There is nothing more satisfying than learning how to make molded chocolate figures (better than store bought) at home eg. Chocolate Chick for Easter. The Chocolate Chick along with some Easter eggs can be the cutest and most delicious hollow chocolate decoration on your Easter table! It can be also the perfect edible hand made gift or can be used to decorate an Easter cake.
Making molded chocolate figure at home is surprisingly easy, the whole process does not take more than 30 minutes and once you learn the technique, with different molds you can make as many kind of hollow chocolate figures as you wish eg. Chocolate eggs, Bunnies etc.
My step by step tutorial will take you through on all the necessary details you need to know about how to make molded chocolate figures like this Chocolate Chick! It is actually much easier than it might look, all you need is a mold, good quality chocolate and some patience! As with any chocolate work, it requires precision and some practice but totally doable at home even for beginners so continue reading the tons of tips I have for you!
Want to take it to the next level? Check my Chocolate nest tutorial in here that goes perfectly well with these Chicks!
Some important notes regarding the ingredients of this home made Molded Chocolate Chick for Easter
- Chocolate: Obviously you will need some chocolate to make molded Chocolate Chick however not all chocolate are created equal. In general, worth to remember that in case of recipes that require chocolate decoration or chocolate work, the quality of the chocolate goes way beyond taste. You might have recognized that by simply melting chocolate then waiting to set, you won´t achieve shiny results. You need couverture chocolate if you want to replicate those beautifully shiny chocolate bonbons or decorations you see in pastry shops. In this recipe I am mainly using Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets) and some Callebaut WhiteChocolate (callets) to create the white effect on the chick. They are high-quality chocolate (yet affordable) that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than the average supermarket chocolate. The additional cocoa butter, combined with proper tempering technique gives the chocolate a more shiny look, a firmer “snap” when broken, and a creamier, more smooth texture. It is easier to make a stable chocolate decoration if you start with high quality chocolate. Couverture type of chocolate is used by professionals and by home bakers who want to take their chocolate work to the next level. It is usually sold online in a bigger pack eg. 1 kg and perfect to make recipes that requires high quality chocolate. I order mine from Amazon and surprisingly the price / kg it is not even so much more expensive than a low quality supermarket chocolate. Try this Chocolate Chick recipe with the best quality chocolate you can access, and remember that the quality of this Easter chocolate decoration will be simply in line with the quality of the chocolate you use.
- Cocoa butter powder (optional) : There are a few ways to temper chocolate and since in my Hot chocolate Bomb post earlier I shared the seeding method, I thought it is useful if I share another method this time – tempering chocolate for this Chocolate Chick – that is called cocoa butter powder method . If you can´t access cocoa butter powder, no problem, please read my earlier post about the seeding method in which case no cocoa butter is needed. If want to purchase cocoa butter, I am using Callebaut Mycryo
4 tips on how to make this molded Chocolate Chick for Easter
1. What equipment is needed for homemade molded Chocolate figure
For making hollow chocolate figures you will of course need some mold. There are a great variety of shapes and designs available to purchase according to your liking. Material wise polycarbonate and silicone are the most common ones. I have a few different versions and using them for different occasions. Chocolate moulds are actually rather affordable considering the magic you can make with them. They cost around 5-20 EUR / USD / GBP , great investment in my view.
The mould I am using to make these Chocolate Chicks called: Paul Cino from Silikomart, I love the design and it is super easy to work with it, I can warmly recommend!
For consistent happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is an indicative figure only and not appropriate for tempering chocolate! Yes you will need to temper the chocolate… but do not worry, it is easy following my step by step tempering instructions below!
For chocolate tempering you will need a thermometer. I purchased an Infrared thermometer gun last year and absolutely love it, it is the most accurate and convenient way to check the temperature! You can also measure the choc temp with other kinds of cheaper thermometers, choose according to your preference. One important thing is that for tempering you have to measure the temp so “guessing” is not an option and will lead to best in class kitchen disaster.
2. What is the difference between melting and tempering chocolate
Both involves melting chocolate…but they are very different, indeed. Please note that each chocolate has a certain melting temp and if you go way above that, the chocolate either will burn or separate. I managed to burn a whole bowl of white chocolate once in the microwave, be smarter!
