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HOW TO USE CANDY MOLDS AND MOLD CHOCOLATE

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The page is provided to help with melting chocolate and making the completed items.
Tools used are linked to the section where they are located.

HOW TO STORE CANDY COATED chocolate
Merckens coating chocolate will keep up to six months when stored in a cool, dry place, free from odors. Ideal storage temperatures are from 55F to 75F. Chocolate should always be stored in airtight containers to keep moisture out. Moisture causes the product to be thick when melting. If product absorbs too much moisture it will not melt at all.
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HOW TO CARE FOR MOLDS
Molds are only washed when too dirty to use. Plastic candy molds should be washed in lukewarm water. You may use a mild dish washing liquid if necessary. Do not soak molds, nor scour them. HOT WATER will discolor and warp molds. After washing, towel or drip dry; store flat.

HOW TO MELT chocolate
1) Put chocolate into top of a double boiler.

2) Use hot tap water, (130F to 150F), in bottom of double boiler to melt chocolate.
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3) Let chocolate set 5 to 10 minutes and then stir with a spoon or knife to hasten melting.
NOTE: Do not boil chocolate on stove. Product will thicken and will be difficult or impossible to use. Do not spill water in chocolate. This will change the texture of coating chocolates. They will appear streaky and become thick and grainy.
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Chocolate may also be melted in glass jars. Place chocolate in glass jar and melt in sauce pan with hot tap water in the pan. Or use an electric skillet with a wash cloth on the bottom, with hot tap water in the pan. Jars are convenient because you can clean off the top edge of jar, cover and store until next use. When ready to use again, take off cover, place jar in hot water and melt down. As melted coatings are used, refill jars with more chocolate as needed. Coatings may thicken after prolonged heating. To thin, add Paramount Crystals. Melt in a tiny cup and add small amounts until you get desired consistency. Coatings can also be melted in a microwave oven. Place 1 lb. of coating in a bowl or large measuring cup. Do not cover. Place in microwave oven on medium power. Microwave coating three minutes, then stir. Continue microwaving at short intervals until coating is melted. Be sure to stir between intervals. When using smaller amounts of coating, reduce microwave time. When coating is melted, place on hot pad and use immediately. If coating should thicken, microwave again to melted consistency. Careful! Chocolate wafers will not change shape until stirred!

HOW TO MOLD FILLED CANDIES
Sugarcraft supplies a large variety of molds suitable for filled candies.
Molds should be deep enough to coat, fill and cap.
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1) Fill each cavity approximately 1/4 full. Pull coating up the sides of each cavity using a brush. Be sure cavities are completely coated and don't leave any holes or bubbles. Also, be sure to coat evenly. You have now formed the shell to hold the filling. Coat one cavity at a time. If you spoon coating into all the cavities and then try to brush coating up the sides, depending on how fast you work, you will find that approximately half way through the candy will harden and you will not be able to finish the rest of the mold.
Alternative coating method for larger jobs: especially better for molding chocolate covered cherries.
Warm chocolate in a double boiler. Put melted chocolate into large squeeze bottle. Squeeze out chocolate into each mold cavity. Tilt the mold to be sure each cavity is coated clear to the tops all around. Invert mold over a cake grid with either wax paper or a foiled pan underneath to catch the drippings. Let the excess chocolate drip out.  When chocolate starts to set up < no longer shiny & is "rubbery looking >, use a small angled spatula to scrape off drippings level at tops of each cavity. Let chocolate shell completely set up. No need to refrigerate yet.

Roll candy filling into a ball and place in each molded shell cavity. Now, seal the top: Using the squeeze bottle of chocolate working in a spiral from outside to center, adding chocolate on the top to carefully seal. Chill in freezer section until chocolate separates from the mold, about 10 minutes. Invert mold to dump out finished candies CAREFULLY! Candies may crack if they hit the table hard & you have to eat all your mistakes.

