Chocolate Garnish Basics
Chocolate garnishes make the perfect addition to any dessert.
Sweet, smooth, and decadent, chocolate makes the ultimate garnish for desserts. Follow our simple techniques for quick-tempering chocolate and for using it as a garnish to turn all your chocolate desserts into eye-catching masterpieces.
Grated chocolate Use semisweet, sweet chocolate, milk chocolate, or a white baking bar. To grate, rub a solid piece of chocolate across the grating section of a handheld grater. Use the fine or large section depending on what size you want the pieces to be.
Chocolate lace shards Pipe melted white baking bar or candy coating onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper; pipe a continuous line that curves and loops over entire surface. When firm, spread tempered chocolate or melted candy coating over top of piped lines 1/8 inch thick. Let stand in a cool, dry place until chocolate is firm, then carefully peel the waxed paper away from the chocolate. Break or cut chocolate into irregular shards. Cover and chill in refrigerator until needed.
Chocolate lace Place tempered chocolate, melted white baking bar, candy coating, or a combination of these in a plastic bag. Cut a small hole in one corner and pipe or drizzle small designs onto a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Let the garnishes stand in a cool, dry place until firm.
Chocolate leaves For these examples, we used ivy and rose leaves. You'll need a clean, small paintbrush and chemical-free nontoxic fresh leaves such as mint, lemon, ivy, rose, or strawberry. For 12 small leaves, use 2 ounces tempered chocolate, white baking bar, or candy coating. Using the paintbrush, brush one or two coats of chocolate on one side of each leaf. (If you want the veins to show, brush the chocolate on the underside of the leaf.) Wipe away any chocolate from unpainted side of the leaf. Place leaves, chocolate side up, on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper; let dry. Before using, carefully peel the leaf away from the chocolate, using a toothpick to hold the chocolate.
Chocolate curls To make chocolate curls, let milk chocolate or white baking bar come to room temperature, then carefully draw a vegetable peeler across the bar. For small curls, use the thin side of the chocolate piece; for large curls, use the broad surface.