In short, when chocolate is melted, the molecules separate. When you temper the chocolate, you bond those molecules back together so your chocolate will harden with a glossy shine and fine “snap”. With simply melting chocolate, without tempering, the chocolate will somewhat harden but will lose its initial shine, will be matt with an unpleasant texture. There is no need to temper chocolate when you use chocolate IN a recipe like when you make brownie, however when chocolate IS the recipe, for example chocolate bonbon or this Chocolate nest for Easter you need to apply a proper pre-crystallising / tempering. Without appropriate chocolate tempering it is likely that you simply won´t be able to unmould the Chocolate Chicks from the mold because they stay will crystallize uneven and stay somewhat too soft and unpleasant.
Good news is that as fancy as it sounds, chocolate tempering is actually rather easy and quick, really nothing to be worry about! There is one easy step between melted and tempered chocolate… Continue reading!
3. Why and How to temper chocolate
From the Callebaut website I think you might find this piece of learning material below useful:
Each variety or type of chocolate should be tempered before you use it to mould chocolates and hollow figures, or to enrobe cakes and chocolates. In short, whenever chocolate needs to have a beautiful satin gloss and a hard snap, tempering is absolutely crucial.
When you add chocolate to dishes as a flavour component (e.g. chocolate mousses), it suffices to simply melt it without tempering.
What is tempering / pre-crystallising?
The purpose of tempering chocolate is to pre-crystallise the cocoa butter in it, which is important to make your chocolate ready for processing. During tempering, the cocoa butter in the chocolate takes on a stable crystalline form. This guarantees a perfect finished product with a satin gloss and a hard snap. It also makes the chocolate contract during cooling, which makes it easier to unmould. If chocolate is simply melted and then left to cool down, the finished product will not be glossy. If you make the small effort of bringing your chocolate to the right working temperature properly, you are guaranteed to get the desired end result. And that’s what we mean by tempering: bringing chocolate up to the right working temperature while making sure that the crystalline structure of the cocoa butter in it is stable.
There are various methods to temper chocolate, earlier I made a blog post about seeding method, please read in here. With seeding method you basically temper the chocolate using the chocolate itself, no need for cocoa butter powder, so if you can´t access cocoa butter please temper your chocolate with seeding method.
For this Chocolate nest for Easter I used a different method, I tempered the chocolate with cocoa butter powder. Compared to the seeding method I find the cocoa butter method even easier and more stable, less opportunity for mistakes. There are 4 super simple steps to follow (for the exact melting, working, and set temp of your chocolate follow the instructions on the bag of chocolate you are working with, as per below:
Please note, that I am tempering 50g Callebaut WhiteChocolate (callets) with 1/4 teaspoon of cocoa butter powder and brush it onto the mold then tempering 2 x 100g Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets) with 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa butter powder each to create the dark chocolate shell itself – this quantity can make 4 half chicks = 2 chicks overall
Melt Dark chocolate to 45-50°C and White chocolate to 45°C. I recommend to use a microwave, check and stir the chocolate every 30 seconds. Or, you can use a double boiler, in this case do the process over low heat so you don´t burn the chocolate and make sure chocolate won´t get wet from the steam
Allow the chocolate to cool at room temperature to 34-35°C by stirring with a spoon
Add 1% cocoa butter powder to your melted chocolate, i.e. 1/4 teaspoon for 50g chocolate or 1/2 teaspoon for 100g chocolate. I am using a product from Callebaut called Mycryo and it is perfect. Buy any cocoa butter powder if Mycryo is not available for you
Mix well cocoa butter powder with chocolate
Use chocolate according to the recipe bearing in mind the chocolate “working temp” and “set temp”. Once cocoa butter powder is well mixed into the chocolate, let it cool to around 30C then start using the chocolate. The basic rule is that the warmer the chocolate temp the runnier the chocolate is. Chocolate will start to harden at “set temp” (27C in our case) and you won’t be able to work with it as it will get too solid. Meaning, you have to work with a chocolate that is approx. between 27-30C.
That´s it, easy peasy!
What happens if you don´t want to temper chocolate? The Chocolate Chick figure won´t set, will stay matt, somewhat soft and most probably won´t come out of the mold.
4. How to make this molded Chocolate Chick for Easter
Please note, that this mould (Paul Cino from Silikomart) makes 4 half Chicks so overall 2 Chicks.
