The New Bakers Dozen
Chocolate Curls

The The Bakers Dozen: Chocolate Curls
By Mike S on Monday, May 01, 2000 - 06:36 pm: Edit

Can anybody give me some tips on the best way to make chocolate curls? All seem to be able to make are shavings.

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, May 01, 2000 - 08:00 pm: Edit

Mike S,
a good heavy sharpenable scraper or putty knife.
Temper choco, thin coat and curl,pushing fowards, starting away from you and working towards yourself.
French knife pitched a little toward you pulled across a block of chocolate. This take3s practice.
Same as french knife but use round nougat cutters pulling towards you. These methods work better if the chocolate is room temp or warmer.
hope this helps and I'm sure you'll get lots more ideas form other posts.

By Kris_b (Kris_b) on Monday, May 01, 2000 - 10:57 pm: Edit

One way to make Chocolate Curls for garnishes is to use the acetate strips used on the sides of cakes...Cut a strip(width doesn't particularly matter..2 to 3 inches) about 6 to 7 inches long and lay on parchment. Using an offset spatula, spread melted chocolate on acetate. Wait a minute or so til the chocolate sets slightly then using a square toothed icing comb, scrape acetate lengthwise. You now have 4 or 5 strips of chocolate on the acetate. Pick up the acetate, twist into a curl(chocolate on inside) and lay cut side down in a baguette form til chocolate sets. Peel off acetate and you have 4 or 5 curls.

By CountryBaker on Monday, May 01, 2000 - 11:11 pm: Edit

This may sound crazy, buy i have found I can take a vegetable peeler and pull it across a room temp. block of chocolate and get curls quick and easy. Of course you are limited to the length you can make them.

By Kris_b (Kris_b) on Tuesday, May 02, 2000 - 01:26 am: Edit

Vegetable peeler is good for curled chocolate shavings for the sides of cakes, etc. If the chocolate is too cold, leave the block near the oven for a couple of hours. Shave curls onto parchment lined sheetpan, then put the sheetpan in the freezer til the chocolate curls firm up again.

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, May 02, 2000 - 06:59 am: Edit

I like to use a round cookie cutter pulled in short quick strokes across a block of very warm choc.. I warm the choc. very slowly on top of the oven until it's warm through out the DEPTH of the block.

I find it's the temp. of the choc. that's the most important factor. It must be much warmer than room temp., almost beginning to melt to get a curl vs. a shaving.

Panini's method will produce very large curls, countrybaker and kris b will produce a smaller tighter curl and mine is a med. size open curl. The acetate method is slow to make volume but you can make a consistant shape when it's needed.

By mike S on Tuesday, May 02, 2000 - 11:25 am: Edit

I tempered bittersweet choc. 72% cocao butter and spread on a marble slab. Still could only get shavings. Does the marble need to be cooled first or at room temp?

Mike S

By tj on Tuesday, May 02, 2000 - 03:24 pm: Edit

i use w.debord method , only i use my sugar heating lamps mounted on a small table.the heat is close to the chocolate and can be adjusted,and you carve the curls with the heavy steel round cutter (in a 30 degree nagle) and the new chocolate that is now on top is warmed up very quickly and you can work very fast like that ,with a very good control on the texture of your chcolate block. then i like to cut a rose like chocolate petals ,closed curl for the center and open curls for the outer petals.this makes a very large "rose" design to cover the whole top of a cake .

By tj on Tuesday, May 02, 2000 - 03:34 pm: Edit

your marble should not be cooled to more than regular room temperature.the layer of corectly tempered chocolate should not be more than 2mm. you need to watch the chocolate as it not let it set too much or you will get broken need to scrape it when it starts to set and is no longer "wet" .it should still be soft but not stick to the cutter or knife.this takes some experience ,you need to try this several times until you can see when its just the right moment to scrape the chocolate.
another easy methode is warming flat sheet pans in an oven to 50deg.c. than pressing a large block of chocolate all over the sheet pan so you have a nice even and thin coat of chocolate on it.gefrigerate ,take out to room temp to slightly warm up , than scrape ribbons,fans,curls,cigarrets,etc.

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, May 03, 2000 - 07:13 am: Edit

I can't tell you why exactly (something about the speed in how it sets-up)but I've found it MUCH easier to make all my other "scraped" type (fans, cigerettes etc...) garnishes pouring dirrectly on my stainless table vs. a marble slab or a sheet pan.

It's faster because the chocolate cools differently (I think). On marble it still seems to set from the top layer to the bottom slowly, on stainless it cools from the top and the bottom at the same rate (quickly)so you can "pour, smooth out, scrap" in a faster rhythm.
I also don't need to temper this way, I work quickly and refrigerate instead.

By W.DeBord on Wednesday, May 03, 2000 - 08:21 am: Edit

Mike S you can look at "Dessert Circus at Home" by Jacques Torres to see the rose tj decribes, p.117 and a brief decription on how he makes them.

By d. on Wednesday, May 03, 2000 - 12:34 pm: Edit

We make loads and loads of white and dark curls by the veggie peeler method. W. is right , the most important factor is temp. of chocolate. My assistant has got it down to an art form---big fat curls, and he's quick too. We shave onto a full size sheet pan and when full just pop it into walk-in to harden and then pack into covered containers. Don't need to temper too.

By tj on Wednesday, May 03, 2000 - 03:49 pm: Edit

about the veggie peeler thing ,
one of my friends once got a chizle (i think thats what you call it) from a hardware store with a wood bench press.he secured blocks of chocolate and shaved beutiful large curls at a speed of a 10 pound block in 5 minuts no matter what temperature the room was,the curls were uniform an preaty. he did this until an inspector saw it one day ,and that was the end of this...but i thought it was a great way to make curls.matinox actualy makes a device called kopokola that works in a very similar way, only from stainless steel.the diference is that on a regular wood chizle you can adjust the level and angle of the blade ,and can adopt it for thick or thin curls of chocolate.
i wonder if it would be allowed here in the you think any one would care? (other than a food inspector...)

By tj on Wednesday, May 03, 2000 - 03:57 pm: Edit

if you work on tables to make the curls, its a good idea to experiment with different surfaces, cause they will be at different temperatures in different kitchens. the sheet pan method i mentioned is designed to work in any enviroment ,no matter what temp the kitchen is, cause it goes into a cooler anyway, and after the chocolate sets you take it out to worm up alittle and then scrape it.

By Gerard (Gerard) on Thursday, May 04, 2000 - 05:07 am: Edit

You should be able to use a wood plane or chizel?
As long as its used for food only, drop in boiling water to remove the tooling oil, scrub with soap and wipe down with veg oil then re-assemble.
I made a rose once on a hot day, it just came off the block in waxy curls so instead of assembling them on top of a cake as is seen in the Dessert Circus book I assembled it on a nail same as marzipan roses are done. I've never been able to duplicate it since..or care actually but it was interesting at the time. I did take a close up pic, one day I'll scan it.

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