Are you planning a special dessert for Valentine's Day dinner? Want to make it extra-special? Write a short, sweet message around the edge of the plate in chocolate.
Here's what you'll need:
- about 2 ounces of semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- a parchment paper cone (instructions below)
- a clean dry, plate
Melt the chocolate. I recommend using a double boiler, because you want to just warm it to melting, not get it screaming hot. Place about an inch of water in a large saucepan, and bring it to a simmer. Then turn the heat off, and place the chopped chocolate in a medium mixing bowl over the hot water. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Stir frequently. When there are just a few lumps left, remove it from the heat and stir until smooth.
Now, make your parchment cone. Wilton sells pre-cut triangles, or you can cut your own triangle from a sheet of Reynolds baking parchment. It doesn't need to be huge. The triangle pictured below is 15 inches across at the base.
Take Corner B and curl it up to meet Corner A. It's not a flat fold-over. You're creating a 3-D cone.
Repeat the same motion, curling Corner C around the cone to meet behind Corner A. Pull the points taut to ensure the point of the cone is closed.
Now, take the three points and fold them down inside the cone, to keep it folded.
You can now scrape the melted chocolate into the cone. I find it easiest to prop the cone up inside a tall, thin glass. That way I have both hands available, holding the bowl with one hand and scraping the chocolate out with a spoon or spatula with the other. Then fold the top over and roll it down to close the cone.
Get your plate, and snip a TINY corner (no bigger than the tip of a blunt pencil) off of the tip of the cone. I recommend practicing with printed letters before moving on to cursive. Place the tip of the cone on the plate and gently apply pressure to squeeze the chocolate out. Lift the cone off the plate while continuing to apply gentle pressure, letting the chocolate drop in a line. Press the tip of the cone onto the plate where you want the line to end.
If your chocolate cools and starts to harden in the cone, you can microwave the entire parchment cone for a couple of seconds to warm the chocolate. Knead it to prevent hot spots, then continue writing.
Store your finished plate in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve your dessert on it.