Sunday, August 12, 2012

Brown Sugar Casted Chocolates

Brown sugar is the perfect medium for casting poured chocolate in a homemade mold. This simple project will set your imagination wild!



Press any convex object of choice firmly into packed brown sugar, pour melted chocolate chips into the mold and wait for it to set up.

You can flavor your chocolate with spices, citrus zest- or even salt and pepper!

I am picturing chess pieces, stones, vintage buttons, little hands and feet...all in different shades of chocolate...




This is a fun project for kids- especially since it takes very little set up (or clean up) and there's not a lot of waiting around to see your results. My girls used shells, legos and various little figurines for their molds. Some of the girls' chocolates didn't turn out like they imagined but no problem- just remelt your chocolate, reset your sugar and try again!


I love projects that aren't tedious and don't have a lot invested so there's not that fear of a failed product. Get your creative juices flowing and enjoy!

Brown Sugar Casted Chocolates:
You can find a blurb about this technique in the amazing SprinkleBakes book (highly recommended!) highlighted here.

The brown sugar will create a grainy texture on the surface of your chocolates. There's no way around this as far as I know.

Fill a bowl or pan with an inch or two of brown sugar. Smooth it flat and press it lightly (not loose but not very tightly packed).

Press clean items that are convex in shape firmly into the sugar. Do not twist or turn- pull straight out so you don't break any ridges on the way out.

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler (or a heat-proof bowl set in a pan of shallow boiling water, not letting the bowl touch the water). Or you can heat the chocolate in the microwave in half minute intervals until it's all melted.

Add spices, zest or sprinkles to the mold before pouring chocolate if you want them to appear on the surface of the candy. Pour melted chocolate into the impression made in the brown sugar. Place in refrigerator or freezer until firmly set (20 minutes to an hour depending on size).

Pull out the candy with its surrounding sugar and run the hardened chocolate under cold water to remove the sugar. If you have many you can place them in a pan of cold water for a few minutes, then rinse with cold water and pat dry. I found it useful to use a soft toothbrush to gently remove the sugar as I ran cold water over each piece.

I hope you try this project at home and have fun with it! Enjoy your day!

78 comments:

  1. I've never heard of of brown sugar casting but it looks like a fun project. I will have to try it out!

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    1. Very simular to a jewler's sand cast method!! Wow, I'm surprised somebody didn't think of this sooner!! Very Cool!!!

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  2. Oh my! What a fabulous idea? Never thought about brown sugar as a mold but I can see why not. Thanks for sharing. You are so clever!

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  3. This looks like so much fun, and would be perfect for making little gifts!

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  4. Hannah, this is absolutely inspired! And so much easier than trying to make silicone molds. Love it!! I want to go try it right now!

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  5. What a great Idea! Pinning it!

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  6. You might be able to hold the chocolates briefly over some steam to smooth the texture, it could possibly do the trick!

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    1. Yes, you're right-or maybe a little shot from the blowtorch I keep in the kitchen? Good idea!

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    2. I used to work in a chocolate store. Wiping the hardened chocolate with a damp papertowel works great. Works best on dark chocolate but milk works too.

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    3. I'm going to use candy melt to get a smoother look. So doing this tomorrow.

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  7. I wonder if you put the brown sugar in the freezer after you have made your mold if that would prevent some of the sugar from sticking to the chocolate?? I use chocolate molding a lot. I am for sure going to try this!!

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    1. It's worth a try! I've been thinking that running the brown sugar in a food processor to create a finer grain of sugar might work? I haven't tried it yet, but when I do, I'll post an update!

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    2. I was thinking 10x fine or powdered sugar, or even straight cornstarch might work, especially for finer detail. Cornstarch is used for molding Gummi candies.

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  8. awesome idea! this is so much cheaper than buying different molds :)

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  9. Love the idea! Have to try it! :)

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  10. What if you wrap the object you are using for the mold in plastic wrap before you press it into the sugar, then remove just the object and leave the plastic wrap in the mold?

