If you would like to celebrate in style, why not take the extra effort to add some excitement dessert artwork, using a few simple touches that will make your dessert appear magical, captivating, and distinctive. Dessert artwork needs to be garnished in a manner that would allow them to appear timeless and memorable. How about adding a magical touch that says “I Love You,” or scripting “Marry Me” to exquisitely facilitate an unforgettably romantic experience? On the other hand, you may opt to embellish your magnificent dessert creations with crystallized fruit, an enchanting touch of chocolate rose leaves, a subtle drizzle of red raspberry sauce, or a splash of creamy custard sauce to vividly add color, and create an elegant, chic visual expression. There’s nothing like a creatively placed swirl, light drizzle, spiral curl, or grand gesture of chocolate, for the enhancement of an otherwise ordinary dessert, and thus allowing it to transform into a gourmet masterpiece.
Simple Dessert Ideas
Buttercream Icing Messages on Dessert Plates
Yields etched in your mind moments.
Dessert artwork icing messages yield an awe-inspiring presentation that is exciting and very easy to create. Scripting messages on dessert plates will help you to attach a special, passionate, and personal touch to your desserts, allowing you to silently convey your feelings to your loved one. If you would like to write a message with icing, use the smallest tip possible, and make sure the letters are long and narrow. Writing in cursive is most ideal. To ensure that you have enough room to write your message, place your dessert on the plate after the message has been written on the plate. You can always place the dessert to accommodate the writing, but you can’t adjust the writing to fit around the dessert.
- Dessert Artwork Expression Ideas: Marry Me, Happy Anniversary, and I Love You.
I learned this artistic practice while serving desserts for birthdays and anniversaries at restaurants. Everybody wanted their own distinctive, personal expression to be added, so I wrote their messages on the dessert plates. You should always use sizeable plates or platters that have sufficient space for both the written message and dessert. Don’t forget to elaborate the plate with mint leaves and dabs of whipped cream to complete the treasured artwork.
Dessert Artwork: The plate is the canvas, and the rim of the plate is the picture frame. Therefore, a brilliant picture can be composed, guaranteed to inflict a lasting, romantic impression on the memories of the people in love.
Parchment Cones for Inscription and Designing
Parchment cones are used to decorate desserts with delicate designs of chocolate, fondue, or special piping gels. To construct a parchment Cone, you fold a sheet of parchment paper on a diagonal basis, allowing each side to slightly overlap. Using a sharp knife or a pair of scissors, cut out a medium-sized, somewhat triangular shape. It is not necessary to form a perfect triangle with a sharp knife cut. Place your thumb and forefinger in the middle of the cut diagonals to make a pivot point. Roll the parchment into a funnel shape, keeping the pivot point closed as the paper is rolled. Keep the paper taut as it is rolled. Remember, you are forming a funnel to pipe soft liquid out of, and thus the cone must be sturdy. When the triangle has been rolled into a cone (funnel), there will be three points at the cone’s top. Fold the point on the outside toward the interior of the cone.
Fill the cone halfway. Do not overfill, otherwise the filling will ooze out of the top of the cone. Fold the outer points toward the cone’s center, and fold the last corner over the top of the other points, to seal. Cut off the tip of the cone, using a knife or pair of scissors, to create a small opening. At first, practice the piping technique by writing a small, simple message. You can make the hole bigger, if necessary.
Dessert Artwork Piping Gels for Inscription
The Clear piping gel can be tinted with paste or liquid-based food coloring. Alternatively, you can purchase pre-colored piping gel. Piping gel is the ideal tool for writing messages. For added convenience and consistency, use store-bought, colored piping gel; small tubes of colored frosting can also be used to get the job done perfectly.
Ornamenting with Buttercream Icing
Yields four cups.
Just like playing an instrument, consistent practice will improve your proficiency to creating greaty dessert artwork. To decorate dessert plates, you will need pastry bags, metal tips, icing, and a plate.
Buttercream Icing Recipe
- ⅓ cup BUTTER-FLAVORED SHORTENING
- 4 cups POWDERED SUGAR (sifted)
- 1-½ teaspoons VANILLA
- 7 to 8 tablespoons MILK
- ⅛ tablespoon MERINGUE POWDER
- 1 pinch SALT
Place the butter in a mixing bowl and beat on medium speed until the butter is creamed. Add vegetable shortening to butter, and mix on medium speed until thoroughly blended. Add vanilla. Place the mixer on low speed, and add the powdered sugar and meringue powder, one tablespoon at a time, until the sugar is fully incorporated. Add a pinch of salt. The icing may be a little stiff. Slowly add small amounts of water until it reaches the desired consistency. For piping and decorating, the icing should be somewhat stiff.
