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Decorating a plate with chocolate


ComeUndone
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Thinking ahead for Valentine's Day, I plan to serve a chocolate dessert at the restaurant. I would like to decorate the plates with the word "love" piped directly on the plate using something chocolate flavour.

Ideally, I would temper dark chocolate and decorate all the plates ahead of time. However, it is just not feasible to have so many decorated plates around (not enough room for sure). This means I need a cream/ganache/sauce that stays at pipeable consistency at room temperature so that it is ready to pipe when I plate.

If possible, I would like to stay away from ready-made piping gel or the stuff that comes in a tube in cake decorating shops. Do you have a recipe suitable for this purpose?

Candy Wong

"With a name like Candy, I think I'm destined to make dessert."

Want to know more? Read all about me in my blog.

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I think you kind of answered your own question there......ganache would work great, as a pipeable room temperature chocolate. Make your ganache ahead of time and let it set up (either in the fridge first, then move it to room temp, or just keep it at room temp).

That way, it's chocolate, it's yummy, and it's easy! :smile:

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I haven't experiment too much with ganache in terms of cream/chocolate proportion. Assuming that I use a 65% dark chocolate, would a 1-1 ratio of cream to chocolate be too stiff or too loose at room temperature?

Candy Wong

"With a name like Candy, I think I'm destined to make dessert."

Want to know more? Read all about me in my blog.

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At the restaurant I used to work at we would always have coronets filled with chocolate ready for writing on plates. Make up some parchment cones and fill them just with melted chocolate. Store them on top of the oven. It's best to rest them on a half-sheet pan to deflect some of the heat. We used those round pans with a lip--don't know what they are called. The chocolate stays warm and fluid. If you do use ganache you'll need to make it pretty fluid since it will firm up. But then it may not write very well.

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choux's idea is a good one too, provided you have an oven that you can rest things on top of.

Ganache does firm up, certainly, but you can make a ganache that stays soft at room temp, by adjusting the amount of cream to chocolate you use when you make it. You want to end up with a ganache that has a buttercream-like consistency when it's at room temp, that way you don't have to worry about keeping it warm.

Make a small amount of 1:1 and see how that works for you. Then adjust as necessary. :smile:

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I use coating chocolate for writing on my plates (you can make some red or pink for your lettering, if you want). I put it on a plate on top of the steamer or oven to keep it workable. You can certainly use real chocolate or ganche.........anything you use, you will still have to monitor your temp.. My ganche gets hard to pipe at the wrong temp. up or down.

But during a crazy service night I prefer to make all my plates ahead (the decorating part not the desserts on them). I hate to have to go back and remelt more chocolate during a rush. I use a speed rack to stack them on..........or if worse came to worse you can stack the plates on top of each other if you have parchment paper layered on each.

I also airbrush my plates (alot) with colored cocoa butter and they stack perfectly in advance.

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Foolproof:

Here's a chocolate sauce that you can store at room temp, doesn't really have to be heated to be workable, and doesn't turn into hard chocolate when it hits a cool plate (who likes eating little bits of cruncy chocolate writing?)

Chopped bittersweet chocolate

A little corn syrup (I use about 1 tsp. to 1 lb. of chocolate) - to taste

Pinch of salt

Hot water, to consistency.

Melt the chocolate, corn syrup, and salt over low heat.

Stir in the water a little bit at a time until you get the consistency you want (leave it on the runny side, as it will tighten slightly as it cools)

You can make this days ahead of time, and since there is no dairy in it, can be stored at room temp, making it much easier to get to the desired temp when it comes time to plate. And, because of the water content in it, it zaps in the microwave very well.

ESSENTIAL that you use decent chocolate with this, as it is the only thing you taste.

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Wait till you taste it! There's nothing watered down about it! It's great, because there's nothing muddling up the flavor of the chocolate, like cream for instance. Plus, as an added bonus, the water spreads the chocolate out on the palate FAR more (lower fat concentration), which makes you taste it faster and in a more intense manner. That's why I said you better use decent chocolate. If you don't, I'm certain your diners will bust you on it!

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a coronet filled with melted chocolate with a couple of drops of oil mixed in, leave in a warm spot or zap in the oven when you need it. you can pre-pipe as many plates of this as you can spare and the chocolate with not bloom, because of the oil, but it will dry nicely. then stack with cake circles in between

nkaplan@delposto.com
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Chopped bittersweet chocolate

A little corn syrup (I use about 1 tsp. to 1 lb. of chocolate) - to taste

Pinch of salt

Hot water, to consistency.

Chefwoody I have a question if you don't mind. Wont the water seize the chocolate and if it doesn't, do you know why it doesn't? Thanks

Fred Rowe

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Chefwoody I have a question if you don't mind. Wont the water seize the chocolate and if it doesn't, do you know why it doesn't? Thanks

True, water does seize the chocolate at first, but when you keep adding it, it starts to thin down again. Basically you're just making ganache.....with water.

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Correct. There is an exact ratio of how much water you need to add in which the chocolate will no longer sieze (I believe it is 1 tbsp. of water to 8 oz. of chocolate - if you are interested, let me know and I'll go look it up in my notes).

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I'll do a few tests with chefwoody's recipe. Looks like it is just what I'm looking for!

Candy Wong

"With a name like Candy, I think I'm destined to make dessert."

Want to know more? Read all about me in my blog.

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