This is my first 'masterpiece', I suppose, although I didn't make the invention, the first time I really get into the sugarcraft art work. I did invent the passion for it in myself if it's the same matter. Art can't really be measured from what I think, but what I feel. The greatest satisfaction of all is an achievement, something I've never ever thought I am able to do. There's a self-esteem involved and yes, it does feel good!
On the event of Art You Eat, with this month's theme is chocolate, I am tracking back the passion I had had on the special occasion of our wedding anniversary in 2005. I had my hands on the chocolate lace to put on the cake as the centrepiece. I was not at all happy with the result as I thought the centrepiece that high will need two-tiers wedding cake, but then looking back, it wasn't so bad. At least, I did come to a certain stage I had not done before.
The pictures are archived in 2005 (and I was still using a video camera!). Without further ado, here's what I did:
Source: Lace and Filigree by Nicholas Lodge (Oh, how I'd loved to meet this man! His hands are golden with art and masterpiece!)
Equipments I use: a piping bag, baking paper, a pattern, a small plain nozzle (no. 1) and a plain paper
First of all, copy the pattern in a book and tracing it with a pencil on a plain paper. Then, put a baking paper on the pattern (on the plain paper), tracing the pattern with a pencil. Keep the pattern on the plain paper for your record and use the pattern on the baking paper as you're going to trace it with melted chocolate.
Prepare a board, a cake board or a hardcover book to place the baking paper with the pattern (you can also work on your benchtop if you wish) so it will have a smooth and level surface. Use a tape to glue the baking paper on the board. That will help when you're tracing the pattern, the pattern won't slip off the board (that will make a neat job messy).Melt the chocolate, temper, and wait until it's thickening. Pour into a piping bag fitted with the nozzle (you can use no. 0 or no. 00 if you wish; they will give thinner lines, though). Work from the top of the pattern. Squeeze gently to let the mixture out on a spare baking paper, just to make sure it will flow easily, well, generally it will.
Trace the lines on the pattern. Use your imagination and your own style. It will give the look you really picture on your mind. The pattern that I use is flowers with leaves and I have to make 4 pieces of the same pattern, so when they are placed on the centre, they can stand against each other.
Let the chocolate cool. I don't keep my chocolate lace in a fridge because they will 'sweat' and when are removed at room temperature, the chocolate will develop white dots as the results of the 'dry sweats' (white blooms?), they won't look good as the centrepiece.
When they are cool and hard, peel off the paper carefully, you don't want to break them. I broke one of them as you can see in the picture of the cake I only used three of them. Keep them at a dark place as they will melt easily, especially in a hot Summer day!
What I made for the base of the lace was a chocolate saucer: just draw a circle on a baking paper, trace the outer line, then fill in with melted chocolate, leave to cool and hard, then peel off the paper. Place it on the centre of the cake which is already iced with buttercream or fondant. I did it with buttercream, tinted pink. Arrange the chocolate lace on the chocolate plate, 'glue' them with melted chocolate and you have to keep your hands cool when you're handling the lace, otherwise they will melt! You can always use a toothpick or the tip of your tooling ball.
Decorate the plate with drizzled chocolate to resemble laces around the edge of the plate. Finish the cake with chocolate hearts and flowers, whatever you feel is fitted in the theme and based on what you feel.