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    1. I am loving all the ideas people are coming up with for a smoother chocolate! Next time I'm getting crafty maybe I'll just have to try them all and get back to you :)

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    2. I have tried plastic in my cookie/chocolate stoneware molds & the plastic didn't work because the plastic doesn't form around the object perfectly to get the details that you want.
      Maggie from S.H., MI

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  11. classically confectioners used cornstarch for this, finer texture

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  12. How about spraying the sugar with nonstick baking spray?

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  13. What about just dipping the item in the same chocolate afterward, or a shell chocolate? Great idea! Can't wait to try this w/my boys!

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  14. Yes! Good idea- you'd lose some fine detail though, but it would definitely work for some things (like the owl maybe). I'm going to add this to my list of things to try on the re-do...

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  15. I usually use powdered sugar and corn starch for casting! brown sugar sounds like fun!

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  16. OMG! I make my own chocolate with Coconut Oil, Stevia and Cocoa, I MUST try this! I'm thinking of using clingfoil under the object, leave the clingfoil in when removing object and pour chocolate onto the clingfoil. That way there's no sugar to remove... I'll have to try that first.
    Thank you so much for the idea!

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  17. I work for a chemical company that coats sand to make molds for pouring hot metals.....look at your engine block or a manhole cover or pipe and see how it has a sand grain look. That's the same think you are seeing with this. To make it smoother, you need to coat the sugar with something that would smooth out the inside of the mold, but not melt at the temperature of the melted chocolate. Treating the chocolate afterwards is called finishing...and can also be done, but we do sanding or polishing..have fun!

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  18. This idea is amazing!!! Just found the pic on pinterest and I am impressed, this is genius!!!

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  19. Could you use white almond bark and food coloring instead of chocolate...or white chocolate?? Love the Lego's idea in different colors. Not only chocolate but the powdered sugar/cream cheese mints that they serve at weddings would be cool in these molds...endless possibilites there too!

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    1. You can find candy melts in tons of different colors (available at Michaels) or white chocolate but you can not add food coloring to chocolate. Any water based liquid that gets in there will cause the chocolate to "seize" which means it turns lumpy and hard and won't melt smooth again. I accidentally got a drop of water from the steam in my white chocolate- which is why I have none pictured on this post! They also sell oil based or powdered coloring online though I'm not sure what stores sell it. Maybe Michaels though I'm not sure?

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  20. Any store that sells cake decorating supplies should have the paste coloring, Wilton makes it ... they also make the Candy Melts. Any good craft store should have it, or ask your local bakery!

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    1. Wilton does make an oil based coloring...the box says "candy colors." I found it online but not at my craft store. Just be sure not to confuse Wilton gel paste coloring with Wilton candy coloring! The first is water based and the other is oil based. Thank goodness for online shopping - and good idea to ask at the bakery!

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  21. Love this so much!!! Very creative.

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  22. Oh this sounds too good to be true! Now I've got a fun little project for the week!

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  23. Have you tried cornstarch or flour instead, for improved surface texture? I know that the former is used for many sugar treats, but don't recall ever hearing of it being used for chocolate.

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  24. Could you not zap the empty mold with a flamer to melt the sugar a little for a smoother mold?

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  25. Cool idea! Gotta try it with the kids!

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  26. Great idea! Can't wait to try this out! :)

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  27. Personally, I hate candy melts. I don't like the way they taste. So I do a similar process with chocolate chips. The secret to using chocolate chips is to never let the chocolate chips get above 92 degrees Fahrenheit. The best temperature range is between 89 and 92 degrees Fahrenheit. When it sets, it will be a firm as the chocolate chips were to begin with, but it will still have the texture. An alternate mold would be corn starch because of the finer texture.

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    1. I totally agree! The texture of candy melts is not very snappy. I look forward to trying the cornstarch for molding! In a week, I'll be taking everyone's ideas and going through with a re-do...stay tuned!

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  28. Great idea! Thanks, I can't wait to try it!

