Thursday, June 20, 2013

Chocolate Class: Assorted Garnishes

Yesterday we practiced using chocolate to make a number of kinds of garnishes. Unfortunately, I forgot to charge my phone, and it died, so I have no pictures.

We did a number of items using acetate sheets. Acetate is great for chocolate work, because it sticks to melted chocolate, but releases quickly when the chocolate hardens. Once the chocolate is spread on the acetate, it can be manipulated to make loops, spirals, teardrops, etc. The chocolate will then harden in the shape you made. Timing is tricky. The chocolate needs to set up a little, but not too much. Dark chocolate sets up considerably faster than milk or white chocolate. We used the acetate to make spirals of chocolate, as well as teardrops that were stuck together with chocolate to make a bow.

We used a number of hardware tools to get effects. We used a wood graining tool to get a wood grain look. We used the tool to put down a thin layer of white chocolate with a wood grained pattern on an acetate sheet. When that hardened, we covered it with a layer of dark chocolate. That gave a two toned wood grained look. We also used a square notched adhesive spreader to make thin lines of chocolate.

We used a cheap plastic box as a mold to make a square box of chocolate. That involved filling the box with chocolate, draining out the excess, and letting it harden. We did the same again, to make two coats. The box was refrigerated briefly, to encourage the chocolate to set, but not long enough for condensation to form. Water is anathema to chocolate. Properly tempered chocolate will contract slightly when set. This makes it possible to get out of the mold.

Finally, we made chocolate cigarettes. Those are long, thin, tight rolls of chocolate. For a single color, the chocolate is spread in an about 1/8 inch thick layer on the marble, and, at just the right consistency, use essentially a paint scraper with a sharp thrust at a 45 degree angle to get the chocolate to roll. The window is very narrow. Too soon, and the chocolate just sticks to the scraper. Too late, and it just scrapes off the marble. Just right, and you get cool tightly rolled tubes of chocolate. To get two colored rolls, first put a thin layer of one color, and use the adhesive spreader to make thin parallel stripes. Let that set, then spread the 1/8 inch layer of chocolate over the stripes. I got a cool effect by using the scraper to make a sine wave in white chocolate..

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