What Good is a Chocolate Mold Machine

Why, without chocolate mold machines, there might be no hollow chocolate bunnies for Easter -- and then where would we be?

With the invention of the chocolate mold machine in the 20th century, civilization took a giant leap forward. Not since the invention of the chocolate press (which allowed solid chocolate in the first place) and the chocolate conching machine (which grinds up the chocolate liquor) had an item so revolutionized the industry.

Sure, hand molds (often based on candle molds) had been used for years to make candy; but to the delight of our X-Choc ancestors, the mechanized chocolate mold made it possible to quickly and easily produce vast quantities of candy in standardized shapes, both solid and hollow. What a delicious invention!

Here's how it works

Basically, a chocolate mold machine melts down existing chocolate in bar or coin form, and then allows it to be injected into molds of various shapes, where it's then cooled down and solidified. More broken chocolate can be fed into the machine and melted as the finished candies are produced.

In most cases, chocolate mold forms can easily be changed out to create different finished candy shapes. Some candies are solid, of course, but many include voids where fillings can be added. Injection molding is especially effective for this process, so there's your hollow chocolate bunny right there.

Temper, temper

If you decide to purchase your own chocolate mold machine, it's best to pay extra to get one that tempers the chocolate during the process. Otherwise you'll end up with rough, dull-looking chocolate that may be hard to get out of the mold. It's perfectly edible, of course, but it won't exactly be works of art.

You'll also need to keep the interior of the mold as dry as possible; otherwise you'll end up with white marks on the chocolate. Cold and greasy molds can also result in dull-looking chocolate, no matter how properly tempered, so make sure to clean your mold regularly, and let it warm up for a while before use.

A couple of tips

If you're interested in creating your own candies, then you're in luck -- individual chocolate mold machines can be had in bench-top form that can handle as little as two pounds of candy at a time, or as much as 33 pounds. And, if you care to go the manufacturing route, some machines can handle up to 200 pounds.

Be sure, however, that the chocolate you use is real chocolate made with cocoa butter and chocolate liquor, not confectionery glazes that may contain vegetable oil. The latter may gum up the works, since it will likely have a higher melting temperature than real chocolate, which goes gooey at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Plus, if you want to avoid unsightly bubbles in your chocolate snacks, you might want to consider using a vibrating table; however, many small candy makers avoid this because of budgetary restraints. Hey here's an idea: you could probably make a bundle if you invented a vibrating chocolate mold machine!

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