural option for their edible decorations.
- Ease of Use: MC is relatively easy to make at home with simple ingredients and basic techniques. Many people enjoy the hands-on process of making their own MC and find it more accessible compared to other cake decorating mediums. It’s a great option for both beginners and experienced decorators.
- Seamless Blending: MC blends seamlessly with other chocolate-based elements like ganache, drip glazes, or chocolate cakes. This makes it a perfect companion for creating cohesive and visually appealing desserts.
- Stability: MC has good stability once set or shaped. It holds its form well at room temperature, making it suitable for creating intricate designs that don’t collapse or lose their shape easily.
- Realistic Finish: When properly worked and shaped, modeling chocolate can create incredibly realistic designs. It can mimic the look of various textures, such as fabric, flowers, or wood grain. This adds a level of sophistication and professional touch to cake decorations.
- Edible Artistry: With MC, decorators can express their creativity and artistic skills. It allows for the creation of edible sculptures, intricate details, and unique designs. It’s a medium that encourages artistic expression in the world of cake decorating.
The combination of its taste, versatility, ease of use, and ability to create visually stunning designs has contributed to the popularity of MC among both professional cake decorators and home bakers. Its delicious flavor and ability to transform desserts into edible works of art make it a favored choice for many.
Why make this modeling chocolate recipe?
- I think making modeling chocolate is easier than making fondant.
- You can make this clay with white chocolate, dark chocolate, semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate.
- It tastes like chocolate and most people love eating chocolate. In fact, I love using it for kids’ birthday cakes.
- Also, it looks like a paste or a dough which means you can use it in so many ways from rolling it with a rolling pin like fondant to spreading it smooth like a paste. You can even break it into chunks to fill in gaps on the cake.
- If you don’t like covering your cookies with royal icing or fondant you can try this candy clay!
- Also, you can color white candy clay with food gel colors so it gives more options to use this clay.
- You can use this clay similar to gum paste or fondant to make chocolate flowers, leaves, and ribbons, as well as a variety of shapes like figurines and braids,
What can you do with modeling chocolate?
- Also known as chocolate clay or candy clay is a paste made using chocolate and corn syrup.
- It looks very similar to fondant and is often used very similarly to fondant. But, it does have its limitations.
- Unlike fondant, MC can be softened and reused.
- Similar to chocolate, MC is dependent on the weather. That is often the reason why some people love it and some people hate it!
- Modeling chocolate can be used to cover cakes similar to fondant. Made sugar figures, made chocolate flowers, sculpting cakes.
- MC can be made with couverture chocolate, chocolate chips, compound chocolate, chocolate wafers, as well as candy melts. When made with candy melts it is often referred to as candy clay.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Chocolate – I have made this recipe with good quality Callebaut chocolate, candy melts as well as regular supermarket brand chocolate chips. It always works!!
- Light Corn Syrup – I do know that some of you do not get light corn syrup where you are. A good substitute is glucose syrup or golden syrup. And, they work exactly the same way and use the same amount. To prevent them from sticking to the measuring cup spray it with cooking spray first.
- Flavoring – you can add any flavor if you prefer – try vanilla, rose, or even a liquor like Cointreau.
Easy modeling chocolate recipe
- Melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl such as a measuring cup or double boiler. Take it off the heat and add the light corn syrup. Stir until just combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
Pro tip – If you stir too much the cocoa butter in the chocolate will separate causing it to seize.
- Pour the mixture into a ziplock bag, (or wrap in plastic wrap) spread evenly, and flatten it. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Pro tip – In winter you can leave it on the counter overnight and it will set. Personally, I like to chill it in the fridge so it becomes firm.
- Modeling chocolate can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three months or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Using modeling chocolate
- Remove the modeling chocolate from the fridge a few hours before and let come to room temperature. Knead on a work surface until smooth, soft, and pliable.
Pro tip – If the paste is very hard – thaw in the microwave for 5 to 10 sec. Chocolate melts easily so 5 to 10 seconds is plenty otherwise it can become oil.
Tips for working with modeling chocolate
Making modeling chocolate or candy clay at home can be a fun and creative way to decorate cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts. Here are some tips to help you make modeling chocolate or candy clay successfully:
- Ingredients: The main ingredients for modeling chocolate are chocolate and corn syrup, while candy clay typically uses candy melts or confectionery coating wafers. Ensure you have high-quality chocolate or candy melts for the best results.
