In the IBIE seminar, Fondant and Modeling Chocolate, cake artists Marsha and Roland Winbeckler shed light onto the advantages of using modeling chocolate for sculpted figures in replace of—or in some cases, in conjunction with—gumpaste, marzipan and fondant. And where modeling chocolate was once an item that had to be hand-mixed in-house, it is now commercially available.

One reason modeling chocolate is an advantageous substance is that it doesn’t stretch when cool; it stays firm. (Stretching is one of fondant’s undesirable characteristics.) Additionally, modeling chocolate has a shelf-life of around one year, which allows you to work ahead and maintain a stock pile of figurines to use on last-minute cake orders. And modeling chocolate also makes for cleaner cuts with no ragged edges or sticking, as often occurs with fondant. So, if you don’t already, you may want to consider incorporating this versatile substance into your decorating repertoire.