Using both a pasta machine and a plastic rolling pin, these two video tutorials demonstrate how to roll modeling chocolate. For thinner, more consistent sheets of modeling chocolate, I recommend using the pasta machine method.
How to Roll Modeling Chocolate by Hand
- Knead the modeling chocolate until it is pliable but still firm. Form it into a flat patty.
- Using a blush brush, lightly dust the top and bottom surfaces of the modeling chocolate with corn starch.
- Roll the modeling chocolate out evenly atop parchment paper with a plastic rolling pin.
- To achieve thin sheets, roll modeling chocolate between two pieces of parchment paper. If the parchment buckles as the chocolate stretches, peel it back to release the tension before resuming again.
- Once rolled, modeling chocolate will be soft, sticky, and sandwiched between two pieces of parchment paper. Allow it to rest for 10–30 minutes or until it’s firm enough to handle. Alternatively, place it in front of the cool blast of an air conditioner for 5-10 minutes.
Expert Option: Use the modeling chocolate immediately but work swiftly to minimize hand contact.
- Once the rolled modeling chocolate is firm like a fruit roll-up, peel and pull the top piece of parchment away. Note: Attempting to pull chocolate off parchment may cause it to tear. Instead, peel parchment away from chocolate.
- Using a blush brush, dust the top of the rolled modeling chocolate lightly with corn starch.
- Return the parchment paper to the top side and flip the sheet so that the bottom side faces up.
- Peel the remaining layer of stuck paper off the modeling chocolate and brush that side with corn starch as well. The modeling chocolate should no longer stick to the paper on either side and, so at this point, it can be moved, formed, or cut into decorations of any variety.
How to Roll Modeling Chocolate with a Pasta Machine
Because modeling chocolate has little elasticity, it can be rolled exceptionally thin for fine decorations. In high volume operations, chocolate may be rolled in a commercial sheeter using traditional all-purpose flour as the dusting agent. For home kitchens and smaller sized bakeries, passing modeling chocolate through a hand-cranked pasta machine using corn starch as the dusting agent yields formidable results.
Tip 1: Always roll modeling chocolate out onto parchment paper to avoid sticking.
Tip 2: When rolling, use modeling chocolate that is cool and firm. If modeling chocolate is too warm, it may cling to the gears and bunch underneath the rollers, in which case, allow it to cool and rest. If it’s too cold, it may shatter or resist rolling altogether, in which case, try kneading it.
- Begin by kneading the modeling chocolate until it’s pliable but still firm. Flatten it into a ½-inch (13 mm) thick patty with the palm of the hand. Pass it through the pasta machine on a thick setting.
- Fold the strip of chocolate back into a patty and then pass it through on a thinner setting. Continue this process, decreasing the setting even more, until the desired thinness is achieved. Avoid contact with the edges of the rollers, where chocolate may get stuck.
- When the desired thinness is achieved, place rolled sheets of modeling chocolate onto parchment paper, spacing them ½-inch (13 mm) apart.
- Holes or flaws in the texture are common and okay at this stage. Remove any unwanted bits with the tip of a knife. Plug any holes and reinforce any thin areas with extra scraps of modeling chocolate.
- Place another piece of parchment on top so that the rolled modeling chocolate is sandwiched between two pieces of paper. Flatten it by hand, pushing all the air bubbles out the edges. Roll firmly over the top with a rolling pin. This step will give the sheets a smooth finish and sheen.
- Proceed with Steps 5–9 of the Rolling by Hand Method demonstrated above.
Rolling Machine Maintenance
When rolling many colors of modeling chocolate in a row through a machine, work from lightest to darkest to prevent dark flecks from infiltrating lighter colors.
Keep the machine’s rollers clean and free of debris by passing an old piece of white modeling chocolate through between uses. Use the old chocolate like a lint brush, periodically running it between the rollers to pull flecks of color and stuck chocolate from the gears.
To perform a deeper cleaning of the rollers, open them to the widest setting and rub them thoroughly with a damp plastic scouring pad. Pass a paper towel through the machine several times on increasingly thinner settings to absorb the moisture and residues left behind. Allow the machine to dry for several hours before using it again.
Preserving Sheets and Decorations
Rolled modeling chocolate can remain exposed to the air for a much longer time than fondant without forming an elephant skin. However, if it is left uncovered, it will eventually grow stiff and brittle. To preserve the softness and pliability of rolled modeling chocolate decorations, cover them with plastic wrap. Store them on metal sheet pans in a cool place out of sunlight. To store rolled modeling chocolate for a number of days, sandwich it directly between two pieces of plastic wrap (parchment paper, over time, will draw moisture from modeling chocolate). For the best pliancy and performance, use modeling chocolate sheets within hours of rolling them.
Rolling Out Large Sheets
If a commercial sheeter is available, modeling chocolate can be rolled out to any size or thickness with ease. If a pasta machine is available, smaller pieces may be patched together to create larger ones. If only a rolling pin is available, large sheets may be rolled by hand between two pieces of parchment paper. However, it is easiest to achieve a consistent thickness using a machine.
Step-by-Step Patching Together Pieces to Form Sheets
- Begin by rolling out long strips of chocolate.
- With a roller cutter, trim any rough edges. Ball up the scraps for reuse.
- Piece together the strips, overlapping their edges by ¼ inch (6 mm) until the desired size and shape is achieved.
- Roll the chocolate between two pieces of parchment paper with a plastic rolling pin to smooth out the uneven surfaces and bind seams.
- Proceed with Steps 5 –9 Rolling by Hand.
This is a sample from the book
Cake Decorating with Modeling Chocolate
New to Wicked Goodies? Start *HERE*
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