Candy Han Solo: On a Stick...
When our friends William and Nikki decided to have a Star Wars Wedding in May of 2003, I thought it would be fun to make them some chocolate Han Solo novelty candies to go with their gift. Here's how we made them.
When researching how to make the candy molds, I found there are a couple of ways to do it. One is to use food grade silicone, and make a mold of the pattern. You can mold them one at a time this way, or spend a lot of time and money making multiple molds of the same pattern.
The way I decided to do it was to make multiple patterns from polyurethane resin and them make food grade vaccuformed chocolate molds from PETG plastic.
I started with the Plastic Han Solo in Carbonite toy that came in my Slave 1 toy spaceship, made a silicone mold and several resin copies.
Note: The silicone and resin I used were not food safe, in fact in the liquid and hardening stages, resin is quite dangerous. However neither material will ever touch the actual food, and fully cured the resin is pretty non-reactive. I let these cure for about 4 days before moving on to the molds. I think that eating the chocolates would have been no more dangerous than say- licking a fiberglass boat - but just to be safe, we made sure the happy couple knew these were only for display- not for eating.
It is possible to vaccuform over the toy itself if you are worried about using resin, but you will have to drill a few holes in your toy, or just use 100% food safe materials. Here is a nice on-line tutorial demonstrating the food safe silicone method.
Vacuforming the Molds
Once I had my patterns, I was ready to make the candy molds. For that, I visited my friend Ken who had a nice home vac table, and lots of prior knowledge.
The first thing Ken did was carve out the backs of the resin copies and drill a few holes through the front of the piece. This made it easier for the vaccuum to suck the hot plastic into all of the crevaces of the toy Han Solo.
Then we loaded the plastic into the frame, glued a stick to a few of the patterns and placed them on the vaccuum table.
after a few minutes in the oven, the PETG plastic was nice and soft, so we took it out of the oven and stretched it over the patterns. We also used a heat gun to help the plastic find the details. This step may not be neccesary on every set-up. It just seemed to help in this home oven set-up.
here is a picture showing a good "pull" of 3 molds.
after removing the pattern, I was left with a foodgrade plastic mold.
Make the Candy!
Now that we had our molds, we were ready to make the candy. The first thing I did was to scrub out the insides of the plastic molds with soap and water, just in case anything came off of the resin while we were vacuforming them. I wanted them to be squeaky clean!
For the chocolate, we used those little round melts that you can find in any craft or party store. We also got sticks and cellophane bags.
we melted them in the microwave in a pastry bag
cut the tip off of the bag...(After melting)
added the sticks into the pre-fromed slots(of course this time we moved the sticks into the bar by a couple of inches), squeezed the chocolate into the mold and then gently tapped them on the counter to help the it flow into the crevaces.
I then tried to remove as much excess chocolate as possible from the edges. Sorry about the blurry pictures. (it was hard to do both by myself)
after filling all of the molds we set them in the refrigerator to harden. It only took about 1/2 hour. Maybe less...
after that we just flexed the mold a little to release the candy,
now we just had to clean up the edges and make them pretty...
We put them in little cello bags with a novelty label.
also a few in candy bar style foil wrappers
we did also try some black ones, but the results were unappetizing. They also tasted really foul.
and for fun I made lemon pops in the freezer :)
I did eat this one :)
Well that's it. The candy was a big hit at the wedding. Mission Accomplished.
If you want to try for yourself- here's a page of 9 candy labels for you to print and use. Enjoy.