Where there is chocolate, there is creativity. And who better to give us some quick tips on handy chocolate-based decorative items than Dhawal Shah of The Dessert Street? A Le Cordon Bleu alumnus, the pastry chef whips up divine bonbons with all kinds of surprises inside them, at his Mumbai-based bakery.
While we also learnt about the importance of tempering and indirect heating from him, we think you’ll be keener on trying out these easy-peasy chocolate leaves, stamps and cigarettes. While the leaves are great as decoration for cakes and other desserts, the stamps can be eaten as is, and the cigarettes are bound to be an instant hit with kids.
So here’s the method to make delicious and pretty chocolate leaves, stamps and two-tone cigarettes:
What you need:
A cool table top (preferably marble)
Tempered, sweetened, high-quality dark chocolate
Tempered, sweetened, high-quality white chocolate
A long knife
2 acetate sheets, smoothed with no creases
For the leaves:
1. For the leaves, dip a knife into dark chocolate, wipe off one side thoroughly on the rim of the vessel and then press the other side on an acetate sheet, with a long stroke at the end for the stem of the leaf.
2. Place the sheet on a hard surface to give shape to the leaves. Once cool, transfer the leaves to a plate.
3. You can also dust them with edible glitter.
For the stamps:
1. To make chocolate stamps, you can use any stamp of your choice. Using a piping bag, line an acetate sheet with medium-sized blobs of white or dark chocolate.
2. Then, take the stamp and place firmly on the first blob. Let it rest for a couple of seconds and then remove. Repeat for each blob.
3. Let the stamps cool. Then, transfer to a plate.
For the cigarettes:
1. The cigarettes require a bit more effort than the other two. You can use milk chocolate instead of dark if you prefer. First, dab some white chocolate on your table top with a spatula.
2. Using a scraper, create a wavy edge through the chocolate. Scrape off the extra bits to create straight edges on all sides and let it set.
3. After a few minutes, dab some dark or milk chocolate on top of the white in order to fill up the gaps. Flatten to create a thin layer and scrape off the excess.
4. After a couple of minutes, touch lightly with your finger to see if the chocolate has set.
5. Roll off cigarettes using a scraper. You can make them as thin or thick as you like. Store in a plastic container and enjoy!