Working with chocolate

Nothing quite makes a dessert like chocolate. But when it comes to food photography, that one substance can be tricky to work with. Here are a few tips that might just save the day.

In general

  • Try not to handle chocolate with your hands, as body heat and natural oils can affect the chocolate. Instead use tongs or kitchen utensils wherever possible and try to make sure they are clean, dry and cold.

  • Water is usually disastrous when it mixes with chocolate, so avoid at all costs (there are a few exceptions). If using a double boiler to melt your chocolate, make sure water can react with the melting chocolate.

  • Do not let chocolate completely reset while working with it. If using melted chocolate, keep stirring to maintain an even consistency until you have finished. Remelting reset chocolate can often have unexpected outcomes.

  • Cutting up chocolate? Use a sharp, cold, dry knife, preferably one you can push down on the back of it with your hand. Want crushed chocolate? Use a chopping action lifting up from the base and leaving the tip of the knife down on the board.

Julie Powell_choc header.jpg