- Melting the chocolate: When melting chocolate, it’s essential to use gentle heat to prevent scorching or seizing. You can melt it in a microwave, using short bursts of low heat and stirring in between, or use a double boiler on the stovetop. Avoid overheating the chocolate.
- Temperature control: Both modeling chocolate and candy clay are sensitive to temperature. If the mixture gets too warm, it can become too soft and sticky, while if it gets too cold, it can become firm and difficult to work with. Keep an eye on the temperature and adjust accordingly.
- Proper ratios: To make modeling chocolate, you generally mix 2 parts chocolate to 1 part corn syrup by weight. For candy clay, the ratio can vary depending on the brand and type of candy melts. Follow the instructions provided with the specific candy melts you are using.
- Kneading and cooling: Once your mixture is combined, allow it to rest and cool down to room temperature. Then, knead it gently to achieve a smooth consistency. Avoid overworking the mixture, as it can cause the fats to separate.
- Coloring: You can add color to modeling chocolate or candy clay by using gel or powdered food coloring. Start with a small amount and knead it thoroughly to distribute the color evenly. Add more as needed until you achieve the desired shade.
- Humidity – In summer, candy clay can be a bit difficult to work, so working in an air-conditioned room helps. Also, working on a cold (chilled) baking tray keeps the modeling chocolate cold.
- Storage: Wrap your modeling chocolate or candy clay tightly in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container. Store it at room temperature or in the refrigerator, depending on the climate. Bring it to room temperature before using.
- Troubleshooting: If your modeling chocolate is too soft, let it rest in the refrigerator for a short while to firm up. If it’s too firm, warm it slightly in your hands or microwave to soften it. If candy clay becomes too hard, gently warm it in the microwave in short intervals until it becomes pliable.
Remember, practice makes perfect, so don’t be discouraged if your first attempts aren’t flawless. Enjoy the process of experimenting with colors, shapes, and designs, and have fun decorating your baked creations with your homemade modeling chocolate or candy clay!
If you encounter issues while making modeling chocolate or candy clay, here are some troubleshooting tips to help you resolve common problems:
- Too Soft/Sticky:
- Refrigerate: Place the mixture in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm it up.
- Add more chocolate: Gradually knead in additional melted chocolate until the mixture reaches a firmer consistency.
- Chill your hands: If your hands are warm, they can soften the mixture. Rinse them under cold water or hold a cold pack briefly to cool them down before handling the modeling chocolate or candy clay.
- Too Firm/Hard:
- Warm slightly: Gently warm the mixture in the microwave for a few seconds or use your hands to knead and warm it until it becomes more pliable.
- Add more corn syrup or liquid: Incorporate a small amount of corn syrup, water, or flavoring (such as clear extract) to soften the mixture. Gradually add it in, a little at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.
- Let it sit at room temperature: Allow the mixture to rest at room temperature for a while, as it may soften naturally.
- Cracking or Breaking:
- Knead and warm: If the modeling chocolate or candy clay is cracking while you’re working with it, knead and warm it gently in your hands to soften it. This will make it more pliable and less likely to crack.
- Avoid overworking: Over-kneading the mixture can cause it to become dry and prone to cracking. Be gentle when working with it and avoid excessive handling.
- Greasy Texture:
- Absorb excess oil: If the modeling chocolate or candy clay feels greasy, you can blot it with a paper towel to absorb some of the excess oil.
- Add more powdered sugar: Gradually knead in small amounts of powdered sugar to help absorb the excess oil and achieve a smoother texture.
Remember, the consistency and behavior of modeling chocolate and candy clay can vary based on factors like temperature, humidity, and the specific brand or type of ingredients used. With practice and some adjustments, you’ll be able to troubleshoot and achieve the desired results.
Creative ways to use modeling chocolate
Modeling chocolate offers a wide range of creative possibilities when it comes to decorating desserts. Here are some creative ways you can use modeling chocolate:
- Sculpted Cake Toppers: Use modeling chocolate to create detailed and customized cake toppers, such as figurines, animals, flowers, or any other design you can imagine. Sculpt and shape the modeling chocolate to bring your creations to life.
