Thursday, 14 March 2013

How-to 10: Make Chocolate Curls and leaves- cake or dessert Decorations


Instant class for any dessert or cake...

(Apologies for being a few days late with this- busy times...)
Since Easter, that time of year when everyone thinks about chocolate (because Christmas and Valentine's were soo long ago, right?) is nearly upon us, this month's how-to shows how to make two kinds of chocolate decoration that are great on cupcakes, cheesecakes, desserts, gateaux; in fact, anything that needs a chocolatey boost! We've used vegan dark chocolate, but you could use your favourite kind. If you use cooking chocolate ("couverture"), which is usually higher in cocoa butter/ fats, it may be easier to melt and set without losing the gloss- depends on the quality of the brand, of course. It doesn't need tempering, (when you melt and re-set it before using)) to achieve this. If you are already seriously into chocolate cookery, then you will have your own likes and dislikes. We have found Lidl dark cooking chocolate really good value and acceptable quality. It melts and sets readily too. I lost the shine on the leaves shown here through impatience; I put them in the freezer to set them quicker knowing full well the risk I was taking- but I think they still look good.


1: If not using couverture, temper your chocolate by melting it then setting again. Do not let it reach too high a temperature or it will lose its gloss. Use a microwave or double boiler to melt the chocolate, (and a chocolate thermometer if you are really serious...)




2: Meanwhile, wash and dry your leaves. I used rose leaves as I didn't want them too big, but magnolia and camellia are also good. Choose non-poisonous leaves with distinct veining, preferably from your own garden and free of pesticides.



3: Lay the leaves out textured side up on a sheet of baking parchment and you're ready to go!



4: With a clean paintbrush lay on a layer of chocolate. The leaves will curl but don't worry- it makes the finished effect even more attractive :)

5: When all the leaves are done let them set- don't be tempted to hasten this by putting them in the freezer (like I did) or the gloss will disappear from the chocolate and you may even get white spots on it.

6: Next add another layer. Make sure the leaves are totally covered. Leave to set completely.

7: Now carefully peel off and discard the leaves. Tah-dah! - Chocolate leaves with a pretty vein pattern! 

8: The finished items can be stored carefully between sheets of baking parchment in an airtight container until needed.

9: For chocolate curls first pour melted chocolate onto a marble (or similar) surface and smooth it over. Wait until it is solid, but NOT COMPLETELY SET.

10: Work reasonably quickly, as the chocolate will crack if it cools completely. Make the curls with a peeler (the straight one will give longer curls than the one I used) or wallpaper-stripping knife.

12: .... the finished results!














8 comments:

  1. One of the first things I learnt when I started to bake, these chocolate creations really add that professional touch to the cake / cupcake!

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  2. A wonderful post...will surely try these

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  3. Wow... I loved this idea!! So cool! :D I'm gonna do this for decorating the next cake I make!

    Hey if you don't mind - I have a hard time finding your comments section every time!! :( I have to open every post at least 2-3 times before the comments section actually appears. Just thought I'll let you know. It'll be easier for us if you have a simpler template provided by blogger!

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  4. Thanks for the advice- I'll look into it; you are not the first to have said this... I think it started when I changed to Dynamic View last year. A lot of the time when you embed a widget it doesn't show up. I'm loathe to change back from dynamic views though as I think it makes the different posts more accessible. Maybe I'll change back foir a while and see how my ststs go....

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