Chocolate molds

The production of chocolate moulds

It was only in the 19th century that chocolate moulds were used for the first time. Up to then chocolate had been a pleasure only enjoyed in liquid form.

Before the chocolate mass can be used to produce hollow figures or chocolate figures, it must have a high proportion of cocoa butter so that the chocolate can be properly distributed all over the mould.

The chocolate blocks, which nowadays can be acquired everywhere, are first broken and then cut into tiny particles.

Then the chocolate particles are slowly melted in a water bath at a temperature of approximately 45°C (never directly in a pan as otherwise the mass would be immediately burnt).

The choice of the chocolate mass and its viscosity is very important to achieve good results. One should refrain from using chocolate masses with a low fat content, frequently referred to as “Plätzchenmasse” (cookie mass/dough?).

The liquid chocolate is poured into a bowl and cooled down while stirred so as to impulse the crystallisation taking place in the cocoa butter. Depending on the mass components, milk chocolate or white chocolate is cooled down to approx. 28°C and dark chocolate (bitter chocolate) to 30°C. Then the chocolate is poured into the mould. Depending on the kind of mould, the thickness of the mass remaining on the walls is controlled in order to pour in more chocolate mass if necessary. The exceeding mass flows out of the mould and back to the tank. This is essential, particularly in the production of hollow figures.

When it comes to produce massive articles in flat moulds, then the flat moulds are filled up with chocolate, scraped and, as far as possible, shaken to prevent the chocolate from having air inclusions.

After that, the moulds have to set in a cold room with very low humidity where the chocolate mass retracts slightly. If everything was done properly, then it will be easy to remove the chocolate article from the mould.

If the moulds are used for the first time or if they are cleaned before being used, sometimes it is necessary to apply fat in form of cocoa butter or chocolate on the inner side of the moulds so that the mass can be removed with more ease. For the pure chocolate production process it is always necessary that a thin fat edge builds up on the moulds since this facilitates the production and thus enables the achievement of better results in second and third pouring attempts.

Kinds of moulds and moulds production

In the 18th Century steel plates were manufactured to be then coated with tin as a protection against rust, so that around 1830 the first moulds were created with the help of tin-coated metal sheets pressed into shape.

The basis material was plaster moulds designed by artists. They were used to make the basic moulds and eventually, with large pressing machines and under high pressure, the first metal moulds were manufactured.

Kinds of moulds

  1. a) Double moulds with opening
    b) Double moulds without opening
    These are chocolate moulds that consist of two halves – so-called double moulds (picture) – and that are kept closed by clips or other kinds of locks. The first double moulds used to have an opening at the bottom through which they were filled up with chocolate. These moulds were later followed by fully hermetic moulds since with the help of piston depositors it was possible to accurately dose the exact amount of chocolate into the moulds.
  2. Folding moulds.
    These are double moulds provided with hinges and locks (see picture).
  3. Double-frame moulds (see no. ……), also used on automatic hollow figure plants.
    These are single moulds which are soldered into metal frames, mostly consisting of a front and a back side, linked to a so-called folding mould by means of a hinge.
  4. The group of single frame moulds (see picture no. ), mostly of square or rectangular shape, to produce chocolate tablets, little bars, neapolitans, etc. The moulds themselves were soldered into the steel frames with tin.
  5. The so-called block moulds (see picture no. ). These are individual rectangular
    plates suitable for the production of massive, deposited chocolate articles.
  6. Complex moulds (one frame linked to an upper piece).
  7. Sample moulds, only built by the manufacturers for demonstration purposes.

