Just in time for Easter, here comes a great little DIY project (3D printed mold pattern included).
Making your own chocolate bunnies is pretty easy. Chocolate is a very forgiving medium, and with a few little tips, you can make your own candies well before Mr. Cottontail’s big arrival.
- Bunny-shaped candy molds
- 4 to 8 ounces of chocolate chips
- Double-boiler (see below for easy alternatives)
- Silicon spatulas
Step 1: Prep the mold.
Using the clamps, press the two sides of the mold together, focusing on putting pressure at the edges and not in the middle.
The toughest part of the process is making sure that the seam around the side of the mold is solid, and you press the mold in the center, the edges bulge out, making a serious mess (and maybe breaking the mold). If you can’t get it absolutely perfect, that’s okay, but the two sides need to be as close as possible.
There are some sources that suggest that paraffin wax rubbed on the inside can make the fit better, and that is true to an extent, but then you have to be really careful that the wax doesn’t squeeze to the inside of the mold and make an extra seam.
Step 2: Melt the chocolate.
There are specialized double-boilers available in any cooking supply spot, but a metal bowl just a bit wider than a reasonably sized pot is more than sufficient – and, in some cases, more desirable.
A double-boiler is just a means of applying indirect heat in a very controlled fashion so as not to burn the chocolate, and having a nice wide outer lip like you get with a bowl and pot keeps steam and water from falling into the chocolate.
(Water in the chocolate leads to excessive crystallization of the sugars, which kind of ruins the smooth chocolate experience.)
Set the water to boiling while pushing the chocolate around a bit with a whisk or spatula in the boil above the water. As the metal warms, the chocolate melts.
As soon as the chocolate is smooth, remove from heat. You’ll have plenty of time to work with it before it sets.
Step 3: Pour into the mold.
Gently and slowly, pour the chocolate into the mold. It’s highly recommended that you put a paper towel or other disposable barrier under it because no matter how careful you are, it’s going to get a little messy.
Step 4: Set the chocolate.
Without a solid seal, the chocolate will find its way out of the smallest gap.
There are two ways around this. The first is to risk the extra “inner seam” by using paraffin or a similar waxy sealant. The second (and far less risky) is to get the chocolate into the freezer as quickly as possible because the colder it is, the faster it will set.
A good freezer experience will have your chocolate bunny ready to pop out in fifteen minutes or so (for the size of the mold we have here).
If you do manage to get a good seal and don’t want to put it in the freezer, it’ll take closer to 45 minutes (up to an hour) for it to set at room temperature. (Our experience was that this was a very conservative estimate: other chocolate projects have taken much longer for solid pieces like this.)
Step 5: Break that bad boy out!
Remove the clamps and gently pry to pieces apart.
Do not go too fast or you could end up tearing the chocolate across the two sides.
As an alternative, you can use a starch-based sweet flour (vanilla powder, for instance) to dust the inside of the molds, but this has been a little hit-or-miss result-wise.
Go slow, be careful, and remember that if your bunny does fall apart, all it takes is dipping it in your leftover chocolate, pressing it back together, and putting it back in the freezer to set again.
You do have leftover chocolate, right?
Yeah… us, either.
Other molds if bunnies aren’t your thing: