How to make chocolate curls

When it comes to making your desserts look super stylish and adding that element of extra fabulousness, you can’t go wrong with chocolate curls. These delightfully simple but decadent elements take any dessert to the next level.

So, if you are looking to impress your family or other guests, then try making a whole batch of chocolate curls to decorate your cakes, trifles, mousses or even to add on top of the marshmallows in your hot chocolate.

Or if you want to just treat them to a special chocolate gift, check out our range of chocolate hampers that the chocoholics in your life will love.

It might take a bit of practice to get your chocolate curls exactly how you want them, but the good thing is, if they do go wrong, you can melt the chocolate and then start the process all over again until you get it right.

What do you need to make chocolate curls?

The good news is that you don’t need any specialist equipment or ingredients to make chocolate curls and they are really quick and easy to create, taking just a few minutes to add that special touch to your desserts.

All you need is:

  • Chocolate
  • Butter
  • A scraper
  • A metal spatula
  • A baking tray

How to make chocolate curls

First, you need to melt your chocolate and butter together on a gentle heat. You can do this in the microwave on a low power, or in a saucepan over a low heat. Keep heating until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.

Once it’s all completely melted, pour the mixture onto a baking tray and spread it out using the spatula.

You need the mixture to be as thin as you can get it. Once ready, place it in your freezer for around five minutes.

Don’t allow the chocolate to freeze

You want it to be firm, not frozen, so take it out, and then take your scraper, to start scraping off chocolate away from the baking tray to make the chocolate curls. You can make them as big or as small as you choose.

If the chocolate starts to get too soft, just put it back in the freezer again for a few minutes to harden it up.

Once you have made all your curls, keep them in the fridge until you are ready to use them and simply sprinkle over your dessert as you, please, before serving.

What type of chocolate do I need to use?

You can make chocolate curls with different types of chocolate bar to create different flavours and colours to match your dessert, including white chocolate curls although this has a much lower melting point to regular milk chocolate.

If you prefer a dark chocolate bar this is perfect as it tends to be harder than regular chocolate bars which makes it easier for the chocolate shavings approach using a vegetable peeler.

However, when it comes to the melted chocolate option, you can choose any type of chocolate bar including milk chocolate.

How to make chocolate curls using a knife

There are a number of different ways to make your chocolate curls so if you don’t want to add butter and prefer to use a knife then try this alternative method instead. Again, you can do this with any different type of chocolate.

First, boil some water in a saucepan and then place a heat-proof bowl or pan over the water. Melt the chocolate in this second pan by keeping the water boiling.

Don’t let the chocolate boil in the pan

It’s important that the pan containing the chocolate doesn’t touch the water.

As the chocolate starts to melt, stir it regularly to help it but don’t boil the chocolate.

Once the chocolate bar is almost ready, stir it and remove from the stove, by which time it should be liquid and smooth. Allow it to cool a little.

Make sure the chocolate is as thin as possible

Pour the melted chocolate onto a non-stick baking tray and spread it as thinly as possible. Allow it to cool for around 20 minutes.

Once it has hardened, use a long knife and scrape the blade carefully and slowly across the chocolate to form the curls.

You can scrape the whole length of the chocolate to create large wide curls or use a smaller movement to create smaller curls. Move the curls into a separate dish, or straight onto your dessert when ready.

How to make chocolate curls using a vegetable peeler

If you don’t fancy all the fuss of melting chocolate first, then this approach might be your best option. It’s also great if you have last minute visitors and need to create your chocolate curls as quickly as possible.

Good quality chocolate required

First, you need good quality milk chocolate for this approach, it needs to be at least 50% cocoa otherwise it will be too soft.

Try chilling the chocolate in the fridge for a couple of hours as well, before you attempt this approach. You need the chocolate to be firm before attempting this.

Don’t melt the chocolate bar in your hand

It is worth wrapping the chocolate bar in a paper towel first, so it doesn’t react with the heat from your hand, then hold onto it in one hand, and use your vegetable peeler to gradually carve your chocolate curls from along the length.

If you want to make large curls, press harder with the peeler, or for small delicate curls, use the peeler with a gentler touch.

That way you can vary the size and shape of curls according to how you want to enhance your dessert.

How to make chocolate curls using a rolling pin

Another option which avoids using any kind of sharp kitchen objects, so can be a fun way to make chocolate curls with children, is to use a rolling pin to create the curl shapes. This one can be messy and takes a bit more preparation but is just as effective.

Prepare your rolling pin first

You need to wrap greaseproof paper round the rolling pin and attach it to keep it in place. This can be either by using rubber bands at each end of the rolling pin or use sellotape to hold it all in place. You need another sheet of greaseproof paper under the rolling pin to catch any drips.

Drip the chocolate across the rolling pin

Firstly, heat your chocolate using the same method as outlined above, using a pan of boiling water, or in a bowl in your microwave.

Once it has melted, allow it to cool slightly. Use a spoon to then start pouring small amounts of the chocolate slowly onto the rolling pin.

Take your time with the chocolate

It’s important to do this slowly and to let the chocolate drip along the rolling pin using a zig zag pattern.

You need to hold the rolling pin safely in place until the chocolate has hardened and you can speed this up by putting it in the fridge but be careful not to dislodge the chocolate.

Store the rolling pin curls carefully

Once the chocolate has hardened completely, you can remove it from the rolling pin, taking care not to damage the curls.

They can then be placed in a dish in the fridge and stored until you are ready to use them to decorate your desserts.

Making large dramatic curls

This method will make larger curls and doesn’t allow the option to create smaller and more delicate curls, unless you take your time to drip very small amounts of chocolate around the rolling pin as well.

Have fun with chocolate shavings and curls

Making chocolate curls can be great fun, takes only minutes to prepare and adds a level of increased sophistication to any dessert or cake.

If you want a fun and fast way to make sweet courses, look impressive then why not try your hand at creating a range of chocolate curls in different sizes and chocolates.

All of the techniques described will produce slightly different effects, but will all make your dessert look stunning.  

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