  • Reuse "drippings" of chocolate. Our Merckens® chocolate re-melts just as easy as fresh chocolate.
  • I use 5 molds at a time. More & the chocolate may set up too quick for you. I think I make about 100 an hour, maybe more, this way.

2) After you have finished the whole mold, place into the freezer until coating has set-up firmly but not frozen. If you freeze a mold you will hear a cracking sound when you remove it from the freezer. This means that your candy will leak when filled, especially  chocolate covered cherries. Others may not leak juice like the cherries but will have a grease secretion. If shells crack, snap out and throw them back into double boiler, remelt and coat mold again. CHERRIES: Wrap in pretty candy foils and it helps to seal them.
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3) Roll filling into ball and place into shell. Be sure to leave enough room for a cap. If fillings are too soft to roll into a ball, a decorating bag with a round tip will be the easiest way to fill shells. You must be sure to keep the top edge of candies clean so your cap will have a coating to coating seal. Otherwise your filling will leak out of the shell where your cap did not seal properly.
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NOTE: Our soft creme fillings are excellent and easier to use then the nougat type.
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4) Cover the filling with a spoonful of coating. Be very careful not to overfill. If you overfill, your candy will have a rim around the edge and will resemble a hat. Using your brush, gently brush coating back and forth to smooth bottom of candies. Never tap a filled candy; the shell is very fragile.
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5) Place mold in freezer until candy has set-up. When making candy you need to learn how to tell when the candy is ready to release from the mold. It is difficult to express in terms of time when your candy is ready for removal from the freezer. The larger your molded candy the longer it takes to set-up. If your freezer is packed full of food it may take longer. If your freezer is empty your candy will set-up faster. Further, after you open and shut the door a number of times, your freezer will take longer. When your freezer comes on again your candy will set-up very quickly. You must learn the shiny look and the dull look. When you spoon the candy into the molds it looks wet or shiny. As the candy sets up and releases from the mold, the mold takes on a dull finish. This means candy has released from the mold and is ready for removal from the mold.
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6) Remove from freezer, invert mold carefully. Check to see if the mold looks shiny or dull. If the mold is shiny, return it to the freezer. If the mold has a dull look then release from the mold by carefully tapping mold. If candy doesn't release after tapping several times, return it to the freezer for another minute or two.
NOTE: After molds come out of the freezer, bring back to room temperature before using again. Cold molds may cause air bubbles to appear.

HOW TO MOLD SOLID FLAT PIECES AND LOLLIPOPS

1) Use clean dry molds.
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2) Spoon melted chocolate into mold. Do not overfill; this will cause your candy to result in a rim around the edge.
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3) Tap mold to release air bubbles. Also, this will smoothest the candy. If candy isn't smooth enough, use brush in a gentle back and forth motion to finish smoothing. At this time, if making lollipops, add sticks and roll to coat. Coating sticks makes them more secure.
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4) Place mold in the freezer and leave there until candy has set-up.
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5) Remove mold from freezer and check for shiny or dull look. If ready, turn over and release candy from mold.

