Chocolate Decor

by Eddy Van Damme on May 10, 2010

Many pastry students have asked if I could spend a few topics on chocolate decoration techniques so here is the first one. The décor featured here is one of my favorites since it has a contemporary feel and at the same time it is very organic almost crude in appearance. On modern style entremet I love the juxtaposition of slick with organic.

This type of chocolate décor can be made with non crystallized or untempered chocolate but best results will be obtained if you do use crystallized chocolate. Using crystallized chocolate will allow you to make these décor in advance and store them at 63°F (17°C) without the risk of the décor taking on a dull appearance. At slightly higher temps the décor should last at least a week.

For certain chocolate decorations a room temperature marble slab is used along with crystallized chocolate. However, for the decoration highlighted here, a marble slab is used which is placed in a freezer for at least one hour. Once chocolate is spread on a super cold marble slab it crystallizes quickly, but in an incomplete state which allows us to shape the chocolate in various ways.

Getting It All Together!

1. Temper or crystallize chocolate. Remove marble slab from freezer and scrape away any condensation. Pipe chocolate on marble slab.

2. Using a pastry comb spread chocolate in thin strips.

3. Using a pastry wheel or paring knife cut into desired size.

4. Lift the chocolate off the marble and turn upside down.

5. Roll the chocolate decor while still soft.

33 comments on “Chocolate Decor

  1. Thank you Chef Eddy for posting this amazing technique,I am a big chocolate lover and for sure will follow these steps to make similar fancy looking chocolate decoration,your blog is such a great reference,Thanks again !!!

  2. Lovely photos!Your work is amazing!

  3. Darienne on said:

    Tuesday mornings now arrive with an additional delight…a new posting by Chef Eddy to inspire, please, tantalize, amaze…

  4. Chris on said:

    Hi, What a great demo! I am just getting into cake-decorating(just finished Wilton Pt II) and would love to try this. Just wondering abt the marble slab…is it a special kind or can I get a marble tile from the hardware store? Thx!!

  5. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    A marble slab from the hardware store will work! Get two of them to practice easily. All the best, Eddy.

  6. Hilary Adams on said:

    So neat looking, Chef… amazing work! Looking forward to learning more about chocolate decor!

  7. Diana Wallace on said:

    Such fabulous detail! As u know chocolate makes me happy!

  8. Antero Suarez on said:

    Chef Eddy Thank you so much for doing tis we all apreciated .

  9. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    You bet! I will add more in the future. Have fun with this one.

  10. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Will do Hilary!


  11. Oscar on said:

    THANKS Chef Eddy, I have been waiting for this.

  12. Hi Chef Eddy

    We live in Belgium and I have always wondered how the chocolatiers in Belgium make such beautiful pralines. Now that I come across your website, I can learn a trick or two from you 🙂
    Thanks for sharing !

  13. I know what I’m going to ask for Christmas: A marble slab! =D
    I’m not kidding, either; I asked for a KitchenAid last Christmas (and got a beautiful white one that I named Thumper!)
    These chocolate decors are stunning!

  14. Arthur Yazdandoost on said:

    Well, That does it Chef. I was one of the ones who always wondered how you made such beautiful chocolate centerpieces for our Advanced Dessert class. I really appreciate you putting it all together. I remember that Less-May-Be-More!!!

    Keep it coming!

  15. Arthur Yazdandoost on said:

    Chef Eddy,

    And also! I would appreciate if you show how you made the coil (wire-like) centerpiece that we used to decorated our Bergamot Torte. It was coils of chocolate sandwiching one another.

    Thanks in advance.

  16. Ken Durham on said:

    As always, Great…

  17. Wow, this is amazingly beautiful … and it doesn’t *look* too hard … now to test if my marble slab fits in the freezer (it’s pretty big). Thank you once again for sharing! 🙂

  18. Thanks for sharing your methods and for all the great accompanying photos. It’s something to aspire to.

  19. Chocolate Decor… Did you just cut it in half… I think that is a yes… Nice design.. Later… See you in the summer… By the way, it is super hot…

  20. Ben Davenport on said:

    Chef Eddy,

    We did some of these in one of your classes but this technique
    will be added to my skill set.
    Thnak you.

