Modeling chocolate is one of the most versatile and easy to use products in a cake decorator’s or sweet maker’s arsenal. It is rigid enough to hold its shape when cutting out intricate details yet pliable enough to mold into beautifully sculptured pieces. But modeling chocolate can be frustrating to make, yielding a lumpy or broken final product for no apparent reason. In this post I hope to demystify some of the problems common with modeling chocolate and give you the tools to create a perfect product every time.
In order to provide you with the most in-depth understanding I made 19 batches of varying types of modeling chocolate. Along the way I learned how to ruin and fix modeling chocolate by multiple methods. I also examined how varying the ratio of chocolate to corn syrup affects the consistency of the final product.
Let’s start by looking at modeling chocolate making basics.
1. Weigh. Measure out the amount of candy melts or chocolate you wish to use in a microwave safe bowl that will allow enough room for stirring. I weigh my chocolate on a food scale to allow the most predictable and desirable result.
2. Melt. Heat your melts or chocolate on high heat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes depending on your microwave strength and the volume of chocolate you are using. Stir and then heat again for 20-30 seconds and then stir to melt. If you still have lumps heat in 15 second intervals until you it is lump free. Be careful not to overheat. If you see chunky golden bits in the chocolate throw it out and start over or you will be sorry.
3. Add. Now is the time to add your corn syrup. The ratio of chocolate to corn syrup depends on your desired outcome. I will discuss this shortly and provide a chart of measurements. Some people like to heat their corn syrup briefly to warm it. I find it is unnecessary and squirt it straight from my bottle into the bowl of melted chocolate. I also weigh the corn syrup. It is less messy and more accurate that way.
4. Fold. Begin gently folding the corn syrup into the chocolate. I sweep the outside edges of the bowl and then swipe across the middle. You will see streaks of corn syrup intermixed with the chocolate that will grow more and more fine until it is all incorporated.
5. Watch. This is the time where you have to be cautious. Too little stirring and you will get chocolate chunks in the final product, too much stirring and your modeling chocolate will break and leach out liquid fat. Both extremes lead to lumpy modeling chocolate. Never fear! Either can be fixed (I will get to that!) but starting with the right consistency will make your life easier. Perfectly seized chocolate will loose its shininess and start to get chunky and firm but will not be extremely curdled or greasy looking. If you are going to err one way or the other it is better to over stir than under stir.
6. Remove. Scoop your modeling chocolate out onto a piece of plastic wrap. Try to avoid much manipulation at this point to preserve the state of the modeling chocolate.
7. Wrap. Seal up the modeling chocolate in plastic wrap to avoid drying on the surface as it cools. Allow the modeling chocolate to solidify or “cure” for a period of time. For candy melts, I like to leave it until the edges look a bit dull (an indicator the fats have become solid) but the middle is still a bit soft. This takes an hour or so at room temperature. For real chocolate, this takes much longer. If you mess with it too early it gets persnickety and will be sticky and clumpy. Let it sit at room temperature for several hours or overnight.
8. Knead. When you unwrap your modeling chocolate it will be firm and chunky looking. In order to smooth it to a useful product you will need to knead it for a couple of minutes. If the modeling chocolate was ideally seized you should eventually be able to pinch it between two fingers and not feel any chunks. You can use your modeling chocolate now or wrap it well in plastic wrap for a later time.
9. Fix. If your modeling chocolate is lumpy, now is the time to repair it.
- If you feel you under stirred and you have very firm, opaque chunks that do not melt in the heat of your hand you will need to partially remelt the modeling chocolate. Spread the modeling chocolate out in the bottom of a bowl and heat in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. It should remain solid but have a slightly molten core (see above). Knead the product until smooth. If it starts to break, let it cool slightly and then knead again. Wrap the kneaded modeling chocolate in plastic wrap and cool to room temperature before using.
- If you over stirred and the modeling chocolate broke emulsion, you will likely see an opaque border of fat around the edges when cooled. When kneaded the fat will often remain in solid chunks throughout. To reincorporate them you will need to briefly warm the modeling chocolate on high in the microwave for 4-6 seconds. You just want to soften the fat but not melt it. Then knead until the product is smooth. You can also use the heat of your hands to warm the fats and knead extensively but it takes much longer. Wrap the modeling chocolate and cool to room temperature before using.
Choosing How Much Corn Syrup to Use
Most modeling chocolate recipes give a set ratio of chocolate to corn syrup to use, but I like to vary the amount of corn syrup based on my project needs. These are some factors to consider.
- Using less corn syrup yields modeling chocolate that is more firm and less elastic.
- Conversely, more corn syrup yields a softer, more pliable and elastic product.
- The type of candy melts or chocolate you choose will alter the amount of corn syrup needed. White chocolate is more firm than candy melts and dark chocolate is more firm than white chocolate. You will need more corn syrup in white chocolate than candy melts for a similar final product.
- The ratio of melts or chocolate to corn syrup typically varies by weight from 5:1 (very firm) to 2:1 (quite soft).
Here is a chart of modeling chocolate ingredient quantities to make varying consistencies of modeling chocolate. Below is a recipe for medium-firm modeling chocolate.
- 8 ounces (227 grams) candy melts or white chocolate
- 2 ounces (by weight) (57 grams) corn syrup (use 2.5 ounces [71 grams] if using white chocolate)
- Place candy melts or chocolate in a microwave safe bowl with enough room to stir easily. Heat melts on high in microwave for 1-2 minutes then stir. Heat an additional 25-35 seconds on high and stir to melts. If unmelted product remains, heat in 15 second intervals followed by stirring to melt.
- Add corn syrup and fold gently until the melts lose their sheen and becomes firm and slightly chunky. Scoop the modeling chocolate onto a piece of plastic wrap and wrap to seal. Let cool until firm on the edges for candy melts or solid throughout for chocolate. Remove the plastic wrap and knead until smooth. Rewrap and let cool to room temperature. Use immediately or wrap well for later use.
