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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Finish Your Cake with Curls

Hello everyone! The summer is mixing up all of my days because I forgot to post my tip of the day yesterday! So TODAY we'll talk about making chocolate curls to decorate the top of a cake. I've brought you the 2 schools of thought on the subject - melt and refirm vs. soften and curl. Have some fun - test them both out and tell me your favorite!

Ghirardelli's Chocolate Curl Theory
  1. To make any of the following curls, use a 4-ounce bar of Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet, 60% Cacao Bittersweet, or Milk Chocolate.
  2. For large curls, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Turn a baking sheet upside down. Using a plastic spatula, spread the melted chocolate evenly over the baking sheet. (The chocolate should be the thickness of a butter-knife blade.) Refrigerate 10 minutes, or until the chocolate is firm but not brittle. Hold a metal spatula upside down and press firmly into the chocolate, then push steadily ahead until a curl forms. With a toothpick or a small skewer, carefully lift the curls and place them on the dessert, or store them on a plate in the refrigerator until needed.
  3. For small curls, let the chocolate bar stand in a warm place (80º to 85ºF) until thoroughly warm but not melted. Using a vegetable peeler, make curls by drawing the peeler along the thin, flat side of the bar. Remove the curls with a toothpick and place them on the dessert, or store them on a plate in the refrigerator until needed.
  4. To make shavings, proceed as directed for small curls but use a short stroke when peeling. For a more splintered effect, use cool rather than warmed chocolate. Both shavings and splinter curls work best when made directly over the dessert being decorated. (Practice first over a plate to be sure it’s working properly.)

Williams Sonoma Chocolate Curl Theory
Chocolate Curls
Slightly soften a 3 to 4-inch chunk of chocolate in the microwave on medium (50% power). Using a vegetable peeler, scrape the blade lengthwise across the softened chocolate to create pretty, delicate curls. Refrigerate the curls until ready to use.

Chocolate Shavings
Use a vegetable peeler or knife to shave flat, thin shavings from a room-temperature block of chocolate.

Happy baking!

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