Welcome back to this fascinating world of chocolate models. In this post, we’re going to take a look at how the chocolate models molds have evolved through time from their earliest beginnings to the modern and easy to use molds we have at our fingertips in today’s modern kitchens.
Back in the Victorian era, chocolate had been firmly set as one of the top favourite things to eat, it having been brought back from the Americas many years before and refined into the solid chocolate we know today by the Belgians. The popularity of drinking chocolate was still high, of course, but the refined solid chocolate made by those Belgian chocolatiers had certainly left its mark on the people of the time.
It wasn’t long before craftsmen were employed in the creating of special molds in which to pour molten chocolate whereupon the would cool and re-solidify into the shapes cast by those molds. This was a new idea and one that was ginning in popularity rapidly, so more ways had to be found to make the molds in bulk to satisfy not only chocolate makers, but also kitchen staff that were employed by the well to do households to make chocolate shaped treats for their guests.
The first chocolate molds were actually crafted from lead, this being an easily malleable metal which lent itself to the purpose quite easily. However, questions on the cleanliness of the metal soon quashed it as a viable material for this use. At the time, the detrimental health properties of lead were unknown, it being the primary material used in teh construction of water pipes in those days.
Steel molds were also used, but were unsatisfactory because of problems with rusting. It wasn’t until 1916 when stainless steel was invented by Henry Brearly, that the revolution in chocolate molds came about. Now craftsmen had a new material to work with that did not rust and was easier to clean than any tried beforehand. The only problem was cost. It wasn’t until a few years later that stainless steel plants in Sheffield, England began manufacturing bulk items that drove the costs down.
With the later invention of Bakelite, another medium for the chocolate molds was born, but it wasn’t perfect as it could not withstand the high temperatures of ovens. It was, however fine for use with pouring molten chocolate. It wasn’t as durable as steel and was too easily broken to become popular as a viable material for molds.
Aluminium was the next material used and this became a cheaper and lighter alternative to stainless steel. Later in the 20th Century, the invention of teflon as a non-stick coating made the process of separating molds a joy of ease and simplicity.
The most recent invention has been that of the permanently non-stick silicon molds which are ideal for multi-use purposes, are easy to clean after use, lightweight and relatively cheap to manufacture. As more shaped molds are made, this material is surely set to become the most popular of them all.