It’s always a good time to eat chocolate, but let’s face it… During Easter time, it’s even more impossible to resist those millions of chocolate figures popping up on the shelves like chocolate eggs or cute chocolate bunnies. But have you ever wondered how the hollow chocolate molding takes place?
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The hollow chocolate molding process
To start, you must have a dosing system and molds of your design specifications in place. As chocolate is a moisture-sensitive food, you must have dry cleaning systems and verification checks to ensure dryness. Additional moisture destabilizes the crystals formed during the manufacturing of chocolate process, leading to a lower melting point, the occurrence of fat bloom, and loss of surface luster.
Your operation begins with the filling of the molds. The mold must not be full, just coating it up to a thickness of your preference. Once fully coated, the molds is subjected to a slow-moving centrifuge where the molds are spun on their axis. This allows the chocolate to be evenly distributed in the mold while slowly hardening as well. When the distribution is done, the molds are transferred to a cooling machine to allow the chocolate to fully settle. After cooling, you may now pack your hollow chocolate molds.
Chocolate fluidity and workability
The viscosity and workability of your chocolate determine your final product’s structure stability during molding. In general, the fluidity of the chocolate affects the shell thickness and the snap of the product. Fluidity depends on the fat percentage, i.e. the amount of cocoa butter. Higher cocoa butter content increases its fluidity and overall workability while improving chocolate spread during molding.
For hollow chocolate molding, it is recommended that you use chocolate with high fluidity. This will help spread the product thinly on the molding while still establishing a solid structure for your product. If the chocolate is too thick, it cannot be used for molded chocolates.
What can go wrong when making chocolate hollow figures?
When making chocolate hollow figures the pre-formed shells need to be put together to form a whole figure. This is done by thermally softening the edges of the two shells. Observation of the process shows that eventual discoloration occurs due to the melting process, as heat applied on the edges melts the chocolate. So you will have a defective chocolate figure in the end. How can you counteract this phenomenon during your hollow chocolate molding manufacture?
Patent US3961089A (inventor Amilcare Dogliotti, current assignee Ferrero SpA), suggests coating the two shells internally with molten edible material and then cooling one of the shells and maintaining the other one in a fluid state when they are superimposed. This allows the seam to develop internally while still allowing for the sealing process. On the surface, your hollow chocolate mold would look smooth and evenly colored. Challenge solved!