I hope this has helped you gain some understanding of modeling chocolate. In my next post I will discuss the differences in modeling chocolate made with candy melts versus real chocolate and how to select the right product for you. Best of luck!
145 thoughts on “How to Make Modeling Chocolate and Fix Problems”
Thank you for doing this Summer. I simply could not get through this task – It needed to be done. I will use your references if possible next time I make modeling chocolate.
Good luck 🙂
I need a specia color than what’s available, have you try to color the modeling chocolate with gel colors?
Yes, you can color with gel colors. If you are trying for a super saturated color it is best to start with a colored candy melt in a similar shade. If you add too much gel color the consistency can get funny. If you are making a batch of just one color you can add the gel to the corn syrup and blend before adding it to the chocolate. You can also use candy colors which are oil based and will blend the most easily with the chocolate. Let me know how it goes!
Thank you for taking the time to do this! I’ve been looking for a reference like this just within the last couple of days and “POOF” this shows up! Amazing! 🙂
Yay! I love it when that happens 🙂
Amazing post! I have been wanting to try modelling chocolate for a while now and this will definitely be my “go to” reference. Thanks!
Hi. Can we substitute corn syrup with liquid glucose?
I believe that would work fine. I have personally never used it (since it is not easy to get my hands on here) but I have seen recipes that call for it. Has anyone else had success with liquid glucose?
Last week I made white M/C with light corn syrup and it turned soft so I reduced the amount of syrup and worked so fine. I’ve just made white M/C with glocose (2 oz) and it turned a little harder but as Summer said it is fixable, I put it in the microwave a few seconds and turned out softer. In my opinion you can use either corn syrup or glucose, what you have handy.
Thanks for that insight Fiorella!
Please could you tell me how much chocolate to use with glucose
Hi Colleen, I have not experimented with glucose so I don’t have that information. If anyone has experience please share what you know 🙂
The same as the recipe..
Many thanks for this, I want to make a batch up asap xx
Thanks for this. Can you tell me if you use glucose instead of corn syrup will the measurements be the same. Thanks
I am not sure about this since I lack experience with liquid glucose. I am sure you can use a similar gradient but there may be an adjustment. I will see what I can find out. Does anyone else know what proportions they use of chocolate to glucose?
From the information I have found online you can substitute ounce for ounce. Having said that, the percentages of water and glucose may vary in the products that you have access too so you may need to make some adjustments if your modeling chocolate feels too hard or crumbly or too soft. Best of luck! Please tell me how it goes!
This is great! I hadn’t considered adjusting the amount of corn syrup to affect the texture. One question: at what temp are you adding the corn syrup? I read an article that said 90 degrees F is the best temp, and since I started following that policy I’ve had much less separation of fats.
I have not checked the temperature when I make it. I think it will vary some depending on the chocolate or melts used since they melt at different temperatures. I try to use them in a just melted state. I have found if I let the chocolate cool too much I end up with more clumping. I can understand that when it is too warm it could separate more easily since all reactions are sped up at higher temperatures. This is part of the reason I use corn syrup at room temperature. I don’t want my reactions to occur too quickly. I will check the temp next time I make it and let you know!
Thank you very much for sharing your recipe! xxx from Spain!
Thank you for the response. I did try last night after I posted and did it after iAds
The batch. It got a bit too soft, just wrap it and let it rest overnight. Thank you!
For hot, humid weather, would you recommend chocolate , what type, or candy melts ,and in what proportion to corn syrop?How do I store the finished product in this kind of weather?Thanks!!
I think chocolate or candy melts would both work. I would go toward the firmer end. At a ratio of 5:1 or 4.5:1 and I would store it in some type of air tight container. The biggest problem with high heat is that a modeling chocolate project may darken and become shiny slightly. You may actually like the overall effect. I left some tiny modeling chocolate books in a very hot car and they did fine other than the slight darkening from the oils coming to the surface. As far as humidity is concerned, you will want to avoid temperature shifts that promote condensation. I covered my son’s recent birthday cake in modeling chocolate decorations and then chilled it. When I took it from the fridge the temperature shift caused more dramatic condensation on the surface than when I use fondant. So, you may want to consider that and add decorations in modeling chocolate when the cake is or will reach room temperature.