HOW TO MOLD WHEN PAINTING IN SEVERAL COLORS
Where to buy
Squeezit Mold painter
Molds
Sucker Sticks
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HOW TO MOLD MORE THAN ONE COLOR PIECES AND LOLLIPOPS
1) Use clean dry molds.
2) Use Squeeze bottle filled with melted coating chocolate. (as shown above). Paint color details into mold. Save one color to use to fill. Let each color set up before adding another against it.
3) Add stick if making suckers.
4) fill the mold with the last color of coating chocolate when the painted parts are set, .
5) Tap mold gently, to release air bubbles. Also, this will smooth-out the candy. If candy isn't smooth enough, use brush in a gentle back and forth motion to finish smoothing. At this time, if making lollipops, add sticks and roll to coat. Coating sticks makes them more secure.
6) Place mold in the freezer and leave there until candy has set-up.
7) Remove mold from freezer and check for shiny or dull look. If ready, turn over and release candy from mold.
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HOW TO MOLD WITH TWO PIECE MOLDS
...turkey: #2036
*Trimming 3D molds HERE
There are two types of two piece molds. The first type is clipped together and there is an opening where you fill the mold. The second type is also clipped together but there is no opening to fill the mold. The mold with the opening is easily made solid. First, clip the mold together using bulldog clips or other clips that will not damage the mold. Then fill mold through the opening until full. Watch for air bubbles; remove by tapping mold or use paint brush. Place in freezer until coating is set-up. Note: Remember, when coating has a dull look, this means it has released from the mold and is ready for removal. Remove from freezer, unclip mold and take off one half of mold. Clean seam edge by carefully running object, such as a toothpick, around the molded candy. Do not use anything too sharp or you may damage the mold. Cleaning the seam before removing from the other half of mold helps to prevent fingerprints on candy. Sometimes bottoms of pieces need to be trimmed with a sharp knife to make them stand properly.
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You may make this same mold a hollow candy by clipping together as described above.
Then fill 2/3's full and roll until candy completely covers mold. Drain excess candy from the mold.
Place in freezer until candy sets up. The larger the piece, the longer it takes to set-up.
Be careful not to leave in freezer too long, otherwise piece will freeze and crack.
When candy has set up, remove from freezer and repeat this process at least one or two more times to thicken walls of candy.
Meanwhile, place a small flat pan or tray in the freezer to cool.
Remove cooled tray from freezer.
Place wax paper on the tray.
Fill mold approximately 1/3 full. Place tray
over mold and invert mold so candy will run down and setup on tray.
Quickly place mold on tray in freezer in upright position. This
molds the bottom into your hollow piece. Leave in freezer until set up.
Remove from freezer. Remove one half of the mold and clean
seam. Remove the other half of the mold and trim bottom if necessary.
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To make a solid piece of candy using a two piece mold with no opening, fill one half of the mold to the edge and place in the freezer. Cool just long enough to set-up top half of candy. Remove from freezer. Fill other half of mold to the edge and then add approximately one more teaspoon of candy. Now take the half that has set-up and place on top of melted half. Clip together. Candy will bleed out of mold seam. This will assure that you won't have cracks at candy seams. Now that the mold is clipped together, turn over so that melted half is on top. This helps the two halves to adhere. Place in freezer. When ready, remove from freezer. Remove one half of mold and clean seam. Remove other half of mold and trim the bottom if needed.
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To make a hollow piece of candy with this mold, fill one half of mold and clip together.
Roll mold until completely coated.
Place in freezer in upright position and allow to set-up approximately three minutes.
Remove from freezer and repeat this process one or two more times.
Place mold in upright position in freezer until set-up.
Remove from freezer, remove one-half of mold and clean seam. Remove the other half of mold and trim bottom if necessary.

HOW TO MOLD A BASKET
Basket Mold above is #90-2418 HERE
Some basket molds come pre-cut. Most basket molds have to be cut and trimmed. When cutting and trimming the mold, be careful to leave enough edge for your clamps. Next, cut out the top of the basket. This is easily done using a sharp pair of scissors; be sure to trim edge carefully so the basket will be even. Clip basket mold together. Fill 2/3's full and roll basket to coat mold completely.
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NOTE: If you have trouble rolling basket, you can use a paint brush to draw the coating up the sides of the mold. Before placing mold in the freezer, stand mold in a Styrofoam block. Make a cut in the Styrofoam large enough to hold the mold upright. Another way to support the mold is to purchase hand clamps which will clamp the bottom of the mold securely. The handles also serve as a freezer stand for your mold. A third option is to stand your mold in a bowl and fill-in around the mold with paper towels sufficiently to support the mold. After standing mold upright, place in freezer. When coated part of mold is set-up, remove from freezer and roll basket to coat again. Return to freezer to set-up again. If basket is small, coating twice is sufficient. Medium or large baskets should be coated a third time. After coating basket three times place in freezer to set-up completely. Allow extra candy coating to accumulate in the bottom of the basket. The basket needs the extra weight in the bottom for stability. This keeps the basket from tipping over when filled. When basket has set-up, remove from freezer, remove mold and trim as previously described.
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Molding with Large 2 piece molds: For trimming and filling 2 piece molds Prepare the mold by trimming so that only about 1 inch is left all the way around. You need this 'lip' to fasten the clips as shown. CLAMPS

