Can anyone tell me how to make chocolate tiles/chards? Looks like they have melted chocolate and poured into a sheet pan to harden, then cut into strips the height of the cake and maybe 2 inches wide. Then they stand these up around the perimeter of the cake. I want to try this tonight. PLEASE HELP!!!!!!! Please and thank you.
If you use real chocolate you need to temper the chocolate--you cannot just melt and pour it or it won't set properly. You can use candy melts/confectioner's coating, which does not need to be tempered, but I don't use this, so someone else would need to instruct you more on that.
For real chocolate, once it is tempered, you spread the chocolate on a sheet of acetate or parchment (I prefer acetate for the shiny finish) and let it set slightly (but not completely--if you try to cut and chocolate runs back together, let it set a little more) and cut your desired shapes (you can cut tiles, use cookie cutters, cut strips, boards or bands, etc). If you just want random shards of chocolate, then you can let it set completely and crack or break the chocolate into interesting shapes.
thanks! I've never worked with chocolate before so excuse my ignorance, but how do you temper chocolate? I'm assuming I'll need a thermometer?
You do need a thermometer (digital instant read is preferred), but it takes a little practice. You have to melt the chocolate (I use a bowl over simmering water), but be careful not to exceed 115 (I try to keep it under 105). You have to continually agitate the chocolate. You then have to cool the chocolate down to a specific working range, depending on the type of chocolate (milk, dark or white), using one of 3 common methods (seeding, ice/water bath, or tabling). You then have to keep the chocolate in this working range until you are ready to mold it/pour it/pipe it, whatever.
I suggest you google chocolate tempering instructions for more in-depth information on the various methods. Good luck, and feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
Well, I made the cake last night so I took the easy way out and bought candy melts. It worked pretty good. One thing i need to work on is making the tiles thinner. Other than that, I think it turned out pretty good. I hope I get a chance to try it out again. Thanks for your help!!