For a simple and timeless finishing touch to a multitude of scrumptious cakes, look no further than this gorgeous guide to creating your very own chocolate collar. Whether you're using dark, milk or white chocolate, this tutorial provides the perfect basic techiques to apply across all of the cakey projects you could possibly imagine!
How to: make a chocolate collar
Temper your chocolate as you want shine and snap. The quickest (and cheatiest!) way is to heat at 800 in a microwave and check every 15 seconds until melted with a few pieces left to go, remove from the microwave and stir until melted and thickened.
Add two thirds of your broken chocolate to a heatproof bowl. Heat 2in water in a pan and place a heatproof bowl on top, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water and allow the chocolate to melt slowly (Bain Marie method). Once smooth and molten, remove from the heat and add the remaining third, pop in a chocolate thermometer and stir until it reaches 31/32C for dark chocolate, 30/31C for milk and 27/28C for white chocolate. Once the desired temperature is achieved your chocolate is ready to use.
I used Green & Blacks Milk chocolate and for an 8in cake you will need 250g.
Fold a length of good quality baking paper to the height you desire – an inch higher than your cake works well. Measure the length needed to wrap the cake and mark inside the fold with pencil where the two ends will meet (the pencil must be on the opposite of the chocolate side).
Pour your chocolate along the centre up to the mark and spread into a thin and even oblong.
Watch the chocolate carefully as you will wrap the cake once the chocolate has started to set. If you can lift the sheet and the chocolate doesn’t slide you can work with it. If it is too set it will crack (If this happens simply decorate with shards of chocolate, it will still look fabulous).
Fold the length of chocolate around the cake, ensuring contact between your frosting or ganache and the chocolate collar. Lift the paper a little to adhere the ends then transfer your cake to the fridge to set for thirty minutes or so.
Remove from the fridge and gently, peel away the baking paper. Et voila, a chocolate collar!
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