Chocolate leaves and cocoa dusting...

38
10
Joined Jul 22, 2002
This is my 1st posting since registering.

I have a couple of questions that I hope you all can help me with.

Bear in mind that I leave in very sunny Singapore with average temp in the 30-34C (86-93F) daytime, and humidity in the 80% and above. And I know these could be contributing factors. In any case...

I was trying to make some chocolate leaves for a cake. I melted the some Carma chocolate and started applying it on leaves as directed, and placing the coated leaves in the fridge. After halft an hour in the fridge (which is far longer than recommended) I removed the tray and tried lifting the leaves from the chocolate. But as I lift the leaf, the chocolate just started melting, without my fingers touching the chocolate. Am I resigned to just being only able to see chocolate leaves in photos?

So I ended up just doing a cocoa dusting on the cake, which by the way is a flourless torte. The dusting was done with a fine strainer. However, I don't seem to be able to get the really smooth dusting that I see on professionally prepared cakes. is there a trick to getting a really smooth dusting that will completely cover the top? I usually do a very light dusting, but on this occassion, I wanted to completely cover the top.

Thanks for any help.
 
337
10
Joined Jun 28, 2001
Welcome to the board!

I'm not a chocolate expert, but I know the ideal room temperature for working with chocolate id about 55*F and low low LOW humidity. Whenever I have to work with chocolate in the summer, I close up all my windows and crank on the air conditioner and let the room cool for a while before starting. Also, did you just melt the chocolate or did you temper it first? That could also be a problem.
 
2,938
11
Joined Mar 4, 2000
Hello, and welcome to Cheftalk, barista!

Lotus hit the nail on the head.

Your choc. needs to be tempered for it to set up nicely on the leaf. If you're not sure how, run a search on this site. There have been a few threads already that explain the process.

For the cocoa, may I suggest using a big sugar or salt shaker? It will give you more control over where the cocoa goes.
 
2,550
13
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Fine strainer is fine, momo. I learned to hit the top side of the strainer gently with a knife, not your hands...
 
2,938
11
Joined Mar 4, 2000
Yes, it does the job for me too, but maybe not for everyone. A shaker is (I think) a little bit easier.
 
38
10
Joined Jul 22, 2002
This is the 1st time I'm working with chocolates, beside adding them as ingredient in baking.

I used the quick tempering method where I melted the chocolates partially and stirring till all melted and cooled, as instructed in the Cake Bible.

I was using the fine strainer and tapping the edge. Maybe I should lightly blow the dusting lighly??? :D
 
1,640
12
Joined Mar 6, 2001
I'd just like to add that a second coat of chocolate on your leafs will make them alot easier to handle. They also won't melt out in the thin areas. But of course, then they aren't as delicate....but I make that trade off (which isn't too bad) so they work for me. I also quick temp. for this item.

Oh, also....you are using lemon leafs, right? After washing them it's imporant to wipe them clean with a cloth. Just like any chocolate mold....
In the fall you can use both white and dark choc. on the leafs...people really ooh and ahh over those ones (many think their real).
Good Luck
 
2,938
11
Joined Mar 4, 2000
Also, Carma makes a non-tempering chocolate. The flavor isn't as good as the real thing, but it saves time.
 
38
10
Joined Jul 22, 2002
Is this the same as what they refer to as compound chocolate? Does it really handles better, esp for creating little decorations?
 
2,938
11
Joined Mar 4, 2000
Actually, the one I bought from them is called chocolate glaze, but I'm sure that compound choc. is the same. It's also referred to as coating chocolate. Yes, it's much easier to use. It'll withstand slightly higher temperatures, should you walk away for too long. ;)

Also, it sets up quickly in the fridge, without bloom. But the mouthfeel is greasy. It's a tradeoff.
 
38
10
Joined Jul 22, 2002
Thanks. Maybe I'll give it a try the next time. Could be a trade off I have to make given the weather where I live.
 
38
10
Joined Jul 22, 2002
Thanks for the link, Kimmie. Didn't expect such a coincidental find.

I was using the microwave method, but I suppose I didn't cool the chocolate enough while stirring.
 
2,518
33
Joined Nov 20, 2000
Also look for "Summer Chocolate" and "Coating Chocolate" and yes, Compound Chocolate"
I agree with Momoreg, but these are decorations, so a little less flavor is an acceptable trade off in my opinion. You might also consider Plastic Chocolate roll it out, cut out the shape, press a veiner into it or use a knife, or just press it onto anything that has a little texture and you have quick easy decorations that will harden nicely for future use. Tastes like a Tootsie Roll, I like the Cocoa Barry product. It has oil of bitter almond in it and gives it a nice aroma and light marzipan taste.
 
1,839
11
Joined May 29, 1999
Using a fine sifter placed over a bowl, pour in cocoa then tap. lift the strainer over your cake and lightly tap tap tap untill you have made a circle around your cake and have a lovely dusting of cocoa.


for the leaves, don't hurt me, but add some solid veg shortening to the warmed chocolate (1/4 the amount to chocolate)and then proceed. when unmolding the leaves, wear latex or rubber gloves so the heat of your hands does not melt the chocolate.


happy leafing. :lips:
 
38
10
Joined Jul 22, 2002
Thanks everyone, for all the tips and assistance!

I'll go try out as much of them as possible till I figure out what works over here.

Cheers
 

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