How to Make Modelling Chocolate – Recipe and Tips

Gravity Defying Cake with Modelling Chocolate

What is modelling chocolate?

Modelling chocolate is a paste that contains corn syrup, glucose or golden syrup and melted chocolate. This gives the paste a firm clay like consistency. You may have also heard modelling chocolate referred to as chocolate leather, candy clay or plastic chocolate.

Both white or dark chocolate is suitable for modelling chocolate. Use the paste on it’s own or mix it in with fondant icing to prevent the icing from drying out.

How to make modelling chocolate

Modelling chocolate contains two easy to find ingredients – melted chocolate and corn syrup (or glucose or golden syrup). However, I’ve discovered, the quality of the chocolate and the way these two ingredients are mixed makes a huge difference. It can affect the overall consistency of the modelling chocolate paste.

I have a confession to make. For a long time, I avoided making or using modelling chocolate because I didn’t have much success with it. I thought that it was too difficult to make. In Australia at the time, you could not buy it commercially. Turns out, it’s not hard but I was making some common mistakes. Once I knew what they were, my paste came out perfect all the time. I now find myself using it for so many things!

Modelling Chocolate Recipe

White Chocolate – 1 cup corn syrup + 1kg white compound chocolate

Dark Chocolate – 3/4 cup corn syrup + 1kg dark compound chocolate

Instructions

  1. Slowly melt the chocolate in a plastic bowl. Use the microwave in 30-45 secs bursts, stirring the chocolate each time.
  2. Make sure the chocolate is warm but not hot. Then pour in the corn syrup.
  3. Fold the mixture quickly with a spatula until combined. Do not over mix the mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture onto a surface lined with cling wrap. Wrap the mixture and allow it to cool overnight before using.

Modelling Chocolate Tips

Use compound chocolate.

For a long time, I tried using good quality chocolate and would always end up with an oily mess. So now I have learned, cheap chocolate is the best.

Try different brands of chocolate.

You might find you have success with one brand but may have to adjust your ratios slightly for another brand. So if at first you don’t succeed, try altering the ratios a little or try a different chocolate brand.

Colouring modelling chocolate.

To colour your paste, add gel paste colours to the corn syrup before mixing it into the chocolate. For powdered colours, add it to the melted chocolate. You can also use gel paste and colour it the same way as you colour fondant once it has set.

Candy Melts.

If you are lucky enough to live in a country where candy melts are cheap and easily available, you can definitely use those! It’s perfect and easy for achieving coloured modelling chocolate.

Use a plastic bowl to heat up the chocolate.

A glass bowl retains heat, it used to cause hot spots in my melted chocolate. It also caused the mixture to go oily every time. When I switched to using plastic (after watching Karen Portaleo make her modelling chocolate) I never had that oily problem anymore.

Only heat up your corn syrup if it’s too solid.

Heating your corn syrup can cause the mixture to become oily. When it’s too hot, the oils split from the chocolate. Therefore, now I only heat it up very gently in winter. And I have found that I can stir/mix for longer without the mixture going oily.

Alternatives to corn syrup.

If you don’t have corn syrup in your country, I have been told you can use glucose with a couple of teaspoons of water. Some people have tried it with golden syrup too. Although I have not tried this. So feel free to share your experiences below if you have!

What is modelling chocolate used for?

Use modelling chocolate on it’s own or to build up features underneath a cake. You can even mixed into fondant to prevent the fondant from drying out when you are covering a complex cake. Some people even use it to make figurines (although I have not personally done that). Watch the video below where I’ve used the paste to make succulents 🙂

The features leg and head on this gravity defying cake were made using modelling chocolate.
Modelling chocolate was used for the leg and the head of this cake.

 

3D buttercream duck cake with modelling chocolate
The beak, wings and feet of this cake were all made from modelling chocolate.

Have you made modelling chocolate? If so, please feel free to share your tips/ learning experiences below too!

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