Here in the Pacific Northwest, the talk of the town is the upcoming total solar eclipse. It's supposed to be pretty epic- the first total solar eclipse visible from mainland USA since 1979, and the first visible across the entire contiguous United States since 1918. Hotels in Oregon have been booked for months and they're predicting the worst traffic in the state's history.
All this cosmic excitement inspired me to make my own solar eclipse... out of chocolate, of course!
First, let's talk about smoothing.
To make this moon, I started by rolling a ball and squashing it down with the palm of my hand. This made lots of little palm lines in the chocolate. You can see them in the second frame below. (Can you find my love line? No? Me neither...) I smoothed the top of the orb with my fingers and the edges with my Tri-Tip soft Sugar Shaper (the red one). The chocolate smoothed so easily; it took just a few seconds and the whole thing was perfect.
Next, I wanted to establish the moon in front of the sun. I drew in a moon shape with my Tri-Tip chisel Sugar Shaper again and then hollowed out the area that would become the sun by scraping a little bit off the top with the same red Sugar Shaper, then pushing and drawing the chocolate out with my Square Tip (yellow) soft Sugar Shaper. The chocolate was pliable, but not so soft it became hard to manipulate. I could hold it in place with my left hand while I worked with my right and there were no melty or greasy spots where my fingers held it.
Then I went in with the smaller end of my firm-tip Bone Chisel Sugar Shaper (the orange one) to give the moon a lip, or beveled sort of edge. This pulled up some of the chocolate, which I then went over with the soft-tip bone chisel and it smoothed back together seamlessly.
For the craters in the moon, I used both firm and soft Bone Chisel Sugar Shapers. The chocolate held up well with both. I found that the firm tips actually worked best for the shallow craters- just a light press. For the deeper, wider craters I used the soft shaper, pressing and swirling it. The chocolate built up into nice crater ridges without ripping or roughing up.
Next I drew some patterns into the larger sun rays the soft Tri-Tip Chisel and used the soft Bone Chisel to add some depth to the smaller rays. (This is the Tri-Tip and Bone show, ladies and gents!)
Lastly, I wanted to give the sun rays some movement and 3-dimensionality. I curled them around my Sugar Shapers and left it to set overnight. When I removed the tools, the sun rays held their shape perfectly- no drooping, sagging, or unfurling.