A local shop is interested is selling my chocolates! However, they do not have airconditioning and do not have a refrigerator case in which to display the chocolates. They asked if I could make some faux chocolates for display. I was thinking of using styrofoam, paint, real sprinkles and then perhaps a spray of clear acrylic...If anyone has any suggestions and ideas as to how to make faux ones I would really appreciate it.
Depending on how warm it gets without air conditioning, you might be able to do what I have done. I have a farmer's market table and my faux chocolates survived pretty well this summer, as long as they were not getting any direct sunlight. I melt compound chocolate (I used the Wilton dark chocolate candy melts (they also have a lighter "milk chocolate" color) with soy wax, and pour the melted combination into my molds. I use magnetic molds, so it's pretty easy to get the chocolate out, even though it doesn't crystallize and shrink like real chocolate. The compound chocolate has a higher melting point than regular and the wax is even higher, so together they hold up pretty well and I can display the transfer sheet design in a way I couldn't do with styrofoam, clay, etc. If you do enrobed chocolates, you could use some other substance (e.g. modeling clay) for the shape and dip it in the same mixture to get the real couverture appearance. Just be sure the display is out of reach of direct sunlight from windows and doors.
Hah, this brings back memories. First you can grab some small wine fridges online for about $150 and work pretty well as long as the heat differential isn't >50'.
We tried styrofoam, we tried lacquering actual truffles, none of this worked well. What did end up working well is getting clay from an art store and making the same size as our current line, then dipping, decorating, and then spraying some acrylic on that. They last for about 3 months before you need to peel the skin off and remake them. We used these during the summertime farmers markets when we needed to be able to show product w/o compromising the integrity of the coolers.
The only other option we thought of was to make custom wax molds but the cost for such small orders was really out there. You'd get the look and temperature holding 100% but unless you're getting 1000 made it just doesn't make sense.