As the topper for my Milk and Cereal Cake, I ended up creating a white chocolate “milk splash” to make it look like cereal milk was coming up out of the cake. Bringing the idea to life definitely took a few tries, because the techniques I initially thought would work ended up being complete disasters. After researching chocolate techniques, studying milk splash photography, and watching a few YouTube videos, I discovered a way to replicate the look with white chocolate. And now you’ll be able to get the look too!
The idea came to me while sketching the design concepts for the Milk and Cereal cake, which is typically my starting point with all of my cakes. I originally planned on creating white chocolate brushstrokes to look like little splashes of milk coming up the side of the cake, and when I showed my graphic designer husband, he stared for a second and said, “why don’t you just figure out how to do a big milk splash on top?” I loved the idea, sketched it out, and proceeded to study milk splash photography to figure out how to approach the design.
For the first attempt, I tried wrapping a bowl with saran wrap (face down) and pouring tempered white chocolate over it. After letting it set in the fridge, it would not release. The saran wrap stuck firmly to the bowl and all of the drips of the splash ended up breaking off. Next, I tried to do the same technique on the inside of the bowl so that I could simply lift the saran wrap upward to release the white chocolate. That didn’t work either.
What finally worked was pouring cooled white chocolate over a small balloon. I’d seen a few YouTube videos on how to make bowls out of chocolate this way, and I figured it was the smartest way to get the job done. Here’s how to get the look:
What You’ll Need
- A few small (5 inch) balloons
- 1 cup (183g) white chocolate chips
- Microwave or double boiler for melting chocolate
- A few small bowls for holding balloons upright
- Cooking spray
- A piping bag
- Palette knife or small metal spatula
- Safety pin
- Frying pan
Step 1: Blow Up Balloons
This part’s the easiest. Blow up your balloons to the circumference you’re wanting and place then into small bowls to keep them upright.
Step 2: Temper And Cool The Chocolate
Place the white chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl and reserve ¼ of the chips to use as the “seed”. Microwave the chocolate (without the seed) in 30-second intervals, stirring after each round, until it’s melted and has reached 116 degrees fahrenheit.
When the white chocolate has reached that point, stir in the reserved seed until those chips have melted and the temperature drops to 86 degrees.
Step 3: Create The Milk Splash
Spray a little cooking spray onto the tops of each balloon (helps the chocolate releasing process), then place the melted chocolate into a piping bag and snip off a small opening. Take the balloons, one by one, out of their holder bowls. Use one hand to hold the balloon and the other hand to pipe a milk splash design onto the balloon, covering the top of the balloon (which will be the bottom of the milk splash) and creating drips around the sides to give the splash effect.
When you’re finished piping each milk splash, place the balloon back into the holder bowl. Be careful with this step, since the balloons will become top heavy with the added weight of the white chocolate. Place the balloons into the refrigerator to set for at least 15-20 minutes.
Step 4: Pop The Balloons
Once the white chocolate has fully set, use a palette knife to carefully slide between the balloon and each drip so that the more delicate parts of your milk splash are pre-released. Then use a safety pin or other sharp object to make a small incision in the balloon. You’ll want it to pop slowly so that it doesn’t snap off your chocolate drips.
If you find that the balloon has stuck to the white chocolate in areas, very gently release those parts by hand. The balloon should come away from the white chocolate with a little elbow grease.
Step 5: Shape The Milk Splash
With a frying pan or other type of shallow pan over Medium-Low heat on your stovetop, gently hold the bottom of your milk splash over the heated surface. This will cause the rounded bottom to melt away, leaving you with more of a crown-like topper. This extra step makes the milk splash look more realistic when it’s on the cake.
Be super careful not to melt the chocolate too quickly, and keep the stove setting closer to Low than Medium. Slow and steady wins the race with this one.
If you happen to break any of the drips during the process of creating the milk splash (like I totally did!) you can use the heated pan to melt one end of the drip and “glue” it back where it belongs. The chocolate will bind together and set, and you probably won’t even notice the repair!
Step 6: Assembly
After the milk splash is set, shaped, and ready to go, all you have to do is place it on top of your cake. I filled mine with a little cereal to make it look like I threw cereal onto the top of the cake to cause the milk splash. Feel free to get creative with the way you use yours!