SOLID: Fill each half. Put together and fasten with clips. Place in freezer until chilled solid. Turn the mold several times while it is chilling. This prevents air holes on the outside. TIP: You can see that it has separated from the mold when it is solid.
HOLLOW: Fill only one side. Clamp mold sides together. Turn the mold until both sides are well coated. Place in freezer to chill. Turn several times while chilling to be certain that both sides are evenly coated.
FOR VERY LARGE MOLDS: Be sure this mold would fit in your freezer before purchasing! Besides trimming the mold to leave a 1" lip, now also trim the bottom out to leave a 1" lip. Clamp mold sides together. Fill through the cut out hole in the bottom. Chill as usual, turning several times to be evenly coated. Remove from freezer and refill again. Refill as many times as needed so that the chocolate is thick enough. It usually takes 3-4 filling times depending upon the size of the mold.

HOW TO COLOR MOLDS...alos see "Painting Lolipops" below next
Molds are colored by painting the smaller areas of a mold with a nylon brush. Use small brush for painting small details and a large brush for larger details. Melt colors. Dip brush into desired color and apply to an area of the mold. Continue to do this until desired areas are colored. The last and largest area you will spoon the color in and fill the mold. Never tap a mold that is colored. Tapping the mold will cause running of the colors. If you do not have enough brushes for all of the colors and you want to change the color on the brush, wipe brush clean, dip into new color and brush on a paper towel. Repeat the process until brush shows no trace of original color.
   Do not wash brushes because wet brushes should dry approximately 24 hours before using again. Another way to color molds is with a small 2 ounce squeeze bottle. This bottle was designed for the purpose of coloring and filling small molds. Fill bottle and use #1 cake decorating tip. When you turn the bottle up-side down and squeeze, the candy coating will run out. When you stop squeezing and release the pressure from the sides of the bottle the candy coating will draw back into the bottle. Be careful not to apply too much pressure. Further, excessive candy will cause the colors to run. The squeeze bottles also come in 8 Ounce and 16 Ounce sizes. The larger bottles are used for filling molds. The bottles must be placed in warm water between uses. When you are done with the bottles, drain out melted coating. Place bottles in the freezer. When candy has set-up remove from freezer, squeeze bottle and coating will break up. You can now shake the hard coating from the bottle. Wash, dry and store bottles until next use.
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Another way to paint molds is by using parchment paper cones. Fill cone 1/3 full of melted candy coating. Squash sides of bag and roll bag down tight until you apply pressure on coating. Tape bag so that it doesn't un-roll. Bags are stored in the dry top of a double boiler with hot water underneath. When ready to use, lift cover remove color needed, cut small hole in end of bag and you are ready to use like a crayon to color. When done, return the bag to top of double boiler with cut end up. Replace double boiler cover. Double boiler acts as oven to keep bags warm so your candy coating will stay melted. Be sure to keep hot tap water under double boiler while coloring bags are in use.
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Another way to paint molds for larger projects where you need to do hundreds of candies at a time is to use a bath towel and a heating pad with mold painters. Lay the bath towel on the counter folded in half. Melt chocolate in the microwave, enough to fill each mold painter with colors needed. Use the decorating tips provided, instead of a brush. (Other plastic tips) This goes a lot faster since you can have enough chocolate available to complete each paint job. Let the painted piece set until it is no longer runny before you paint another section. Lay the squeeze bottles on the towel and cover them with the heating pad. Use a large squeeze bottle to fill with the last color. It is recommended that you use the lightest color to fill. When finished for the day, simply unplug the heating pad and let the bottles cool. Then plug back in to start again another day.
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HOW TO MOLD HOLLOW


Chocolate Dinosaur Egg
Dino Molds
The 'nest' can be shredded wheat. It will depend upon how large of egg as to size of 'animals' inside.
For this project you would make the 2 egg halves seperately.
Put the 'surprise' inside, then glue halves together with melted chocolate.

