Chocolate Collar

Decorating By Miffy Updated 20 Sep 2009 , 2:17pm by PinkZiab

Miffy Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 8:18am
post #1 of 25

Hi all. Am attempting my first chocolate collar. What chocolate is the best to use? Also I have heard some people use baking paper and some use accetate. Which is the best to use?
Thanks icon_smile.gif

24 replies
PinkZiab Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 11:16am
post #2 of 25

I prefer acetate because you get a glossy finish and there's never any problem getting it to release from the chocolate. If you don't know how to temper chocolate you'll need to use confectioner's coating/candy melts. For real chocolate, I like Guittard, But, again, that needs to be tempered.

Miffy Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 11:25am
post #3 of 25

Thanks for your advice. I went and got myself some lightweight acetate, so I hope that will work. I have never tempered chocolate before, but I think I will have a practice and try that. I really don't like the taste of confectioner's coating.
(In Australia we have compound chocolate which I think is what you call candy melts or confectioner's coating.) I have never heard of Guittard. Does that have a high percentage of cocoa? What happens if you don't temper the chocolate??

Cupcakeluv24 Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 11:29am
post #4 of 25

Ever seen a candy bar that looked "old"it was grayish and had white specks in it? That is caused because the coco butter separated. You have to heat up the chocolate and very slowly cool it down again doing whats called tempering.hth

Evoir Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 12:11pm
post #5 of 25

Miffy - you can try Earl's Cake and Craft in Melbourne - they should sell patterned and plain acetate collars and some nice tasting chocolate good to make the collars too icon_smile.gif

The 'good' chocolate I temper and use for special cakes/sweets is Callibaut. Also there are cheaper Belgian chocolates available at Big W and Coles, apparently (haven't tried that myself).

Good luck!! I love the simplicity of collars - gives a big wow factor for very little effort icon_smile.gif

Jen80 Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 12:35pm
post #6 of 25

So....was I just lucky? And do I have to be careful next time? I did my first and only one a couple of weeks ago. I just used plain Cadbury's Cooking Chocolate, didn't bring it up to any certain temperature and then spread it out on the strip when it had cooled down a bit so that it wasn't so runny. Is this not a good thing to do?

PinkZiab Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 12:45pm
post #7 of 25

If you don't temper the chocolate it may not set properly (you know that snap when you break into a bar of chocolate--that's because it's tempered), it won't have a nice shiny finish, and the melting point will be MUCH lower than tempered chocolate (basically it could melt on touch, and if the room is even remotely warm, forget your collar holding up).

Tempering takes practice and requires a thermometer (digital is best), although with much practice one can learn to temper without a thermometer (and this is good, because a thermometer is just a tool and unless it's perfectly calibrated, could be off--knowing what the chocolate looks and feels like at different temperatures and stages will help when the equipment fails). I suggest you read up on tempering for precise instructions and temperature ranges for different types of chocolate (there are general guidelines, but some manufacturers provide more specific temperatures for their product, depending on cocoa butter content).

I like to use a couverture chocolate (high quality with high cocoa butter content) for these types of applications. I never use candy melts/confectioner's coating myself--I can't STAND the taste!

Jen80 Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 12:48pm
post #8 of 25

Thank you PinkZiab. icon_biggrin.gif

Miffy Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 1:11pm
post #9 of 25

Thank you thank you thank you!!! I just love CC. Will do some research on Earl's (thanks Evoir). Actually pretty excited about this. (fingers crossed I am still excited when I have finished!) PinkZiab you are a chocolate legend icon_smile.gif

JodieF Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 1:54pm
post #10 of 25

When I did the cake in my avatar, I used freezer paper and semi sweet and white chocolate chips. No tempering.


Miffy Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 9:54pm
post #11 of 25

Hi Jodie, So when you say you used chocolate chips, do you mean regular chocolate. Not confectioners? Did you find that the chocolate was soft? Great cake by the way icon_smile.gif

JodieF Posted 16 Sep 2009 , 11:53pm
post #12 of 25

I'm glad you like the cake. I used semi sweet and white chips, not confectioners chocolate. No, it wasn't soft at all. I added a little shortening and melted the chips over simmering water. The only bad part about doing that cake was I ended up with chocolate all over the place! icon_biggrin.gif There was even some on my ceiling fan!


