The Chocolate Life

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I'm looking for a mold or form to make small cubes of solid chocolate.  This could be something like an open plastic grid placed in a sheet pan - like the grate that covers some fluorescent light panels.  Ideal cube size would be 10-15 mm or 1/2 inch or less on each side.  Plastic would be okay, since I'm not going for a glossy finish.  Silicone ganache molds would probably not efficiently produce the quantity needed (7K/15# per batch).  Any ideas?  Thanks!

Tags: cube, form, grate, grid, mold, square

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks, Greg. This is headed in the right direction. Ideally, the cubes would be smaller and the form itself would fill a full-size sheet pan. I'd like to get 300 cubes out of 5# of chocolate per sheet pan. Maybe I'll just have to invent it. I appreciate the input!
Good suggestion - thanks! This takes the exploration off in an entirely new direction...

Brant -

The the open gridded screens that cover fluorescent lamps are what immediately comes to mind for me as you can probably get the density you're looking for.

Not sure they will be made from a food-safe plastic, which is another issue entirely.

And they are fragile, so chunks of plastic could break off into the chocolate. But that is exactly the form I a looking for, just in a sturdy, food-safe version.
I had gotten these mats from Country Kitchen Sweet Art out of Fort Wayne, IN. They fit on a full sheet pan, the squares measure 1 1/2 x 1 1/2 and are about 1/16 thick. The chocolate looks like tiles. It makes 96 "tiles" at a time. It only cost $5.00. It's called K&S candy break-up/ pour mat.

Thanks, Aldona.  I am going to give these a try for a different application. 

We have been looking for ways to scale up production of flat chocolate chips.  We use them in our vegan sugar-free Nice Creams (tm) and ice creams, but our customers demanded we sell them for baking, so we started supplying our retailers and selling online as well.  1-1/2" squares are several times larger than what we need, but it's worth a shot. 

To the OP:

Brent, we've tried using honeycomb aluminum sheets sold to the airspace industry for manufacturing composites.  Those would product hexagonal cylinders, whose xy dimension is determined by the pitch of the honeycomb and the height by the sheet thickness and how tall you fill them.  Release has been a problem, but also cleaning and sanitizing.  So we abandoned that approach. 

Similar honeycomb is also available in polycarbonate (which got me really excited at first) and olefins (I think polypropylene) for the same aerospace composite apps.  However, those typically with the top and bottom sheet sealing the entry/exit of each honeycomb.  Since those are meant to remain unfilled for weight savings, the top/bottom sheets serve as strength reinforcement elements which the plastic honeycomb composites need.  So, figuring out how to remove the top and bottom and then have the plastic honeycomb remain intact proved fruitless.

Maybe the aluminum honeycomb will work for what you need because your pitch size is larger than what can use and chocolate will be easier to break out of the mold esp after the freezer.

 

This is the closest we have, it's about 20 x 20 x 19 mm, 8.8cc, about 10 grams depending on chocolate density. We have smaller but they are proprietary.

It's on a 275 x 175 mm mold with 40 cavities, some people put multiple of these on a bakers pan to be more efficient.

 

 

 

John: No luck yet on my initial request. Is this something that your company could custom-make for me? If so, could you give a ballpark estimate of the cost for 20 of them? Thanks!

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