Chocolate decorating is an exciting and fun hobby anyone can enjoy. A beautiful chocolate decoration can quickly turn a simple dessert into a spectacular work of art. Techniques can be easily applied to cake and cupcake decorating and are the perfect way to embellish your sweet treats, or created and used for an elegant table centerpiece to accompany a most delicious dessert buffet .
|Piping with Chocolate|
When rumor gets around you're decorating with chocolate, you'll get invited to all the hip happenings and will immediately be accepted in all of the highfalutin social circles in hopes that you'll bring a mere morsel of delight upon your arrival. Chocolate decorating is simply marvelous for gift giving, even if your project isn't a huge success, people will still love it and eat it, because, well... it's chocolate, and what's not to love ?
I became interested in decorating with chocolate just by trying a few simple techniques I had seen after doing a little research, and also while working on a web design project with a cake decorating friend, who showed me how to make the chocolate roses she uses for decorating cakes.
I then decided to decorate a delicious, but very plain store bought chocolate cake ( Trader Joe's chocolate ganache cake, and BTW these are excellent cakes to decorate and are so delicious, if you have a TJ's in your area, you find them in the frozen section ) for a dinner party.
For me it's all about presentation, so arriving with a plain chocolate cake was out of the question, I don't care how great it tastes. I decorated the cake with a festive bouquet of chocolate roses using modeling chocolate and leaves with tempered chocolate.
I eventually challenged myself with some chocolate table centerpieces, such as my 14 inch tall art nouveau inspired figures ( using a combination of tempered and modeling chocolate ), whimsical fantasy flowers and giant butterflies and some fancy chocolate dipped dried fruit platters with plenty of added embellishments.
|Figures in White and Dark Chocolate, edible from head to toe !|
I almost always practice an idea out of chocolate coating first ( aka wilton's candy melts or Guittard's A'peels ). Candy coating, what I call "fake chocolate", does not need to be tempered and is a lot less expensive than gourmet chocolate, you can easily pop it in and out of the microwave or just reheat, and you don't have to monitor it as much as tempered chocolate ( see my previous blog for tempering info ).
Any chocolate decorating technique can be made using fake chocolate. Once I'm confident with my project, I'll switch to a high quality real chocolate. Fake chocolate is great for kids, many people like the taste and don't mind using it all of the time and actually prefer it, because it's so easy to use. You can find Wilton's candy melts at Michael's Crafts, or Guittard's A'peels online, or in some cake decorating and candy supply shops.
|Giant Chocolate Butterflies with Luster Dust|
One easy way to make a chocolate decoration is by piping a scribble with a ( tempered ) chocolate filled pastry bag on a piece of acetate, wax or parchment paper. Make sure your lines are well connected to hold the piece together, and don't pipe your lines super thin or your decoration will break. Refrigerate for 5 minutes and remove from sheet. Decorations can be used as plate embellishments or for the top of a dessert.
|Chocolate scribble for a plate garnish and dessert accent|
Making large fun squiggles ( not to be confused with scribbles ) with a pastry bag, using a cake decorating tip ( one with is bigger hole ), adding some cut-outs and wrapping in a beautiful box, make wonderful gifts. They look like squiggly chocolate candy bars. I add dried fruit for color accents. I like to make them about 4x7 inches or more, or big and fat.... around 5X5 inches. They also look great in a big candy dish or dessert platter with confections, cookies, fruit etc. as decorative accents.
|Giant Chocolate Squiggles|
Chocolate adds an element of lip-smacking excitement and sophistication to any event and creating edible art out of chocolate is the epitome of jaw-dropping glamourama. We all know how delicious chocolate tastes, but many people aren't aware of the stunning marvels you can also create. Many common artist techniques can be applied to chocolate decorating, on the flip side, projects are easy enough for anyone to learn, no artistic talent is needed !
Creating these edible objects of beauty will leave your friends and family members gob smacked when they see what you've accomplished in so little time. Guests will applaud you for your chic efforts at parties, and you'll be appreciated and admired by all :)
For more fun projects check out my instructional chocolate decorating DVD, The Chocolate Addict Volume One, The Chocolate Garden. And look for my new DVD The Chocolate Addict Volume Two coming in 2011 !
Do you have any favorite chocolate decorating techniques? would love to hear !
Please excuse any typos etc., it's late and I'm tired :)