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
Glass bowl to fit over the saucepan
A second glass bowl
Piping bag or Sandwich bag
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.