How do you get a beautiful shine on your chocolates. Do you wash the moulds in water every time you have used them, or do you just polish the moulds? Do you pre coat them with cocoa butter? Looking forward to your reply.
Thanks for your reply, much appreciated
I went to a demo by Kirsten Tibbals (Masterchef Australia) the other day, and she wipes down her moulds in 100% medical alcohol each time to get perfect shine
Thanks a lot, that is very helpful.
The topic of cocoa butter crystallization and mold usage/prep is a long and technical one, but I hope my rambling answer helps answer some of the key points to your questions. Best of luck!
….and to follow up on the response to spraying cocoa butter, it is true that most often it is colored and used for decoration. However, sometimes it can be useful to work with plain coco butter instead. Remember that it is the cocoa butter itself, and not the pigments the contain, that is really giving you the shininess (though some formulations, i.e. jewel/ metallic do help give it a boost). So imagine a situation where you were molding in white chocolate, but wanted to add some dark chocolate stripes prior and still wanted the shine that comes from spraying. Then in that case a very thin coat of plain cocoa butter applied first will allow both the dark stripes and the white shell to be very shiny and you only have to spray once. But it is very important that plain cocoa butter be sprayed very fine. If the spray is too thick, then the final product will have a more opaque look, almost cloudy. Remember, well crystalized cocoa butter is more “yellow” than it is clear.
When polishing, its advisable to use a non abrasive soft cloth like cotton balls or microfiber. If the molds have been stored well, then you can buff the cavities while they are cold and achieve great results. However, if you do need to clean them, then I always like to polish immediately after cleaning while they are still warm. If needed a small amount alcohol can help eliminate any remaining residue. Vodka works well, but I something higher Proof (i.e. Everclear) works even better and with a faster evaporation time. If using alcohol, I still like to go back with a dry cloth for a quick buff up.
When we work with molds in the correct way, a thin residual film of coca butter is left inside the cavity after de-molding. In theory, this film is what sets up the shine for the next room and allows us to continue using the same mold without having to immediately clean them. If one stores them (in between rounds) in conditions that are to hot, the quality of that crystalized butter will deteriorate thus necessitating, at the least some polishing and potentially even some cleaning.
The short answer to your question, is that in general it should not be necessary to wash your molds after each use, but a thorough polish every time is definitely helpful way to maintain the shine prior to reusing. That said, there are some circumstances / conditions that necessitate cleaning after each use. The most obvious would be if any contaminants get into the mold, i.e. dust, dirt, fillings etc.. Also, if one is using colored cocoa butters and any happens to be stuck inside the cavity, then it might be necessary to clean again. At the same time, one needs to consider how they are storing the molds in between usages.
Shine and polishing….no small thing when working with molds!
I am assuming you are talking about bonbons and not bars?
Molds are not usually washed between each use. However, if you are looking for a high shine then polishing between each use is very common. Cotton balls (or other lint-free soft material) and alcohol. Cheap vodka works well and is, well, cheap. You don’t want to use gin (flavored) or brown spirits.
Spraying in cocoa butter is normally, in my experience, associated with decorating with colors, not as a clear coat for added shine.