Plastic Chocolate

Adding corn syrup to melted chocolate produces a chocolate compound that has the consistency of soft clay after it has stood for a while at room temperature. It’s an easy mixture to work with for a variety of decorations.

This is rolled around Chocolate Angel Food Roll.

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup

Method

Chop the chocolate into matchstick-size pieces, and place them in a 1-quart mixing bowl that fits snugly over another bowl half filled with hot tap water (120 degrees). When the chocolate is smooth and liquid, remove the bowl from the container of water.

Add the corn syrup and stir with a rubber spatula until smooth and elastic but no longer creamy (about 30 seconds). At first the mixture is thin and shiny; as you continue to stir, it thickens and becomes dull. Wrap it in plastic and set aside until the mixture is firmer yet still pliable (like soft clay) but is not as hard as a Tootsie Roll (about 20 to 30 minutes). The length of time depends upon the temperature of your room. (If the mixture gets too firm, knead it in your hands since their heat while working the mixture softens it a bit.) Never refrigerate or it will be unworkable.

Forming a Chocolate Sheet

To form sheets or ribbons, work with the plastic chocolate after it has rested and developed some body, but not so long after that the chocolate hardens completely.

To form a single sheet from the plastic chocolate, lightly sprinkle your work surface with powdered sugar, and roll the plastic chocolate recipe into a thin layer with a rolling pin as though it were dough or marzipan. Continue to dust the work surface with powdered sugar as necessary. After applying the chocolate sheet as you wish to the dessert, brush the excess powdered sugar from its surface if you like.

Forming Chocolate Ribbons

To form ribbons, pinch off pieces that range in size from a walnut to a golf ball, depending on your preference. Dust them with powdered sugar and roll paper-thin in a long strip like a ribbon with a rolling pin. You can cut and trim the ribbons to fit the sides of your cake precisely if you wish, using a ruler and a pastry wheel.

To form ribbons if the plastic chocolate hardens, break off approximately 2 teaspoons of mixture, flatten it and dust lightly with powdered sugar. Then run it through the kneading rollers of a pasta machine, notching down gradually as you do for making pasta. Place these thin ribbons around and/or over your cake.