Just about any buttercream recipe may be flavored with other ingredients to change the color, texture, and flavor to suit your needs. Popular additions are melted chocolate, praline paste, strong coffee or trablit, extracts and liqueurs, emulsions and purées, and ganache and various nut pastes.
Dessert Artwork: Encrusted Crystallized Fruit (Frosted)
Yields two garnishes.
Candied fruit (also known as “glacé fruit” and crystallized fruit) has been in existence since the 14th century. Encrusted crystallized fruit will indubitably affix a mystical, charming, and enchanting element to your savory dessert; the most common crystallized fruits are cherries and grapes. They should be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
- 2 small GRAPE CLUSTERS
- 6 medium BING CHERRIES
- 8 FRESH BLUEBERRIES
- 1 large EGG WHITE
- ¼ cup GRANULATED SUGAR
Wash fruit and dry with paper towels, or let air dry on towels. In a small mixing bowl, beat egg white with a fork until foamy. Brush egg white onto each piece of fruit with a pastry brush, coating all sides of fruit. Place fruit on a piece of waxed paper covered with sugar. Next, using a small spoon, sprinkle a light, even coating of sugar over the fruit.
If any areas of fruit are not coated, repeat the process with egg white and sugar. Let sugared fruit stand at room temperature until coating is dry. Use as a garnish with your favorite dessert.
Dark and White Chocolate Rose Leaves
Add a trendy, elegant expression to any dessert plate, using chocolate leaves. A dark and white chocolate rose leaf will affix brilliant, dramatic art to any of your sweet, culinary creations.
To compose chocolate leaves you melt some semisweet dark chocolate chips or other chocolate in a microwave or double boiler. Carefully wash four rose leaves. Make sure you have left a bit of the stem on. Holding the stem, brush the back of the leaf with the melted chocolate. Place the chocolate leaf on a waxed-paper-covered cookie sheet, and freeze until firm. Carefully peel the leaf away from the chocolate, again holding the stem. Be careful, as chocolate rose leaves are extremely fragile.
Make sure you use nontoxic leaves during this process, such as rose, lemon, mint, or camellia.
For further information, see (Tempering Techniques).
White or Dark Chocolate Slivers and Curls
Have you ever been astounded by elaborate white or dark chocolate curls, embellishing the tops of exquisite-looking desserts? With a little bit of rehearsal, you’ll be able to prepare chocolate garnishes that add emphasis and pizzazz to dessert creations, just as easily as a professional chef could.
To fashion chocolate slivers and curls, you will start by setting out a block of chocolate or a large chocolate bar, and allow it to reach room temperature. Peel away curls of chocolate with a sharp vegetable peeler. Some will appear to be perfectly formed curls of chocolate while others will come off in simple slivers. Use these sweet garnishes to top any delicious dessert. The dessert will look significantly more appetizing when covered with slivers and curls of mouth-watering chocolate.
White or Dark Chocolate Cutouts
Creating dessert artwork shapes is one of the simplest ways to add vibrancy, drama, and radiance to your delightful dessert creations. These finishing touches are sure to leave a lasting impression upon your dinner guest.
Melt a chocolate baking bar in a small bowl, set inside a larger bowl. Fill halfway with very hot water, stirring occasionally. Do not use shortening. Line a cookie sheet or baking pan with waxed paper. Pour melted white chocolate onto waxed paper; quickly spread chocolate into a thin layer (⅛ to ¼-inch thickness) with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate until white chocolate is slightly firm, about sixteen minutes. Cut chocolate into shapes with a sharp knife. You can also use cookie cutters to create desired shapes. Carefully lift cutouts from waxed paper with a metal spatula or knife. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Petite Cherry Flowers
The maraschino cherry is a specially treated fruit that can be made from any variety of cherry, although the Royal Ann variety is most often used. The cherries are pitted and then macerated in flavored sugar syrup (almond flavored for red cherries, and mint for green). They’re quite often used as a garnish for a wide array of delicious desserts and refreshing cocktails.
You form cherry flowers by snipping well-drained maraschino cherries into four or six sections, cutting about ¾ of the way through. Then, gently spread sections apart to resemble petals. Cut green gumdrops in half to resemble leaves.
Web of Sleek Sugar Lace
Yields two garnishes.
Spun sugar can be used to produce a beautiful, elegant web of sleek sugar strands that can be used to encircle or crown desserts, and create a magnificent, awe-striking expression for your dessert. You should exercise extreme caution while handling the heated sugar, as sugar can cause terrible burns.
