I wouldn’t consider myself a chocolatier per se, but I am a big fan of making simple geometric chocolate shapes (mainly circles and triangles) to top my cakes and cupcakes with. It all started when I saw the chocolate shard trend take off on Instagram and it made me wonder how hard it could be. The good news is, it’s pretty darn easy if you’ve got a plan and some good tempered chocolate to start with.
This tutorial works with white, milk, or dark chocolate. If you’re feeling fancy, you can decorate the shapes with Edible Art Paint, sprinkles, or get crazy with your white chocolate colors. The sky is the limit with these things. Here’s a little video I whipped up to show you:
You Will Need:
- 1 cup (183g) of white, milk, or dark chocolate chips
- A microwave
- Parchment paper
- Sharp knife and/or circular cookie cutters
- Color gels (for white chocolate, optional)
- Pretty things to decorate with like sprinkles or Edible Art Paint (optional)
Step 1: Temper Your Chocolate
Pour the chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl and reserve ¼ of the chips. These will be the “seed” that you’ll add in after the rest of the chocolate is melted to temper it. Microwave the bowl of chocolate (sans seed) in 30 second increments, stirring after each interval. Once the chocolate is melted (mine usually is after two intervals), add the reserved chocolate seed into the bowl and stir until uniform in consistency.
If you’re using food color gels with white chocolate, this would be the time to start coloring before moving on to the next step.
Step 2: Pour The Chocolate
With parchment paper on a flat surface (I use a cookie sheet), pour the chocolate out and work it around with your spatula. You’ll want to make it about ¼ inch in depth and as smooth as possible.
If you’re using sprinkles or something sprinkle-like to decorate, this would be the time to do it. Let the chocolate rest for about 15-20 minutes, or until semi-set before moving on to step 3.
Step 3: Score The Chocolate
When the chocolate is semi-set (as in still soft, but not melty), use cookie cutters and/or a sharp knife to score the chocolate shapes. This basically gives you a good template to use and also helps you prepare the chocolate to make the final cuts easier.
When the chocolate is scored, place it inside the refrigerator to set for another 10-15 minutes.
Step 4: Make The Final Cuts
Remove the chocolate from the refrigerator and use your knife and cutters to retrace the areas you’ve scored. It helps to do this step with clean cookie cutters/knife (if you have remaining chocolate on them from the scoring session you won’t get as clean of a cut).
If the chocolate is being stubborn during this step, it also helps to heat your utensils under hot water and dry them before doing the final cuts.
Step 5: Decorate With Edible Art Paint (optional)
If you’re decorating your chocolate with something like Edible Art Paint, go ahead and paint away at this point. In my milk chocolate video, I’ve used a metallic rose gold paint to splatter and decorate.
Just make sure your chocolate shapes are fully dry before moving on to the cake decorating process.
Step 6: Assemble
Once your chocolate shapes are to your liking, it’s time to use them on a cake or cupcakes! Simply stick them into the top of the buttercream on your cake or cupcakes and be amazed. Here are a few of my favorite looks:
These chocolate disks with rose gold finish:
And mini white chocolate disks for cupcakes (I’ve created a marble finish here by using a toothpick to swirl blue food color gel through the melted white chocolate once I poured it onto parchment, then sprinkled them before scoring).
These white chocolate triangles that I sprinkled before scoring:
The white chocolate geometric shapes I infused and splattered with Matcha Powder for the Matcha Cake recipe:
These mini white chocolate triangles that I used to top some cupcakes for a rose gold birthday (painted and splattered with Rose Gold Edible Art Paint):
You can make these chocolate shapes ahead of time and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator (or a cool, dark space) for up to a week. If a white film develops on the surface, fear not! You can always add some sheen back by rubbing a little coconut oil over the shapes.
There’s still so much I want to learn about chocolate, because it seems like a pretty amazing medium for making all sorts of dessert decor. Someday I’d love to master some 3D chocolate designs, like a sphere. When I step into the third dimension of chocolate work, you will definitely be hearing about it! Until then, if you want to see more of what inspires me, follow along on Pinterest!