This tutorial will show you how to make the chocolate decorations for the Christmas Bauble recipe. The tutorial is split in two parts, the first part explains how to make the golden chocolate hanger on top of the pastry and the second part will show a way how to create the chocolate snowflakes and unmould them without breaking the delicate snowflakes.
50g white chocolate (tempered)
Chocolate comb (I used 3mm stripes)
Edible gold powder (water soluble)
Pure alcohol (94%)
Silicone mat (optional)
100g white chocolate (tempered)
Snowflake silicone mould
White food colouring (fat soluble) (optional)
The first part of this tutorial will cover step by step how to make a golden chocolate hanger for the Christmas Bauble.
First, we will prepare the stem of the hanger. For this, cut out a rectangle out of an acetate sheet which has the following dimensions: 15x16cm. It does not have to be precise, these are the dimensions that I used, however, you can choose to use other dimensions. For the stem in particular it will have no impact, it will only depend on how long your tube will be and thus how many stems you will produce.
With the acetate sheet, roll a thin tube. The thickness of your tube will determine the diameter of the stem of your hanger. Since the pastries are quite small, I would recommend rolling the tube not larger than 0.7cm. Use adhesive strips to fixate the sides of the tube so that it stays in shape.
Cover one side of the tube with cling film and make sure it is well sealed around the edges.
Prepare the tempered white chocolate and transfer it into a piping bag. Slowly fill the tube with chocolate. It is best to put the tube in a long glass so that your hands are free for holding the tube and piping. After filling up the tube with chocolate, tap the tube gently in the glass to release air bubbles, but be careful that the cling film doesn't break or the chocolate runs out of the tube. Leave the tube in the glass and place all together in the fridge until the chocolate has solidified.
In the meantime let's prepare the loop. For this you also need to cut out a rectangle but with the following dimensions: 10x14cm. Again, you don't need to stick to the precise measurements, just make sure you measure how tall/big you want your loop to be and then use those measurements. Soak some kitchen towels in alcohol and wipe the surface where you will work with the chocolate. I recommend doing this on a silicone mat but you can also do it directly on your kitchen counter. Place the acetate foil on the wiped area and wipe the top of the acetate foil as well with the alcohol. This will stick the acetate foil to the surface, which makes it easy to work with. As an added bonus you have automatically cleaned your surface and the acetate foil.
Parallel to the shorter side of the acetate foil place your ruler. The ruler is optional but it will ensure that your lines are completely straight. Along one of the longer sides of the acetate foil, pipe a generous amount of tempered white chocolate.
Use your chocolate comb, place it in front of the chocolate and to the side of the ruler. Pull your comb down over the acetate foil along the ruler to get straight lines. Let the chocolate set a little bit and remove the acetate sheet from the silicone mat.
Fold the acetate sheet in half, making sure the ends of each chocolate string overlap and touch each other. Gently press the ends of the strings together and let the chocolate set in the fridge.
After the chocolate has set, gently peal away the acetate foil. You now have several loops ready to be attached to the stem.
After the chocolate tube has set, remove the cling film and the acetate foil. Lightly heat a sharp knife and cut small pieces from the tube. You can heat up the knife with a heat gun, over a candle or just hold it under hot water. You can also pour boiling water into a cup and keep the knife there in between use. If you use hot or boiling water, dry the knife first before using it.
Use the warm knife to make a slit in the stem. Melt down a bit of the end of the loop on the warm knife and place it in the slit of the stem. Hold it in place until the chocolate sets a little and is stable, then place it in the fridge and let it set completely.
Finally, mix some of the edible gold powder with pure alcohol and paint the hanger. I would recommend holding the stem and painting the loop first. When the loop is dry paint each side of the stem, drying it in between. If needed, paint two layers.
The second part will explain how to make chocolate snowflakes without them braking while unmoulding from a silicone mould.
Temper your white chocolate. You can optionally add fat soluble white food colouring to make the snowflakes whiter. Pour the chocolate into the mould and tap the mould on the counter to release air bubbles. Leave the excess chocolate on the mould.
Place a silicone mat on top of the mould and gently press it on the mould. Use a scraper to flatten out the silicone mat. You want the mat to be as tight to the mould as possible.
Let the chocolate set a bit and then gently flip the mould with the mat. Make sure that while you flip the mould, the silicone mat does not peel away from the mould. Place all of it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to let it set.
As soon as the chocolate has set, gently peel back the silicone mould. The chocolate will stick to the mat and thus prevent the chocolate from breaking off in the delicate places. Gently release the chocolate from the silicone mat. You will have a thin layer of chocolate around the snowflakes which can be easily broken off. If there are areas where the excess chocolate does not come off as easily, use a small sharp knife to help out.
After preparing the chocolate hanger and snowflakes, you are ready to decorate your Christmas baubles.