Fondant Vs. Modeling Chocolate

Decorating By SarahBeth0898 Updated 28 May 2011 , 11:58pm by alidpayne

SarahBeth0898 Posted 13 Nov 2009 , 12:26pm
post #1 of 29

I am making a cake for a friend's nursing graduation party and want to add a nurse to the top of the cake. I've watched several episodes of Cake Boss where they use modeling chocolate to make people and they turn out great. In fact, I've never seen him use fondant to make any kind of figures for the cakes. I'm wondering which would be better for my nurse. I know modeling chocolate would taste better, but is it easier to work with and would it stand up better? What kind of support should I put in her to keep her from falling over? She'll be sitting on the cake with her legs dangling off the side. I just need some help.

28 replies
-K8memphis Posted 13 Nov 2009 , 12:57pm
post #2 of 29

Modeling chocolate depends on the cocoa butter in it to set up the same way a chocolate bar does at room temperture--the addition of the corn syrup makes it more stable and it does not stretch like fondant does. It responds well to the warmth of your hand for smoothing purposes too unlike fondant.

Fondant needs an additional stabilizing boost because unlike modeling chocolate it is stretchy which is great for morphing around cake corners nice & smooth but not so great for modeling. For example tylose powder or cornstarch could be added. A lot of people use tylose powder for everything. I think it is only necessary for making the fondant into gum paste where you will be making multi petaled flowers.

I use cornstarch in my fondant when I make a bow or when I model people. I usually put my pieces in my warming drawer to dry out too--I keep it at 150 degrees. In the oven with an oven light or the pilot light is good also. Then you have to let it cool before touching because it goes soft when it's warm like that--has to come to room temp before it solidifies.

Another really good modeling agent is marzipan. And man, there's no problem eating the booboos. Marzipan holds color perfectly too.

Some early morning modeling ideas.

alidpayne Posted 13 Nov 2009 , 1:27pm
post #3 of 29

I use modeling chocolate for figures because with fondant or gumpaste I always end up with a crakley finish if that makes sense, and with the modeling chocolate you can just rub them out for a smooth perfect finish. I am not a fast sculptor, so the modeling choc allows much more time to work. There are many times that I work on something for a couple of hours, put it down, come back the next day and finish. I LOVE modeling chocolate! lol

The only con to modeling chocolate is if the weather is hot it does soften up. So if it is super hot outside I try not to use any pieces that are extremely thin that will heat up fast.

AmandaGudi Posted 13 Nov 2009 , 5:36pm
post #4 of 29

Wait- do people make their own modeling chocolate? Or do you buy it? If so, where? or what is the recipe? Thanks!!!!

costumeczar Posted 13 Nov 2009 , 6:05pm
post #5 of 29

You can make candy clay (I hesitate to call it chocolate) out of the Wilton candy melts by adding 1/3 cup of corn syrup to one melted bag of the candy melts. Stir it until it starts to seize up and the corn syrup is incorpoarted, then wrap it in plastic and let it cool. It will get solid as it cools off.

If you've never made it before the candy melts are a little easier to handle because chocolate can get too hot and is a little more tempermental (that's my chocolate tempering joke, ha ha)

confectionsofahousewife Posted 13 Nov 2009 , 6:37pm
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by alidpayne

I use modeling chocolate for figures because with fondant or gumpaste I always end up with a crakley finish if that makes sense, and with the modeling chocolate you can just rub them out for a smooth perfect finish. I am not a fast sculptor, so the modeling choc allows much more time to work. There are many times that I work on something for a couple of hours, put it down, come back the next day and finish. I LOVE modeling chocolate! lol

The only con to modeling chocolate is if the weather is hot it does soften up. So if it is super hot outside I try not to use any pieces that are extremely thin that will heat up fast.




What kind of modeling chocolate do you use? Do you make it?

susanscakecreations Posted 13 Nov 2009 , 6:43pm
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by alidpayne

I use modeling chocolate for figures because with fondant or gumpaste I always end up with a crakley finish if that makes sense, and with the modeling chocolate you can just rub them out for a smooth perfect finish. I am not a fast sculptor, so the modeling choc allows much more time to work. There are many times that I work on something for a couple of hours, put it down, come back the next day and finish. I LOVE modeling chocolate! lol

The only con to modeling chocolate is if the weather is hot it does soften up. So if it is super hot outside I try not to use any pieces that are extremely thin that will heat up fast.




