Introduction: How to Plate Desserts
So far all my cooking Instructables were about making a specific dish, though whenever I could I tried to present alternatives, twists and hints that could be used to adapt the recipes to your own taste.
This time focus will be on the accessories and I’ll show you how easy it is to turn a plain piece of cake into a fancy dessert. Really, plating is a piece of cake.
The aim here is to give you ideas on how to use powders, creams and chocolate for decoration purposes but I know that just a few dots and stripes on the plate would not make a big impression. It is the final outcome, how it all adds up together that makes it worth to play with. That’s why you won’t find actual cake recipes here, though cakes do appear on the photos. Use your favorite ones and let your imagination fly.
Step 1: You'll Need
Fruit or vegetable powders (red berries look gorgeous, I used powdered beetroot)
For the beetroot powder: peel the beetroot, cut thin slices with a vegetable peeler, dry it in the oven at low temperature (60-75 Celsius) time depends on the oven and on how thin the slices are. The key is not to bake them just dry until they get crispy. Make it into powder with a food processor.
Fruit sauces or jam
I used apricot and blackberry. You may also use store bought, but if you’d rather use home made: peel, add sugar to your taste, blend, press through fine mesh sieve.
Chocolate deco elements
food coloring gel (optional)
Other things that appear on the plates:
Cakes (beetroot brownie and cheesecake in my case)
Nuts- anything you like - think about what is in the cake and what looks good (form and color)
Creams like chocolate cream, balsamic vinegar cream, whipped cream
Fruits (red berries, kiwi, apricot, peach, pomegranate; anything you have on hand, consider colors and forms - you may cut fruits in an unusual way like kiwi into rectangle)
Freeze dry fruits give an extra flavor bomb to any dessert
Plates - different sizes
cookie cutters to cut cakes
Sauce dispenser bottle
Making plated desserts is fun, but it is advisable to think ahead, and maybe make some sketches.
Step 2: Chocolate Deco 1.
1. Gently melt chocolate over simmering water, let it cool a bit.
2. Put the chocolate cream into a piping bag or a dispenser bottle
3. Draw forms on parchment paper
4. Bend the forms slightly if you wish.
5. Wait till they dry completely.
Step 3: Chocolate Deco 2. Mint Leaves
Remove fresh mint leaves from the stem, line them up, cover with chocolate cream using a brush, When the chocolate gets firm remove the leaves
Step 4: Random Chocolate Forms
Put ice and water in a glass, press chocolate sauce from a dispenser bottle or a piping bag. Wait a couple of minutes, remove the chocolate form and let it dry.
Step 5: Bubble Sugar
1. Place half a teaspoon heaps of glucose sirup on the silicone mat.
2. Spread them in a very thin layer with the back of a spoon (make sure there is space in between).
3. Using a toothpick you may add a bit of food coloring gel.
4. Preheat the oven to 150 Celsius, bake approximately an hour.
5. You will soon see bubbles emerging.
6. After an hour take it out of the oven, let it cool completely.
Step 6: Powders 1.
Pick a bigger and a smaller plate, place the smaller on top of the big one. Dust the plate with whatever powder you wish (beetroot in the picture). Remove the small plate.
Add pieces of cake, fruits, fruit creams, edible flowers, ground nuts.
Step 7: Powders 2.
Place a slotted spoon (or anything that has holes in it) on the plate, Dust with cocoa (or other) powder. Clean any unwanted traces with a paper towel.
Add anything you want (mini cheesecake, whipped cream, brownie, chocolate cream, kiwi pomwgrante seeds and viola in the picture).
Step 8: Powders 3.
To end up with a powder - stripe on the plate, cover parts of the plate that you wish to leave blank with paper. Dust with a sieve, remove the covers. Decorate (brownie topped with whipped cream and decorated with bubble sugar, fig, pomegranate seeds and chocolate cream in the picture.)
Step 9: Powders 4.
Cut a round piece of brownie with a cookie cutter, place it on the plate, dust with powder of your choce. Turn the brownie over and decorate as you wish. In the picture you can see a piece of brownie topped with chocolate cream and chocolate deco sitting on top, accompanied by macaron, and cubes of peach, balckberry and fig.
Step 10: Creams 1.
Pour jam into a bowl. Dip the rim of a glass into the jam, then stamp circles onto the plate.
Add the rest ... mini cheesecakes, blackberry, pomeranate seeds, figs, and chopped almonds in my version.
Step 11: Creams 2.
Put the fruit sauce (blackberry in the picture) in a dispenser bottle, Press dots on the plate pretty close to each other but not touching. Pull a toothpick across. Finish (mini cheesecakes, pomegranate, heaps of chocolate cream, chopped almonds in the picture).
Step 12: Creams 3.
Place dots of fruit sauce on the plate. I used blackberry sauce and apricot jam to make it more interesting with the contrasting colors. Here comes the fun part: tap with the back of a spoon to create splashes (see video). Dress it up! (Slices of brownies, figs, peaches, blackberries, macaron and sugar bubbles in the pictures)
Step 13: Enjoy!
Happy making and eating :-)
Second Prize in the
Kitchen Skills Challenge