DIY: White Chocolate Snowflakes

As promised, here is namabakery’s first free tutorial! Since some of you are looking for ideas on winter-themed cupcakes and decorations, I am going to demonstrate something fun and easy to make.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to temper white chocolate first and then pipe snowflakes. Feel free to pipe anything else besides snowflakes though. The whole process, from tempering to fully hardened snowflakes, took about 2-3 hours. This will vary though, depending on how much you are going to pipe, or if you accidentally burn the white chocolate and need to start over, etc.

Ready?

Here’s what you need:

– wax paper
– white chocolate morsels
– Ziploc snack bags
– scotch tape
– scissors
– knife
– glass or ceramic bowl for mixing and microwaving
– cutting board (optional)
– If you have piping bags, then you won’t need the Ziploc bags and scotch tape. Also, if using a piping bag, I like to use a tall cup to help hold the bag open while I pour the white chocolate in. But I am going to use common household items in this tutorial so that you won’t have to buy piping bags to do this.

Directions

1. Place a 2″ piece of Scotch tape over a bottom corner of the bag. Make sure it is lined up against the edge of the bag.


2. Place a second piece of tape over the same corner of the bag, overlapping the first piece of tape.


It should look like the above.


3. Fill about 3/4 of your bowl with the white chocolate morsels.


4. Microwave the bowl of morsels at 50-60% power (adjust accordingly to how powerful your microwave is) for about 1 minute. Stir with the knife, microwave for about 15 seconds, stir, microwave, and repeat until most of the morsels have melted.


5. Add fresh morsels (about 1/4 of the amount already in the bowl) to the already melted batch. Stir, then microwave for another 15 seconds.


Repeat until the white chocolate is like paint dripping into a bucket. Keep stirring until the are no clumps left.


6. Pour the white chocolate into the bag.


7. Squeeze out the air and then seal the bag. Air bubbles will disrupt the white chocolate flowing out of the bag’s tip and cause breakage while piping.


8. Lay a sheet of wax paper over the cutting board. (The cutting board is here to make it easier to move your work to a different location without damaging what you’ve piped. I have to do this because my mom tends to move my stuff out of the kitchen while I’m not there, and that’s how things break.)


9. Cut about 1/8 inch (3mm) of the tip of the taped corner off. It’s always safer to cut a hole too small so that you can continue to cut and make the hole bigger if the piped lines appear too thin.


10. Squeegee the white chocolate towards the taped corner.


11. Twist the top of the bag. This creates more pressure while you’re piping the white chocolate.


12. Pipe the white chocolate onto the wax paper. Practice by drawing lines first. Don’t forget to release pressure when you want to end the line. Turn the bag tip upwards will help prevent the white chocolate from dripping during the times when you’re not piping.


The harder you squeeze the bag, the faster you need to move your hand. Otherwise, the white chocolate will start piling up, creating a vertical squiggly line and the line won’t be smooth anymore. This takes some practice.


Feel free to make snowflakes in different sizes.


After about 30 minutes, they should be pretty dry. Carefully peel the wax paper off and gently press the snowflake onto the frosted cupcake.


Here is the finished product.


To make a Christmas tree like this one (above), use a large, medium, and small snowflake. Add a dollop of white chocolate or frosting in between each snowflake to hold them together. The white chocolate will be sturdier though.

I hope this free tutorial was helpful. Feel free to ask questions or make suggestions if you have any. I would love to hear you! Happy holidays, and happy baking! 😀

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Wintery Spheres of Heavenly Chocolate

Just last week, I posted on the Facebook page, “What would you like to see namabakery design/create next?” I received a couple responses (some were offline), and Sumenta Paul’s “Wintery Spheres of Heavenly Chocolate” theme had been selected.

To be honest, it was more challenging than I had thought. But challenge is a good thing! I was definitely thinking of white chocolate spheres, but I didn’t want solid ball of white chocolate on top of a cupcake. That would’ve looked a little lame and uninteresting, I think. 😛 I wanted to incorporate namabakery’s signature pattern and I wanted the sphere hollow so I could fit a mini cupcake in it to resemble a wintery globe encapsulating a cherishable item or surprise inside. I experimented with a couple different techniques. Of course, some failed, so it was back to the drawing board – brainstorming the process of putting together intricate spheres that didn’t break when the “mold” came off, or crumbled under warm temperature. Keep in mind, there were no special molds bought for this. I am only using common household items to create the decorative pieces for namabakery cupcakes.

After three days of tempering white chocolate, chocolate, piping the ingredients, grinding up scrap pieces of white chocolate, remelting the pieces, repipingmeltinggrindingremeltingrepiping, I finally managed to come up with the white chocolate spheres which I had envisioned.

On a side note, before we move onto the pictures, I am not a huge fan of artificial food coloring. Research has shown that consuming too much food dye may cause cancer, thyroid tumors, allergies, mutagenic effects, kidney damage, asthma attacks, adrenal gland tumors, chromosomal damage, and more. To make your own natural food dye at home, try using fruits or vegetables (such as raspberry juice for these red velvet cupcakes). Some sources to start with: http://www.ehow.com/how_2302808_make-natural-food-coloring.htmlhttp://www.marthastewart.com/267850/dyeing-eggs-naturally. I could’ve done this project with just plain white cupcakes, but for the sake of holiday spirit, visual contrast, and those who have asked if I bake anything else besides brownies and chocolate cake, I am going to use red velvet this time. 😛

As promised, here are the results, along with some random other winter holiday-themed cupcakes!

PS – Thanks to Steven Su for letting me borrow his awesome camera!

Empty sphere of white chocolate awaits to capture a cupcake

White chocolate sphere successfully captures a mini cupcake while spying on another one

Sphere with solid bottom half

You know Christmas will be good when the gift is larger than the Christmas tree itself.