When I was in my early twenties, I came across my first bunny chocolate mold at an antique store and I realized that I had found my niche. Whenever I traveled from that point on, I would search out antique shows and markets, purchasing every chocolate mold I happened upon. After years of collecting, my eye for old and unusual molds became more discerning, and I passed over the more common pieces. Easter and Christmas were the big holidays for chocolate molds, so you will find molds of Easter bunnies, eggs, chicks, Santa Claus and Father Christmas quite often. These holidays do, however, offer up some unusual molds like the bunny riding a motorcycle or Santa riding a donkey. A trip to Belgium back in 1999 led me to a gentleman who’s father had purchased all of the tin chocolate molds from several chocolate factories when they switched to the more efficient plastic molds. That was an overwhelming experience, looking through a shop with thousands upon thousands of unique chocolate molds. After many hours, Mary Jo was ready to see more of Brussels than just the inside of that one store, while I could have spent the whole day.
My second cookbook contains an article on my chocolate mold collection that outlines the use of antique chocolate molds from tempering the chocolate to molding the forms. For more information and techniques see “In the Kitchen with Michael Salmon“, pages 198 – 201.