When you’re building your chocolate inventory you come to a fork in the road, silicone moulds or polycarbonate. I went with silicone, mostly since I didn’t know what polycarbonate was, and the merchant had silicone. Zero research went into my purchase. Did I make the right decision?
I bought my first mould in 2011 at a baking show, and bought the rest from Golda’s Kitchen and Chocolat-chocolat Inc. The majority of my collection are Fat Daddio’s moulds. I’ve used them for our Christmas chocolates for 5 years so far.
What I like about silicone moulds:
They’re fairly inexpensive, Golda’s sells them for $11.25 each and Chocolat-chocolat has my Christmas mould on sale for $3.95
They’re quiet, no whacking them on the counter to dislodge the chocolate.
They come in a variety of visually interesting shapes.
What I dislike:
Are you wondering why the moulds are wet? I just washed them. But I washed them before I put them away in January. There is a huge problem with silicone, a powdery white substance forms on it. It looks like dishwater detergent, but it’s not.
From what I read on Rowley’s Whiskey Forge, it was determined by a silicone manufacturer to be:
We actually did a chemical breakdown test on this white residue from a tray that we received back from a customer and the result of that test is below. The compound associated with the residue is Calcium Sulfate – meaning basically the residue is associated with the chemicals in hard water. Like a mineral deposit.
However, the comments on the article found that even using distilled water didn’t cure the problem, so I am at a loss.
Obviously I can’t have this white substance on my chocolates, so we have to wash and dry them again before using them which is a huge pain in the ass. It wastes a lot of my time.
On the other hand, where I live discourages making loud noises and the noise that polycarbonate moulds make is significant. (I got to try them at the McCall’s chocolate course I took with Spousal Unit. Very cool but very loud.)
It’s hard to remove air bubbles when using silicone moulds. The mould can warp in your hands if you pull it too tight, so my method is to place the mould on a cookie sheet and whack that on the counter.
Perhaps if I could go back in time I’d choose polycarbonate. On the other hand, all the whacking would upset my cats. So perhaps silicone was the best choice for me in the end.
Update Aug 8, 2016:
I emailed Fat Daddio’s about the residue and they replied:
I’m sorry to hear about your issues, it sounds incredibly frustrating.
It typically is a reaction to hard water, as well as oils that collect from whatever you’re using the molds for (the chocolates, in this case), as well as any other oily products that might be washed in the same sink sometimes.
We recommend putting the molds in boiling water, which should remove much of the accumulated oily build up. After that, washing them gently with a dish soap, like Dawn, should thoroughly clean them. You don’t have to boil them every time you use them, but every now and then it helps deep clean them.
If that doesn’t work, let me know.
(Once I try this I’ll update this post.)
Hi this is Potted Gold and was wondering how you found us and why you chose to follow us. Just curious as we haven’t used or blogged in over a year. The page was set up as a test to postvour plant catalog but never came to fruition on WordPress.com. Thank you maybe I need to take some time and blog especially if others choose to follow so I can show what we have to offer. Thank you!
I had a bunch of unread notifications of accounts who started following me, so I started following all of them today. You must have followed me awhile ago for me to add you today. You’re welcome!
I got a bottle of “Dawn Ultra”, it’s blue, and the label says “original scent”.
I forgot to try the boiling idea.
I have been handwashing my moulds with that dish soap and the white residue is not as bad. I didn’t make any chocolate in 2017 so the details are a bit fuzzy, sorry. Next time I break out the chocolate I will update this post further.
I’ve had this issue as well with silicone products AS WELL AS plastic products. This white film seems to accumulate. I bought a set of silicone muffin pans as well as spatulas and before using them ran them through the dishwasher…..white powder EVERYWHERE! All over the other dishes as well. I had never used them and had never had a white powder explosion in my dishwasher prior to this. I also soaked a different set in FILTERED water just to see. I soaked for over a week and they were covered in a white film. GROSS! Silicone is a form of plastic, so in all reality, my question is, why is it said to be safe it is petrochemicals and what most ppl, (including myself) are trying to stay away from?!?! Ugh!
Wow, on both. So it happens on your polycarbonate too? Not good.
The hard water explanation sounds like a convenient cop out from the manufacturer. I put clean molds away, and got them out a few months later and they are covered in white powder. This is not hard water, it’s leaching out of the silicone, which is not good at all from a health perspective.
I tend to agree with you. But I’m not sure what, if anything, can be done. I am very curious how high-volume chocolate manufacturers handle this.