January 24, 2011

Décor Chocolate



There are times when only chocolate and roses will suffice; Valentine's Day is often one of those times. With décor chocolate, also known as modeling chocolate and sometimes chocolate plastic, you can have chocolate roses. I first learned how to make décor chocolate from a chef who'd learned from someone who learned from Roland Mesnier, White House Pastry Chef for a quarter century, so you know it's good stuff.

Décor chocolate is nothing but chocolate and corn syrup in a ratio of 8:3 by weight. Weigh out 4 ounces of chocolate and melt it in a bowl set over barely simmering water. Once it's melted, lift the bowl and wipe the bottom dry to avoid any hint of water getting into the chocolate. Set the bowl back on the scale, press the tare or zero key, then drizzle in 1½ ounces of light corn syrup. Stir a moment and the chocolate will change texture almost immediately.



At this point you have three choices. If you wish, and if you have a clean pasta machine, you can run the chocolate through the pasta machine from the thickest setting to as thin as you dare. If you're in a hurry but don't have a pasta machine, wrap the chocolate in plastic, then wrap it again and refrigerate for two hours. Alternatively, and the method I typically use, double wrap in plastic and let cure overnight at room temperature. After curing in the refrigerator or overnight, knead the chocolate to the proper consistency, which is a silky-smooth texture.



If you wish to color the chocolate, as I did for the rose, you can either add food coloring gel or powder to the melted chocolate, or you can work the color into the finished décor chocolate. The first method is clean, but if you want more than one color, can get expensive. The second method is really, really messy, but a lot more fun.

To make a rose, start by making small balls of chocolate, each pea-size or smaller. You'll need an odd number, typically five or seven, for each rose.

Then put the little ball between two pieces of plastic wrap and press it with your thumb using a twisting motion. You should end up with a flattened piece of chocolate, one side much thinner than the other, that more or less resembles a rose petal. Carefully roll the first petal up.

Next, begin wrapping chocolate petals around it. You might need to use a toothpick or something similar to open the petals up. If the petal tears a bit, just use the toothpick to smooth it out.

Continue wrapping petals until you're done. You'll want to work as quickly as possible because too much finger heat can melt the chocolate.

If at any point you think you've completely blown it, just knead the flower back into the remaining chocolate and start over.

Store double-wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to two months.

If you want to know why I went to all this trouble, you'll have to wait for the reveal of the January Daring Bakers' challenge on Thursday.

21 comments:

  1. What a beautiful finished product - perfect for Valentines day! They are very meticulous and labour intensive. You must have a lot of patience!

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  2. Thanks! Sometimes you just have to take the time to do something special.

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  3. I've always wondered how to make those tiny beatiful roses.... Thanks for sharing :)
    Tes
    http://tesathome.com

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  4. I love it! I have the perfect project in mind that could use an added touch of chocolate roses. :)

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  5. These are beyond beautiful, in a category all their own. I cannot wait to give these a try. Your explanation is so precise, perfect for someone (like myself) with little experience with cake decorating.

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  6. Perfect timing on this post and VERY informative! Thank you for sharing this technique - pretty and edible...

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  7. Great tutorial! They look stunning; definitely a display of technique.

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  8. wow, i'm not sure i would have the patience for this - you make it look easy! but i'll know where to look if i ever want to attempt these roses... beautiful!

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  9. Mateja @Indulging LifeJanuary 25, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    I usually use almond paste but with chocolate roses look so much better! Love your step by step tutorial :)

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  10. Fantastic!! These are amazing! I am going to have to play with chocolate now! Sweet!

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  11. Beautiful....thanks for sharing the how-to.

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  12. awesome decor. how's the farm going?

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  13. Wow this such a great and informative post! I've never made decor chocolate before, but def might have to try for Valentine's Day!

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  14. Beautiful! Not sure I would have the patience to tackle this!

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  15. [...]   _qoptions={ qacct:"p-89FuroyG_rx8s" }; ← Décor Chocolate [...]

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  16. I am having trouble commenting on your above post (the most amazingly ridiculous and decadent dessert I have ever seen) :-) If a better looking dessert has been created, I have yet to see it.

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  17. It really isn't all that hard to make a chocolate rose, nor does it require oodles of patience, but it does take fine motor skills because those petals are pretty small!

    Thanks for all the nice comments, I really appreciate them, and you for leaving them.

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  18. Your roses are great - chocolate roses are so beautiful AND delicious. Perfect for Valentine's Day! Nice job :)

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  19. That is some very detailed and delicate work! I like your pictures of the flower shaping.

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  20. Beautifully done! I'd never have the patience, I think.

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  21. Outstanding, I had no idea you can run chocolate through a pasta machine. I am just arriving on this site, but loving this display of  impeccable artistry. Looking forward to more of your post. Thanks! :)

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