"The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand? "

-Captain Jack Sparrow


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chocolate Decorations

Yesterday was Miranda's 16th birthday, an event which made me feel crazy old, especially since she's the youngest of my 3 stepkids.

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And even though I haven't been around for her *entire* life, I have been helping to raise her since she was like 3.

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Consider my mind blown, especially since she's grown into a gorgeous young lady who can do this.

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(just about to catch a sword after dropping into the splits, something, though I've never actually attempted, I'm pretty sure would land me in the emergency room, one way or another.)

Anyway, for her birthday her daddy thought she needed a homemade Boston cream pie (one of his birthday specialties). I thought she needed pretty little decorations (as opposed to yet another birthday portrait).

Here's what we came up with.

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These look somewhat like fondant, but since I think fondant is a bit yick, I stuck with chocolate.

To do this, I first created a page with circles and letters and other designs on the computer. Then stuck that underneath a piece of parchment paper, just like we did for Jeff's birthday. Though this was much easier and didn't require a light box.

Basically, you'll want to make sure that you end with a contrasting color to the frosting (white in this case), so start with the other color.

The trickiest part of all this is getting the chocolates to the right temperature. I just heated them individually in the microwave, 10 or 15 seconds at a time, stirring in between.

I found that dark chocolate worked best at about 85 degrees, while white chocolate needed to be up near 105. Basically, you'll want it to flow out pretty easily, but not so much that it spreads too much after you make the design.

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Once you've done the first color, move them to the fridge, otherwise it takes way too long to set, especially in the summer. Then fill in the rest of the design with the contrasting color. That's it.

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And don't worry that this side is ugly. It will be facing the cake. The side that's facing up will be all pretty and smooth like in the first picture.

Which brings me to, Yay, another Don't Do What Donnie Don't Does. Don't forget to horizontally flip the letters so they appear backwards.

Which I did.

Forget, that is.

Otherwise you'll end up with this.

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And will need to start all over.

These also make fun individual toppers for cupcakes.

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(I did these freehand last week for my grandpa, which is exactly the reason that I decided to create a pattern on the computer for Randa's birthday cake.)

I actually started to create a general pattern for those of you without Photoshop. Though I'm sure some of you might have some mad freehand piping skills.

Would anyone be interested in downloadable patterns?

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Related Posts
Chocolate Portrait
Face Cake

13 comments:

Little Messy Missy said...

Very cool indeed!

Mandy said...

Yes, I would love a pattern! The decorations are gorgeous!

Wander to the Wayside said...

Well, you already know that I buy boxed cake and frosting, but this is way cool and looks yummy! Miranda has been very lucky to have you for a stepmother, Wendy.

Sara said...

I love these. A pattern would be wonderful. xx

Hip Mountain Mama said...

those are very cool!!

Christine said...

Holy cow, those look gourmet!

Google Grants Team Member said...

This is a great idea for those of us who continually jack up the cake when trying to write in frosting.

Love it!

denise said...

That looks fantastic!

Gill - That British Woman said...

what a great idea, I am emailing this post to my dd, as she loves decorating cupcakes etc.

Gill in Canada

Heather Jane said...

That's cool and kind of how I do my reverse applique letters using wool felt. I've forgotten the backwards part a few times and that is such a lame feeling.

I'd like the pattern as well.

Chile said...

Fancy shmancy! Very impressed. Wonder if I can remember this for the next birthday around here...

Karin (an alien parisienne) said...

These rock!! I saw the photos on Flickr first, and finally got a chance to stop by to see the finished post. Whoo hoo! Love 'em. Good tip on remembering to do the letters in reverse. I would have done the same as you. :)~

Happy (belated) Birthday to Miranda. She is indeed a lovely girl. :)

perchesinthesoul said...

how cool! hope she had a great birthday :)