Chocolate Garnishes

There's nothing like a creatively placed swirl, drizzle, curl, or flourish of chocolate to elevate an everyday dessert to gourmet status. It's one of the easiest ways to add drama and an impressive finishing touch. Try these quick tricks with chocolate next time you want to step it up a notch.

Try It!
Here are some recipes from our collection to use with garnishes:

Chocolate Curls

Create a halo of chocolate curls on top of your favorite sweet treat. Or, top cups of coffee with dollops of whipped cream and chocolate curls. Make brownies extra special by frosting them with vanilla buttercream frosting. Then, top each one of the brownies with a chocolate curl.

To make chocolate curl garnishes:
  1. Place square or bar of semisweet chocolate on cutting board; shave it into small pieces with paring knife.

    Shave chocolate into small pieces.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Shave chocolate into small pieces.

  2. Place shavings in measuring cup. Add shortening. Use 1 teaspoon of shortening for every 2 ounces of chocolate. Fill a saucepan one-quarter full (about 1 inch deep) with warm, not hot, water.

  3. Place measuring cup in water to melt chocolate, stirring frequently with rubber spatula until smooth. Be careful not to get any water into chocolate.

    Place measuring cup in water to melt chocolate.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Place measuring cup in water
    to melt chocolate.

  4. Remove measuring from saucepan. Let chocolate cool slightly.

  5. Pour melted chocolate onto back of baking pan. Quickly spread chocolate into a thin layer (about 1/4 inch thick) with metal spatula.

    Spread chocolate onto back of baking pan.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Spread chocolate onto back of baking pan.

  6. Let stand in cool, dry place until chocolate is firm. Do not chill in refrigerator. When chocolate is just firm, use small straight-edge metal spatula to form curls. Holding spatula at a 45-degree angle, push spatula firmly along baking pan, under chocolate, so chocolate curls as it is pushed. If chocolate is too firm to curl, let stand a few minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate again if it becomes too soft.

    Scrape chocolate into a curl.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Scrape chocolate into a curl.

  7. Using small skewer or toothpick, transfer curls to waxed paper. Store curls in a cool, dry place until ready to use.

    Transfer curls to waxed paper.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Transfer curls to waxed paper.

  8. Garnish as desired.

    Garnish with Chocolate Curls.
    ©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
    Garnish with Chocolate Curls.