The material of the chocolate moulds

  1. The cast moulds, which existed in the 18th Century already, were especially used for the production of ice cream. However, the main disadvantage of these moulds was their heavy weight, so that people soon began to look for alternative materials which were also easier to process.
  2. Tin-coated or silver-plated copper. Especially in the 19th Century many moulds of this kind were manufactured, but it frequently happened that the tin or silver seal slowly abraded and the copper came to the surface. The verdigris that can possibly appear then is very poisonous (see picture: Mould by Anton Reiche, silver-plated copper).
  3. Tin or tin-coated metal. This kind of chocolate mould can still be found pretty frequently these days and it has been used since the end of the 19th Century. However, taking in the older moulds, it becomes obvious that after a long period of use the tin-coat abrades giving view to the pure metal sheet. These moulds are then no longer appropriate for the chocolate production because the chocolate can be removed only with great difficulty.
  4. Nickel steel and nickel coating. During the last century, especially the firm Anton Reiche GmbH was the leading manufacturer of nickel-coated metal moulds. The articles were sold under the name of Platinol Moulds. Of course were there other manufacturers who produced nickel-coated moulds as well such as Henry Le Cerf in Cologne.
  5. Stainless steel.
    Stainless steel was used very frequently during the second half of the 20th Century, particularly by moulds manufacturers such as Matfer in France.
  6. Plastic.
    The fist plastic material was Bakelit, a brown, hard kind of plastic developed by
    Mr. Leo Henrik Baekeland. However, due to the brown colour, the manufacturers soon began to look for other alternatives. The creation of Plexiglas and PVC followed and finally Macrolon, a high-quality polycarbonate which is still used in the production of chocolate moulds nowadays (see picture).

Kinds of mould locking

  1. Wire rings, used especially in Germany, like for example by Anton Reiche.
  2. Clips, which are still used these days particularly for polycarbonate moulds.
  3. Steel pins, which were especially manufactured and used for antique moulds by, for example, Létang Fils/France.
  4. Long, rectangular metal pieces which were partly used as clips for all sides of the mould
  5. Metal spins made of massive steel with a groove in the middle to clamp the mould.

Moulds manufacturer (as far as known)