First, you will need to temper 50g Callebaut WhiteChocolate (callets) with 1/4 teaspoon of cocoa butter powder and brush it onto the mold. Then when it has set, you will have to temper 100g Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets) with 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa butter powder and create the first layer of dark chocolate shell. Then, once it has set again you will have to temper 100g Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets) with 1/2 teaspoon of cocoa butter powder and create the second layer of dark chocolate shell.
After tempering the chocolate, making the molded Chocolate Chick is actually rather easy! As with any chocolate work, it requires precision and some practice but totally doable at home even for beginners!
1. Make sure first that you properly clean the mold (I am using vinegar and paper towel) as any residue will be seen on the chocolate
2. Place a clean parchment paper on the table or use Silicone baking mat . In this way any chocolate that will end up on the table can be re-used
3. Temper 50g Callebaut WhiteChocolate (callets) as explained above then using a brush or perhaps your fingers, apply a small amount of white chocolate on the mold then scrape excess down. Make sure you use the chocolate on the “working temp” that is between 27-30C – see notes above at the chocolate tempering section. Note: You won´t need all the chocolate, but it is very difficult to temper anything less than 50g. Let the remaining chocolate set and you can re-use it any time.
4. Place mold into the freezer and start tempering the first batch of dark chocolate (100g).
Tip: Assuming tempering will take 3-5 minutes, the previous layer of white chocolate will set in the freezer in this time however you must check that it is “dry” as you touch and matt. Do not apply the next layer of chocolate unless the previous layer is fully set! Drying time greatly depends on the thickness of the chocolate.
Tip: Before applying the next layer of chocolate wait for the mould to come back to room temp otherwise – if you pour the next layer into the freezing cold mould – the chocolate will set immediately and that is not what we aim for
5. After tempering, apply the first layer of dark chocolate in the mould in the following way
- pour chocolate into the mould
- turn the mould all around with your hands so the chocolate can reach all part of the mould, make sure, you do not miss the edge!
- turn the mould upside down
- gently tap the side of the mould with the scraper to get rid off excess chocolate – that should fall onto the table (and can be re-used later)
- scrape excess chocolate off the surface of the mould while still holding the mould upside down
- at this point you should have a dark chocolate layer in the mould that is not too thick, not too thin and even
- the surface of the mould should be as clean as possible, make sure you properly clean it with the scraper as it will have an impact on how easily you can remove the chicks from the mould later
Then again, put the mould back to the freezer .
6. Start tempering the remaining dark chocolate (100g). After tempering, apply the last, second layer of chocolate the same was as explained in point 5. Make sure, that the mould is well covered with chocolate particularly the edges as you need thick enough edges to be able to “glue” the two sides together
7. Pop the mould back to the freezer for 15-30 min for the chocolate to set
8. Take the mould out of freezer and if the chocolate is tempered correctly, the half chocolate chicks should easily pop out when you turn the mould upside down. Make sure, you do not force the mould neither press the it in the middle, instead gently tap it onto the kitchen counter, if needed
9. It is time to glue the half chickens together! Microwave a small plate until it gets warm, turn one half chick upside down and smooth the edge of the chocolate in 3 seconds. After, carefully grab the other side of the chick, smooth the edge again with the help of the warm plate and seal the two together. The two half chicks should stick together as the warm plate melts the edges a bit. Throughout the process make sure you gently work with the chocolate and do not break it or melt with your fingers
Tip.: Use gloves while unmould and glue the Chocolate Chicks. Chocolate should be already set when you touch it, still gloves can prevent leaving finger prints on the surface of it and also ensures that you do not melt the chocolate with your warm fingers
10. These hollow Chocolate Chicks can be stored on room temp (20c / 68F) or if your home is warmer, store in fridge
Chocolate work is really about following a few simple rules that are mainly related with good quality ingredients, equipment and most importantly the right temperature.