Hi Summer. Thanks for this really helpful post! I really want to love modelling chocolate but am not quite there yet…! I’ve been making it with Wilton candy melts and light corn syrup. The first few times I made it it was quite crumbly and broke easily. The last batch I made I added more corn syrup to it when I was kneading it (thanks to a hot tip from Jessica Harris in the discussion part on her Craftsy class!) and the consistency was great and much more smooth and pliable. However… It felt quite grainy even after lots of kneading and I had a few very small but harder lumps in it. I was really careful not to over mix it when I added the corn syrup. It also had quite a lot of small slightly darker spots in it when I rolled it out, a bit like freckles! I was cutting a pattern out so I avoided them were I could, but there were a lot of them and I want to avoid it happening again so I can use a large flat piece if I need to. Any idea what the issue is??? Any advice would be very much appreciated!! 🙂
If the spots you are seeing are dark then it is very likely you undermixed. I suggest erring on the side of overmixing because it is easier to fix. Lumpy by overmixing (especially in a colored modeling chocolate) will look like whitish, transparent lumps. If you have any of the modeling chocolate left, try the remelting that I suggest in the post. Leftovers are nice to play around with when you aren’t in desperate critical mode. Stick with it! Modeling chocolate has properties that just don’t compare to any other medium and once you get a handle on the right feel for mixing and how to fix it, you will be singing its praises too I am sure. Please let me know if I can help in any other way!! Best wishes
Thanks for such a quick reply! Yes as I was tying so hard not to overmix it, it’s very likely that I undermixed it! (There’s a picture of the cake on a little blog I’ve started on wordpress called ‘Little Hill Cakes’. If you look closely you can see (unfortunately 🙁 !) the darker spots on the pink modelling chocolate on the most recent picture on there). I don’t have any left as due to the darker spots I didn’t think I’d be able to use that batch again, but I will save left overs in future to play around with. I can definitely see the potential of modelling chocolate, it’s just getting it to the right consistency consistently!! I’m just getting into cake decorating and getting the right consistency seems to be key to whatever medium you’re working with. But I will keep practising until I do love modelling chocolate and can sing its praises! The cake was for my mum and she said the modelling chocolate tasted so much nicer than cake decorations normally do, so that’s another good reason to stick with it!! Thank you so much for your help. 🙂
Yes, your modeling chocolate looks like classic overmixing. But it is barely noticeable (I never would have seen it without you pointing it out!) so don’t worry. You are right, consistency makes a difference in everything cake related! There is such a learning curve with getting the feel of it. So glad your mum liked the taste of the modeling chocolate. I love it on cookies! I look forward to seeing more of your beautiful cakes in the future! 🙂
Thanks Summer! At least I know what to do about it now, so hopefully it will be much better next time. 🙂 I am new to your blog and really LOVE it! (I heard about it through Jessica Harris sharing it on her Facebook page.) I love all things paper as well – I made all our wedding invites a few years back and have been making quizzes out of paper/card for our church’s Holiday Bible Clubs and Children’s Clubs for many years now. My daughter will be 2 this August so I can’t wait to see and read about all your ideas for cakes, paper and parties as they will come in very handy! I think this is already my joint favourite blog (with Jessicakes Blog, but seeing as you’re good friends with her I’m sure you don’t mind that! 😉 )Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions and help me fix my modelling chocolate! Best wishes, Becky 🙂
Hi, how do you adhere the Candy clay to a cookie?
Hi Judith, I use a thin glaze of powdered sugar with usually a little sour cream and vanilla, but you could add milk insead of sour cream to create the glaze. Any thinish cookie frosting will work. 🙂
Hi, thanks for getting back to me. I used diluted cornstarch a few times. It seemed to work, but wanted to know if there was a different or proper way.Do you think I could just use powered sugar and water? Or piping gel?
Just wanted to share a trick that I got from Kristen Coniaris at Wicked Goodies to fix overmixed chocolate. I had several batches that had the white transparent lumps that I couldn’t see until I had colored them. I didn’t want to throw them all away. I pushed them through my pasta roller a few times, getting thinner and thinner slabs each time, until I pulverized the bits and had smooth chocolate! At least I didn’t have to throw them all away.
Thanks for sharing Sally! You can also heat your modeling chocolate in the microwave to a temperature that will soften the fat blobs (causing the transparent white lumps) and work them in by hand. It just takes a few seconds in the microwave. Either way, once you work the fat back in you will have a nice final product 🙂
Hi Summer, I had not made a new batch in a while because I was using up the batches I had “fixed” (see above). This time I was determined not to get those little bumps that I kept getting in my first batches. I was extra careful not to overheat going so far as to gently melt the ck merckens candy melts over a double boiler instead of the microwave this time. I was super careful not to overmix because I thought that was the trouble with all of the first batches. I used a 3:1 ratio. I let it set for 3 hours until it was holding its shape but not stiff and then kneaded and *$!@ I got the little bits again! It was super white ck melts and the little bumps seemed darker or opaque. Using your fix it method I heated it slightly and kneaded it and pressed the bumps between my fingers until I think I got it smooth. But what am I doing wrong that I get it right from the beginning? Ugh! Thank you in advance !
Hi Sally, If your bumps are opaque or darker it is likely that you undermixed. Undermixing is really more difficult to fix than overmixing, especially when using a compound chocolate or candy melt. If it were me I would always err on the side of overmixing. It is much easier to work in bits of fat than bits of undermixed solid chocolate. If you are willing to play around with it, try a batch where you divide the chocolate into thirds, melt each and then mix for varying periods of time. For the first one mix it just enough to bring the corn syrup and chocolate together. For the second mix for a longer period of time but not enough for the mixture to break. For the third mix it until it is well broken and greasy. Then let them set for an hour and then knead on a cool surface. It will give you a chance to see which direction you are erring and develop a feel for the proper mixing time. Good luck! Stick with it. It can be frustrating at first but once you have a good feel for it, it is quick and easy to replicate. 🙂
Thank you so much. I can’t wait to try it.
Thank you very much Summer – this is awesome – I cant wait to try it – I have had several disasters trying to make MC. I do a lot of modeling but use fondant – would love to try this.
Thank you! I had a friend that is a website developer build it for me (I am not computer language savvy), but I designed my logo and the color schemes. Thanks for your encouragement. I am learning about blogging as I go 🙂
I used modeling chocolate on a cake recently and loved it. However, I had cut some strips to cover seams after I got on location and finished stacking…I live in south Carolina and it is very hot and humid…and when I went to get them out, they had melted and completely stuck to the container leaving me in a position of having to improvise on the spot. The air conditioner was on in the car but the sun was shining in that window on the five minute ride. Any thoughts on how to keep it from melting? I’m nervous to use much of it on cakes now for fear that the whole thing will melt:). Thanks for your thoughts on this! I’m in love with your explanations on the why’s of everything. It’s exactly what I, as a new cake decorator, need to know!
Unfortunately modeling chocolate is a bit susceptible to high heat conditions. I would use candy melts since they have a higher melting point that white chocolate. Also make a firm modeling chocolate and I would work in a bit of cornstarch for added stability and to absorb fat if it begins to melt. You could also add a bit of CMC to help hold it together. I hope this helps. Good luck!