- Cake Decorations: Use modeling chocolate to create intricate patterns, textures, and designs on the surface of cakes. Roll out thin sheets of modeling chocolate and cut them into shapes, strips, or intricate patterns to adorn your cakes.
- 3D Cake Decor: Create three-dimensional decorations using modeling chocolate, such as bows, ribbons, ruffles, or pleats. These can add depth and dimension to your cake designs and make them visually appealing.
- Cupcake Toppers: Make cute and edible cupcake toppers using modeling chocolate. Mold small shapes or characters to place on top of cupcakes. You can create animals, flowers, hearts, or any other themed decorations to match your event or celebration.
- Chocolate Roses: Sculpt beautiful roses out of modeling chocolate to use as standalone decorations or to embellish cakes and cupcakes. With a little practice and shaping, you can create realistic-looking roses that will impress your guests.
- Embossed Designs: Use textured molds or embossing tools to create intricate designs on modeling chocolate. Press the chocolate into the molds or use the tools to create raised patterns, lace-like textures, or even imitate the look of fabric.
- Cake Wraps and Borders: Roll out long, thin strips of modeling chocolate to create decorative borders or wraps around cake tiers. You can use different colors, shapes, or patterns to add a unique touch to your cake designs.
- Chocolate Decorative Accents: Cut out various shapes from modeling chocolate, such as stars, hearts, or geometric designs, and use them as decorative accents on desserts. You can also add a touch of edible gold or silver dust to create a luxurious and elegant look.
- Filling for Chocolate Bonbons: Use modeling chocolate as a filling for homemade chocolate bonbons or truffles. Roll small portions of modeling chocolate into balls, dip them in melted chocolate, and let them set for a delicious and visually appealing treat.
- Edible Art: Use modeling chocolate as a medium for creating edible art. Paint on it with edible food colors or use it as a canvas for sculpting and shaping unique and artistic designs.
The versatility of modeling chocolate allows you to explore your creativity and create stunning and personalized edible decorations. Let your imagination run wild and experiment with different techniques and designs to make your desserts truly special.
What are chocolate rose and how to make them?
Chocolate roses are edible decorations made from modeling chocolate that resemble the shape and appearance of real roses. They are commonly used to embellish cakes, cupcakes, and other desserts, adding a touch of elegance and beauty to the presentation. Making chocolate roses involves a series of steps:
- Prepare the modeling chocolate: Make a batch of MC by melting chocolate (dark, milk, or white) and combining it with corn syrup or using candy melts according to the instructions provided. Allow the mixture to cool and set at room temperature until it is firm but still pliable.
- Color the modeling chocolate (optional): If desired, divide the MC into smaller portions and knead in gel or powdered food coloring to achieve the desired shade for your roses. Ensure the color is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
- Form the rosebud: Take a small amount of MC and roll it into a smooth ball between your palms. This will be the center of the rose, also known as the rosebud.
- Create the petals: Take another small piece of MC and flatten it into a thin, circular shape. The size of the piece should depend on the desired size of the rose and the thickness of the petals. Repeat this step to create several petals, ensuring they are all uniform in size.
- Attach the petals: Place one petal on top of the rosebud, gently pressing and shaping it around the bud. The petal should cover part of the bud while leaving the top exposed. Repeat this step, overlapping the petals slightly to create a realistic layered effect. Continue adding petals until you achieve the desired fullness for the rose.
- Shape the petals: Once all the petals are attached, gently pinch and shape the edges of each petal to create a natural and realistic appearance. You can slightly curve and fold the petals outward to mimic the opening of a real rose.
- Repeat for more roses: If desired, repeat the process to create additional chocolate roses, adjusting the size and shape of the petals as needed.
- Let the roses set: Allow the chocolate roses to set at room temperature until they become firm. This will ensure they hold their shape when placed on desserts.
Once the chocolate roses are completely set, they are ready to be used as decorations. Carefully place them on top of cakes, cupcakes, or any other desserts, and enjoy the beautiful and delicious addition they provide.
Frequently asked questions
Dark MC is a little less tricky than white MC. And, we use a different ratio of chocolate to light corn syrup. This is why I decided to share white modeling chocolate separately.
Yes, of course. MC is made with chocolate and corn syrup both are edible ingredients. In fact, MC is more delicious than fondant.
