Townsend Atelier Knead-A-Mold
If you want to mold an object to replicate it in chocolate, one method is to use a silicone putty. Silicone putties carry the same characteristics of liquid silicone, but can be used without the mess and the long wait time. Generally the putty will come in two parts: the actual silicone and a curing agent. Curing agents are used to harden or set the material and can be tin-based or platinum-based. For the most part, platinum-cured silicones are preferred; however, it is usually more expensive than their tin-based counterparts.
If you are going to be using the silicone to make a chocolate or other food mold, you must ensure that you are buying a food grade silicone. There are many companies that sell regular grade silicones, but this is not food grade. So, just be careful. Some sources that I know of for food grade silicone in a putty form are Townsend Atelier Knead-A-Mold, Sugarcraft, Culinart Silicone Plastique, and Dick Blick. Prices for the lowest quantity available at each are:
Knead-A-Mold: 6 oz. for $15.00
Sugarcraft: 1 lb. for $25.95
Silicone Plastique: 6 oz. for $12.00
Dick Blick: 8 oz. for $15.99
All of the above dealers sell larger quantities, but I thought I would list the minimum because my experience is that most people prefer to spend the least amount to a try a product out. Obviously, the larger quantity you buy, the cost per ounce decreases. You should do a similiar price per ounce comparison that considers shipping costs before deciding to buy from a particular place.
To use the silicone putty, you simply knead the two parts together and press the object into the putty. After it has cured for the proper time, remove the object and you will have a flexible silicone mold. For a great pictorial of this process, I highly recommend the Culinart Silicone Plastique page or the Townsend Atelier Knead-A-Mold page.
The Knead-A-Mold product was recently featured on Martha Stewart Living: Good Things ‘The Art of Cakes II’ which orginally airred on December 16, 2008 on The Style Network. Check for repeats at http://www.mystyle.com/.