Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Today I received a great surprise. There is a gentleman whose mother (now deceased... that's not the great surprise) was an avid collector of antique metal chocolate and sugar molds. My dean, Thomas Vaccaro, went to see this collection of nearly 700 molds. 700 molds! Who has 700 of anything? I am not sure what the motivation was for starting this collection, but then again, why does anyone start collections? I collect books, I suppose. But I don't think I am close to 700. Not by a long shot. Maybe by the time I am an old man. I hope.

The surprise was one of those chocolate molds. And it was perfect. Four little pigs sitting down. Soon after it was given to me, we cleaned it well (with Vodka nonetheless to sanitize it and to keep it from rusting), polished it, and Bryan, our chocolate guy, got to tempering dark chocolate right away.

I though that to do this piece justice it had to have a special ganache filling. And it didn't take long to realize that nothing could be better than a bacon ganache. We had made this ganache before to fill large Valentine's Day chocolate hearts, using not only cream that was steeped with bacon, but we also dehydrated bacon, pulverized it and added it to the mix. The flavor in the heavy cream alone does not add enough flavor, you have to add actual bacon. Why fill hearts with bacon ganache? Because bacon = love.

I saw a few more pictures of the other molds that are still in storage and they look absolutely great. The school will be purchasing some of them and the owner will donate another few. There are shapes and forms that are not used anymore, which is why it would be great to bring them back. I can think of so many ways to use them, from small pieces to large ones.

I also couldn't help but appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into the mold. Nowadays most chocolate molds are made from polycarbonate plastic, and they work great, which is why I don't want to get into "things were so much better made then"... polycarbonate is easy to use and it is much easier to keep clean than metal. But these metal molds were still producing a very shiny chocolate. I have no way to know when the mold was made, I wish I did, but I do know that it was made in Germany.

If you keep your eyes open, you can sometimes find these molds at flea markets. sometimes their owners have little idea how valuable they are, at least to someone who appreciates their worth.

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