Melted chocolate stenciling can be used to decorate a cake instead of using gum paste or royal icing. Be aware, the process can be messy. Once complete, you’ll have a stunning, one-of-a-kind cake that is entirely edible. Candy melts can be used in place of traditional chocolate for stenciling on a fondant cake.
Candy melts are designed to be easy to use. They come in several colors and offer a milky, chocolatey flavor. But they are not chocolate. Although candy melts are used in place of chocolate for coasting sand stenciling, they’re made from cocoa powder, oils and sugar -- not cocoa butter, which is used to make chocolate. Candy melts don’t require tempering or previous chocolate experience and often can be melted in the microwave rather than a double-boiler. Because candy melts are sweet, they work better for edible decorations, like stenciling.
Start with a smooth fondant surface. Ripples, dips and knobby spots force chocolate into the ridges, making your final cake uneven. Before placing fondant on the cake, smooth in curves and dips with icing. Then, smooth fondant over and make the surface as flat as possible.
To stencil with candy melts, pick any variety of candy melts, in any color. Melt it according to the instructions on the package. Gather up additional supplies, including a stencil and pastry blade. Stencils don’t need to be food-grade, but they need to be washed and dried before use. If you don’t have a pastry blade, a flat-bladed knife or spatula works.
Cool the melted candy melts slightly -- using them when they’re too hot can make the candy seep out the corners of the stencil and soften the fondant. Place your stencil over the surface of the cake, smoothing it down against the surface. Use one hand to hold the stencil and another hand to spread the candy melts. Put a small amount of the candy melts on your pastry blade and pull the coating from one end of the stencil to another. Add more candy melts and repeat the process until the entire stencil pattern is covered. Lift the stencil, carefully, straight off the cake. Do not slide or rub the stencil, which can smudge your design.
If you want to reuse the stencil on a different part of the cake, wash it first. Reusing a stencil might make melted candy spread from the bottom of the stencil onto your cake. Add additional decorations to your stenciled design, such as sugar pearls -- edible beads of sugar that look like pearls -- royal icing flowers or sprinkles. When first starting out with stenciling, pick a wide, simple stencil pattern and slowly work your way up to more intricate designs. This way, you learn how to pull the chocolate and keep the integrity of the stencil design without ruining the fondant. If you mess up the pattern, wait for the chocolate to set and scrape it off with a sharp, pointed knife.
- The Contemporary Cake Decorating Bible; Lindy Smith
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