I shared my chocolate painting experience a few weeks ago with Stephanie's readers on Somewhat Simple. I wanted to document these details with my readers too! I hope a few tips will help you!
Chocolate painting was a classic activity around my house growing up. My mom taught us how to make chocolate pops before cake pops were around! Chocolate suckers are such an EASY treat to make and it is a really kid friendly activity to do, just for fun! I made these little baby booties for the nurses at the hospital after I had my last baby. (I had to stay a while due to complications). I put them all together in a blue painted pot and they made a fun bouquet. These things are way faster than cookies or cake pops if you're in need of a quick gift.
I've collected several chocolate molds, but even when I don't have exactly what I need, chances are that they make it. If you don't have a specialty cake and candy store near you, they sell them at Michael's, Hobby Lobby, JoAnns, etc. But online you will find countless different versions. They usually cost about 2 or 3 dollars each.
You may notice that some are clear and some are white. The difference is that the clear ones are made for chocolate and the white ones are made for hard candy making AND chocolates. (They have a higher tolerance for the high temps involved in candy making). But both kinds, can be used for molding chocolate.
You can use any kind of chocolate you'd like. If you are using high quality chocolate, it is a good idea to temper your chocolate. The wilton candy melts seem to be widely available and conveniently come in many colors!
If you want to buy white chocolate and color it yourself, you need to make sure you use an oil based color. Water based food colorings, like the ones I use for frosting will ruin the chocolate. I like to use Americolor oil candy color.
There are a few ways to melt your chocolate. You can melt it in a double broiler, or in the microwave but the trick is not to over-heat the chocolate or it will bloom. (Chocolate bloom is when it dries with a white-ish swirl or film on it. It is fine to eat, but doesn't look good). My best trick to prevent bloom when I'm using the microwave is to heat it by 30 second increments (usually 2 or 3) and then stir until it is liquid, then I add more chocolate to cool the temp back down and stir until it is liquid again. It is more scientific to use a thermometer, but with some experience, you can usually tell by looking at it.
I use this 1970's hot plate, the same one I used all growing up. This bad boy is going strong! It keeps an even warm temperature. Painting your molds can take a while, depending on detail and it's frustrating when the chocolate doesn't stay melted. When this one sees it's last day, I will be getting something like this hot plate!
When I'm doing multiple colors, I melt them easily in a cupcake pan!
When I'm just doing a little bit, I just set my bowls on the hot plate. If you don't have a hot plate, you can use a skillet to create a warm water bath and put bowls in that (being careful not to let any water get IN the bowl- it will ruin the chocolate). The key is to find a way where you don't have to reheat your chocolate a lot while you take your time painting the molds.
You can "paint" your chocolates with a food-safe paintbrush, but I prefer a simple toothpick. You layer your molds starting with the bottom color and working up. Pop it in the freezer between any colors that are touching. These can be simple or very intricate, depending on the mold and how you choose to interpret it.
Another thing that is often helpful is to cut the molds up so that you can paint the detail on a couple while the others are freezing. It keeps you from having down time, waiting for them to freeze.
Here are some of the chocolate suckers my kids and I have made as Valentines.
I'm passing this tradition on to my kids because it's a keeper! There is a chocolate mold for every occasion and holiday and chocolate suckers make a perfect gift or favor for birthdays and showers! Grab a mold and a bag of chocolate next time you're out and give it a try!