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  29. I wonder how cocoa would hold up compared to brown sugar? The cocoa dusting on the outside would give it a truffle look possibly?

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  30. Can u put a small tart flavor in the Center Of the candy mold so when u bite into it it had like a stringy goo fir example.raspberry tart.carmel.?

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  31. Thank you for sharing your experiment. I shared a like to this post and your follow up post on Try it - Like it http://tryit-likeit.com/entries/eat/casting-chocolate

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  32. Awesome. I am part of a casting group and have submitted you link there. I am blown away by this and love the idea. Jsut to let you know casting for some items is known as sand casting. We make what is known as a cope and drag box, this is a two part part that has tabs to keep the two parts from moving. You set some sand in the bottom and ram it down. Sprinkle some release agent like baby powder or something. Then set your item to be cast and ram it firm. Proceed to level it and and set you top piece and sprinkle some more release on top, ram more on top and set it firm. Then you can take off your top layer or "Cope" and remove your item from the drag box. You can have a sprue cut into it or as some do they cast the sprue, which is just a pour spout. Set you two halves back together and pour you material. All this can be done very small or extremely large. I see no reason why all this cannot be done with this brown sugar method. I am looking forward to making some neat chocolate stuff for the holidays and am very excited about this. To learn more about casting look up Sand casting on youtube. Thx for the idea. Really appreciate it.

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  33. Another way to avoid the 'grainy texture' could be to place plastic wrap between the mold and the sugar/powder. You could place it on the mold too, smoothing out any bumps the wrap may make, and then press gently into the sugar.

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  34. I truly like to reading your post. Thank you so much for taking the time to share such a nice information.
    amberlyn chocolate store

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  35. Great info.! It looks like it will be delicious!

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  36. This is so fun, children will surely like to try this, thank you for this bright idea!

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  37. Ohh this is fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

    xo

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  38. Is this theme connected with your professional status or is it more about your leisure and free time?

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    1. Leisure and free time! I do work full time running a skill building center for adults with brain injuries.

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  39. Cannot wait to try this! The possibilities are endless-lol-Thanks for sharing!

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  40. thanks so much for sharing your knowledge

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  41. i will have to use this for the next bachelorette party I attend.

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  42. Hello Hannah,

    This is an amazing idea, which save me a lot of money to buy chocolate molds. Thanks for your shaing and your experiments! You really do a good job!
    I cited one of your picture and link to your website on my facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151462462622621&set=a.10151288598537621.434426.259363487620&type=1
    If it’s not proper to cite your picture, please let me know thank you so much !

    Regards
    Gloria from Taiwan

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  43. Press clean items that are convex in shape firmly into the sugar. Do not twist or turn- pull straight out so you don't break any ridges on the way out.
    sugar free chocolate chip oatmeal cookies

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  44. Hi Hannah!
    I have seen this technique before, but have never tried it. Very cool, thanks for the reminder :)

    Nice blog, I'm going to check out your other posts! xoxo

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  45. Wow, my problem is solved, I'm surely going to be trying this, thanks for sharing

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  46. Just saw this on pinterest, and I have to tell you that I love it and can't wait to try it!

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  47. What a great idea especially for the holidays. I love to get my husband fancy candy now I can do it without the bucks

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  48. Going to give Peppa pig a go with one of my daughters toys but have a feeling the arms and legs might be a bit thin

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  49. Does it matter if fit is light or dark brown sugar?

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    1. Not positive, but I can't imagine why it would. I likely used dark brown because that's what I usually keep on hand. Maybe light brown would rinse off easier, who knows?

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  50. I know I am planning on doing this for Christmas but I guess I will practice first

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  51. Can you reuse the brown sugar that doesn't get molded for other things like oatmeal and do more baking?

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  52. Could this be used to mold craft,( plaster) things like that?

    Thanks Doug

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    1. I haven't tried it, and nobody has mentioned this in the comments section yet. If you give it go, keep us posted!

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  53. I really wanna try this tomorrow :) thanks for the idea

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  54. These look amazing!! Thanks for sharing!

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