PinkZiab Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 12:16am
post #13 of 25

Chocolate chips generally don't need to be tempered because, chemically speaking, they are similar to a confectioner's chocolate. Chocolate chips have additives to help them maintain their shape when baked, which also helps them set back up when melted and re-cooled without tempering.

Miffy Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 7:59am
post #14 of 25

Thanks again PinkZiab and Jodie. I will attempt tempering (as I think I need to learn this technique) but I will have choc chips on standby if it doesn't work!! This is going to be a fantastic or a dismal failure...I am hoping for the first!!
Jodie, how on earth did chocolate end up on the fan??

JodieF Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 5:40pm
post #15 of 25

Miffy...*lol* I have no idea! I had two huge bowls of melted chocolate...and doing the 3 tiers...with different spatulas. I think maybe I just flicked some up there! I had it all over me, the dogs were licking the floor (cake was for my son...I don't sell cakes, so no dog in the kitchen complaints).
I love how it turned out, but I sure made a mess!


Miffy Posted 17 Sep 2009 , 9:46pm
post #16 of 25

Jodie I cant believe you don't sell cakes. Your cake is fantastic. I sell them (don't charge much) and I am no way as good as you!! I am going to practice the collar today...bit nervous! I love how you did the white and dark. I was just planing on doing a two tiered cake (the lady I am making it for just wants something very simple) with the bottom layer dark and the top white. She doesn't want fruit so I thought I might just put chocolate maltesers on the bottom and she wants writing on the top of the cake. Not sure if that makes sense!! Anyway now I see your cake I like what you did more. Not sure what to do now!!!!!

Cheers Emma

Miffy Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 9:30am
post #17 of 25

Little update. Cut off a small bit of acetate, melted the chocolate, spread it on, let it set.....and it worked!!! yeah. Was nice and shiney too! Let's hope the real one works tomorrow. Thanks for everyone help icon_smile.gif

JodieF Posted 18 Sep 2009 , 5:10pm
post #18 of 25're very sweet to say you like my cakes! You can't sell legally out of your home in Illinois, so selling just isn't any option.
Thank you though!

I'm glad your experiment worked well! Good luck and post a picture of your cake!


Evoir Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 12:57am
post #19 of 25

Jen - Cadbury cooking chocolate doesn't need tempering, which is why yours worked that time icon_smile.gif

Jen80 Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 1:10am
post #20 of 25

Thanks Evoir. icon_smile.gif

Evoir Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 1:18am
post #21 of 25

Cool icon_smile.gif I love seeing fellow Aussies on CC!

mary-ann Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 1:21am
post #22 of 25

When I took a tour of the Chicago French Pastry School at the ICES convention, they had a demo on melting chocolate in the microwave without tempering. I don't remember all the specifics. Anyone else go on that tour?

Evoir Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 1:27am
post #23 of 25

I melt chocolate inthe microwave when making ganache etc, but not for covering or making chocloates to eat. Did they say it was a way to get glossy consistent chocolate without tempering? Or just to melt it. I would have no success tempering in the microwave...I am hopeless at juding temp without looking and mixing it (and measuring with a thermometer) icon_smile.gif

Evoir Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 1:28am
post #24 of 25

I melt chocolate inthe microwave when making ganache etc, but not for covering or making chocloates to eat. Did they say it was a way to get glossy consistent chocolate without tempering? Or just to melt it. I would have no success tempering in the microwave...I am hopeless at juding temp without looking and mixing it (and measuring with a thermometer) icon_smile.gif

PinkZiab Posted 20 Sep 2009 , 2:17pm
post #25 of 25

The whole key is temperature control... if you start with tempered chocolate, and can melt it without the temperature of the chocolate going above the "working range" for that type of chocolate (for example, the working range for most dark chocolates is 86-90 degrees). If you can melt and hold the chocolate without exceeding 90 and hold it without going below 86 while you work, then, yes, you wouldn't need to temper it.

Edited to add: Also, any chocolate product where the cocoa butter content has been either reduced or removed and replaced or supplemented with another fat (palm oil, etc) also do not require tempering. It's not really the chocolate you're tempering after all, it's the cocoa butter.

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