How to make pretty homemade chocolate curls shavings with this easy and perfect technique to decorate and add a delicious touch to all your cakes, desserts and homemade baked goods.
Why you'll love this recipe
Chocolate shavings or chocolate curls are widely used in baking, especially to decorate cakes, such as entremets, a Christmas log, tarts and other desserts.
Composed mainly of chocolate, you can make chocolate curls with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate and even with colored fruit chocolate like strawberry, ruby or passion chocolate.
Make chocolate curls at home - it's super easy and much cheaper than store-bought chocolate curls. They are perfect for easy decorating and add a sweet touch to all your desserts, ice cream, cupcakes, layer cakes and more.
- Visual Appeal: Chocolate curls add an elegant touch to desserts, elevating their presentation with minimal effort. Their delicate spirals can transform a simple cake or cupcake into a work of art, making it not only more appealing to the eye but also more enticing to eat.
- Flavor Enhancement: Chocolate curls aren't just for decoration; they also provide a burst of chocolate flavor. The thin shavings melt quickly on the tongue, delivering a quick and intense taste of chocolate that enriches the overall flavor experience of the dessert.
- Textural Contrast: The crisp, delicate texture of chocolate curls contrasts beautifully with softer dessert components like mousse, whipped cream, or frosting. This contrast adds an enjoyable and sophisticated element to the sensory experience of eating a dessert.
Which chocolate is best for shaving?
For making chocolate curls, use preferably baking chocolate (chocolate bar) which melts better and has a high percentage of cocoa butter. You can also find this type of chocolate in the form of bars, callets or small pistols.
* You will find the quantities and complete instructions in the recipe card.
- Dark chocolate: Choose a good quality chocolate, I use 54% or 62% for dark chocolate chips.
- Milk chocolate: Choose milk chocolate with at least 30% cocoa butter.
- White chocolate: For white chocolate chips, chocolate with at least 28%.
Do I have to temper the chocolate?
What is it? Tempering chocolate is a well-known technique in pastry making and is used by chocolatiers in the making of chocolates and candies.
This professional technique consists in melting the chocolate while following a temperature curve, which allows to have a more solid and brilliant chocolate.
How do we do it? We melt the chocolate in a double boiler to reach the 1st temperature, then we let it cool down to the 2nd temperature and melt it again at the 3rd temperature to be used.
- Dark chocolate: Melt at 122°F - 131°F (50-55°C), cool to 82°F (28°C), and use at 89°F (32°C).
- Milk chocolate: Melt at 113°F - 122°F (45-50°C), cool to 82°F (28°C), and use at 86°F (30°C).
- White chocolate: Melt at 113°F - 122°F (45-50°C), cool at 80°F (27°C), and use at 84°F (29°C).
Does it work without tempering? Yes you can make chips without tempering the chocolate, you just risk having dull shavings, with white marks, and less solid.
How to make chocolate Shavings
Melt the chocolate
- Place the chopped or broken up chocolate (or in this case chocolate chips) in a bowl.
- Melt it either in a double boiler (more convenient for tempering) or in the microwave until it is liquid.
Spread the chocolate plate
- Pour the melted chocolate onto the flat side of a baking sheet or marble board and spread with an angled spatula until you have a layer of chocolate about 2 mm thick.
- Let the chocolate cool at room temperature, in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes until you can touch it with your finger without leaving a trace.
- Using a stainless steel spatula or a knife, slide the cooled chocolate plate lengthwise forming a C shape until you have nice curls of chocolate.
- Repeat this step for the entire chocolate sheet and place your chocolate shavings on a large plate before storing them in an airtight container.
Incorporate elegant chocolate curls into a variety of desserts to elevate their presentation and taste:
- Black Forest Cake: Adorn this classic cherry-filled cake with rich chocolate curls for added texture and decadence.
- Stracciatella Creams: Stir chocolate curls into your whipped creams and frostings for a delightful stracciatella effect.
- Cupcake Garnishes: Use chocolate curls to add a sophisticated touch to the frosting on cupcakes, creating both visual appeal and a chocolatey bite.
- Frozen Treat Embellishments: Sprinkle chocolate curls atop ice cream or frozen yogurt for a contrast in textures and a luxurious finish.
- Beverage Toppers: Enhance your hot chocolates or coffee-based drinks with a generous topping of chocolate curls for a café-style indulgence.
- Pie and Tart Accents: Place chocolate curls on pies and tarts for a decorative and delicious flourish that complements fruit and cream fillings like in these mini chocolate tarts, chocolate pie, or this chocolate ganache tart.
- Mousse Garnishes: Elevate your mousse desserts with chocolate curls that add a delicate crunch and an aesthetic touch.
- Yule Log Embellishments: Dress up your Christmas Yule log with chocolate curls to mimic the rustic bark of a festive log, adding both charm and flavor.
At Room Temperature: Store chocolate shavings in a sealed container at room temperature for several weeks to maintain their best flavor and texture.
In Warmer Climates: To avoid melting during hotter seasons, place them in the fridge or freezer within an airtight container.
Success tips for this recipe
- Melt with Precision: To achieve chocolate that's lustrous and free of blemishes, follow the detailed tempering instructions in the recipe notes. Properly tempered chocolate yields firmer curls with a polished sheen.
- Timing is Key: Work with chocolate that has just set—fully hardened chocolate won’t curl, resulting in brittle fragments instead of elegant curls.
- Persistence Pays Off: Making chocolate curls can be tricky at first. With practice, your technique will improve, leading to impeccable curls every time.
- Waste Not: Don’t discard any chocolate bits and pieces. They can be remelted and utilized once more, ensuring you get the most out of your chocolate.
- Creative Variations: Alter the angle and pressure of your cuts to produce curls of varying shapes and sizes. For longer, ribbon-like curls, the chocolate should be slightly warmed for malleability.
- Alternative Method: For quick, small shavings, a vegetable peeler against a room-temperature chocolate bar does the trick with minimal effort.
Flavored Chocolate Curls: Infuse your chocolate with natural oils like orange, peppermint, or raspberry for a burst of flavor. Just add a few drops to your melted chocolate before setting.
White and Dark Chocolate Swirls: Gently swirl melted white chocolate into dark chocolate before it sets, then create curls for a marbled effect.
Chocolate Curls with Edible Gold Dust: Once your curls are made, lightly brush them with edible gold dust for a touch of elegance.
Colored Chocolate Curls: Use colored cocoa butter or food coloring to create vibrant chocolate curls that can match any theme or occasion.
Sea Salt Sprinkle Curls: Sprinkle a tiny pinch of sea salt on the chocolate after spreading it out, creating a sweet and savory curl.
Espresso Chocolate Curls: Mix in some espresso powder with the melted chocolate for a hint of coffee flavor, perfect for garnishing mocha or cappuccino-flavored desserts.
Zesty Chocolate Curls: Add a bit of citrus zest, like orange or lemon, into the melted chocolate for a refreshing twist.
More basic chocolate recipes
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