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How to Grate and Shave Chocolate

How to Grate and Shave Chocolate

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Learn the easiest and most efficient way to grate and shave chocolate for your favorite dessert.

How to Easily Grate Chocolate:

Use a handheld grater or zester or the smallest holes on a box grater.

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How to Easily Shave Chocolate:

Use a vegetable peeler. Start at the narrowest side of the chocolate to create smaller shaved pieces and curls.

The Spruce / Elizabeth LaBau

Your chocolate should be in a solid, smooth block for curling. To get that, melt it carefully and pour it into a cake or loaf pan. You will probably need at least a pound of chocolate to make a sizable block. Allow the chocolate to cool and harden completely in a cool, dry place, preferably overnight.

Run a knife around the edges It should be easy to invert and remove the chocolate as long as it's completely solid. Place your block of chocolate on a piece of sturdy cardboard.

Make sure your cheese slicer is clean, and you're ready to go!

How to Grate and Shave Chocolate - Recipes

February 12, 2014 at 8:35 am · Filed under Chocolate, Tip Of The Day


Grating tools have smaller holes and create bits of chocolate for garnish. Shavers have slits that produce strips and curls of chocolate.

For garnishing, gratings and shavings can often be used interchangeably. There are exceptions, like the traditional long chocolate shavings on a Black Forest Cake but some pastry chefs use grated chocolate and even chocolate chips for the garnish.

In fact, experiment with what you own before buying something new. We’ve found that our classic Zyliss rotary-style cheese grater also grates chocolate, while our classic Microplane grater/zester produced too fine a consistency for our use.

We find using a grater with a handle to be the easiest. You may not want to acquire an extra gadget, but once you have it, peruse our “uses for shaved chocolate” list below. You’ll probably find ways to use it several times a week.

We most often use a Microplane Large Shaver, the shaver shown in photo above. There is also a medium ribbon grater.

Vegetable Peeler

You can also use a standard vegetable peeler. A peeler doesn’t create fine shavings like a ribbon grater, but the result may be just fine for your needs. Simply hold the chocolate firmly in place on the surface (we like to hold it on a non-slip silicone trivet) and shave down the edge of the chocolate.

A peeler is the tool to use when you want larger chocolate curls. Note that you need to peel the curls from a larger block of chocolate, not a thin chocolate bar.

Shaved chocolate is usually a garnish, atop another food but it can also be used as an inside ingredient.

On Beverages


Some people recommend that you place the chocolate in the freezer for about 10 minutes prior to shaving. Others swear that chocolate grates more easily if it is slightly warmer than room temperature, and microwave the bar for a few seconds.

Microwave Method

Measure the chocolate and the sugar separately. Transfer the chopped or grated chocolate to a microwave-safe bowl and place it in the microwave. Set the oven to medium power and microwave the chocolate, uncovered, for 60 to 90 seconds.

Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir. Add the sugar and stir well to combine. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove the bowl and stir until all the chocolate pieces are completely melted and the sugar no longer feels gritty against the side of the bowl.

Use the melted sweetened chocolate immediately or pour it into a separate container and refrigerate for future use.

You can buy unsweetened chocolate in several forms, including solid bars, bars divided into 1-ounce blocks, or chips. If using divided bars, simply break off the amount you need and store the rest. If using a solid bar, weigh the desired amount on a kitchen scale, or break the bar into sections based on its total weight. (For example, a 4-ounce bar will break into four 1-ounce sections if cut evenly.)

You can also melt and sweeten the entire bar using a ratio of sugar equivalent to its total weight.

If you don't own a double boiler, place a metal or glass bowl over a saucepan containing hot water. This is a little less stable than a standard double boiler, so be sure to hold the bowl with an oven mitt or pot holder while stirring the chocolate.


Use a sharp knife to chop solid chocolate, and let the knife do the work without forcing it. If you still can't cut through a solid block, let the chocolate come to room temperature or shave it from the ends.

Boozy hot chocolate recaptures the magic of a childhood snow day with a grown-up twist

As I write this, the Washington area is getting its first legitimate snow of the season. Gusts of pale confetti drift past my window, and the substantial part of me that is still 12 years old longs for all the winters when I would head out with a squad of fellow rapscallions, plastic toboggans behind us, to take on the wonderfully steep hill that was part of the schoolyard behind our old house. There was a creek at the bottom, and more than once, we would misjudge the speed of our sleds and go rocketing past the tree line, over the bank and into the shallow water below. What seems really cool when you’re 12 sounds pretty stupid just a few years later, whenever school gets around to making you read “Ethan Frome.”