Thank you for your help
Hi I’m wanting to try modeling chocolate in lovely, super humid, hot & sticky SoFla… Do you mind telling me what CMS is? Also, would you recommend using it for cupcake toppers, or leave those in fondant?
Elizabeth @elleBakes and E&S Paper Studio
Hi Elizabeth! CMC is carboxymethyl cellulose. It is a food additive that thickens and stabilizes emulsions. In the case of modeling chocolate it will help hold the fats and sugars/liquids together so they don’t “break”. You can get it from any cake supplier. I love using MC for cupcake toppers. Since it is so firm and cuts so clean it makes for really nice pieces. Your MC should endure beyond the melting point of any frosting so I would not sweat it too much. Good luck!
Hello. Hope you are fine. when i will mix CMC or cornstarch with Modelling Chocolate? in melting Chocolate? how modeling chocolate be more firm like fondant? i do work with it, but its not hold the shape long time. can you give some suggestion?
I would mix CMC or cornstarch in after the modeling chocolate is cooled and kneaded. Try the recipe for firm modeling chocolate. It should actually be much firmer than fondant at room temperature. Let me know if you have any more questions!
My modeling chocolate was very oily and greasy when I started kneading it. I guess I overmixed it, what do you think? I put it in the microwave for 5 sec and kneaded it again. Then I put it away to cool a little bit. The result is a smooth mc but it’s still oily when I knead it. Should I just put it away to rest for a few hours?
Sounds like overmixing. Were you using white chocolate? Yes, let it cool all the way and then knead it. If you have translucent lumps then microwave it for 5 seconds and knead them in until smooth. Let me know how it goes 🙂
I used red candy melts. Thanks to your tips I got smooth mc! I put it on an cold pack when it got too warm. I made Jessica Harris’ signature flower and realized that I probably should have made a more firm modeling chocolate for that project (I used your medium-firm recipe). It worked okay though. I had to use much cornstarch to prevent it from sticking to the surface.
What do you use the medium-firm and the softer mc for?
Thank you for your help!
Medium-firm works nicely for modeling figures and soft is nice if you need it to have a fair amount of bend, say for wrapping a cake or folded/pleated petal flowers. Use firm for stand alone objects and yes, for flowers where you want nice structure in something thin and free floating.
I did my modelling chocolate with Glucose Syrup (I can’t get Corn syrup in Perth, Australia) and mine smells awful, it even tastes awful too..
So I did it again and it seemed better, but still smells and I even tasted the chocolate when it was melted to make sure I hadn’t burned it, its not a good batch though its very crumbly and I’ve had to microwave it a few times (5 secs) to get it moving. But any idea why it smells.??
My second batch recipe I did 10oz of Nestle Melts (white) and 2oz of syrup (I heated the syrup before adding it to the chocolate – it’s like cement otherwise)
By the way I love your site, it’s so beautiful and professional and all the pics you post, it must take you hours.. keep it up.. I love the scientific side of your posts too. 🙂
Hi Jaime, I can only imagine it has something to do with the glucose syrup. I have not ever had mine take on a bad smell. I did recently try some modeling chocolate made with glycerine though that tasted terrible so I can see the syrup would have a strong effect on flavor. You could try making up your own sucrose syrup adding a small portion of glucose syrup to prevent crystallization. This might improve the taste if it is not coming from the chocolate. If your modeling chocolate is crumbly you probably need more syrup in it too. Good luck! Let me know if I can help any other way 🙂
I managed to get hold of some Corn Syrup and the difference was incredible.. Beautiful MC!
But I was wondering how long do you think MC will last. I have left over from a cake I made and I was hoping to use it up on some cupcakes. But its a couple of weeks old now, stored in the pantry in snap lock bags.. just curious because I know chocolate lasts a long time but I have no idea about Corn Syrup..
Hi Jaime, Modeling chocolate lasts a very long time. I would say a couple of months at room temperature or longer if stored in the refrigerator. The biggest issue is that if it is not wrapped well it will dry out on the surface. I have the best luck double wrapping it in plastic wrap and then placing it in a sealed zipper bag. 🙂
Hi Jaime, I also love in Perth and I am having trouble getting hold of corn syrup. Where did you get yours from?
Hi! I made some modelling chocolate with the chocolate brown wilton candy melts. It was oozing oil. I let it rest and it’s hard and gets nice and soft but when I knead it my hands get oily and it feels like it will melt. Is that normal?
Yes, it will be oily especially if it was overstirred and broke emulsion. After the period of sitting there will be oil on the surface. Your hands will be greasy as you work it back into the modeling chocolate. If you have warm hands or are in a warm environment it will generally get a bit greasy after a time of kneading it and can leave a modeling chocolate film on your hands. If it gets too greasy chill it for a bit. You can also add some cornstarch to absorb excess oil. Good luck!
Thank you so much. I’d watched another video when I made it, I will give a new batch a try with your recipe. I have very hot hands and pretty much everything I touch starts melting after extended contact with my hands! I love your site and recipes, I found it through Jessica Harris’s blog.
If my MC seems to be getting too warm I like to knead it on cool granite like one would knead bread dough. You could use any type of marble, granite or stone tile that keeps its cool to help bring it back to a workable temperature 🙂
I made modeling chocolate but I’m not sure if it’s too soft. It looks fine, no broken bits, no excess oil around the edges but while sitting in plastic wrap I can press my finger in it and leave an indention. Is this too soft? I do get a bit of oil on my hands as noted above so I may try the cornstarch. Thank you!
Did you make it out of white chocolate? If so it takes a long time to get firm. If it has sat a long time and is all the way cool and you can still easily press into it, it is too soft. There will always be a bit of oil when it warms up as you are working with it so that is no worry but you want it to be nice and firm to confer the lovely properties that make it so nice to work with. I would try it again with a measure less corn syrup and see how it compares. Let me know how it goes!
