Working with Modelling Chocolate

A couple of years ago I was really reluctant to introduce modelling chocolate into my (cake decorating) life.
 I was just starting to get the hang of working with fondant, and making modelling chocolate sounded tricky. And fiddly. And like more work.
B-u-t I kept on hearing about how great it was to work with and knew that I’d have to capitulate and give it a try eventually.
And oh, boy am I glad that I did!
Now, I don’t know how to work with plain fondant anymore. I have expectations based on the results that I get from a modelling chocolate/ fondant blend, that plain fondant just cannot match.
We don’t have a great selection of good quality fondant icing available to us here in Durban. And that used to bug me. But it doesn’t anymore. Because I’ve moved on, and the there’s no looking back!

Everything on this birdhouse cake is a modelling chocolate / fondant blend. 

What do I like love about it?
It’s ability to set fast and firm – like the roof of this birdhouse cake; placed flat on a cool surface, it firmed up in minutes but was still flexible enough to bend over the apex of the house.
The way it cuts – no snagging and feathering along the edges like fondant would.
It’s versatility – paneling cakes (like the one above), modelling creatures, making delicate flowers, use in moulds; it does it all.
And then, of course there’s it’s taste.
 Chocolate does make everything better!

But, as you know – chocolate is not without its issues. So, let’s look at one of those now:

In the process of making your modelling chocolate, you may land up with a crumbling mess.
Don’t throw it away!

Here’s how to rescue crumbling modelling chocolate:
Let it set for a few hours or overnight.
Then heat it briefly in the microwave to soften.
Knead it into a equal mass of fondant.

It may look like this … !

Don’t discard it!
Carry on kneading the crumbly modelling chocolate mess and the fondant together, mop up all the stray crumbs, and heat again briefly in the microwave.

Carry on kneading and it’ll look like this – a perfect blend!

That transformation only took about 2 minutes to achieve. An extreme modelling chocolate make-over! How can you not love it?!

Happy decorating!