  21. Gloria Campos on said:

    Chef Eddy,
    I really liked doing these chocolate decorations in your Plated Desserts class… It was kind of hard at first but then got the hang of it… Thank You for a this great skill…

  22. Marissa Astrich on said:

    Chef Eddy,
    Thank you for showing us the marble technique in class yesterday. We had done some chocolate decorations using the plastic strips before, but using the marble slab is so quick and gives the chocolate a more unique and rough look, which I really like. Thanks again!

  23. Lee Ann Romero on said:

    Another example of how practice makes perfect! I’m enjoying the different techniques you are teaching us. Using chocolate decor really helps make our plated desserts look even more special! Frozen tile made this technique do-able for us beginners!

  24. Kris Schoofs on said:

    Hi Eddy,

    This technique worked wonderfully well even on my first attempt and it will probably improve with some more practice. I was wondering, how long is the chocolate supposed to stay in this incomplete state that allows it to be manipulated? I had to work pretty quick and it was already getting much harder to properly bend the chocolate after about 30 seconds.

    Here’s a photo of the finished piece…

  25. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    It looks great! Indeed you only have a bout 30 seconds before the chocolate becomes too hard to be manipulated.

  26. Tilly Sherwood on said:

    Thank you chef for sharing these techniques with us. I thought we would do more chocolate decor in chocolates class but we really never covered them.

  27. Yvy Duncan on said:

    Dear chef Eddy,

    I am an enthousiast home baker, and was thinking of trying some chocolate
    decorations for my cakes.
    I live in the Caribbean, so I know it would be difficult with a temperature,
    of approx 30 – 32 degrees celsius – almost the year long!!!
    I went shopping for a marble to temper the chocolate but could.nt make up my mind what to buy.
    My question is, I saw some porcelain tiles which looked exactly like the marble ones (shiny) but the price is less expensive, and there is also a type made of powdered marble,
    which also looks just like a real marble. Can any of those be used, or does
    it HAVE to be the real deal? I would appreciate receiving you comment!
    Thank in advance

  28. Eddy Van Damme on said:

    Hi there Yvy,

    The reason a marble or granite piece is desired is that it remains cold for a long time, even if you have poured chocolate on it. Now certainly the marble has to be thick. If you would find a thick piece of stone that is non porous it may work just fine as well. Have you tried going to places where they make marble – stone kitchen counter tops? Oftentimes they have left over pieces which are too small for them to use (sink cutout piece) but may just work for you. You may get one for free! Also, you will have to work in air conditioning Yvy, you need a room temp of around 20C to properly work with chocolate.

    My best, Eddy

  29. Richard Martinez on said:

    This is always good to know chef. It’s a nice elegant look to finish off a dessert.

  30. Twyana Jackson on said:

    Learning the different shapes and designs that chocolates can do is amazing. It takes a creative mind to come up with the unique ideas. So many tools can be used to make awesome creations… Thanks for helping me create a vision with chocolate.

  31. Nikki Johnson on said:

    Chef your chocolate designs are amazing!! I was wondering would I ruin the chocolate or the design if I made them ahead of time and froze them?

  32. Jenny Dzoba on said:

    This was another thing I was thrilled to learn about in Plated Desserts. Being able to experiment with different chocolate pieces helped us practice our skills and learn quite a bit through trial and error. Dark chocolate is easy to get the hang of, but white chocolate sure is finicky! However, if you can get the chocolate decors done properly, they make beautiful additions to any plate.

  33. Mary Lorraine Matiling on said:

    These have been my favorite to-go-to decorations. It took a while to get the hang of it and I still struggle with white chocolate but they definitely give you the added wow factor to any desserts.

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