Hi Summer! Thank you very much for this recipe. I tried it a few months ago but forgot to come back and tell you. I have made modeling chocolate several times with several recipes. There has always been at least one small issue with every batch I have made. I was able to use most of it, but it still wasn’t “all the wonderful things” I have read that it is supposed to be. Your recipe and guidelines were absolutely perfect. I finally know what all the fuss is about! Thank you so much for your time in helping so many. Up next is your SMBC. I know it will be wonderful but I will come back and tell you just how wonderful I think it is! Thank you 🙂
Dear Summer, please help! I had the most beautiful batch of modelling chocolate, my first time making it! I was kneading it after letting in sit in the plastic wrap. There were a few tiny lumps left so I decided to warm those in the microwave. I nuked it for 6 seconds and now all the fat is coming out!! Help, what can I do?? How can I save it? Thank you!!!
Just let it cool until the fat solidifies and turns opaque on the outside and edges. Then knead the modeling chocolate until it is smooth. If at that point you have whitish looking lumps of solidified fat, heat it for 2-3 seconds to warm the fat enough to work it in but not so much that it liquefies again. Knead the chocolate until smooth. You may need to let it rest if it gets to warm or knead it on a cool granite, marble or tile surface to gently cool it. Let me know if this works or if you need more help!
Summer I think I messed up I put my modeling choc. In fridge overnight can I reheat it just enough to melt and get it to where I can kind it?
You should be able to heat it just enough to soften it and work it together, but if you see chunks of fat or unmelted chocolate you may need to remelt it and the cool it and knead it smooth. 🙂
I love the clean look of your website and the many pictures that help explain things. I wish to check, I bought white chocolate compound buttons not knowing its not real chocolate. Can I still use it? How much corn syrup is recommend if it still can be used? I did a batch just now, 227g chocolate compound to 40ml corn syrup, the chocolate broke up with lots of oil. Not sure is it due to wrong type of chocolate or over stirring?
Hi Joey, You probably can use it but you may have to make some recipe adjustments. If the mixture separated while the chocolate was melted it is most likely over stirring. If it comes out lumpy after it is cooled and kneaded then follow the directions in the post for fixing it. If it is crumbly and dry after it has cooled and you have attempted to knead it, you may have to warm it again for a few seconds in the microwave and then knead in more corn syrup. I have been able to get most products to work as modeling chocolate. They may not have the best consistency and may end up soft because of the required amount of corn syrup to hold them together but they are still useable. Best of luck! Let me know how it goes 🙂
Thanks for sharing! Really like your blog and your approach! 😀
I wish i saw UR post and followed the way u made it..
We’ll I made modeling choclate and it was till last not.. It was smooth when I kneaded it..
But next day when I took it out warm it a bit it was crumbly( the first batch ). N I couldn’t make any thing I fact I couldn’t roll out…..it was a mess
2nd batch looked good but same couldn’t roll it.. But after trying and putting in between sera. Wrap t rolled but when I tried to make booties and it starting tearing badly 🙁
And I mixed like a quater portion to my modeling choclate to,fondant and it started tearing..
What a waste and mess..:(
Can I fix it ?
Is it repairable?
I used Wilton candy melts..
And added .21*12 for purple melts
.15 *12 for white melts
It sounds like you do not have enough corn syrup in it. I am not exactly sure what the proportions are that you listed. You should be able to work more corn syrup in it to get it to hold together. Warm you modeling chocolate slightly and then knead in the added corn syrup. This should smooth it out. Most products I have used that tend to be crumbly will come together with extra corn syrup. The consistency may never be perfect but it will yield a useable product. Best of luck!
I was introduced to your blog from a post by Jessica Harris. Both you ladies are doing amazing work. I am a proud daddy who loves baking clean, modern and simple cakes for my two gorgeous daughters (this is my yearly task come b-day).
I have been trying my hand at MC. I am using white chocolate to make my MC. I let it rest for a day after before kneading. It sets as hard as rock, is this how it should be? It takes some elbow grease to get it pliable.
Today I heated a batch in the microwave just to get the process started but got distracted by my 4 year old. By the time I opened the mic door it was over heated and fat started oozing. I decided to knead anyway. Not before long the fat was seeping out and I let it collect in the bowl below. The mixture came together nicely and the feel was better than that of previous batches I made but most of the fat is now out of the MC. What is the purpose of the fat in the MC? Can I use this “method” again?
Hi Pieter! So glad you found my sweet friend Jessica and me. My belief in cake is that you should do whatever works best for you. Yes, MC made with white chocolate will get very firm. It is a property of the cocoa butter which in and of itself is quite hard. I usually soften MC made with it for 5 seconds in the microwave to make it more pliable and save my hands. The fat provides firmness to the MC and plasticity, but it sounds like it works best for you with some of it extracted. Go with what you like. In the future you can just overstir/knead your white chocolate-corn syrup mixture until it “breaks” to eliminate some of the cocoa butter.
I wish you and your beautiful girls many more lovingly baked birthday cakes! 🙂
I ADDED TOO MUCH CORN SYRUP TO MY CHOCOLATE. CAN THAT BE FIX? 1 POUND OF CHOCOLATE TO 1 CUP OF SYRUP.
I have not tried adding more chocolate directly and I worry that there would be problems, but you can definitely make a batch that is very firm with a small amount of corn syrup and knead them together after the second batch has cooled. Try making a 6:1 ratio of chocolate to corn syrup by weight. If you are brave and want to try adding chocolate to your existing batch you can melt more chocolate, soften your modeling chocolate to a just melted state (heat about 10-15 seconds in the microwave) and gently stir the two together. I imagine it will be more likely to separate but give it time to cool and it should be ok. Let me know how it goes if you try this. Good luck!
