Hey there, Food Lovers!
I'm sure you'll agree that chocolate is always the answer (or almost always haha). This issue is all about how chocolate can be a quick addition that can elevate even the simplest baking. I personally love working with chocolate. It is so versatile and can be used in so many different ways - spread, piped or simply grated to name a few!
In this newsletter we'll talk about how you can use chocolate as a garnish. We'll also talk about how it can be used to add personal touches to your baking. I don't know about you, but a personalised gift seems to have a special touch to it. Maybe it just makes you feel like there's been an extra bit of love and thought put into it?
Lastly in this newsletter there's a snippet about our next video coming out in a few weeks. If you're not into chocolate you can still garnish your desserts beautifully with a piped tuile.
In this issue:
- Food presentation - Simple Chocolate Garnishes
- Video Throwback - Decorating A Cake With Chocolate
- In the pipeline - Piped Tuiles For Garnishing
Food Presentation - Simple Chocolate Garnishes
The time-consuming hard part is done - you have a tasty tart, slice, biscuit, dessert or cake... but how can you make it look as beautiful as it tastes? Sometimes you might not think it's worth doing anything more, but other times you might want to give it a 'wow' factor. The good news is that it doesn't need to be tricky or time consuming to go from plain to beautiful.
Making chocolate garnishes is one of my favourite things. They're so easy, they dry almost instantly so you can use them straight away without any forward planning; and they make such a different to the presentation of any simple dessert, slice or sweet treat.
There are a few different ways you can decorate with chocolate. One way is to make a paper piping bag and pipe the chocolate either free hand or using a stencil. Another way is to melt it and shape it with a spoon or comb or even drape it over something to create little basket type designs.
Here are a couple of videos to check out to help you with some ideas:
Piped Chocolate Designs - including how to make a paper piping bag
Chocolate Designs without a piping bag
Chocolate can also be used to make custom designs. I made the little flamingo cupcake decorations shown below to go with the flamingo cake (also in this newsletter). I also piped some green chocolate over stick pretzels to make the trees for the bicycle cake (also shown below).
I mentioned earlier about personalised gifts. I always make fudge as thank you gifts, and last year I wrote the names of the children's teachers onto it in chocolate too. Lots of them mentioned how special the personal touch was - and it's so easy when you know how. I hope you enjoy these video throwbacks and that you feel inspired to give chocolate piping a go.
Video Throwback - Decorating A Cake With Chocolate
You can also use chocolate to make the decorations for a celebration cake. I love using fondant, but you do need to be organised and make it ahead of time so that it sets and hardens. With chocolate you can make it and use it straight away. You can also colour chocolate with powdered food colouring which adds another dimension.
Here's a link to an older video of a cake decorated almost entirely with chocolate. Have a look and see how easy it was to put together.
Another way to use chocolate for a celebration cake is to use it to accent bits and pieces you already have. I made this bumble bee cake and used chocolate to make the 'honeycomb' pieces. There are also some fondant bumble bees on wires and fresh flowers. Don't you love the versatility of chocolate decorations?
What's In The Pipeline - Piped Tuile
If chocolate isn't your thing, tuile biscuits are another good option for garnishing - you just have to be slightly more organised making the paste and baking the delicate biscuits. They're also extremely versatile and can take your food presentation to the next level too.
I can't wait to share this video with you in the next few weeks.
In the meantime let me know if you have any foodie related questions or suggestions and we'll answer them in a future newsletter... or maybe even in a video.