It seems different yet again when you’re an adult stuck in the middle of a pandemic, remembering how you once watched your own breath visibly mix and mingle in the frigid air with those of your sledding friends.

Largely homebound, unlikely to be around any large particle-panting groups of people for the foreseeable future, I am grateful that at least one winter pleasure — hot chocolate — remains, and that my accumulated years mean that I can bump its decadence up with a boost of booze while I sit with my melancholy and watch the snow. As the typically chocolate-laden Valentine’s Day approaches, boozy hot chocolate for two seems like just the ticket. (Even if there’s only one of you. You can have seconds. It’s not like you’re driving anywhere.)

What I want in hot chocolate doesn’t change much when I make it boozy: I want rich, chocolate flavor and just enough sweetness to enhance it. I don’t mind if other flavors come into play, but I don’t want them overwhelming the chocolate itself.

I played around with types of chocolate and alcohol in devising this simple template and concluded that using liqueur generally resulted in a drink that wasn’t just overly sweet, but that also didn’t have the desired double-warmer effect of a hot drink with booze. In some cases, a generous pour of flavored liqueur took too much attention away from the chocolate. A ratio of half spirit, half liqueur worked well, resulting in a deep, rich chocolate drink, noticeable internal warmth and the right amount of contrasting flavor from the chosen liqueur.

Keep in mind that if you’re mixing up a batch for two but just one of you is drinking (or if one of you is 12 and coming in from an attempt at masked pandemic sledding), it’s easy to ladle off a non-boozy portion of the mixture midway through.

Select your spirit: The spirits I found worked best were those that had spent some time in the barrel the vanilla and caramel notes they pick up from the wood complement the chocolate nicely. They have a richness and complexity that you’re not going to get from vodka. But if you just want that internal warming factor, vodka will work as the base for any of these — you do you.

Choose the right chocolate: Powdered hot chocolate mixtures are not what you want here they have too much sugar. Instead, you should look for something dark and decadent. I tried a range of meltable chocolate options, but my favorite results came with extra-dark chocolate — specifically, Guittard’s Extra Dark Chocolate Baking Chips. Semisweet chips are a good backup option, while milk chocolate might taste cloying (remember, you’re still going to add a dose of liqueur that will also contribute sweetness).

Mind the heat: When prepping the base, keep the heat low and whisk gently as the drink warms — without scorching your dairy. Once the milk and chocolate have fully combined and are ready for alcohol, you can raise the heat a bit, but continue to gently whisk as you go and don’t let the mixture come to a boil.

Consider non-boozy flavor boosts: This is a flexible drink template, and there are plenty of tweaks you can make while hot chocolate is warming. Along with the alcoholic adulterations, I threw a teaspoon of espresso powder into one batch, a few strips of orange peel in another. In the variation with cinnamon whiskey, I added a grating of nutmeg and some pods of cardamom to the version with orange liqueur, I dropped in a snipping of dried ancho chile and a smidgen of chipotle powder. The intense flavors and aromas of cocktail bitters are good to play with here as well Angostura has baking spice notes that will go beautifully in several of these drinks, orange bitters can add brightness to a chocolate coffee combination, and so on. You’re really limited only by your imagination and your palate.

  • 12 ounces (340 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped, or bittersweet chocolate chips (2 cups)
  • 4 tablespoons (55 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup (75 milliliters) strong brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon rum or Cognac
  • 2 cups (480 milliliters) heavy cream, chilled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ounce (30 grams) bittersweet chocolate or 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 recipe Chocolate Crumb Crust*

In a large, heatproof bowl or the top pan of a double boiler, combine the chocolate, butter, coffee, and rum. Set over (not touching) barely simmering water and stir constantly until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, combine 1 ½ cups (360ml) of the cream and the vanilla and whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. (Or, use a large bowl and a handheld mixer or a whisk.)

Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten it. Then, fold in the remaining whipped cream just until combined. It's better to have some streaks of cream in your mousse then to stir the mixture until it loses its airiness. Cover the mousse and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Line six ½-pint (24-ml) jars with the crumb crust. Whip the remaining ½ cup (120 ml) cream until soft peaks form. Spoon about ½ cup (120 ml) mousse into each crust-lined jar. Top the mousse with a dollop of the whipped cream and grate or shave a little chocolate on top or dust with cocoa powder.

Serve immediately, or cover and refrigeratre for up to 3 days. These pies can also be frozen for up to 1 month without the cream topping. Bring to room temperature and add the cream topping just before serving.