Thanks for all your help! I did exactly what you suggested and made 3 batches. I realized that I have been undermixing all this time. Thanks so much !
Yay! It is so nice to know what exactly was going wrong. I always thought I was overmixing but also realized it was the opposite problem! Knowing is half the battle. 🙂
Hi love your blog and site!! May I make a couple of suggestions? I love my 16″ electric skillet with water in it for melting. I can set the temp, do one batch for modeling, multiple same for working with melts for candies and cookies. For modeling chocolate, if you let your melts cool to 88-99 F or 31.1 to 32.2 C, warm your Kayro or syrup to about the same temp, it is about fool proof! I use 16 ounces (453.59G) candy melts and 4 ounces (113.40G). Proceed as above. Have seen many places about heating Kayro. Here is a link that explains why. http://www.hungryhappenings.com/p/chocolate-making-tips.html Thank you!!
Hi Diane, Thanks for the great suggestions! The electric skillet is an awesome idea. For temperature I usually use my melts at a hot/just melted temp and add my Kayro at room temp and let it sit for a few seconds for the two temperatures to equilibrate before mixing them together. I have had success with this method but either way is great and I am a big proponent of people finding the method that works best for them! Thanks again for sharing this info to all that may be reading. Smiles 🙂
Hi, i would like to know if you can make modeling clay chocolate from yogurt chips from companies like callebaut , merkin, etc Thank You Dale
Hi Dale, I have not made them but I cannot imagine why you would not be able to. Some alternate white chocolates work better than others, but I have been able to make most of them work if I add more corn syrup. If your mix comes out crumbly after cooling, work in more corn syrup until it is cohesive and pliable. Good luck!
Any way to fix it if you think you used too much corn syrup? One recipe said 4.1oz and it is a gooey oily mess, another I used 3oz and it seemed to turn out.
You could make an extra firm batch and then, when it is cooled and kneaded, mix it with the overly soft batch. I think that would be the safest way to salvage the gooey, oily mess. 🙂
Summer, since I am making your MC recipe, wich works so good, I want to ask you for some tips about painting on MC. I made some letters, actually a name, on MC and I want to stick them on a cake and I want them shine. Would you please tell me what would works fine for “varnishig” MC?
Hi Fiorella, You can use shortening to shine them up or you can paint them with a layer of vodka or lemon extract. If you paint them try it on a scrap because it can easily get streaky and takes a little practice. Also, you can warm them a little with a blow dryer or a just warm oven and the oils in the chocolate will come to the surface and leave a shine. Good luck! 🙂
Summer,im from malaysia.i was using chocolate compound for my MC but it doesn’t hardern even hours after after shaped. It’s make me so difficult to work out. How could I fix it?by the way,chocolate couverture was too difficult to find in malaysia.thank you!
Hi, If it is not hardening you may have too much corn syrup. Try reducing the level by a couple of parts and see if the texture improves. The compound chocolate should work well once you find a ratio of chocolate to corn syrup that works. Do you know the amounts that you are using now? If you let me know I can help make adjustments. 🙂
I am having trouble with condensation on my modeling chocolate. It’s fine wrapped up but after I roll it out and make my shapes or designs and put them on my cake they form a sticky condensation almost like syrup. I thought maybe it was moisture from the buttercream but I tried it just cutting my shape and leaving it set out to see if it would dry but it did the same. Is it just humidity? There are no drastic temp changes at all. Or could it be something I’m doing while mixing that’s causing this?
Hi Stephanie, It could be humidity. I have only experienced this when I place modeling chocolate on a cold cake. In that instance the moisture in the air will condense on the modeling chocolate surface. You can try working some cornstarch into the modeling chocolate as a bit of a buffer to the moisture. Other than that, just try to make sure your cake is at room temperature when you add your decorations. Best of luck 🙂
Hi Summer, I tried my hand at making dark modelling chocolate yesterday for the first time. I followed all the instructions which were 340grams of chocolate and 1/2 cup syrup and found that no matter how much I mixed it, it was still runny. So added some more syrup, then some more and so on until it finally started to firm up. It was still quite soft when I poured it onto the plastic wrap and took a while to firm up. When I tried to unwrap it, it stuck to the plastic wrap and it’s un-kneadable as it just sticks to the surface.
What would you suggest?
You probably have too much corn syrup. It will be quite runny after you first mix it. You have to let real chocolate sit quite a while for the cocoa butter solids to firm back up. You can either make an extra firm (low corn syrup) batch and mix it with what you have or you can melt some chocolate, melt the “modeling chocolate” gently and then try to work the two together. This may be tricky. You may have to start over but it is worth a try to fix it. 🙂
Thanks, Summer. I thought it might have been a case of everything being too hot and that’s why it wasn’t firming up. The recipe said to warm the syrup, but I think next time I’ll just use it from the bottle. I’ll have to try melting them back down, there’s no way I can knead the two together, it’s just far too sticky.
Yes, some recipes say to warm the corn syrup but I never do. I just don’t find that it is necessary. And when everything is so warm your reactions go a lot more quickly. I find I have a little more control when the temperature is cooler. 🙂
Hi Summer, Thanks to you and your help back in June I have been able to make batch after batch of successful modeling chocolate. One thing is annoying me a little though. Once I get the modeling chocolate on my cakes they often look dull (as in not shiny). I don’t need them to be glossy but just not quite so dull and smudgy. Based on some internet searches I’ve tried canola oil, Crisco and vodka — neither of which last very long. Do you have any suggestions?