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Painting Details in Lollipop Molds

Adding color details to candies makes them more realistic and much more fun! For large areas of color, it's best to paint the melted candy right in the mold before the whole candy is molded using a decorator brush. Or, for very small details like vines, mouths and messages, melted candy should be piped onto molded candies using a parchment bag with a small hole cut in the tip. 
Tools:
Candy Melting Plate
Decorator Brush Set
Disposable Decorating Bags
Parchment Triangles

instructions
Step 1
Melt desired Candy Melts® colors in the microwave, using the Candy Melting Plate. With decorator brush, paint areas of candy molds with melted candy in one color.
Step 2
Refrigerate mold a few minutes until candy is firm, repeating for each additional color. For best results, always fill in one section of the mold at a time and let set before adding additional colors.
Step 3
To complete candy, using cut parchment bag or disposable decorating bag, fill mold to top with melted candy. Tap mold, refrigerate until firm and unmold. 
Suggestion
Our make ideal place markers at your holiday party. After assembling all the candy parts, add the name using melted candy in a cut parchment bag.
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HOW TO CARE FOR MOLDS
Molds are only washed when too dirty to use. Plastic candy molds should be washed in lukewarm water. You may use a mild dish washing liquid if necessary. Do not use harsh detergents such as Dawn. It will remove the shiny finish. Do not soak molds, nor scour them. HOT WATER will discolor and warp molds. After washing, towel or drip dry; store flat.
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HOW TO CARE FOR BRUSHES
Wash brushes in warm water with a small amount of dishwashing liquid. Wash brushes quickly. Never let a brush soak in water because glue will soften and bristles will fall out. After brushes are washed, gently squeeze out excess water and stand brushes bristle end up to dry. Brushes should dry for at least 24 hours before next use.
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Keep covered tightly - wrap box also in plastic (saran) wrap & store in cool place. Keeps about 3-4 weeks. The cherries don't spoil. "Bloom" occurs when chocolate is not tightly sealed. Add invertase if kept longer.
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Trimming, and molding in 3D
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The information is provided to help with melting chocolate candy and making the completed items by using plastic candy molds.
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A EASY WAY TO TRIM A 3D MOLD
The first step is to make sure your mold is capable of making a 3D Design. This is quite simple. Make sure the back shows an identical reversed image of the front. Many molds look as though they are 3D capable, but when examined closely they have slight differences that do not allow 3D Molding.
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TRIMMING FOR THE CLIPS
The ideal way to get the pieces of the mold to give you the best seal is to place the holding clips as close to the design as possible. For this you'll need to cut/trim in closer to the cavity on the mold.
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Trim around the mold leaving a 'lip' of about 1" all around for the clamp later. It does have a tendency to be forced apart by the weight/pressure of the pour. Tightly placed clips help to eliminate the spreading apart of the candy mold, which will help cut down on the final stage of trimming the excess from the completed piece.
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For very large molds, such as the 3D bunnies 24" tall or more, this method is essential. You probably would never make the mold solid. You probably will need to coat the mold several times before the bunny is thick enough.
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HINT: the more clips you can use the better the seal. Use small pointed clips for reaching into thin narrow areas. The neck area on this mold seals better with a small clip that can reach in next to the cavity, then a wider clip that can't get into the space between the head and the shell.
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DECIDING ON THE PIECE!
Before you trim/proceed any further, you need to know whether you'll be making a Hollow or Solid piece. Once you trim for making a solid poured piece it will be more complicated using the candy mold for doing hollow pieces.
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If you decided to try a HOLLOW piece then you don't need to do anymore trimming, you can now use the mold as it is. Here's how. 1. Separate the mold so you have both halves open.
2. Fill one of the halves with chocolate.
3. Place the other (empty) half back on top of the filled half.
4. Clips both pieces securely together.
5. Rotate the clipped together mold. Work it so the hard to get at areas fill in first. You want these areas to be filled first because as the chocolate cools it'll be more difficult to get and even fill. The smaller the area the less likely it will fill properly if you wait to long to work the chocolate into it. For really hard to fill areas, try flicking the outside of the mold with your finger to get the chocolate to work in and help remove air bubbles.
6. Once you're satisfied with the small areas, continue to slowly rotate the mold in all directions, side to side, top to bottom, side to bottom, top to side etc. This will create a nice even consistency of the thickness all the way around. Once the chocolate stops moving around in the candy mold it you can now place it in the refrigerator for the final cooling.
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SOLID
If you have decided on trying a fully filled/solid piece, you'll need to cut a pour hole somewhere in the mold to allow filling. The base would probably be the most likely area to cut the mold, however depending upon the design you may prefer to cut the fill hole in some other area of the candy mold. Try to choose a spot where it will not take away from the actual design of the piece.
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This shows a rough cut pour hole cut out in the base of the mold for making a solid piece.

