A step-by-step tutorial to the best garnish: chocolate curls!
GUYS. This is my favorite post because this is the easiest recipe with the most impressive result! Those are always the best, right? I love, LOVE making chocolate curls because it makes your cake/parfait/cupcake/plate look amazing with so little effort! Before first trying these, I thought these little guys would be tough to make, but they’re actually so simple! You first saw these featured on my Flourless Quinoa Chocolate Cake and now you’ll see the whole process.
There are many different methods to making chocolate curls. I’ve tried several and this way is by far the easiest and the most reliable. Here’s what you’re going to do:
You are going to carefully melt chocolate and mix in a little coconut oil or butter to make it super smooth and slick.
You are going to spread it on the bottom of a flat metal pan. A normal, rectangular baking sheet would perfect, but my only flat-bottomed metal pan was this round cake pan – but it works! Spread the melted chocolate thin and evenly.
Pop it in the freezer for about 3 minutes. Pull it out and lightly press your finger on the chocolate. If you see a print like this, it’s too soft. Put it back in the freezer for a couple more minutes.
Then test a small part by taking a spatula or knife and scraping the chocolate off of the pan, firmly and carefully. If the chocolate crumbles and doesn’t roll, it’s too firm. Wait another minute and try again. If the chocolate peels off but doesn’t curl, it’s too soft. Put back in the freezer for an additional minute and try again.
The basic idea with this process: nailing the perfect temperature. There is a sweet spot for this and you will find it. There are no major mistakes you can make here because you can always let the chocolate warm up or cool it back down as needed. When you see a result like below, you’re right on track.
So much of cooking is like this, a little improvisation, a little guessing and trying to figure out what will work. That’s one of my favorite parts about cooking! Sometimes I’ll follow a recipe and one step just doesn’t seem right to me. Maybe I know another way that works better or I realize a shortcut I could take. And taking the plunge by making that change is so worth it when a great result comes out. And, yes, sometimes improvisation doesn’t go as planned. But the more you try it, the better you will become at it. In this case, all you need is a bit of guessing to get the right temperature – and you will! Just test small parts and use the fingerprint test and you will get it just right.
And voila!! Gorgeous chocolate curls!
You will have to act quickly if you are going to use them as garnish. They will melt fairly quickly in your hands so be careful when transporting them. You can also throw them, once curled, back in the freezer until you are ready to decorate with them.
Now, you get to impress all your dinner guests! Yay for you and your HIGHLY impressive pastry chef skills! And to quickly sum it up:
How to Make Chocolate Curls
Time: 10 minutes
Yields: Around 8-10 large chocolate curls
1/4 cup chocolate (chips or chopped from a bar)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Melt together chocolate and coconut oil.
- Spread on the bottom of a flat metal pan. Freeze for 3-4 minutes. Test the temperature using the fingerprint method and testing a small piece of chocolate. Continue freezing or allow to warm as needed.
- Using a spatula or a knife, firmly and carefully scrape the chocolate off. If it is the correct temperature, it will curl. Cut off when the curl is as large as you want it.
- Store in freezer until ready to decorate. Work quickly while garnishing; they will melt quickly in your hands.
Notes: You can easily double or quadruple this recipe for more chocolate curls, as needed.
If you try these, I’d love to see the result! Tag your kitchen creations with #mesacookingco so I can admire your beautiful work!
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