Betty Crocker's techniques
Small Curls1. Carefully draw a vegetable peeler across the broad surface of a bar of semisweet or milk chocolate. This works best if the chocolate is at room temperature. For narrower curls, use the side of the bar.
1. Place 1-1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate (not baking pieces) or milk chocolate and 1 teaspoon shortening in a small, heavy saucepan. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Use a metal spatula with an offset blade to spread the chocolate evenly over the bottom of a glass baking dish. Let stand until set.
2. Hold a straightedged metal spatula against the baking dish just inside the edge of the chocolate at a 45-degree angle. Apply gentle, steady pressure, and push the spatula straight forward.
For looser curls, push the spatula forward in an arc.
3. Lift any curls with a wooden skewer to avoid making fingerprints in the chocolate. Use immediately or place a single layer on paper towels in a storage container. Cover and store at room temperature or chill.
You want your chocolate to be in a solid, smooth block for curling, so melt it carefully and pour it into a cake or loaf pan. You will probably need at least a pound of chocolate to make a sizable block. Allow the chocolate to cool and be easy to invert and remove once it is completely solid. Once your curl has reached the desired size, remove it with your other hand and place it on your pastry, or on a sheet of parchment to be used later. You will soon find that depending on the speed of your movement and the pressure you apply, you can easily make curls of various sizes. If you are making a large amount of curls at once, you may need to re-warm the chocolate briefly if it starts to chip or break apart.
Video by Jonathon Stewart
Video how to temper chocolate by Gretchen Siegchrist
You will need:
at least 1 pound of high-quality chocolate
a sharp knife for cutting the chocolate
a rubber spatula for stirring
a double boiler
a chocolate thermometer You need to get a thermometer that is specially made for chocolate because it shows the difference in degrees very clearly in a way that you will not be able to see on a normal candy thermometer.
Cut the ChocolateUsing the knife, begin at the corner of the block of chocolate and cut it into almond-size pieces. Once you have chopped away one corner of the chocolate, turn the block and begin on another corner.
Melt Most of the ChocolateFill the bottom of the double boiler with water, and bring it to a simmer on the stove. Add two-thirds of the chocolate pieces to the top of the double boiler, and place this over the simmering water. Place the thermometer in the top of the double boiler so that you can easily monitor the chocolate's temperature. Stir the chocolate gently with a spatula as it melts.
Add the Remaining ChocolateWhen the chocolate reaches the correct temperature--110 degrees for milk or white, 115 for dark--remove it from the heat. Add the remaining chocolate pieces, and stir them in until they melt. Let the chocolate cool to 84 degrees. Return the chocolate to the top of the double boiler, where the water should still be simmering, and leave it there for five to 10 seconds.
Stir the Melted Chocolate now, remove the chocolate from the heat and give it a gentle stir. Repeat the process until the chocolate heats up to 87 degrees for milk or white, or 89 degrees for dark chocolate.
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