Toast of New York
- Elastack molding material
- 10 pounds bittersweet chocolate, tempered
- 5 pounds white chocolate, tempered
- Cocoa butter
- Powdered food coloring, as desired
- Copper luster dust
Make the molds: Place the Elastack molding material in a saucepan over medium heat until melted. Use metal rulers to outline the mold that you would like to make. For my centerpiece, I used drama masks, a phantom mask, a souvenir plate and taxi magnets. Place the rulers on a parchment paper lined sheet pan, and place the item to be molded in the center of that space. Pour the melted Elastack over the item to be molded until it is completely covered. Let this set for about 30 minutes until the Elastack hardens.
When the molds are complete, gently remove the molded item. Now you are ready to fill the cavity with either white or dark chocolate. I used white chocolate for the taxi, plate, phantom mask and 1 of the drama masks. I used dark chocolate for the other drama mask. Use a ladle or spoon to fill the mold with chocolate. Once the chocolate starts to harden, about 5 minutes, scrape the edge clean with a paring knife. When the chocolate sets, it shrinks or retracts from the sides of the mold. A clean edge will keep it from sticking and cracking as it shrinks. You can place the mold in the refrigerator for several minutes to help the chocolate to harden. When the chocolate sets, carefully remove the chocolate from the mold by peeling away the molding material. Repeat this process with all of the molds you have made.
Make the statue: Use a ladle to fill a mold with white chocolate. When it is full, empty it into the bowl of chocolate. The inside of the mold should be evenly coated with chocolate. Wipe the edge of the mold clean on the side of the bowl and place it upside down on a wire rack placed over a baking sheet. Once the chocolate starts to harden, about 5 minutes, scrape the edge clean with a paring knife. When the chocolate sets, it shrinks or retracts from the sides of the mold. A clean edge will keep it from sticking and cracking as it shrinks. You can place the mold in the refrigerator for several minutes to help the chocolate to harden. Unmold.
If you want to paint the statue, mix together a few tablespoons of the cocoa butter with a small amount of powdered food color. It will be easier if you use a yogurt machine to store and warm your paints. Use a paintbrush to apply color where you are inspired to do so. I also used the copper luster dust to give the statue a realistic look.
If you want to paint the plate, use a dry paintbrush to apply the copper luster dust to the face of the plate.
Make the dark chocolate apple outline: Use a food safe rubber tube that is 6-feet long and 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Position it on a parchment paper lined flat surface. I used heavy cans of fruits and vegetables to shape the tube into the form of an apple. Place the tempered chocolate in a large pastry bag. Use the bag to fill the tube with chocolate. Prop 1 end up so you can see when the tube is full. When the entire tube is full, seal the ends and allow the chocolate to harden. When the chocolate has set completely, carefully use an X-acto knife to cut through the center of the tube. Carefully peel the tubing from the chocolate.
Make the apple stem: Use the same technique as described above to make the apple stem. My finished stem is about 12 inches long.
Make a base: Use flexible aluminum strips or very large cake ring to form a base. The base I made was 15-inches in diameter. Place it on a parchment paper lined surface. Pour tempered dark chocolate inside the ring to form a 1/2-inch-thick layer. When the chocolate has set, remove the ring and peel off the parchment paper.
Make a support pole: Roll a piece of 32-inch long piece of parchment paper into a cone that has a bottom diameter of 21/2 inches and tapers to a point. Tape it closed. This piece will support the mold so make sure it is long enough and thick enough to support the centerpiece you are making. Set the cone on end and fill with dark chocolate. When it is full, invert the cone over the bowl of chocolate allowing the excess chocolate to flow back into the bowl. Spin the cone so the chocolate inside is evenly coated. Let set. When the chocolate has set, repeat this step a few more times. You want the cone to be quite sturdy as the rest of the centerpiece will rest on this cone. Allow the chocolate cone to set until hard. Remove the parchment paper. Use a hot knife to trim the base of the cone so it is flat. Then use the knife to scar the bottom of the cone and the base. You want to make it somewhat textured so it will form a better seal to the base. Use tempered chocolate to glue the pole onto the base. Position it well so you can rest the molded chocolate against it.
Make the theatre tickets: Use an offset spatula to spread a 1/4-inch-thick layer of tempered white chocolate over a sheet of acetate. Let the chocolate set slightly. If you are using the silkscreen, it will be easier if you cut the ticket after you have transferred the design to it. Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler. Hold the silkscreen over the chocolate. Use a plastic scraper with a straight edge. Apply about a teaspoon of chocolate to the scraper and gently pull the chocolate across the design. Carefully lift off the silkscreen. It will dry almost immediately. Use the tip of a hot paring knife to cut the ticket with the centered design. When the chocolate is set, peel off the acetate.
Make the signs and logo decorations: Use an offset spatula to spread a 1/4-inch-thick layer of tempered white chocolate over a sheet of acetate. Let the chocolate set slightly. Use a paring knife to cut the shape of the decoration you would like to make. When the chocolate is set, peel off the acetate. If you want to paint the chocolate, mix together a few tablespoons of the cocoa butter with a small amount of powdered food color. It will be easier if you use yogurt machine to store and warm your paints. Use a paintbrush to apply color where you are inspired to do so. I made signs for NYFD and NYPD and logos for The Mets and The New York Yankees.
If you use an airbrush, simply place a few drops of color in the receptacle of the airbrush and decorate, as you are inspired.
Assemble: Use tempered chocolate and chocolate cold spray to "glue" the molded pieces and decorations onto the centerpiece.
Recipe courtesy of Jacques Torres
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
Recipe courtesy of Marcela Valladolid