How to Prepare a Chocolate Stockpile.
Ordering bulk chocolate for decorating
When making chocolate decorations for cakes, dessert garnishes and confections, you’ll have the best results when using a high quality gourmet chocolate called couverture. Couverture chocolate has extra cocoa butter added for a nice fluid consistency, making it perfect for making decorations and for molded confections.
One of the most readily available brands for the home chef (many professional chefs use it as well), and the one I love, is Guittard.
There are a few different ways to order bulk chocolate: by the 10 pound block, or by the pound, in small handy bite- sized wafers/discs. The wafers are easiest to manage because they are pre chopped, and ready to use.
Note: Chocolate chips are not ideal for decorating.
How to smash a chocolate block to bits
If you decide to purchase a 10 LB block, you’ll have to bulldoze it to break it apart for use. I put the block into several large plastic bags (you’ll create holes in the bag from all of the pounding, so use at least 2, one inside the other) and throw it on the floor. You need to give it a good substantial whack. Hammers and chocolate chippers also come in handy to chop into medium/small-sized chunks (after you’ve made a few big cracks). Use what you need, and separate the chunks and store in smaller bags or plastic containers.
Personally, I prefer to use the bite-sized wafers for the sake of convenience, unless I’m feeling pent-up and have the urge to smash something…
Tempering chocolate is a fact of life
You need to temper chocolate for making decorations to insure it will firm up and harden properly. See previous post: “Why do you temper chocolate?“. But fear not, the other option is to use confectionary coating, which is chocolate flavored candy, confectionary coating does not have to be tempered, just melt it carefully. Watch for my next post: “What is confectionary coating?”.
Things to Ponder:
- Chocolate has a long shelf life, about 6 months for dark and a little less for milk and white, so try to order at least a few pounds, more if you can. Believe me, it won’t go to waste, and it’s nice to have at least that much for experimenting.
- Become friends with a cake decorator, pastry chef, or chocolatier. They are usually ordering large quantities and can get chocolate at a good price. Try to buy from them.
- Chocolate can absorb its surrounding odors. For example, don’t store near an open can of “Friskies Savory Seafood Supper,” unless you want mackerel flavored chocolate. Just sayin’…
- You’ll need to practice a bit of restraint and not devour the goods in the next five minutes. It won’t be easy. But you can do it ! Reward yourself by generously indulging in a few chocolate morsels every now and again, and again and again. But try to save at least SOME for decorating, sheez !
- Beware of Ants. They love chocolate as much as you do.
Where to Purchase
Until next time,
Peace, Love, Chocolate,
The Chocolate Addict.com
NOTE: please understand that I am an academically challenged right-brainer, and forgive any typos, grammatical faux pas, and things that don’t make sense.