  1. Hermann Walter, Berlin, founded around 1866, was the first German factory of chocolate moulds. In 1928, co. Hermann Walter, which was run on by the sons, used to have about 5000 different models in production but after 1948 they were located in the East sector of Berlin. Back then, the proprietors emigrated to West Berlin and produced moulds under the name of Erich Bonck, Berlin-Neukölln. In 1952 the production run under the name of Hermann Walter again until the firm was taken over by co. Kaupert.
  2. In 1870, Friedrich Anton Reiche founded a production facility for tin coatings in Dresden and established a factory for tin boxes and chocolate moulds in 1888. Between both world wars, Anton Reiche Dresden used to have 2000 employees. Anton Reiche manufactured numerous beautiful moulds. In particular they developed the Platinol moulds, nickel-coated sheet metal moulds. It was the variety and diversity of their products which made them become the most demanded ones ever after. In year 1932 there were as many as 50.000 different moulds. Another factory was established in the Czech Republic in the 30’s, where the moulds used to have the letters C.S.R. and Monos. After the II World War, company Reiche was closed down, being founded again in Dresden under the name of VEB Schokoladenform. There exist moulds with the name of Gebr. Franck Freital which remind of Anton Reiche. Sometimes even moulds of the 50s can be found which used to be sold under the name of Hans Buhn & Co. in Hamburg, Germany.
  3. Karl Richter Dresden, founded in 1876, was taken over by Anton Reiche in 1922.
  4. Metallwarenfabrik Friedrich Wilhelm Kutzscher Junior Schwarzenberg in Sachsen, ( Saxony ) im Erzgebirge ( Ore Mountains ) founded around 1880, acquired the Company August Riecke in Sachsen-Deuben between 1890 and 1907. Kutzscher was an important manufacturer of glas molds and china with an own design department. Since the Kutzscher Company had its own iron foundry and metal goods factory they also designed and made chocolate molds with an excellent quality which surely met even the high quality standards of Anton Reiche. Kutzscher was changed after the war into VEB Waschgerätewerk Schwarzenberg.
    Today the F.W. Kutzscher GmbH is an important manufacturer of glass machines.
  5. Riecke & Co. This firm was founded in 1900 and existed until 1933 when they were acquired by Formenfabrik Tilburg, who also manufactured moulds under the name of Riecke Helmond in Holland and Dresden.
  6. J.G. Laurosch, founded in Stuttgart 1875 and closed down around 1966.
  7. Henry Le Cerf, Cologne. This firm was founded in 1905 approximately. Henry Le Cerf was a French man who immigrated from France und who soon specialized in the production of Nikol, i.e. nickel-coated moulds. In 1971 the firm was taken over by his grandson, Karl Becker. Company Henri Le Cerf was founded again in 1998 in Cologne as Henri Le Cerf & Cie. GmbH Schokoladenformenfabrik.
  8. Bruham. This firm was established through the connection between Alfred Reiche and Hans Bruhn Hamburg and closed in 1965. The remaining pieces were acquired by co. Walter Hörnlein.
  9. Agathon. This firm was founded in 1949 by a former employee of Anton Reiche who established a moulds factory called WEDEFO in Bottrop. In 1952 the name was changed to Agathon. They produced metal moulds until 1974, when they completely changed over to the production of plastic moulds.
  10. Bodderas Kaupert. Approximately in year 1949, Mr Alfred Bodderas and his son-in-law Dr. Günter Kaupert founded a mould factory in Erndtebrück. First they produced nickel-coated metal moulds until specializing in the production of Folit plastic moulds. The Folit arcs where placed into exchangeable metal frames. Nowadays, co. Kaupert mainly manufactures chocolate moulds made of various kinds of plastic.
  11. Walter Hörnlein. From around 1950 onwards, co. Walter Hörnlein in Schwäbisch Gmünd produced nickel-coated chocolate moulds. The metal moulds are mostly marked with a post horn and a number or with a squirrel with the writing Hörnlein. In 1980 they focused on the production of Chocal aluminium moulds, i.e. firm aluminium foils which lay in moulds. The chocolate mass was poured into the aluminium mould directly, centrifuged and closed by so-called bordering presses.
  12. Hans Brunner. This firm was established in Cologne in year 1935 approximately and in 1950 they began to produce chocolate moulds of Plexiglas or other kinds of plastic such as Macrolon. In most cases the moulds are marked with a number and the letters HB.
  13. Jeàn Baptist Létang. Co. Létang was founded in 1832 approximately and run for a long time from generation to generation. The engraving “Létang Fils (Létang Söhne), Rue Vielle du Temple 108, Paris˝ can be seen as initial letters in many beautiful antique moulds. Létang are without any doubt one of the most important and oldest chocolate manufacturers in the world (see pictures).
  14. Gobel. Approximately in year 1887 E. Gobel was founded. Most of the moulds are provided with the initial letters E. Gobel Paris.
  15. Sommet. This company was probably founded in 1882. The moulds are mostly marked with a dolphin and a number as well as with a sun rising above a mountain on which the name Sommet is engraved.
  16. Matfer. The history of Matfer begins back in 1814 approximately. The older moulds produced by this firm are specially marked with the stamp Qualité. Matfer soon specialised in the production of stainless steel moulds.
  17. Vormenfabrik Tilburg, Holland. Company Vormenfabrik Tilburg was established in Delft, probably in 1921, and moved to Tilburg in 1927. Vormenfabrik Tilburg Holland offers a great number of figures and moulds. In 1972 Vormenfabrik Tilburg Holland specialised in the production of plastic moulds.
  18. Max Riner. Around 1944 company Max Riner was founded in Switzerland. In 1948 they manufactured the first Plexiglas moulds.
  19. Luigi Maganza Milano. The company Luigi Maganza was established approx. in year 1900. They developed a great number of machines and moulds suitable for the chocolate production.
  20. Sidam Millano/Italy. Around 1947 co. Sidam Millano was founded. From 1970 onwards they specialized in the production of plastic moulds.
  21. Moldes Burgueras. In year 1900 approximately company Burgueras was established in Barcelona. They produced a great number of chocolate moulds, also nickel-coated ones.
  22. Randall & Smith/GB was founded around 1930 and taken over by co. Yorkshire Moulds Ltd. approximately in year 1960.
  23. Josef Matuschek. Josef Matuschek founded a factory for the production of chocolate tools in Vienna in 1870 which existed until the mid 30’s of the 20th Century.
  24. Josef Schwarzer, Czechoslovakia. Josef Schwarzer was established in Prague around 1918. In the 50’s this firm was nationalized and merged with the former Anton Reiche factory. Here is where the moulds with the denomination Monos C.S.R. were produced.