Hi Sally, Yes, the lasting gloss can be an issue. I have found that if you heat your pieces (like with a hot blow dryer or a brief stint in a warm oven) the inherent oils leach out a bit and add a more lasting gloss. Let me know if this works for you and I will try to think of other useful options. You could try a layer of corn syrup too. 🙂
Hi Summer. Me again with an update on the glossy issue. I ran out of CK melts one day and grudgingly used the Callebaut white chocolate I had to make my modeling chocolate. It was noticeably glossier than the melts. Not a very affordable long term option but thought it interesting. I don’t know if its possible to upload a picture but its the most recent post on my blog http://www.thecakedr.blogspot.com — the turtles are made with Callebaut whereas the rest of the cake are made from CK or Wilton melts. Also, I read somewhere that using 1:1 ratio of vodka and corn syrup can make modeling chocolate glossy without the stickiness. Have you tried this? By the way, I would like to thank you for your modeling chocolate chart which I now use exclusively and your orange and strawberry cakes which were wonderful. I am going to try your American mudcake next.
Hi Sally, Sorry, somehow I missed this comment and just ran across it. I have not tried the vodka and corn syrup. Did you ever try it out? If so I would love to hear how it went. I’m glad you are happy with the cakes and hope you had a chance to try the Mud Cake too 🙂
I was debating between covering my cake with fondant or MC and wondering if I do cover it in MC how far in advance can I do this?
The biggest issues with modeling chocolate covering are, first it is not super flexible so you have to panel it on. Second, if you chill it, it likes to majorly condensate when removed so you have to gently bring the temp up. If you can overcome chilling you have a few days. Maybe a day or two at room temp. 🙂
Hi I made molding chocolate(milk chocolate) followed ingredients to the letter but It got hard I microwave it for 10seconds and tried kneading it but softens and starts sticking I can’t get it to be molding status. Please let me know what I can do. Thanks
Sorry meant to say moldering chocolate.
Please can you tell me why my modelling chocolate is cracking when put in a cone shape you can see the cracks? Help
What kind of ‘real chocolate’ do I need to use? Is chocolate chips okay to use or is there a special kind?
Hi Summer, I made a batch of modeling chocolate, but it is very soft and sticky. I made a couple of things but they are not drying or getting hard. please help.
I’m getting ready to try this for the first time. I’m going to use the Wilton chips and add the corn syrup and a touch of food coloring. A few questions…
1-can I use a double boiler instead of the microwave? My microwave is very inconsistent in location & temperature.
2-After I’ve let it set overnight in the fridge & then kneaded it into a ball, do I store it at room temperature or back in the fridge?
3-When complete I’m going to lay the pieces on a cake that has butter cream frosting on it. It will most likely come out of the fridge. Will there be any issue with the cool temp of the cake effecting the chocolate? Is it safe to put the entire cake back in the fridge at that time?
Hi there. What a fantastic and informative post!! Congratulations, it is really really helpful! Thanks for sharing this!
I am wondering if I can use a firm version of modelling chocolate, with a very small amount of corn syrup, to replace pure tempered chocolate that breaks when I take it out of a very intricate mold. I thought that I just needed chocolate to be a little bit more pliable (so it won’t break as easily) without losing the taste and the texture of chocolate. Do you think it can work?
What could you use instead of corn syrup?
For the first time, I made MC using white candy melts and followed your recipe at a 4:1 ratio. I let it rest, kneaded it, and I think it turned out perfect! I was so scared I would end up with a mess. I want to make a checkerboard pattern using black & white MC on a buttercream frosted cake: 1. I should place the MC squares on a room temp cake, not cold? 2. Will the MC adhere on its own? Once complete can I place the cake in the fridge? Will it be okay when I take it out the next morning? I was hoping to be able to complete the cake the night before instead of the morning of. BTW thank you for being so informative.
My modelling chocolate is a sticky mess and I have a birthday party in just a few short hours help!!!! How can I make it firmer fast
THANK YOU~THANK YOU! I have never worked with modeling chocolate before and as an artist who uses several different mediums, someone asked me if I could make a “Corpse Bride” (Tim Burton) giving me 48 hours to complete the task. I searched the net for instructions on how to make modeling chocolate, watched too many youtube videos and searched some more… I thought I had found what I was looking for, sat down after the chocolate had cured overnight, and began sculpting…. I had the most limp and umanagable pieces ever. Not one to be discouraged, I began a new search. I am SO thankful to have found your site… I corrected the chocolate that I had already made using your instructions and I can’t tell you how happy I am with the results. I’m looking forward to working with this medium again and know where I’ll go for my “”help”” ~ Have a great day!
Oh Summer, help.
I have made several batches of your BEAUTIFUL modeling chocolate. It has been perfect…for cakes, figures, everything. I have had so much success, I really was dubious that you could mess this stuff up. Oh pride cometh before a fall!!
For this wedding cake I made several *enormous* batches of chocolate and am just now taking them out to work with. They are so hard & crumbly I cannot knead them. They are chalky & won’t stick. I have no idea what I have done.
Is there any way I can fix this by adding ??? or do I have to throw it all away…there is just so much–it is such a waste.
Thanks for any help.
Hi my molding chocolate is very oily and soft, i tried to put it in the fridge for a minute then it gets firm and not too oily then when i try to sculp it with my hands it turns oily and soft again! How do i fix this? 🙁
Thanks Summer for great tutorial and tips!
Do you think that we can mix and melt white chocolate and milk chocolate in this recipe and then add corn syrup? (reason is that I am trying to get a light brown color and try to use less “gel color”,
Definitely! You can mix any combination before (as in during the melting stage) or after the modeling chocolate is made.
So I just finished making 3 batches of white modeling chocolate from 3 different recipes and I have to say that yours looks the best! I’ll see tomorrow how it turns out but I’m fairly optimistic 🙂
This morning the white chocolate seemed nice but once I started kneading it it became really grainy and greasy (as always). I was on the verge of throwing it out (as I always end up doing) but then I said, no, this will work! And it did! I warmed it up a bit, kneaded all the fat out and it turned out great! Thanks so much for this recipe and the troubleshooting manual.
