Is there a way to preserve chocolate- as in for an art piece?

I make chocolate art pieces and I am looking for a way to mount one on a wall.  I put a couple of the pieces in an art show into plexiglass frames but they had to sit tabletop.  Maybe encased in resin, but I would need a cold resin so as not to melt the chocolate.  Below is a photo of some of my chocolate art I would like to preserve/encase and mount on the wall but I really don't know how! This photo looks wall-mounted but again, it was shot tabletop.

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Wow! Your artwork is amazing. I really hope you find the answer to your issue as ot seems very worthwhile preserving to me.

AndyGadget6 years ago

Chocolate will tend to get a white coating if you leave it out for a while.
Confectioners' shellac is an edible varnish which should stop it from doing this and is used as the shiny coating on M&Ms etc.  If it's not going to be eaten you could use a matt varnish to protect it from the atmosphere and not give it a shiny finish.
(However, you may be also trying to protect it from people who want to pick a bit off and eat it #;¬)
That sounds like good advice to me -- I was going to suggest trying shellac even before you reminded us that there is a version specifically used for food.

Then mount it on a backing, and mount that in a frame... possibly behind glass. (UV-blocking glass would almost certainly be a good idea, both to protect the colors and to further help protect the chocolate.)

... BUT that won't preserve it against heat. I don't think anything will. So if you want to be able to display it on the wall, you're going to have to either use chocolate with a high melting temperature (tropical chocolate?) or make sure the room stays within tolerable temperature ranges.

I don't know whether chocolate will flow over time even when kept at "room temperature". It might be necessary to adhere the entire back surface to the support card, or even bed the chocolate in a molded form, to control that. Or I may be borrowing trouble and speculating on a problem that will never occur. If you can't find someone who actually knows, you might want to run some "accelerated tests" -- run some experiments. Thinner sections would be more likely to warp, thicker sections would have more weight...

That is gorgeous work. I hope you do find a way to display it short of buying a refrigerator case or making duplicates out of non-edible materials.
Thank you, all useful advice! I think I may be in for a trip to the art store for some experimenting... As far as heat goes, I temper the chocolate and have displayed it in plexiglass frames at an art gallery (on tables) with no melting issues.
Art galleries are usually air conditioned. How much are you willing to bet that a midsummer storm won't knock out power in the middle of a heat wave?

I'd almost be tempted to suggest casting it in a suitable plastic resin, such as the ones used to preserve biological specimens... except that encaspulating it that permanently may do violence to the entire concept of it being made of chocolate. Or may not, depending on the tastes (pardon the pun) of the artist and the piece's eventual owner. Bioplastic tends to soak into tissues and reinforce/preserve them, but also tends to turn them translucent; I have no idea what it would do to chocolate.
I haven't tried confectioners' shellac before- thank you. The piece is not going to be eaten. In my head I see it encased in resin or shellacked using some kind of art store supplies, just not sure what to use.
chocolate blooms after awhile, the fats come out to the surface and will eventually turn white.
Its mostly cosmetic, ive eaten chocolate that was several year old and blooming, it still tasted like chocolate, sometimes chocolate gets a soapy taste after a while

M&Ms use a recipe of chocolate that helps prevent blooming.
craftyv6 years ago
Beautiful work.