A few weeks ago I was commissioned to make this cake for a birthday party. The cake itself is nothing new. It’s my triple ripple joconde: a choc peppermint ripple cake, encased in chocolate mousse, wrapped in a joconde sponge and topped with chocolate ganache. It’s something I came up with for my sister’s birthday and has been labelled a favourite since.
I was making a bunch of hemispheres to adorn the cake with and thought it would be a good opportunity to show you guys how to get a metallic effect when chocolate making. I’ve seen lots of stuff around that involves painting the chocolate with lustre dust after it’s set, buts it’s messy and falls off any time you touch it. You can also use gold leaf, or the imitation stuff, but this is cheaper, easier, and is set right into the chocolate.
What you need:
- Chocolate moulds
- Metallic lustre dust/powdered food colouring
- Clear alcohol
- A paint brush (that’s new/hasn’t been used with paint)
- Melted (preferably tempered) chocolate
You can use most any lustre dust for this, it doesn’t have to be metallic. I’m going for bronze here because I love the colour so much. Gold is pretty, but it’s done so often. For the alcohol I’m using almond essence mainly because I never have any booze on hand. These little flavouring essences are alcohol. I use them for painting the food colouring all the time and they work great. It’s better than using water or a syrup as the alcohol will evaporate. If you have vodka or similar on hand, you can use that.
You want to add just enough of the alcohol to the powder to make a thick paste. Most chocolate moulds are fairly hydrophobic, meaning the coat will bead on the surface of the mould if it is too thin. You want it thick enough to paint with.
Once you’ve got the right consistency you can start painting. It’s easy enough to paint a solid layer of colour onto the chocolate mould if that’s the outcome you’re after. I usually prefer to have random streaks, swirls and paintbrush marks over the surface. If you want to paint a specific pattern you can do that also.
Set the moulds aside for 5-10 minutes to dry. meanwhile you can work on melting or tempering your chocolate. Once that’s done you can proceed with chocolate making as usual.
The way I usually do it is by filling up the moulds with chocolate, allowing them a few moments to set around the exterior, then pouring out the excess chocolate. After that I leave it upside down on baking paper to let it set completely. You can see this in more detail in my Easter egg tutorial.
This way leaves you with hollowed out chocolates that have a lip around the exterior. If you wish to make filled chocolates you should add the filling here before moving on to the next step. Fill it with a mousse or caramel or ganache or wherever you tummy leads you. When the filling has set you can seal it up with a layer of more melted chocolate.
Once they’re set you can turn them out of the mould. I invert the mould over a tea towel and give it a few sharp taps. If you didn’t temper your chocolate and/or you’re finding it hard to remove the chocolate, you can set it in the freezer for 10-20 minutes. They should pop out fine once they’re frozen. Don’t refrigerate the chocolate as the fridge tends to make it go dull and streaky, and won’t make it any easier to remove.
Once you’ve got them out you can clean up any of the edges if necessary. The resultant chocolate is fine to touch and little, if any, of the lustre dust will come off if you touch it. That said, it’s best to touch them as little as possible with your fingertips as the heat of you hands will mark and dull them.