Culinary Institute of America Recipe
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Molded Chocolate Bunnies

The idea of the Easter Bunny was imported to America by the Pennsylvania Dutch. Sometime after World War II when automated mass production made the confection readily available, Americans began to include molded chocolate bunnies in their children's Easter baskets.

Instead of purchasing chocolate bunnies for Easter baskets this year, create and decorate your own molded bunnies by following the quick and easy steps provided by CIA Chef Peter Greweling. "Make sure to use tempered chocolate when you pour it into the molds. When chocolate is optimally tempered, it contracts the most when it sets. If it is either untempered, or is tempered but cold and thick, it will not shrink sufficiently and will not release from the mold."*

Until recently, chocolate molds were always made of steel and lined with tin to provide a smooth surface. These metal molds are no longer made but are still widely available. Today's molds are made from plastics and range from flimsy inexpensive molds to rigid polycarbonate molds that should last for generations. The inexpensive molds work, but will not last as long as the polycarbonate molds. A variety of chocolate molds are available in specialty stores. The crucial thing to remember is that chocolate makes a mirror image of whatever it sets on, so take care to keep your mold shiny and smooth. If it is scratched, dented, or pitted, then every chocolate that comes out of that mold will exhibit those same defects.

As far as cleaning molds, Chef Greweling cautions that you never use anything abrasive on the interior of the molds, and never put them in the dishwasher. His rule of thumb: if you would not use it on your skin, do not use it on the molds.

You can paint white or milk chocolate into sections of the bunny molds to enhance the appearance of a specific part such as the eyes or a backpack as Chef Greweling demonstrates in the following video. You can also decorate your bunnies with royal icing and novelty candies, and tie a brightly colored ribbon bow around the neck.

You'll find these instructions and a variety of recipes in The Culinary Institute of America's Chocolates and Confections at Home (2010, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) cookbook available at bookstores or online.

* Chef's note: To find out how to properly temper chocolate, see Chef Greweling's video Chocolate Dipped Anything.

CIA's Molded Chocolate Bunny recipe



  • Tempered chocolate


Making Large Hollow Chocolate Molds

  1. Temper the chocolate.
  2. Polish the mold.
  3. Warm the mold slightly.
  4. Brush the inside of each half of the mold with tempered chocolate. Brushing the molds will prevent the formation of air bubbles.

If the mold has an open base when it is clipped together, follow these steps:

  1. Clip the two halves of the mold together.
  2. Invert the mold so that the opening is facing up.
  3. Fill the mold completely with tempered chocolate.
  4. Allow the chocolate to sit for 3 to 5 minutes at room temperature.
  5. Invert the mold so that excess chocolate runs out.
  6. Clean the base and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  7. Unclip the mold and unsnap the mold from the finished piece.

If the mold is totally enclosed when it is snapped together, follow these steps:

  1. Fill one half of the mold nearly to the top with tempered chocolate.
  2. Clip the other half of the mold on the top of the first. Make sure it is well-sealed.
  3. Gently turn the mold so that the chocolate inside evenly coats the mold.
  4. Continue turning until the chocolate has thickened and is set in place. This will take 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the mold.
  5. Refrigerate the mold for 20 minutes.
  6. Unclip the molds and unsnap the mold from the finished piece.

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