Mystery of the Orient

Total Time:
4 hr
Prep:
4 hr

Yield:
1 centerpiece
Level:
Advanced

CATEGORIES
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds bittersweet chocolate, tempered
  • 16 ounces white chocolate, tempered
  • Cocoa butter
  • Powdered food coloring, as desired
  • Vegetable oil, for glazing
  • Modeling chocolate
  • Cornstarch, for rolling
Directions

Make the base: Use flexible aluminum strips or large cake ring to form a base. The base I made was 10-inches in diameter. Place the ring on a parchment paper lined surface. Pour tempered dark chocolate inside the ring to form a 1/2-inch-thick layer. When the chocolate has set, remove the ring and peel off the parchment paper.

Make a support pole: Roll a piece of acetate into a tube that is 14 inches long and 2 1/2 inches in diameter and tape it closed. Set the tube on end and fill with dark chocolate. When it is full, invert the tube over the bowl of chocolate allowing the excess chocolate to flow back into the bowl. Let set. When the chocolate has set, repeat this step a few more times. You want the tube to be quite sturdy, as the rest of the centerpiece will depend on it. Allow the chocolate tube to set until hard. Remove the acetate. Use a hot knife to trim the base of the tube so it is flat. Then use the knife to scar the bottom. You want to make it somewhat textured so it will form a better seal to the base. Use tempered chocolate to glue the pole onto the base. Position it well so you can rest the molded chocolate against it.

Make the disks: Use an offset spatula to spread a 1/4-inch-thick layer of tempered white chocolate over a sheet of acetate. Let the chocolate set slightly. Set a 6-inch cake circle on top of the chocolate and trace around it with a sharp paring knife. When the chocolate is set, peel off the acetate and set the disk aside. Repeat 2 more times to make an 8-inch circle and a 10-inch circle.

To paint the 6-inch chocolate disk, mix together a few tablespoons of the cocoa butter with a small amount of powdered food color. It will be easier if you use a yogurt machine to store and warm your paints. Use a paintbrush to paint the Japanese characters on the disk. Set aside.

Use the same method to paint the 8-inch disk red. When the paint has dried, you can glaze it with any kind of vegetable oil.

Make the face piece. Roll out the modeling chocolate to a 20-inch diameter circle. Use cornstarch to keep the modeling chocolate from sticking to the rolling pin or the work surface. Place the face mold on a flat surface in front of you. Carefully gather the modeling chocolate and place it over the face mold pressing it into the mold. Gather the sides to give the rest of the piece more character. The finished size should be 14 inches across and 16 inches from top to bottom. You can place the flexible modeling chocolate in the refrigerator. It will keep its shape better when it is cold.

Use tempered dark chocolate to adhere the face piece to the 10-inch in circle. This will give the piece extra support so it can be glued to the support pole. Adhere this piece to the pole using more tempered chocolate.

Make the fan: The fan has 9 spokes. Use an offset spatula to spread a 1/8-inch-thick layer of tempered dark chocolate over a sheet of acetate. Let the chocolate set slightly. Use a straight edge to cut 9 strips of dark chocolate that are each 8 inches long and 3/8-inch wide. When the chocolate is set, peel off the acetate. Arrange the fan pieces so they spread evenly across an 8-inch wide space. You may need to adjust this measurement to fit the bottom of the fan you make. Glue the spokes together toward 1 end. If necessary, use a hot knife to trim the ends of the chocolate.

Use modeling chocolate to make the face of the fan. Roll out the modeling chocolate so it is about 30 inches wide. Use a sharp paring knife to trace around the fan to get the shape. Carefully gather the modeling chocolate and place it over the fan using the fan to create the folds. My finished fan was about 24 inches across the top and 9 inches across the bottom.

Use an offset spatula to spread a 1/8-inch-thick layer of tempered white chocolate over a sheet of acetate. Let the chocolate set slightly. Cut a curved piece of chocolate that is about 2 inches wide. This will serve as extra support for the fan. Paint the back of the fan with white chocolate. Use more tempered chocolate to glue the support piece to the back of the fan. Use more tempered chocolate to glue the spokes to the bottom of the fan.

If you use an airbrush, simply place a few drops of color in the receptacle of the airbrush and decorate, as you are inspired.

If you use a paintbrush, mix together a few tablespoons of the cocoa butter with a small amount of powdered food color. It will be easier if you use a yogurt machine to store and warm your paints. Apply color where you are inspired to do so.

Use tempered chocolate to adhere the spokes to the back of the fan. Use more tempered chocolate to adhere the fan to the support. Adhere the painted disks to the support.

Sources:

Modeling chocolate: Beryls Cake Decorating

Mask: Novelty store

Chocolate Melter: Demarle New Jersey, Demarle.com

Chocolate Cold Spray: PCB in France 011 33 0388 587333

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