Get ready to enter the delightful world of homemade chocolate confections!
Chocolate shards, with their beautiful, irregular shapes and endless possibilities for customisation, are a fantastic way to jazz up your desserts or simply enjoy as a delectable treat on their own.
Whether you’re a seasoned baker or just dipping your toes into the realm of chocolatier-ing, creating your own chocolate shards is a fun and rewarding process that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
How to Make Chocolate Shards Step-by-Step
Making chocolate shards at home is a straightforward and enjoyable process.
Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Choose Your Chocolate: You can use dark, milk, or white chocolate, depending on your preference. Around 200g is a good starting amount.
- Temper the Chocolate: This is a crucial step to ensure your shards have a shiny finish and a nice snap. Chop your chocolate into even pieces, set aside about a third, and slowly melt the rest in a heatproof bowl over simmering water (make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl).
- Cool and Add Remaining Chocolate: Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat and let it cool slightly before adding the reserved chocolate. Stir until all the chocolate is melted and the mixture cools to around 31°C for dark chocolate or 29°C for milk or white chocolate.
- Spread the Chocolate: Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pour the tempered chocolate onto it. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate into a thin layer, aiming for about 3-4mm thickness.
- Add Toppings (Optional): If you want to add extra flavour and texture, sprinkle your chosen toppings (like nuts, dried fruits, or edible flowers) over the chocolate while it’s still soft.
- Let it Set: Leave the chocolate at room temperature to set. This can take a couple of hours, so be patient!
- Break into Shards: Once the chocolate is completely set and hardened, use your hands or a knife to break it into irregular shards.
And voilà! You’ve made your own chocolate shards.
Related post: What Are Chocolate Callets?
What Are Chocolate Shards?
Chocolate shards are thin, irregular pieces of chocolate that are often used as a decorative and delicious element in baking and dessert making.
They’re made by spreading tempered chocolate into a thin layer, allowing it to set, and then breaking it into uneven, ‘shard-like’ pieces.
The beauty of chocolate shards lies in their irregularity, each piece unique and charmingly jagged.
Whether on the top of a cake or simply nibbled on their own, chocolate shards add a touch of gourmet flair to any occasion.
Click here to buy chocolate shards from the Whitakers online shop.
Why Are Chocolate Shards Good for Baking and Cooking?
Chocolate shards are a great addition to baking and cooking for several reasons:
- Visual Appeal: Their irregular shapes and sizes add an artistic and professional touch to your dishes, transforming a simple cake or dessert into something visually stunning.
- Texture: The crisp snap of a chocolate shard provides a contrasting texture to softer desserts, like mousse, cheesecake or ice cream, adding an element of surprise and delight.
- Versatility: You can make shards from dark, milk, or white chocolate and customise them with various toppings to match the flavour profile of your dish.
- Ease of Use: Chocolate shards are simple to make and apply, but they give your dishes a gourmet touch that suggests much more effort.
- Flavour: Chocolate shards, of course, add the rich, indulgent flavour of chocolate to any dish, enhancing and complementing other ingredients.
For these reasons, using chocolate shards in your culinary creations can elevate your baking and cooking to a new level.
Related Posts: What Are Cocoa Solids?
What’s the Difference Between Chocolate Callets and Shards?
These are small, uniform pieces of chocolate, often resembling chocolate chips.
Callets are specifically designed to melt quickly and evenly, making them ideal for chocolate tempering, creating a ganache, or simply melting into a recipe.
They are typically available in a range of chocolate types, including dark, milk, and white.
On the other hand, shards are thin, irregularly broken pieces of chocolate.
They are typically made by spreading tempered chocolate into a thin layer, allowing it to harden, and then breaking it into jagged pieces.
Shards are commonly used for decoration on cakes and desserts, adding a visually striking element and a delightful crunch.
While both have their specific uses, whether you opt for callets or shards will depend on the application within your recipe.
What Can Chocolate Shards Be Used For?
Chocolate shards, with their striking aesthetic and delightful crunch, can be used in numerous ways to elevate your culinary creations:
- Cake Decoration: Shards can add an elegant touch to cakes, offering both visual appeal and a delicious chocolatey crunch.
- Dessert Topping: Sprinkle shards over puddings, mousses, or ice creams to create a contrasting texture and enhanced flavour.
- Baking Ingredient: Chocolate shards can be stirred into cookie or brownie batter for a surprise bite of chocolate in each mouthful.
- Hot Drinks Garnish: They can be used to garnish hot drinks such as hot chocolate or cappuccinos, providing a gourmet touch.
- As a Gift: Packaged beautifully, chocolate shards make a delightful gift for the chocolate lovers in your life.
- On their Own: And, of course, chocolate shards can be enjoyed just as they are, making for a satisfying and indulgent snack.
So, whether you’re a baker, a dessert maker, or a chocolate aficionado, chocolate shards are a versatile addition to your culinary toolkit.
Where Can You Buy Chocolate Shards?
If you’re on the hunt for premium quality chocolate shards, look no further than Whitakers Chocolates’ ‘Easymelt‘ range.
These mini dark chocolate shards are expertly crafted to melt quickly, making them a versatile choice for all your baking, moulding, flavouring, and dipping needs.
With over 130 years of experience in chocolate-making, we ensure that our products are made using the highest quality ingredients with no artificial additives.
You can find Easymelt, along with our other delectable chocolate products, on our website.
Get ready to elevate your culinary creations with Easymelt!
Related Posts: What Is Chocolate Ganache?
Some Notes From an Expert Chocolatier
Drawing on our rich history and experience in the world of chocolate, we at Whitakers Chocolates have always strived to innovate and provide solutions for chocolate lovers and culinary enthusiasts alike.
As expert chocolatiers with over 130 years of experience, we understand the challenges that can arise when cooking with chocolate, such as uneven melting, difficulty in handling, or uncontrolled sweetness.
This understanding led us to develop our ‘Easymelt’ chocolate.
Recognising the need for a product that could effortlessly blend into recipes, provide consistent results, and make the process of cooking with chocolate easier, we designed these mini shards of dark chocolate to melt swiftly and evenly.
‘Easymelt’ emerged from a desire to enhance the culinary experience of home cooks and professional chefs alike.
The versatility it offers, from moulding and decorating to flavouring and dipping, reflects our commitment to providing high-quality, user-friendly chocolate products that make the art of cooking with chocolate a joy, not a challenge.
The creation of ‘Easymelt’ is a true testament to Whitakers Chocolates’ dedication to meeting the needs of our customers, staying true to our roots while innovating for the future.
Trust in our centuries-old expertise, and let ‘Easymelt’ take your chocolate creations to new heights.
Final Notes On How to Make Chocolate Shards
Making chocolate shards is an exciting and rewarding process that brings both visual flair and delicious flavour to your dishes.
By tempering your chocolate and spreading it thin, you can create these delightful treats with relative ease.
Whether you choose to use them as cake decorations, a crunchy addition to your cookies and brownies, or even as a gourmet garnish on your hot drinks, these shards are sure to elevate your culinary creations.
And if you’re after a shortcut, our Easymelt mini dark chocolate shards offer all the charm and versatility of homemade shards, but with the added convenience of being ready to use.