I'm having this same problem with gum paste.......it's crackely.....(my figures look like they have old people wrinkly skin!!!) so I am going to have to try the modeling chocolate! Sounds like what I need!
I've seen recipes for it, how does that hold up against what you can buy?

alidpayne Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 12:17am
post #8 of 29

I have never "bought" modeling chocolate. I use the recipe posted above. I dump a bag of wilton candy melts into a microwave safe bowl I microwave it until it is almost all melted, then I stir till the it is melted completely. Then I add 1/3 cup of white corn syrup. Stir it until it is completely incorporated. It should seize up and become a semi-solid mass. Then I take a piece of parchment or wax paper and line a large cookie sheet. Dump the mass of choco out on the cookie sheet and spread it around with a spoon until it is a thinish layer. I let it sit uncovered for about an hour till it firms up, then store it in a freezer bag. I use it immediately most of the time. Break a hunk off and kneed till smooth. It takes a little work to get it all softened up, but if you put it back in the freezer bag it will stay pretty soft so you can work with it. I just use regular americolor icing colors (or even my airbrush colors often) and kneed it into the finished clay like I would for fondant

If you have any other questions just ask. I am getting ready to upload two new cakes. One is a turtle. The entire cake is covered with modeling chocolate. The mini cake is covered in it also and the candle is made of it. The second cake is a "little mermaid" theme, and the mermaid is entirely modeling chocolate. I painted her eyes on with airbrush color directly on the modeling chocolate.

momg9 Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 1:33am
post #9 of 29

Can you use any chocolate or does it have to be the candy melts?

alidpayne Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 3:16am
post #10 of 29

You can use pretty much any type of chocolate, the melts are just easy and quick and readily available so that is why I use them. I found this site that talks about the different amounts of ingredients to use depending on what kind of chocolate you use. HTH!

http://www.joyofbaking.com/ModelingChoc.html

susanscakecreations Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 1:32pm
post #11 of 29

Wow! Thanks so much for the recipe and the link! It sounds just like what I've been looking for! I'm going to try it this week!
I looked at your photos and the turtle and the mermaid are fantastic!
Thanks for the info!

susan

momg9 Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 5:13pm
post #12 of 29

Thanks for the link! Lot's of helpful info.

confectionsofahousewife Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 9:11pm
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by alidpayne



If you have any other questions just ask. I am getting ready to upload two new cakes. One is a turtle. The entire cake is covered with modeling chocolate. The mini cake is covered in it also and the candle is made of it. The second cake is a "little mermaid" theme, and the mermaid is entirely modeling chocolate. I painted her eyes on with airbrush color directly on the modeling chocolate.




Oooh, I have a question! I made modeling chocolate yesterday out of bakers chocolate and corn syrup per a recipe on cc. It seemed okay at first and it was easy to make. I molded a turkey out of it but when the turkey dried it was....splotchy....for lack of a better word. There were dark areas and lighter, chalky areas. Any idea what causes this? I also found that I had dryish, cracky areas just like I get with gumpaste. Did I do something wrong?

costumeczar Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 9:42pm
post #14 of 29

If you used real chocolate for the turkey, that was the chocolate bloom on the splotchy areas. When you melt chocoalte you have to temper it, which keeps the cocoa butter from separating out, and that causes the bloom. It's trickier to do than working with the candy melts, because they don't need to be handled specially when you melt them.

amytracy1981 Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 9:45pm
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Quote:

Oooh, I have a question! I made modeling chocolate yesterday out of bakers chocolate and corn syrup per a recipe on cc. It seemed okay at first and it was easy to make. I molded a turkey out of it but when the turkey dried it was....splotchy....for lack of a better word. There were dark areas and lighter, chalky areas. Any idea what causes this? I also found that I had dryish, cracky areas just like I get with gumpaste. Did I do something wrong?




Good question I would like to hear the answer to this as well. Never tried molding figures with modeling chocolate before but would like to try. You can't get much detail into fondant figure faces (well at least I can't) because it drys out so fast.

confectionsofahousewife Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 10:06pm
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

If you used real chocolate for the turkey, that was the chocolate bloom on the splotchy areas. When you melt chocoalte you have to temper it, which keeps the cocoa butter from separating out, and that causes the bloom. It's trickier to do than working with the candy melts, because they don't need to be handled specially when you melt them.




Yep, that would explain it! Thanks for the info. So, my next question is: how do you temper the chocolate to keep it from blooming (is that the right word)? Next, time I will definitely try it with candy melts to see how it goes.

costumeczar Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 10:43pm
post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by confectionsofahousewife

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

If you used real chocolate for the turkey, that was the chocolate bloom on the splotchy areas. When you melt chocoalte you have to temper it, which keeps the cocoa butter from separating out, and that causes the bloom. It's trickier to do than working with the candy melts, because they don't need to be handled specially when you melt them.



Yep, that would explain it! Thanks for the info. So, my next question is: how do you temper the chocolate to keep it from blooming (is that the right word)? Next, time I will definitely try it with candy melts to see how it goes.




You have to heat it to a certain temperature then add some unmelted chocolate into it, keep it the right temp, blah blah blah...It's something that you actually have to pay attention to. I'm so tired right now I dont trust myself to remember the right temperatures to tell you, so do a google search for chocoalate tempering and you should find an explanation of what to do. Basically, if you heat it up too fast and too hot, it will separate out and you won't know it until it cools off and blooms.

alidpayne Posted 15 Nov 2009 , 12:21am
post #18 of 29

This is EXACTLY why I use the candy melts. LOL They are pretty much fool proof. I have avoided trying to use regular chocolate for this very reason. Honestly it is more effort than I am willing to put in. I can make the modeling chocolate using the melts in like 3 min. literally. Then just wait for it to set up and kneed it... easy peasy.

