Unique and Beautiful Chocolate Techniques

Bored of the usual? Try out these chocolate techniques and watch the “wow” factor soar

If you're a chocolate lover who also enjoys baking, you're probably on the lookout for different chocolate techniques. Sure, we all know the basics, but what about all those special things that really set you apart from the crowd -- that make your audience raise their eyebrows in appreciation? Try out these chocolate techniques, and you'll never find your delicious dessert suffering from a lack of presentation.

1. The old fork in the cocoa routine

You may have seen this one at restaurants. It's super easy and looks great. Simply press a fork firmly against the plate (once you've already served out the desserts). Put some cocoa in a shaker and sprinkle it over and around the fork. When you carefully lift the fork away, you'll have the outline of a fork edged in cocoa.

2. Chocolate curls

Get a small block of chocolate and a round cake cutter. Carefully pull the cake cutter toward you, slicing thin pieces of chocolate. They will curl by themselves, one of the easiest and most professional looking chocolate techniques. You can then use them to decorate just about anything chocolate.

3. Chocolate cake edging

To create a beautiful hard chocolate shell for your cake, spread a piece of cellophane on the counter top. Make sure you cut it to the exact depth and length of the cake. Melt some chocolate and spread it in a thin layer over the cellophane. Place the cake in the center and then fold up the edges, wrapping the cake in chocolate. Leave it alone to harden, and then peel the cellophane away, leaving yourself a beautiful chocolate-edged cake.

4. Chocolate cut outs

On a sheet of wax or parchment paper, spread a relatively thick layer of chocolate (no thinner than half a centimeter, or about half the width of your little finger). Let it harden. Take a metal knife or cookie cutter and gently heat the edges, then press it into the chocolate. The heat will melt the edges, leaving you with picture-perfect shapes to press out.

5. Chocolate piping

This is one of the easiest chocolate techniques, but it still confuses people just because it's not obvious. You can use chocolate exactly the same way you use icing -- by putting it in a tube and squeezing it out to create decoration. But because chocolate is naturally thin, you'll need to thicken it with glycerine or water. Add just a drop at a time until it achieves the right consistency.

Practice these chocolate techniques, and your desserts are destined to become the talk of the town!