Chocolatier - Chocolate Cigarillos
Cake decorating techniques remained unchanged for many, many years before the 1990's. Since that time, literally dozens of new methods have emerged, giving birth to countless modern cake designs. Some names you may have heard of that helped spawn this dawn of advanced cake decorating, are people like John Slattery. A master chocolatier who created such things as chocolate cups, shapes and cigarillos, now he has a well established and successful chocolate gift business.
Heather Sweet formally known as Heather Higgins, has been the owner of the original Sweetart Cakes company in the UK since 1994. Her radical contemporary designs originate from her inspiration gained from famous artists like H.R Giger. She has always utilised modern methods when creating and decorating her cakes. In addition to being able to create any wedding cake her client has in mind, she is also a talented sculpture artist.
Decorating a cake with cigarillos is an increasingly popular and delicious addition to most wedding and birthday cakes. These delicate chocolate curled cylinders are painstakingly made, when one bites into it, it breaks apart easily in the mouth and quickly melts.
Creating a chocolate cigarillo is a very slow process for beginners and requires a lot of practice and patience. The basic pieces of equipment needed are:
• A plastic, sharp cutting knife.
• Clean, smooth slab of rock, preferably marble.
• Plastic bowls.
• Gas cooker and utensils
1. Begin by breaking the chocolate up into a large plastic bowl with high sides (you will see why later).
2. Beat the chocolate with a wooden spoon so the chocolate breaks up even more. Don't hold back, give it a good whacking with the spoon. If you have a mixing machine or blender you could use that to pulverize the chocolate for you. Make sure your bowl has high sides, or you will end up with more chocolate around your kitchen than in the bowl.
3. Bring a half full saucepan of water to a simmer, making sure that the plastic bowl that is going to sit on top of and inside the saucepan doesn't touch the water.
4. Put every bit of chocolate into the previously mentioned bowl.
5. Slowly and carefully stir the chocolate, getting faster and more rigorous as it becomes softer. Continuing for awhile when it has totally melted. Be sure to keep the chocolate moving to avoid any chance of overcooking.
6. Turn off the heat, take out your marble slab that has been in the freezer for a few hours, and pour a little of the chocolate onto the slab.
7. You will notice the chocolate behaves abnormally, it is soft and flexible. Now cut out a rectangular section with your plastic knife.
8. With the edge of the knife, carefully slide the knife under one side of the chocolate rectangle by about half a centimeter, and turn through 180º.
9. This folds the chocolate and it begins to curl as you repeat this process as quickly but steadily as you can.
This may take several attempts; you can reuse the chocolate as many times as you want provided you don't over cook it. When you are successful you will end up with a very neat and tasty cigarillo!