Good news is that once you nail the temperature part, very likely you will be making beautiful molded chocolate figures and chocolate decorations over and over again. Bad new is that any mistake will be visible immediately so I thought to highlight a couple of typical mistakes below:
1. Chocolate accidentally overheated in the microwave
While melting chocolate it has to reach 45C (white) 45-50C (dark). If by accident you overheat the chocolate or burn it, please start again. Chocolate molding can only be achieved with properly tempered chocolate
2. Chocolate is too runny
While molding the chocolate there is a point when you will have to turn the mold upside down to get rid of excess chocolate. If chocolate is too runny, you might find that all the chocolate fall off instead of the “excess” part. Runny chocolate means inappropriate (too high) temp chocolate, make sure you wait until chocolate reaches about 30C
3. Chocolate is too firm
While molding the chocolate you will have to pour chocolate into the mold then turn it with your hands in all direction so the chocolate will reach into the entire mold. If chocolate is too firm, you might find that instead of chocolate smoothly covering the mold it will stuck at one place and set quickly. This can happen for two reasons: either chocolate was too firm at the first place meaning inappropriate (too low) chocolate temp. Make sure, you don´t wait too long after tempering the chocolate as chocolate starts to set at 27C. Other issue can be that the mold was too cold (out of the freezer), please make sure that you let the mold warm up a bit on room temp before pouring chocolate in.
4. Chocolate figure stuck in the mold
Unmolding the chocolate is the most rewarding part of the entire process but also the most nerve wrecking too. Freezing really helps as chocolate contracts so it will be able to pop out of the mold easier. If not, you should gently tap the mold onto the kitchen counter but do not push the chocolate as you can break it. There are 3 main reasons for chocolate stuck in the mold: 1. Either chocolate was not tempered properly or 2. Chocolate did not have enough time to set or 3. The top of the mold was not properly cleaned and there is excess chocolate on it that stuck together with the actual Chick
Do you experience any other issue? Please let me know and I will try to answer your questions in this Troubleshooting Guide!
Looking for some more Easter baking ideas?
Looking for the BEST Easter baking recipes ideas? Check out my Top Easter recipes from super quick and easy cookies to the most stunning showstopper Easter cakes and chocolate decorations. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced Baker, you will certainly find a delicious Easter baking recipe to make from this festive list! Click here!
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RECIPE CARD – Chocolate Chick for Easter
- Chocolate mold, the one I am using called Paul Cino from Silikomart
For the white pattern on the Chicks
- 50 g Callebaut WhiteChocolate (callets)
- ¼ teaspoon Cocoa butter powder for tempering, optional only if using the cocoa butter powder tempering method
For the dark chocolate shell
- 200 g Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets)
- 1 teaspoon Cocoa butter powder for tempering, optional only if using the cocoa butter powder tempering method
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
How to temper chocolate
- Use a thermometer, eg. Infrared thermometer gun to measure the chocolate temp while tempering. Do not guess temp
- Check my detailed instructions above regarding different tempering methods. For the cocoa butter powder method: Melt dark chocolate to 45-50°C then allow to cool at room temperature to 34-35°C by stirring. When chocolate reached 34-35C add 1% cocoa butter powder to your melted chocolate, i.e. 1/4 teaspoon to 50 g chocolate. I am using a product from Callebaut called Mycryo, use any cocoa butter powder you can access. Mix well cocoa butter powder with chocolate. Let the chocolate cool to 30C then use it.
- Please note that you will need to temper chocolate 3x: first, 50g white choocolate to create the pattern on the Chicks then 100g dark chocolate to create the first layer of the shell then again 100g dark chocolate to create the second layer of the shell
How to make Chocolate Chick
- Make sure first that you properly clean the mold (I am using vinegar and paper towel) as any residue will be seen on the chocolate
- Place a clean parchment paper on the table or use Silicone baking mat . In this way any chocolate that will end up on the table can be re-used
- Temper 50g white chocolate as explained above then using a brush or perhaps your fingers, apply a small amount of white chocolate on the mold then scrape excess down
- Pop to mold into the freezer meanwhile temper the first batch 100g dark chocolate
- Apply the first layer of dark chocolate on the mould, turn the mold upside down, scrape down excess then place the mold into the freezer. Meanwhile temper the second batch 100g dark chocolate
- Apply the last, second layer of chocolate. At this point, make sure that the mould is well covered with chocolate particularly the edges. Place the mold into the freezer for 15-30 min for the chocolate to set
- Take the mould out of freezer and if the chocolate is tempered correctly, the half chocolate chicks should easily pop out when you turn the mould upside down
- Microwave a small plate until it gets warm, turn one half chick upside down and smooth the edge of the chocolate in 3 seconds. After, carefully grab the other side of the chick, smooth the edge again with the help of the warm plate and seal the two together