PJ37 Posted 15 Nov 2009 , 12:42am
post #19 of 29

I have used white chocolate chips or white chocolate bark also...interestingly enough, the gel colors work well with them also...don't really know the chemistry of it all. (I just experimented)...First two cakes in my photos show the candy clay with the white chocolate chips and gel colors.

susanscakecreations Posted 15 Nov 2009 , 12:49pm
post #20 of 29

I was wondering if you could use the white almond bark...........I bought some of the melting chips yesterday, and it took literally NO TIME to make the stuff! I let it dry, and I'm going to play with it today!!!!!!!!
I can't wait to try it!!!!!!!! icon_wink.gif

susanscakecreations Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 12:22am
post #21 of 29

Tried the modeling chocolate yesterday ~ LOVE THIS STUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am hooked on a new obsession now!!!!!!!!
I looked on you tube and there is a girl on there called "the chocolate addict"..............you have to check out her stuff!!!!!!!!! She makes some awesome chocolate roses and tulips!!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/thechocolateaddict

drakegore Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 12:48am
post #22 of 29

i really don't think tempering is necessary with modeling chocolate because of the addition of corn syrup. toba garrett (my idol, lol) whose recipes for MC are my favorite, doesn't temper and none of the others i have seen do it either.

i use real chocolate (semi-sweet) all the time in my MC, never tempered it, and never have any problems.

i think semi-sweet chocolate is easier to work with because it doesn't have all the extra fat that white and candy clay can have.

you want to be sure to age your chocolate for 12-24 hours in a cool place (i use the fridge) before kneading for use.

re the splotchy turkey, could your chocolate have been old? sounds like you may not have had the right balance between corn syrup and chocolate if you were getting cracks. did you age it? and last question, did you stop kneading when you first saw the shine on the MC? (if you overknead, you push the MC past where it is good to work with and then you have to put it aside and come back to it later).

diane

SoniaRivera Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 10:47pm
post #23 of 29

Hi. Anyone knows how to make corals or any other ocean figures from chocolate?

MrsNancyB1 Posted 19 Nov 2009 , 11:03pm
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by smartin40

Tried the modeling chocolate yesterday ~ LOVE THIS STUFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am hooked on a new obsession now!!!!!!!!
I looked on you tube and there is a girl on there called "the chocolate addict"..............you have to check out her stuff!!!!!!!!! She makes some awesome chocolate roses and tulips!!!!!!!

http://www.youtube.com/thechocolateaddict




I just spent the better part of my afternoon watching her videos! Her work is awesome!! thumbs_up.gif

I'll be trying the modeling chocolate too. I've been mulling it over, and this thread has convinced me to give it a try.

drakegore Posted 20 Nov 2009 , 12:22am
post #25 of 29

i cannot find the video with chocolate tulips...can anyone tell me which one that is in?
thanks!
diane

sister340 Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 3:28pm
post #26 of 29

Do you think merkens cocoa lite and corn syrup would work? That is what I have on hand. Also, I need to make a fondant cake with chocolate scrolls. Thinking of rolling into thin logs and shaping into scroll work. Would I stick them right on the cake as I work? Would they stick or do I need to use something else to glue them on?
thanks!
j.

alidpayne Posted 21 Nov 2009 , 9:21pm
post #27 of 29

I usually use a little water to make them stick to fondant. I'm not sure what the cocoa lite is, so I can't say for sure. Pretty much any chocolate that is solid at room temp will work though.

cheatize Posted 27 May 2011 , 3:47pm
post #28 of 29

An older thread, but good info.

I'm trying to cover a dowel in modeling chocolate and I'm having problems getting it a consistent thickness. At the moment, it's lumpy. I've tried putting a large straw over it to even it out, putting a large plastic dowel over it and rolling it inside the dowel, and rolling it around on a flower former.

Does anyone have any ideas for me? Do I need to let it harden and work on it a little at a time? Shave the larger bumpy parts with a knife once it's set and then rub it some more? I'm close to being out of ideas so I'd appreciate any input.

alidpayne Posted 28 May 2011 , 11:58pm
post #29 of 29

If I understand you right you are saying you can't get the lumps out of the modeling chocolate. You must have had some solid particles left in the chocolate before you mixed it with the corn syrup. This has happened to me before. In the future make absolutely sure all the chocolate is melted completely before stirring in the corn syrup. As for saving this batch, you can actually microwave the modeling chocolate a little (not much, just enough to get it warm) and then kneed the heck out of it. You may have to actually mash all the little lumps as you find them and then kneed some more. I have saved a batch this way several times.

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