A world without chocolate would be so boring, don’t you think?! Imagine a pastry kitchen without this delicious and versatile ingredient. It’s surely doable, but definitely not as fun! Because chocolate has the capacity of turning a plain and simple dessert into a stunning work of art. It doesn’t even have to be something complicated to make, just a bit of chocolate and some gold powder and there you have it – beauty in its purest form! So let’s learn how to make a chocolate sail together!
This chocolate sail actually takes very little to make. You will need:
- chocolate (white, dark or milk – any will work, but the way they are processed is different)
- gold powder (or any other metallic food coloring that comes as a powder)
- a piece of marble
- silicone sheet
- a cold environment (best for chocolate work is under 20C)
I suggest you start your experiments with dark chocolate as it is the easier to work with, but also offers the most resilient results.
Start by melting the dark chocolate to 45C – I prefer using a microwave, but a hot water bath would work as well. Either way, make sure you don’t get any drops of water in the chocolate bowl nor you overheat the chocolate. Melt little by little, mixing as often as possible. The slow and steady way is better than the quick way where you use a temperature surge and break down your chocolate.
Once the chocolate has 45C, we must pass it through a process called tempering. What tempering does is basically rearranges its particles so the final result is shiny, sturdy, suitable for decors or other chocolate work, it doesn’t melt as easily at room temperatures and it has a nice snap when it breaks. To temper the dark chocolate for decor, pour 3/4 of it on the marle and start working it to cool it down to 28-29C. Check out the video below to see the kind of movements you are looking for when you are tempering.
Once it reaches 28-29C, return the chocolate back to the bowl and mix it well with the 1/4 that is still hot. Mix well then check the temperature. It should read 32C or less. This is the working temperature of chocolate. If it’s over 32C, repeat the cooling process on the marble. If it’s way lower than 32C, you can heat it up slightly in the microwave for 5-6 seconds at a time.
For the actual sail, start by brushing a silicone sheet with gold powder, making sure the color covers completely the silicone. Pour a bit of chocolate on top and spread it into a thin layer. Using something to pin the silicone, try shaping the sail the way you like it. (check the video below).
Let the sail set at room temperature for at least 2 hours. It is now ready to be used on your delicious cakes!