Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Making Chocolate Molds with Silicone Putty

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/.


Nia said...

I've been all over the internet trying to find out how I can make custom chocolate menus for my wedding. I've found sites that offer custom chocolate transfers, custom molds and even found some sites (like yours) that show you how to make custom molds. What do you think would be the most cost effective way to do it?

Christina Durta said...

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "chocolate menu". Are you going to have a semi-large flat shape with alot of text? Will you be making these yourself? What quantity do you need to make?

In general, I would say that your best bet if you are going to have a lot of text is to get a custom transfer sheet made. Two sites you may want to check out would be cheaptransfersheets.com and candyartsupply.com. Both of these sites will allow you to order in smaller quantities. Cheap Transfer Sheets will make them for as little as $115. Candy Art supply has a little differnt product which is edible ink printed on cocoa butter sheets. You have to have a white chocolate background to use those. But, depending on how many you want you can get away with as little as $50. You may also check with American Chocolate Designs or Tomric Plastics. Both of these companies can make custom transfers for you, but will require higher quanities.

Other options are silkscreening directly on the chocolate. This requires a bit of a learning curve, but you can buy custom silkscreens from Chef Rubber. Yet another option is to have a rubber stamp made with your menu, and then stamp your flat menu with chocolate on the rubber stamp. That would probably be the absolute cheapest way, although it too would require a bit of trial and error.

Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance. If anyone else has ideas, comments are always welcome.

Thanks again.

Chris said...

The Silicone pastique website mentioned above does NOT sell its product at 6 oz. intervals. They sell it only by the pound. Please correct your ad.

Christina Durta said...

Thank you for bringing this to my attention. It appears that they are no longer selling the trial size.

Please note that this article was not an ad, but rather an informational piece only. The use of the word "ad" implies that I was paid to write the article, which I was not. It was written solely with the intention of helping people find products used to make custom chocolate molds.