Silicone Molds "Trial and Error" Article ~ from Bakell.com
Some of us have tried them here and there, some of us LOVE them, some of us stay clear of them, some of us stick our nose up at them, some of us use them daily, but we've all seen the Silicone Molds that continue to grow in popularity and wondered "how would that improve my life as a decorator?" To me, it all depends on the project you're working on, if you would like a set of 24 cake-pops, each decorated with the exact same matching gold crown, well the truth is a bowl of melted chocolate, a silicone mold, some luster powder, a paint brush spatula is definitely the way you want to go!
Here I want to take a quick minute to show some of the edible products we have used in silicone molds, having tried many in several different ways, we just wanted to review and highlight some of the instructions and notes regarding using these handy tools!
Personally, melted chocolate is by far the easiest technique when using silicone molds; First, its fast, you can pop the mold in the freezer for a bit after adding the chocolate and you're basically done! Second, you can easily brush a dust onto chocolate if you are quick with adding it directly after pulling it out of the freezer for some amazing shine and color effects (as seen in the image below)
Tip: Sometimes adding a tiny bit of shortening to your melted chocolate helps with a smooth finish
What?? Oh wait, yes I just said that, I have melted fondant and put it right into a silicone mold before. Couple things with this; it can be messy, so give yourself a few tries before giving up and keep some shortening handy to add to your spatula! I froze my fondant into the mold for a few hours so that it held its shape to a point, popped it out, placed it on plastic or wax paper and let it dry. This method is not nearly as fast as melted chocolate.. So what are the pros to using it?
Well first, melted chocolate can always do what? RE-MELT! If all your hard work is about to enter the great outdoors and attend an outdoors party you may be worried that your chocolate will melt away faster than you can blink! But a hardened fondant is sure to last at least a little longer in some heat!
Second, the surface of fondant is more absorbent than chocolate, this is extremely helpful if you want to color, or shadow the product you're working with, either with an airbrush gun or liquid paint. Attempting to apply this to formed chocolate will bubble and could very well cause a nightmare of troubles!
Pressed Fondant / Gumpaste
This method really can depend on the mold that you're using... If you're using a deep mold this might be a little tricker, however it can be done! I like to press a ball of fondant covered in confectioners sugar gently into the mold (not enough to get stuck), take it out and reapply the confectioners sugar and press a little further.. I will do this several times over depending on how much detail and depth there is to the mold.
Buttercream is definitely not the ideal method, however it can be done! The obvious problem with buttercream is that it is not very durable, but if you really need to try to use buttercream as your product of choice, you will definitely want to freeze it for several hours after smoothing it into your mold.