Both are similar and yet very different products. Fondant is perfect to cover a cake as it has elasticity and stretch. MC is softer with no stretch or elasticity. Fondant can be draped over a cake but to cover a cake with MC you will need to use the paneling method.
MC can be used for many purposes such as covering the cake similar to fondant. Making sugar figures, and flowers, press them into silicone molds to make patterns and use them as sculpting material when making MC. Over sculpted cake with MC. Make sheets by rolling them through an electric or manual pasta machine.
Modeling chocolate can typically be stored for several months if kept properly. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container. Store it at room temperature or in the refrigerator, depending on the climate. Before using it, bring it to room temperature and knead it gently to restore its smooth consistency.
Yes, you can color modeling chocolate using gel or powdered food coloring. Add the coloring sparingly and knead it thoroughly into the mixture until the color is evenly distributed. Start with a small amount and add more as needed to achieve the desired shade.
Yes, modeling chocolate can be used to cover a cake just like fondant. Roll it out to the desired thickness and carefully drape it over the cake, smoothing it gently with your hands or a cake smoother. Modeling chocolate provides a delicious chocolate flavor and a smooth finish to the cake.
If you have cracks or imperfections in your modeling chocolate, you can gently warm the area with your hands or use a hairdryer on low heat to soften the chocolate and smooth out the surface. Be careful not to overheat or melt the chocolate.
Yes, you can make modeling chocolate with white chocolate. The process is similar to using dark or milk chocolate. Just ensure that you use high-quality white chocolate, as some lower-quality brands may not work as well due to their higher sugar content.
Overmixing when making MC and over-kneading prepared MC can cause the fat in the chocolate to separate and release oil.
Any chocolate hardens when chilled similarly modeling chocolate hardens when chilled. If you break chilled MC into pieces it will crumble into pieces. And that is fine. Bring it all together into a ball and knead it until pliable. If necessary thaw in the microwave for just 5 to 10 seconds as needed.
The common problem with most MCs is overmixing. It is better to undermix than overmix when you add corn syrup to the MC. This is the secret to getting smooth MC. No more crumbly, grainy, or greasy MC.
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Dark Modeling Chocolate
- 12 oz (340 g) Dark chocolate (chopped into small even size pieces)
- ½ cup (120 ml) Light corn syrup (or liquid glucose or golden syrup )
Milk Chocolate or Semi-Sweet Chocolate
- 12 oz (340 g) Milk chocolate (chopped into small even size pieces)
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) Light corn syrup (or liquid glucose or golden syrup )
White modeling chocolate
- 11 oz (310 g) White chocolate
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) Light corn syrup
- Pour the mixture into a ziplock bag, (or wrap in plastic wrap) spread evenly, and flatten it. Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Pro tip – In winter you can leave it on the counter overnight and it will set. Personally, I like to chill it in the fridge so it becomes firm.
- Modeling chocolate can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three months or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Using modeling chocolate
- Remove the modeling chocolate from the fridge a few hours before and let come to room temperature. Knead on a work surface until smooth, soft, and pliable. Pro tip – If the paste is very hard – thaw in the microwave for 5 to 10 sec. Chocolate melts easily so 5 to 10 seconds is plenty otherwise it can become oil.
Recipe Notes & Tips
- Follow the recipe making use to use the right portion of chocolate and corn syrup.
- Ensure the chocolate is completely melted before adding the corn syrup otherwise there will be lumps of chocolate in your clay.
- Stir the melted chocolate and syrup until just combined. It is better to undermix rather than overmix this mixture.
- White chocolate is chocolate butter and is more temperamental than other chocolate. It tends to seize easily. So don’t overmix it.
- When working with candy clay less is more – do not over-knead the dough. Soften it then let it rest. If you find that your hands are becoming oily it means you are overmixing. Let it rest. Resting will help it stabilize.
- In summer candy clay can be a bit difficult to work so working in an air-conditioned room helps. Also, working on a cold (chilled) baking tray keeps the modeling chocolate cold.
- You can reuse modeling chocolate which makes it a great medium to practice. If necessary, let the paste cool in between batches.
1 lb = 453 grams, 1 cup = 240 ml, 1 stick = 113g, 1 tbsp= 15 ml, 1 tsp= 5 ml,
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you