46 The NaTioNal CuliNary review • oCTober 2014
pastry arts molding a masterpiece
this white-chocolate mousse with pomegranate and candied lemon
comes from scott green, pastry chef at travelle, who uses a wide
variety of molds, from basic geometric shapes to those that are
he elaborate molded cakes, chocolates and custards that dominate
pastry menus and bakery cases today were not
About12yearsago,JoyandSchneiderrefocusedthe25-year-old business on
culinary molds and phased out most other product lines after a
Chicago pastry chef/instructor expressed a need for
his teams to create molds for pastry competitions, and the
chefs, to save them time.”
uses molds, because a sheet pan and cake pan are actually
molds,”saysMacMillan.“ButwhenIwantacustomdesign,toget what’s in my
mind on the plate, I need different sizes, shapes
something that hasn’t been made before.” Scott Green, pastry chef
at Travelle, Chicago, notes thatany item on his menu that has not
been made using a mold is the exception rather than the rule. About
15 years ago, he says, it was a lot more challenging to make molded
desserts, and chefshad tofigureouthow to create a certain formon
away, but the application has changed,” says Green.
people ask about it and are drawn to it more than they are to a
slice of cake.”
dessert menu, with the exception of macarons. She primarily uses
Flexipan molds, and likes the round savarins for blueberry mousse,
the oval for banana bread and the tarte tatin for upside-down
strawberry cake. “Molds help you bemore creativewhen it comes time
toplate a dessert, giving you different shapes and sizes,” she
says. “I use them for almost everything, such as baking cakes,
setting mousses and making fruit curds and ganache.” Green also
uses Flexipans, particularly gang molds that allow for a large
volume of a molded element to be made at the same time in multiple
cavities. He uses a wide variety of molds, from basic geometric
shapes to those that are more ornate. “I don’t want to create a
product people see everywhere and that’s too trendy,” he says.
“Half spheres, tubes and half tubes are classic shapes that will
never go out of style.
Pastry molds shape the way to creative desserts.
KBy Kathryn Kjarsgaard
Molding a Masterpiece
48 The NaTioNal CuliNary review • oCTober 2014
“In the restaurant, the molded component is one part of a
greater whole. Organic plating is now the thing, and it’s less
about just using a standard mold for the entire dessert. We’re now
trying to hide the fact that parts are molded, and try to balance
it out and soften the dessert with other elements.” He says molds
are durable, inexpensive and a good investment, and adds that for a
large party or banquet outside the restaurant, they are absolutely
from food-contact-safe silicone, are geometric shapes and
showpeels, small textured mats
Richardson uses sphere-shaped acrylic molds for decorative spheres
that top her chocolate
He tries to create molds he can use again, but wants to be sure
desserts look new and interesting each time. “I don’t want molds to
be a one-trick pony, because they are an investment.”
sauce, blackberry fruit chip and Ovation chocolate cake pieces—uses
a custom s-shaped mold with dewdrop embossments in which the
vanilla custard is molded. “Curves are attractive,
at the same time, which customers like.”
then creating molds using pourable silicone. He also makes his own
tube shapes by rolling up a
pastry arts molding a masterpiece
pastry MolD care
Pastry molds require an investment, not only of money, but of
the time and effort it takes to create custom-made pieces. While
many molds can be used over and over, they are typically useless
once they become scratched. Following are tips on caring for and
extending the life of molds.
• Wash in warm, soapy water. Do not use chemicals or anything
with a rough surface, such as a sponge.
• Do not fold or crease molds awkwardly. Store flat with
parchment paper on top to keep debris out of cavities.
• Buff with cotton balls to maintain a smooth surface.
• Only molds approved for baking should be used at high
temperatures; not all silicone is heat-safe.
Jimmy MacMillan uses a custom s-shaped mold with dewdrop
embossments for this vanilla custard with cherry tuile,
lime-infused cherries, cherry sauce, blackberry fruit chip and
ovation chocolate cake pieces.
all shapes and sizes to mold elaborate designs made of chocolate
and sugar. According to Green, almost all pastry chefs use molds in
competitions, but it’s a major point
create more expressive artistic creations. Others think it takes
away from the necessity of hand
skills–beforemoldswereprevalent,wehad to shape thingsbyhand.The
we also need to showcase our hand skills.” Green,whowillbecompeting
in theCoupeduMondede laPatisserie Jan.25-26,2015,in Lyon, France,
says chefs train for a year for these competitions, and molds can
be elaborate pieces,suchasatreebranchorafemalefigure.
four top pastry chefs competing in various challenges. Each season
includes a casting challenge, and this year, participants had to
use a 4-inch sphere-shaped mold.
of time in the freezer, which is tricky in a competition. Also,
people think if you use a mold, you automatically get great
results. But properly using them is a skill that has to be
blueberry MouSSeLucia Merino, Pastry ChefOak Restaurant //
YIELD: 24 SERVINGS
3 cups fresh blueberries (to yield 500g blueberry puree,
divided)4 gelatin sheets250g sugar 125g egg yolks 225g heavy
1) Rinse and drain blueberries. Puree in food processor or
blender until smooth. 2) Place gelatin sheets in ice water to
hydrate. Set aside.
3) Put sugar and egg yolks in bowl on double boiler over medium
heat; whisk constantly to 85ºC. Put in bowl of mixer with whisk
attachment; whip to 30ºC. Set aside. 4) In separate bowl, whip
cream by hand to medium peaks. 5) Remove gelatin from ice bath;
squeeze out water. Put gelatin and 125g blueberry puree in small
pot; warm over medium heat just enough to melt gelatin. Fold in
remaining blueberry puree; mix in sugar/egg yolk mixture. Gently
fold in whipped cream.
6) Pour into piping bag; pipe into desired molds. Allow to set
in refrigerator at least 3 hours before serving.
pposite: Anthony Tahlier; above, left to right: A
nthony Tahlier, Lucia Merino; bottom
, left to right, Beatricess
top, left: yunnan tea Dessert—brown-butter banana cake, brownie
bar, honey spun sugar and yunnan tea gelato—is molded in Jimmy
MacMillan’s signature shape, an obelisk bubble. top, right: the
blueberry mousse in this dessert from lucia Merino is made in a
round savarin mold. bottom, left, Michael Joy brushes silicone over
a carved model to make a custom mold for, right, luis robledo
richards, tout chocolat, representing Mexico at the 2013 Cacao
barry world chocolate Masters in paris.
KATHRYN KJARSGAARD IS A FREElANCE FOOD wRITER BASED IN FOREST