22 gennaio 2013

Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate

Author: The Desserts Diva

There’s something wonderful, like a little flavor explosion, that happens when you first bite into something chocolate.  And, the more chocolate, the bigger the explosion.  Tell the truth, right now you’re thinking about the last time you had chocolate and how great it was, aren’t you?
Recently, I was asked to re-create a chocolate cake I had made for friends during the holidays.  It was a chocolate chip cake with chocolate sour cream frosting.  It’s really chocolatey and just divalicious;  but it needed a little something to make it extra special.  So, I decided to make chocolate curls…
In the past, making chocolate curls with a vegetable peeler* was “easy breezy,” but not this time.  As usual, I used a good bar of chocolate that I slightly warmed in the microwave, so I’d get long beautiful curls.  As you can see, I didn’t get curls I got shavings (not really what I wanted).

I gave up the vegetable peeler and quickly resorted to a back-up plan– melted then scraped chocolate.  I got a slightly different embellishment than I planned but with the clock ticking, I didn’t have time for a cake disaster.  It worked like a charm and the final result was as dramatic and special as I had hoped.
Here’s how I did it:

Ingredients/Equipment: Chocolate, Marble Slab, Chef’s Knife

Melt a cup of chocolate (chips or a bar chopped into chunks) on medium for 1 minute.  Stir and repeat for thirty seconds at a time until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth.  Pour the chocolate onto a marble slab and spread thick or thin depending on the size of the curls you want to make.  If you don’t have a marble slab, I highly recommend you get one, it’s great for this project as well as rolling out dough for pastries.  Absent a marble slab, pour the melted chocolate on an inverted cookie sheet.  Let the chocolate harden. Chill it in the refrigerator or freezer if you’re in hurry.

When the chocolate is hardened, get your Chef’s knife.  Starting at one end of the chocolate, holding your knife at a 45 degree angle push the knife across the chocolate to the other end.  As you do this, the chocolate will begin to curl.
The size of your curls depends on how wide you spread the chocolate and how far you push the knife.  Repeat this process as many times as you need in order to get as many curls as you need.

 Note: the curls will be delicate and quickly melt to the touch, so be careful placing them on your cake/dessert.

Give this technique a try, it’s sure to make your desserts divalicious.

*A Good old-fashioned vegetable peeler gave me shavings.  However, the newer “Y-shaped” peelers potentially provide better results.  The chocolate bar needs to be somewhat heated (microwave on medium about 10 seconds, check and repeat as necessary) no matter what vegetable peeler you try in order to get the desired results.

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