- 2 cups GRANULATED SUGAR
- ½ cup LIGHT CORN SYRUP
- ½ cup WATER
To prepare your kitchen, protect the countertop with newspaper, to catch sugar spills. Grab three medium saucepans, and spray the handles with nonstick cooking spray. These pans will be used to compose the sugar strands. Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set it aside.
Incorporate the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan (with a lid) over medium-high heat, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Cover the saucepan with the lid, and boil for two to three minutes; pull off the lid and continue to boil the sugar syrup, occasionally stirring. Cook until it reaches 310°F. The sugar will cook very quickly toward the end, so observe the mixture closely, making sure it doesn’t burn.
As soon as the sugar attains the appropriate temperature, remove the saucepan from the heat and plunge its bottom into the prepared ice water, in order to stop the sugar from cooking any further. Let the mixture stand for a minute or two, allowing it to thicken slightly.
Hold the pan upward in one hand, and a fork in the other. Dip the fork in the sugar syrup and stir. Remove the fork from the heat, and hold it five to six inches above the arranged saucepan handles. Quickly flick the fork back and forth over the handles. The sugar syrup should generate fine strands of sugar that drape over the handles. If the syrup doesn’t produce any strands, or the strands have a lot of “beads,” allow the syrup to cool for an additional minute. If the strands are very lumpy and do not easily form, reheat the syrup for a short period of time.
Continue to dip the fork, and quickly flick it over the handles, creating numerous fine strands of spun sugar. At any point, you can remove the sugar that has gathered and shape it into balls or nests. Continue to fashion the spun sugar until all the syrup is gone, or until you have enough spun sugar for your dessert’s requirements.
The spun sugar nest ought to be used right away after it is made, otherwise the sugar will melt if it is exposed to anything moist or humid. To place on top of a dessert, wait and place at the last minute. To store it, place it in a dry, airtight plastic container.
Various Citrus Fruit Compositions
Using a small sharp knife or miniature cutter, engrave any design of your choice into the peel of a citrus fruit. There are various compositions made from lemon, orange, and lime slices. In order to work on citrus fruits, you will need a paring knife and a cannelure knife (with a hollow on the blade).
- Cannelure Knife: Using a cannelure knife, make vertical cuts along a whole fruit. Next, slice finely if you need slices for dish decoration, or thickly if you need slices for glass decoration.
- Cut up Slices: Slice a lemon finely, and make a cut into a slice until you reach the middle. For a cone shape, lay the ends upon each other so that it resembles a funnel. For a spiral, pull the ends apart, and set on a dish.
- Slices with a Loop: Cut a slice and partially peel the skin, almost to the end. Tie a peel strip in a loop.
- Water Lilly: Carefully, make eight cuts through the peel of an orange or tangerine on ¾ of the orange, starting at the top, and moving downward. Separate the peel from the lobules carefully. Next, separate lobules from each other, being careful not to tear them from the bottom of the fruit.
Exotic Fruit Decorations
Taking the time to investigate which fruits appeal most in terms of their fragrance, shape, touch, texture (and of course, taste), allows us to see our nourishment with new eyes. With these traits in mind, gathering the ingredients for a “sensual” new way of eating can be sexy and fun.
Exotic fruits are often used to create a perfectly appetizing dessert. Pineapples, bananas, melons, kiwis, and watermelons will all decorate your dessert plates in a wondrous, charming manner. Blackberries are a sexy deep purple and have a captivating texture that makes them a great sultry garnish for desserts. To make different compositions with these fruits, you need a paring knife, a curved knife, a crimped knife, and round cutters of different sizes.
- Exotic Fruits: Coconut, horned melon or kiwano, lychee, mango, papaya, passion fruit, persimmon, and star fruit.
- Melon Fans: Place three to four thin slices as a fan.
Dessert Artwork Garnishes
The designation “garnish” is widely attributed to many elements related to plating techniques. Generally, a garnish is anything on the plate that is not the foremost piece. Here is a simple list of dessert garnishes that you can use. Colored applesauce, dried fruits, fruit sticks, chocolate, vanilla and chocolate wafers, rainbow wafers, cinnamon and chocolate graham crackers, apple/cherry/fruit newtons, small candy, licorice, M&Ms, chocolate kisses, chocolate or butterscotch chips, mini marshmallows, Smarties, and more.
“After dinner planning is just as important as planning the whole event. Do you want to curl up on the couch together and view a romantic movie? How about dancing under the stars? What about reclining on pillows in front of the fireplace and devouring chocolate covered strawberries there while listening to your favorite music?”
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