ecorations made of chocolate are the most beautiful and sophisticated display of pastry chef’s skills when done properly, but they are also fun to make! That’s what I like the most about being a pastry chef – you get to play with chocolate all day long and on top of that – you get paid! It’s a sweet life!
Now, first thing – first! If you know – keep reading this post, but if you don’t, learn how to do that and then come back to have some fun!
How to Make Chocolate Cigarettes
Chocolate cigarettes are elegant decoration for cakes, individual desserts, and desserts in glasses. Thinly spread tempered chocolate onto a marble slab. When the surface of the chocolate starts drying, quickly scrape a small part of the chocolate using your triangle spatula.
The chocolate you scraped should curl up in a form of a cigarette. Repeat the process until you scrape off the entire chocolate from the marble. This will take some practice until you get a perfectly shaped cigarette, but keep trying! Store your chocolate cigarettes in a well-sealed box and you’re done. Easy-peasy!
Piped Chocolate Decorations
Remember my post about ? If you do, then you surely remember how to make paper cornet for piping so make one now!
Now, as always, you will need to temper the chocolate (surprise, surprise!). Once you have done that, spread a sheet of parchment paper on your kitchen countertop, preferably marble, and start piping. The best thing to do is start to pipe geometrical shapes. I made a template for triangles that I have made, so feel free to print it if you want to make the same decorations.
However, you don’t need to use only geometrical shapes, you can also use an old script like I did. This script is called Glagolitic script.
The Glagolitic script (/ˌɡlæɡəˈlɪtɪk/,Glagolitsa) is the oldest known Slavic alphabet. It is generally agreed to have been created in the 9th century by Saint Cyril, a Byzantine monk from Thessaloniki. He and his brother, Saint Methodius, were sent by the Byzantine Emperor Michael III in 863 to Great Moravia to spread Christianity among the West Slavs in the area. The brothers decided to translate liturgical books into the Old Slavic language that was understandable to the general population, but as the words of that language could not be easily written by using either the Greek or Latin alphabets, Cyril decided to invent a new script, Glagolitic, which he based on the local dialect of the Slavic tribes from the Byzantine Salonika region. Only Croats used glagolitic script all the way until 19th century and it is an important cultural heritage of my people.
You too can explore your heritage – find an old script, some exotic ornament, an interlace, an interesting symbol or emblem and use it as your decorations. Why not? It looks so exotic and interesting, and at the same time you are reviving a part of your history – and in chocolate! Your kids will LOVE to learn their ABC’s if you make some yummy cookies and emebellish them with chocolate piped letters – believe you me!
Every artist was first an amateur.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What acetate sheets have in common with tempered chocolate? There is a simple answer to that question – shine! If you spread tempered chocolate on the acetate sheet and cut out different shapes, once the chocolate is set, the side that was in touch with the acetate will have a lovely shine! You can get them here.
To make these delicate swirls I spread tempered chocolate onto an acetate sheet in a thin layer. Immediately I scraped the excess with a rectangular pastry comb, and I got uniform parallel lines of chocolate. I rolled the acetate sheet and when my chocolate set, I got these beautiful, thin swirls. They look absolutely amazing when you put them on a cake!
You can also make them in small batches which is much easier. Cut your acetate sheets into 5cm (2 inches) wide strips. Spread tempered chocolate onto a strip and swipe with a comb. Roll your strip and put it into a baguette mold! I made these using this method. It is so simple and you handle the acetate stripe one by one which is more convenient than handling the whole sheet at once!
How to use Chocolate Transfer Sheets
Chocolate transfer sheets are so much fun because you can easily and quickly make some super interesting and colorful chocolate decorations! Now – just a word about manufacturing those – in the factory, they take a translucent acetate sheet and print on it using colored cocoa butter. Of course, they can only use liposoluble colors since cocoa butter is pure fat extracted from cocoa beans, therefore, those sheets are highly sensitive to temperature. Meaning – don’t touch the surface with your bare hands because your body warmth will melt the pattern!
Now, it’s your turn! You just need to pour tempered chocolate on the ‘printed’ side of the sheet and spread it evenly using spatula. At this point it becomes a little tricky! You see, the problem is this – if you let the chocolate to cool down completely, the whole thing might start to break when you try to remove individual patterns from the sheet. Not good! In order to prevent this you should cut the desired shapes while the chocolate is still soft (but not too soft!) and only then let it to cool down. Now you can peel your decorations from the transfer sheet without worrying about breaking the chocolate. It looks complicated, I know, but when you see my video, everything will be clear.
Once you master the skill of chocolate tempering, you will just need to choose among all these methods and start playing with chocolate. And believe me, it’s a fun game that brings loads of joy to the consumer as much as it does to the chocolate artisan! It’s simply a win-win situation!
You will learn how to make chocolate decorations like a pro in a jiffy! Naturally, this skill demands a lot of practice and there will be many, many broken pieces. Fortunately (!) there is a rule in pastry trade that says “If you break it, you eat it!” I know, I know, not an easy thing to do, but – the rule is the rule, right? Enjoy!
Well, what do you think about this post?
I read and really appreciate all the comments, even though I do not always have the time to respond to each one. So – keep me in the loop and try to create some sweetness every day because – Sweetness is happiness!!