Monday, April 02, 2012

Make It Monday: Chocolate Accents




My Mom recently celebrated a birthday for which Sophie and I decided to make a batch of cupcakes. I didn’t want it to be just an ordinary tray of cupcakes so the wheels in my head were turning, but all I could think of was cupcake cake designs that were more suited to folks still celebrating single digit birthdays. You know, flowers, rainbows, butterflies, barnyard animals, etc.

In my attempt at making them look a bit more grown-up I decided to try my hand at making some chocolate accents to garnish the cupcakes. Here’s a tutorial if you’re facing the same dilemma.

What you'll need:

Chocolate - chips, chunks, chopped up bars, whatever you like really
Saucepan
Glass bowl to fit over the saucepan
A second glass bowl
Piping bag or Sandwich bag
Scissors
Cutting board covered in foil

Step 1: Temper the Chocolate

Tempering your chocolate helps ensure that your chocolate accents end up hardening properly and will have a satisfying "snap" when you break them as opposed to being bendy or floppy. There are several sites and videos that explain how to temper chocolate and they all seem to be slightly different so here's what worked for me.

In a saucepan bring a small amount of water to a simmer and rest a glass bowl over top. Add your chocolate and stir constantly as it melts.

Bring the melted chocolate up to a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Remove the bowl from the heat, dry the bottom and transfer the melted chocolate to a clean, cool glass bowl.

Stir the chocolate and allow it to cool to a temperature between 88 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. As you can see in the picture below my thermometer only goes as low as 100 degrees so I had to guesstimate.

There, now your chocolate is tempered. Quickly move on to Step 2 before your chocolate cools too much.






Step 2: Create Chocolate Accents

Fill a piping bag or sandwich bag with your melted chocolate.

Cut the tip. Cut a small amount off first and test the size, you can always cut further up if the hole isn't big enough.

Now for the fun part, get creative and pipe whatever designs you want onto a foil covered cutting board.

Once you're finished, put the cutting board in the fridge to allow the chocolate accents to harden, about an hour or so. 

Gently lift the chocolate accents off of the cutting board and voila, you're finished.







Now you can add them to cakes or cupcakes, or whatever suits your fancy. If you're not going to use them right away simply store them in a resealable container in your fridge until you're ready to use them.





Yum-O!

Happy Monday!






20 comments:

  1. Thanks for the tutorial! :) This looks like it would be fun to try!

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    1. You're very welcome! I hope you give it a try and are met with successful, inspiring desserts.

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  2. Thanks that was great saw this on pinterest it lead me here.. great job now I'm going to check out your blog...

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    1. Thanks for checking out my blog and I hope you give the chocolate accents a try :)

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  3. These were fun to make! However, I forgot the "seeding" step of the tempering and so my tempering efforts were in vain. (I made such a small batch that I'm not sure how successful it would have been anyway.) With this untempered melted chocolate, I found that my chocolate shapes came out OK, but required to be chilled or frozen to hold their shape. Also, my pieces were much thinner than yours (therefore less sturdy) - perhaps because of the lack of tempering, or because it was still too warm when I drizzled it?

    Moral of the story: Go ahead and temper it properly! But they still looked and tasted good on our cupcakes. :)

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    1. Hi Sarah,

      I wasn't aware that "seeding" was a necessary step, I thought it was just a more foolproof method to tempering, but believe me I am no pastry chef! I'm glad they still looked and tasted good.

      For a more thick chocolate accent, I think you're probably right in that cooling the chocolate a little more may have helped. Trimming the hole a bit bigger in the piping bag may also remedy that.

      Cheers! Thanks for trying out the tutorial!

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  4. Thanks for the idea - I am looking for ideas for an adoption party for a 3 year old and thought this would be a fun addition to the cupcakes. Might also try her new name on a bigger cake. I'm also looking forward to exploring your blog!

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  5. Ever since my mother got me a cake decorating kit full of all the frills, I have been thinking of using melted chocolate to make decor instead of icing just because every time I had a piece of cake that had those huge flowers or anything extra made out of icing, it just went in the trash :/ It's just too sweet. But I would totally eat up some chocolate!!! I was thinking about using saran wrap over a printed out pattern to add to cakes. Do you know if the chocolate would come off as easy as it does off of foil? It would make lettering sooooo much easier!!! lol

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    1. Hi Caitlin,
      I think it would work just fine on saran wrap, but I haven't tried it. The chocolate accents are very stiff and sturdy once they've hardened so I imagine peeling them off would work. Next time I make some I'll give it a shot. I definitely agree it would make lettering way easier!

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  6. I love this! One Halloween I did this, on saran wrap, over a template of a spider web. I made a whole bunch of chocolate spider webs for the top of purple & orange frosted cupcakes. I laid them flat to look like they were "floating". It was a fantastic success and a whole lot easier than I expected! Actually...now that I think about it - it may have been wax paper instead of saran. I haven't done this since then, I pinned it to remind me that I totally should!

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  7. How long can they be kept in the fridge?

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    1. Tempered chocolate designs can be safely stored in the fridge for up to 3 months. Cheers!

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  8. These look great! I should have thought about watching their temperature; will do that from now on.

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  9. Hey, just curious, if you put the chocolate accents on the cupcake in the morning and couldn't store the cupcakes in the fridge, will the accents loose shape not being chilled?
    Just curious how sturdy the chocolate is because I would like to serve these at an event (indoor, temperature regulated room) but if the chocoalte looses shape that may be a problem. Just thought I would ask before I tried.

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    1. Hi, to answer your question, tempered chocolate accents shouldn't lose their shape at room temperature, they should retain a "snapping" consistency.

      However, if you store the cupcakes in an airtight container where humidity can be trapped inside they will likely absorb the humidity and become bendy, which may cause them to lose their shape.

      And sorry for the delayed response. I just stumbled across your question. Cheers!

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  11. does it matter what kind of chocolate you use??...bakers chocolate...milk chocolate??

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    1. I used semi-sweet chocolate myself. I haven't tried others. Good luck!

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  12. I don't have a thermometer! Can I still make these and if so how will I know when they are tempered?

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  13. These are beautiful! I am going to try them this weekend!

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