Awesome! I am so glad you were able to fix it!
Thank you for helping me fix my wrecked modeling chocolate.
My pleasure! If you have any other questions let me know.
Hi, Just tried the white modeling chocolate and the 70% dark chocolate.
As I poured the glucose on the white it became stiff and grainy. Trie to knead some more and the bowl
was filled with oil. I let it cool for 20-25 min and tried to knead again the oil into the mass, didn;t suceed. Poured the oil to the sink andolaces the white mass on plastic sheet, in an airtight bag.
Do you think it will be workable? tommorow?
The dark chocolate became very soft, almost liquid after adding the glucose and stiring for several minutes. I’ve bagged it as befor and into the fridge.
Do you think it will be workable?
Thanks for the recipe.
Hi Summer !
how do i know which consistency should i make?
is there a big difference?
i made a batch that is really soft !
it’s perfect with no lumps but not firm enough
how can i fix it?
Hi! I have a question. What should you do if your modeling chocolate sticks to your rolling pin too much? Thanks!
Thank you. This was such a helpful post.
Hi Summer, I have made modeling chocolate for the first time. It has come out very oily.
The oil is not solid, it leaves my hands and work surface really oily. I tried sitting it on paper
towel to absorb some of the oil, which worked for a while but the more I knead the chocolate
the more oily it gets. I am making roses and they will not keep their shape very well. What am
I doing wrong. I used cadbury cooking chocolate to make the modeling paste.
Hi I’d like to have a go at making modelling chocolate, I will be using chocolate not candy melts, so can you please tell me: do I use eating or cooking chocolate, can either be used? Also is a supermarket brand of chocolate ok? And also finding corn syrup is proving difficult, can I use glucose? And would it be the same amount of glucose as corn syrup? Thanks!
Lol I mean can I use glycerine instead of corn syrup.
Oops! I just saw the correction. Glycerine makes weird sticky modeling chocolate. If you can find/make glucose syrup you will be better off. 🙂
Eating or baking chocolate are fine. I know people have had success with glucose syrup but you may need to make some adjustments. Good luck!
I don’t know if you still check this feed but I made it with Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate chips and it seems to have turned out ok. Then I made it with the white chocolate and upped the Corn Syrup like you said but it isn’t hardening well at all. It’s been over an hour and doesn’t seem to be getting better… did i do something wrong?
Hi Summer. I hope you’re still around to reply. I just made some MC with dark chocolate. It was 16 oz Belgian dark chocolate to a little less than 1/2 cup of corn syrup. I pressed it out to about 1/4 inch thick on my granite counter and after several hours it is still very soft. When i press a finger into the plastic wrap, the MC is soft and leaves an indentation. Any way to save it by melting more chocolate and stirring the MC I’ve already made into it or do I need to do another batch. I need the MC to be pretty firm.
Hi Yolanda, Yes you can fix the modeling chocolate. Melt the quanity of chocolate you want to add (you could almost double what you have in already). Then microwave your current modeling chocolate to make it fluid again, a few seconds at a time, you don’t want it to totally separate. Then carefully fold the chocolate and the modeling chocolate together as in the original mixing method. Scoop it out and wrap it in plastic and leave it to set up. This does take longer with real chocolate because of the properties of cocoa butter but it should work fine. Let me know how it goes! Best of luck.
Thank you so my for the Clarification. My first attempt was a freaking disaster!! I believe I stirred to much. It came out in a oily mess!!
Yes, that can happen! Try less stirring next time. You will get a feel for it quickly. You can try t salvage the oily one too using the methods listed in the post. Best to you!
I just made a batch of MC using 1.2kg of white chocolate and 1 cup of glycerine now i have sticky MC that i can’t need or roll or anything, is there any way to save it? Please help
Hi! Wow thanks for this amazing post! I’ve been wanting to make chocolate paste for ages now but after reading a lot about it I was wondering if a bit scared! This post is perfect thank you!!
Yay! I’m so glad to help.
I am planning on making a coconut bra out of the modeling chocolate. Do you think if I color coconut that it will stick to the modeling chocolate or have you done anything similar to this?
Hi Linda! Once you have made your modeling chocolate bra shape, you can brush it with corn syrup diluted with a bit of water to make it spreadable. Your coconut should definitely stick to the tacky surface. Best of luck with your fun cake!
I made white modeling choclate. It it softens up and gets sticky when I work with it a bit. I have left it sitting over night. I’ve added more chocolate and let it sit for an hour. I think I may have kneaded it a bit to much, but the instructions of the recipe that I used told me to. Can we recover it when Its overworked? It is beautiful and there is no fat or liquid in it is nice and solid it just gets soft too fast when I work with it just for a few seconds.
Hi Nicole, It’s not likely that you overworked the modeling chocolate. You can generally work with it over and over again without causing problems. The greater issue is probably the formula of the chocolate that you used. In order to save the modeling chocolate your best bet is to add a more stable type chocolate or candy melts. Candy melts are the most reliable product to make white modeling chocolate out of and are less susceptible to softening while handling. This is because the palm oil in candy melts has a higher melting temperature than the cocoa butter does in real white chocolate. In order to save what you already have, you could make a batch of modeling chocolate out of candy melts and then mix it in with what you’ve already made. Other than that, it’s difficult to save modeling chocolate that is made out of a product that just doesn’t like to hold itself in an emulsion well.
Thank you for this post!. are you able to use colored melts or does it have to be white
You can definitely use colored melts! It is usually easier to use colored melts when you want an intense, saturated color or if you are making a larger quantity of a color of modeling chocolate. You can also start with a base color in the melts and tone it whichever direction you like with food coloring etcetera. Best of luck!