Many pictures can be found in our Halloween Chocolate Diorama Portfolio.
The Secret Chocolatier Halloween Diorama
Last Sunday we invited the public and our fans out to join us for an afternoon decorating halloween treats that would be used in our halloween diorama project. The turnout was fantastic; over four hours we had around 30 people join in painting, decorating, (and eating mistakes) chocolate bones, mummies, hands, pumpkins, bats, and more. It was stunning just how much artistic material was created in four short hours.
After all the chocolate settled (and set) we organized the pieces and laid them out for the next day. We’re closed on Monday’s so we wanted to use the opportunity to focus on finishing the set. At this time we had only the frame painted in a tempered chocolate and a couple of trees (one made from modeling chocolate, and one a large baked graham cracker) and a skull embedded in a marshmallow moon. Even though we had a couple of rough sketches of what we had ideas for nothing was finalized.
In essence we wanted to build something that best reflected the work of the community. Wedging our artistic vision the opposite way would have been a lot more difficult.
We began to play with combinations, pondering a small story of a ‘Secret Cemetery’ where the world began to unravel and The Nightmare Before Christmas danced in our heads.
Overall the idea came together swiftly but it took more than a day to build some of the chocolate sculptures (made from our own modeling chocolate) and I had a few issues during my pulled sugar work that hindered the project.
The Secret Cemetery
An archway leads you into our secret cemetery. Broken cobblestone with some strange unearthly matter bleeds underneath them leading you past a minos grande, or maybe it’s the chocolate reaper to a house that has a mind of its own. If you veer off the path to the left you find a graveyard and slippery slope of a mudslide that has unearthed residents long forgotten. While on your right there is a frozen lake that has a story only the dead know.
Come See the Chocolate Work!
We had a lot of fun and from what feedback we’ve heard everyone who came out had a lot of fun too. We utilized at least 90% of what was created and made sure everyone has something of their own they can find in this 4′ set of spooktacular chocolate. The diorama will be on display through the end of October.
Already in the works is 2013′s set and we’re going to start earlier to put even more detail and artistic creepy flair into it.
The Process & Components
Tempered chocolate gives a rather strong structure to work from. We painted it on in layers letting the sky set first then flipping the structure over to do the floor, finishing with the outer sides to cover the entire scene.
- Overall Frame Reinforcement (inside and outside)
- Base sky & floor
Modeling chocolate is a ratio of corn syrup & chocolate. The chocolate need not be in temper and the corn syrup delays crystallization. This gives you a good amount of flexibility to build and sculpt chocolate however you want (usually in layers) and then when it cools completely it’s as hard as a tempered chocolate but a little bit more delicate.
- Wooden House
- Miasma Ghouls
- Reaper Body
- Pits & Graveyard
A chocolate product where the cocoa butter is replaced by another oil. Since this art piece was not meant to be eaten and we didn’t want to waste quality craft chocolate on it we ordered some dipping chocolate to quickly make the chocolate ornamentals / actors. In a matter of hours we were able to pop out a lot of molds this way. The downside is the oil that replaces cocoa butter has a tendency to melt at a lower temperature so if you’re not careful melting in your hands occurs easily.
- Pumpkins, etc
We make our own marshmallows so this was an easy win. Once a marshmallow dries out it stays in shape permanently.
I’ve had a lot of fun in the past few months learning how to work with sugar. As I’ve educated myself on pulling sugar some great ideas were born for this project. While many did not get done, next year should include a few more. It was a lot of fun to work with.
- Lake / Pond
- Pulled Sugar Breeze / Sky
- Skull Eyes
- Earth (we saved up a huge amount of cake scraps to crumble.)
The rest of the pictures from the diorama can be found in our Halloween Chocolate Diorama Portfolio.
The Secret Chocolatier for Halloween
If you’re looking for something more fun for the kid in you or the kids in your life drop by The Secret Chocolatier. We’ve got an array of tasty ghoul snacks from fingerling pretzels, chocolate decorated skulls, chocolate coffins filled with caramelized cacao nibs and white chocolate bones, and more.