Day 6, Tuesday
Lesson 6: Making a parchment cone, melting milk chocolate, filling a cone, piping a straight line, piping a curved line, practice alphabets, practice borders
To make the paper cone begin with your sheet of parchment and fold it into a triangle. You want a nice sharp crease so it makes a smooth edge when you slice your knife through, cutting the paper. Fold this piece again into a triangle, following the first step again. From the pre-cut sheets of parchment I was able to get four large cones.
Hold the triangle with the longest side up and bring one corner to the base point in the middle, rolling the paper inside as it folds inward. From there bring the other side around, keeping the paper as fine and tight as possible (like in the drawing below)
(image courtesy of www.baking911.com)
To keep the cone closed and tight, fold the edges inside at least twice over. This will help keep the paper from moving and the cone from opening up on you when its filled with chocolate! My cones were well sealed and had no hole at the bottom; you don't want to lose your chocolate while you are filing it.
With my parchment cones finished I am now ready to begin melting my chocolate. There are various ways to melt chocolate and today I will use a bain marie. Other students used the microwave, which is fine, but only at 30 second intervals. After 30 seconds take the chocolate out and stir, and if it needs more time put it in again for another 3o sec. Because of the way a microwave works, heating from the inside out, the sugar in the chocolate can burn very easily if microwaved for too long.
When using a bain marie or double boiler, it is very important to have a clean dry bowl for the chocolate to melt it. If water or condensation on the bowl end up in the chocolate, it was cause it to split. You must be careful that the water in the boiler is not at too rapid of a boil and that when pouring chocolate from the bowl into your cone that no condensation water gets either into your cone or inside the bowl. It is best to pour the chocolate slowly directly into the middle of the cone, the less on the insides the easier it is to close and the cleaner your cone will stay. Fold the sides of the top over to seal the bag. Using a scissor, cut the tip of the cone. The smaller the tip the finer line you are able to make and more control when piping.
Chocolate can be purchased in various shapes. We use pistols which are flat round discs that melt very easily. It will take a couple minutes to melt down the chocolate; it is fine if there are a few lumps as stirring will generally dissolve them. Make sure that the chocolate is completely smooth before pouring into your cone so no lumps get caught in the tip.
My first attempt at piping the alphabet on an acetate sheet proved to be more difficult than I thought. If the tip of the cone is too large, as in the first photo, the letters will be larger and less precise. I cut a smaller tip with my second cone, giving me greater control and a finer line, as in the second photo. Another thing I found was that if the chocolate was too warm, it was not viscus enough and lost its shape when piped. Having proper viscosity is important for something like chocolate because you don't want too much spread after you pipe with it.
My other sheets of acetate were for practicing simple designs and borders. When my tip was too large, as in the first photo, the designs lost their shape and kind of smudged together. But I had a smaller cut tip when piping out my borders which made the swirly lines easier to draw and more precise. When I was finished I had a little fun practicing writing words.