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Durham, NC, United States
My name is Veronica and I own Southern Gold Leaf Cakes. I opened my home-based business in 2008. I am a licensed and inspected home bakery specializing in custom cakes. Since all cakes are made to order there are no frozen cakes here, only fresh and only home made. I am a self-taught baker but I have a strong art background with years of baking experience. It is the most rewarding feeling in the world when you can apply your skills to do something you love. To see my cake creations and view our yummy menu visit us at www.southerngoldleafcakes.com!

Monday, January 17, 2011

More thoughts on modeling chocolate (candy clay)

I've not worked extensively with modeling chocolate but it seems to be no harder to deal with than gumpaste. Yes, it will melt with the heat of your hands so you must work either faster or in a colder space or in short bursts. By the same token, however, the ability to create a more malleable medium just with the heat of your hands has it's advantages.

I currently have two batches of white chocolate "candy clay" chilling in the fridge so that I can begin working on the decorative structure of a cake due this weekend. I already realize I will need to make more. I'm pretty good at eyeballing how much gumpaste I will need since I make my own and know how much will come out of a batch. Now I know how much modeling chocolate I get in a medium batch and it's not as much as I expected - I take that back. It's actually a relatively good amount of candy clay for. It's not a large enough amount for this particular project.

So while it was formulating in my mind to make the candy clay I happen to see on "Fabulous Cakes" where one baker uses modeling chocolate extensively in place of both gumpaste and fondant. That is actually a pretty brilliant concept. She said it just tastes better and it's her area of expertise. I grant you that all fondant does not taste good. Some of it is pretty nasty. I happen to make my own either out of marshmallows (I have to make them first) or a glycerin based fondant but both are really tasty because they are 80% powdered sugar. They can't not be sweet. In all fairness there are one or two really great companies out there that I have purchased fondant from (which is obviously less labor intensive but much more expensive) and they are very praise worthy. So in defense of fondant - not all fondant is gross.

I watched her mix melted chocolate into her buttercream before applying it to her cake, which not only made a beautiful natural design, but when both the chocolate and butter set up will be really firm. I guess one of my questions is: what happens if it's a really hot day? You know, the kind we get in August in North Carolina? I mean, even using modeling chocolate in place of fondant over your buttercream, I mean, let's face it the chocolate is gonna melt. I'm not saying fondant is fool proof. If a cake is in the heat long enough eventually the buttercream will melt and there goes your beautiful smooth exterior. But if the entire cake is covered in modeling chocolate......
I'm not trying to sound as though I bash the idea. I actually think it's rather cool and I'm intrigued to try it myself in the near future. Right now, me and the candy clay are a work in progress; getting to know one another. Given the fact that both my kids have birthdays at the end of February and they both order very detailed, very complicated cake designs it's good I get started now!

Anybody ever try this? What's your favorite use for the candy clay? Any favorite brand of chocolate?


1 comment:

  1. I love modelling chocolate, but it definitely doesn't work well in the heat. I was delivering a cake and saw another one that had been left out in the heat then moved inside because it had started to melt. It had lots of melting chocolate roses on it, and I don't know why someone thought that chocolate was a good idea in 103 degree heat. It probably wouldn't be as bad if it was mixed into fondant or buttercream, but I'd be reluctant to use mixtures like that on a wedding cake unless I tried them first.