Adding elegance to a French silk pie or a chocolate torte is as simple as adding a few well placed chocolate curls. These decorative touches can make an otherwise plain dessert the talk of the party. However, it will take practice to get shaved chocolate curls that are the same size and have an even thickness. Once you get the hang of the basic technique, though, chocolate curls will become your favorite way to dress up your desserts.
Place a bar or block of chocolate in a place warm enough for it to soften, but do not allow the chocolate to melt.
Place a layer of waxed paper over a cookie sheet.
Draw the vegetable peeler across the chocolate, peeling up a curl. You must maintain steady speed and pressure to get an even curl, so it probably will take some practice to master your technique. Shave from the thin side of the bar for spirals and narrow curls, and use the broad side for wide and heavy curls.
Use the toothpick to lift the curls gently onto the waxed paper, and place them in the refrigerator to harden for the best results. But don't worry if you're in a hurry. You can transfer them directly onto your dessert, too.
- Pillsbury's Make Mine Chocolate, Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc., 1993