To mold in cornstarch special molds made of plaster of Paris are required. The following paragraph explains how to make them: Make an impression with a round bottle or stick about an inch in diameter in some flour or cornstarch. Mix up two heaping tablespoonfuls of plaster of Paris with enough water to make it thin enough to run. Pour the plaster of Paris into the impression. In fact, it is best to make several impressions and fill them at the same time. As soon as the plaster of Paris hardens, lift from the flour, and with a knife it is an easy matter to carve out any design desired for the centers of candies. A different design should be carved out of each piece. With these original molds make three or four or more impressions in the starch with each, and pour them full of plaster of Paris mixed with water. When they have hardened, take them out and sandpaper them down until they are perfectly smooth. Glue these molds on a lath with one-half inch spaces between. The lath must be long enough so that the ends will rest on the side of the pan in which the cornstarch is to be sifted for the molding bed. Molds of different designs should be glued on the same lath, unless the centers are for chocolate drops, when the molds should be uniform in size and shape. To make two dozen molds requires not more than two hours work, and they will last a life-time.
Preparing The Molding Bed
For the molding bed purchase five or six pounds of cornstarch. This will not mean a great expense, as it can be used over and over again with but a little waste. A pan about one inch in depth should be used. Sift the starch into it, being careful not to press it down. Sift it all over the pan so it is an even depth. Make the pan a little more than even full. Then with a ruler or similar piece level the starch by drawing it across the top, allowing the ends to rest on the pan. In this way there is no danger of packing the starch, and it can be made perfectly level.
Now take the lath upon which the molds are glued and make a row of impressions in the starch at one side of the pan. In making the next row, which should be close to the first, press slightly from the first row or there will be danger of the first row caving in. Make one row after another until the pan is filled with impressions. Be careful not to jar the pan the least bit, or the impressions will fall in and they will then have to be made over.
Filling The Impressions
Take any of the fondants desired and heat in the double boiler as directed for dipping cream. When necessary, thin them down a little with hot water. The fondant must be thin enough to run. With a spoon or funnel fill the impressions in the starch. If one is careless and allows drops of fondant to fall on the starch when the impressions are being filled, it will cause some to cave in. Fill the impressions to a uniform depth so the centers will be uniform in size.
The fondant must be made real warm in the double boiler, or it will not harden in the starch; however, if it is made real hot, the center will be firmer after being dipped than if the fondant is made only moderately hot. Keep the fondant over the hot water while fill the impressions. If the fondant gets too cold to run, return it to the fire and reheat. Never attempt to melt fondant directly over the fire. It must be done over boiling water. It will take a little while for the centers to cool and get hard in the starch, but as soon as they have set sufficiently they may be placed in a pan or sieve, and all the starch can be blown off with a palm-leaf fan or with a small bellows. This should be done in the open, as it makes a dust in the kitchen. The starch will not stick to the candy.
After the molding is done, the starch should be put into a container and preserved for after-occasions. The same starch can be used many time. As soon as the centers have thoroughly cooled they may be coated with chocolate.
The centers may be flavored as desired. Vanilla, lemon, strawberry, wintergreen, peppermint, almond are all desirable. Make the vanilla and peppermint white, the orange and lemon pale yellow, and the strawberry pink.