POURING THE SOLID FILLED PIECE
A set of helping hands is always great for holding the mold while it's being filled. If no one is available then placing the mold between a couple objects to stabilize it will work.
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Start pouring a little bit, and then rotate the mold from side to side (follow the seam) to check and see if you have a good seal on the seam. You definitely don't want to fill the mold only to have it run all over the table.
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If you are satisfied with the seal then you can continue pouring the mold full.
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Hold or Leave the completed pour for a while, wait long enough that when moved your chocolate will not run out the pour hole. Once it has set-up enough to be safely moved you can place it in the refrigerator for final cooling. Since much of the inside of the piece may still be soft, it's recommended that it be placed in the fridge in and up right position (pour hole up). Actual cooling time will vary on the size of the piece.
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REMOVING THE PIECE FROM THE MOLD.
Once the piece has properly cooled, it's now safe to remove it from the mold. First remove all the clips that hold the 2 pieces of the candy mold together. Very slowly separate one side of the candy mold. DO NOT rip the mold apart, they have a tendency to form a vacuum and may break the piece if pulled apart to quickly. Gently pull it apart allowing air to work into the cavity of the mold. This is critical on thinner designs that cannot stand up being forced apart.
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FINAL PREPARATION BEFORE PACKAGING
Once the completed item is fully removed from the mold, now is the time to trim off any excess that may have squeezed into the seams. Using a medium sharp knife simply run it around where the seam was and this will cut off any extra, making a nice smooth design. Don't try to remove all the details created by the seam, it's a waste of time just clean it to remove the unsightly looks.  Even professionally molded chocolates show a slight seam. A properly clipped together mold will require very little if any seam trimming.
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FUN TIME !!
Now we're ready for decorating. We recommend waiting for the completed item before decorating. Most of the time if you paint the mold prior to pouring 3D items as we described above, the painted areas will bleed into none painted or be deformed by the pour.
HINT: A candy glove is essential for holding the finished piece for trimming.
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A nicely detailed design, such as a turtle would have different colors designs on his back, maybe an outline between those design for highlights. For outlining we recommend a candy writer (candy in a tube). Or using a finely pointed object, a brush tends to smear when trying to decorate fine lines. The tip of the brush handle works great along with a toothpick (none flavored tooth pick). Simply dip any of these items into the chocolate and then paint it on the candy piece. This is also a nice time to add extra decorations as desired. Candy eyes really make the pieces look nice.
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We hope these tips and suggestions will help you in creating your craft ideas. Remember it's a fun craft, feel free to experiment, come up with your own designs and creations. If you don't like your first attempt, simply melt it down and try another one. Or like myself, I like to EAT the evidence of a mistake!

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