I have never used the stuff before.
Can I have your opinions on it? The best make, pro's and con's etc..
I have only used it with semi sweet chocolate to make chocolate roses and a tree once. Some use the candy melt and I can't tell you if that is exactly the same, but probably similar.
It does not dry hard the same way gum paste does. It hardens because it cools but you can quickly soften it up again by adding heat. So it is good in a way that you can take your time, you don't get the "elephant skin" and you can smooth out folds etc. Your body heat can melt the chocolate while you are working on it. Obviously chocolate tastes better than gum paste!
I say try it and see for yourself. It is easy to work with!
I love it - easy to work with and VERY yummy!
I make my own using Toba Garrett's recipes:
1lb semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
8oz light corn syrup
1lb milk or white chocolate
6oz light corn syrup
Melt the chocolate and let it cool for a few minutes to about room temperature. Add the corn syrup all at once and stir until it thickens and starts to come together. Scrape the mixture into a large Ziploc bag, seal, and place flat in the refrigerator (it's easier to work with later if you place it flat rather than in a glob) for 12-24 hours. Take it out of the fridge for about 30 minutes to soften it up, then knead it a hunk at a time until it's smooth and shiny.
Store extra in Ziploc bags in the fridge for 4-6 months.
Note - I've had bad luck using Ghirardelli brand white chocolate. Too much of the fat seeps out and it tends towards graininess. Callebaut has given me better results. The dark chocolate seems more forgiving; I even once used Hershey's Special Dark chips in a pinch.
With the bad batch of white modeling chocolate, I hated to waste it so I mixed it with equal parts Satin Ice fondant (1lb modeling chocolate:1lb fondant). Lovely stuff!! I used it to make the daisies for the daisy cake in my photos and them flowers were just gobbled up. It was much easier to work with than plain fondant - very satiny and pliable, and the taste is to die for.
Can't really think of many cons to using it. In warm weather it tends to seep a little when you're working with it, but I keep a couple paper towels nearby to blot the chocolate and my hands. Once it sets up I haven't had any problems with seeping, though. It can be tricky to cover a cake in it as you would with fondant.
Pros? It's chocolate.
I love it! It's very easy to make and tastes good. I plan to make a batch of yellow tonight using candy melts. I already have white, brown and pink tightly wrapped and stored in the cupboard.