Decorating Desserts with Chocolate

For chocolate lovers, it’s only natural to top, garnish and decorate with more chocolate. When you’re looking for easy ways to duplicate some of the fancy embellishments and details on your favorite desserts, consider the following decorating tips for chocolate.

How To Make Chocolate Curls

To make chocolate curls, choose a vegetable peeler with a long narrow blade. You will need a chunk or bar of chocolate to make curls. First, slightly warm the chocolate and blade. Before making the curls, it is important that the peeler is completely dry. Draw the peeler along the smooth surface of the chocolate, and watch the magic unfold. Another way to make chocolate curls is to use a cheese slicer.

Chocolate curls make a dazzling complement to cream pies, chocolate cakes (especially flourless chocolate cakes), tarts, and cheesecake.

How to Make a Chocolate Fan

To make an eye-catching dessert, chocolate fans are often used in fancy restaurants. First, melt squares of baking chocolate according to the directions. Spread the chocolate with a spatula into a very thin layer across a baking sheet. Refrigerate the chocolate for 10 minutes or until it is firm yet not frozen. With a metal spatula or cheese slicer in hand, run the tool along the baking sheet with light pressure. To create a fan shape, use your hand to mold the strip of chocolate into folds, waves and fan shapes.

Top a torte, cupcake, cakes (especially flourless chocolate cake and wedding cake) with a chocolate fan.

How To Grate Chocolate

Before grating a block of chocolate, make sure that it is firm and cool. Rub the block across a hand grater – making sure to clean often to avoid clogging the surface of the blade. Some people have also grated chocolate by placing small pieces in a blender or food processor.

Grated chocolate makes a decent garnish for desserts and adds visual pizzazz to pudding pies, cheesecake, ice cream cake, mousse, tiramisu, and soufflé.

How to Use Melted Chocolate

After chopping chocolate into small, evenly sized pieces, transfer to the top of a double boiler. Heat the chocolate while constantly stirring. Remove from heat and continue to stir the chocolate until it is smooth. No double boiler? You can melt chocolate in a bowl placed over a pan filled with simmering water. After melting chocolate using the double broiler method (or in the microwave), there are a handful of ways to decorate your desserts, such as:

  • Drizzle melted chocolate over cream pies, cakes, ice cream cones, sundaes, cupcakes, cream puffs, fried dough, and cookies.
  • Dip strawberries and other pieces of fruit into melted chocolate.
  • Coat marshmallows, Rice Krispie treats, and truffles with melted chocolate.