Choosing your chocolate.

When you are making truffles it is vitally important that you use chocolate that you really love to eat straight out of the package but there are other things to consider too.

  • Dark chocolate contains chocolate liquor (a mixture of cocoa solids and cocoa butter) and sugar.
    • The higher the percentage of chocolate liquor the more intense the chocolate ganache will be.
      • However, chocolate with more than 75% chocolate liquor can be prone to breaking and becoming greasy.
        (my favorite!)
      • The milk in the milk chocolate makes it softer than dark chocolate so you will need to adjust the ratio of chocolate to cream in the ganache recipe. To make rolled truffles you’ll need 2.5:1 ratio of milk chocolate to cream.
      • Because white chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids it is the softest of all the chocolates needing a 3:1 ratio of white chocolate to cream when making rolled chocolate truffles.
      • It is also the most prone to breaking when made into ganache. It can easily become greasy so you will need to be very careful when heating your cream that it does not get too hot (see details below).

      Hot Chocolate Bombs

      Finely chop, shave or grate the chocolate. Place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on medium-low for 20 seconds. Stir the chocolate well. Continue heating on
      medium-low in 20 second bursts, stirring in between, until the chocolate is just melted and smooth. The temperature of the chocolate shouldn’t exceed 30ºC.

      Use a clean paintbrush to paint a layer of chocolate into the moulds. Refrigerate for 5 minutes. Paint a second layer of chocolate over the first, making sure the edges aren’t too thin. Refrigerate for 15 minutes (or freeze for 5 minutes).

      Wearing food-safe gloves (to avoid adding fingerprint marks to the chocolate), carefully remove chocolate from moulds.

      Fill one of the half-spheres with 1 tsp hot chocolate powder and top with 5 mini marshmallows. Paint a little melted chocolate around the rim of a second half-sphere and place on top of the first, pressing gently to seal. Touch up any gaps with melted chocolate, then use a gloved hand to wipe away any excess chocolate.

      Repeat until you have formed 7 hot chocolate bombs. If you used a 15 x 4cm mould, there will be one half-sphere spare.

      If you have extra chocolate left over, decorate the hot chocolate bombs by drizzling or piping chocolate over the top. Leave to set.

      To serve: Heat Meadow Fresh Milk (allowing approximately 1 cup / 250ml milk per hot chocolate) in a saucepan or microwave until steaming. Place chocolate bombs in mugs (1 per mug) and pour milk over the top. Stir well.

      14 Reasons to Love Your Box Grater

      This old-school gadget has life in it yet. Here are 14 modern-day uses for this low-tech tool that go way beyond coleslaw.

      Related To:

      Shredding It

      Pity the box grater. The once loyal stalwart of the home cook was long ago supplanted by the novelty of the rasp grater (Parmesan like snow!) and the innumerable shredding blades of the food processor. But it's still hard to beat the convenience and adaptability of a tool that can go from counter to dishwasher with no hard-to-clean moving parts. Not to mention a design that has a blade for seemingly every kitchen situation. Need proof? Here are 14 new ways to use your new (old) favorite tool.


      For the impatient (or forgetful) baker who has no time to let butter soften, try this trick: shred a cold stick of butter on the big holes of the grater, wait a couple of minutes and voila! A room temperature spread ready to cream into your favorite cookie and cake batters.

      Veggie Noodles

      For homemade veggie noodles, place the grater on its side, large holes-up. Then run the full length of a trimmed zucchini on the holes.


      Toasted fresh breadcrumbs add extra crunch to gratins, casseroles and pasta. Upcycle that stale baguette, leftover toast or neglected sandwich loaf by grating it in hunks or slices on the large holes of a box grater. (You can freeze the slices first to make them stiffer and easier to handle.) Use the crumbs on the spot or stow them in a resealable plastic bag for later (no defrosting necessary).


      For the deepest flavors, Food Network Kitchen chefs prefer freshly-ground over store-bought spices any day. The smallest holes on the short side of the grater will make quick work of a stick of cinnamon, whole nutmeg seed or dried lime.

      Fresh Coconut

      You've drunk the water inside, don't let the beautiful meat go to waste. Once you've removed the shell, use a vegetable peeler to take off the brown outer skin, then shred large chunks of the coconut on the large holes of the grater. Sprinkle the shavings on fruit salad, mix them in granola, stir them into an Indian curry or use them to decorate a frosted cake. Or simply freeze the flakes in a resealable plastic bag for the future.


      For a shortcut version of no-dairy banana ice cream, grate a frozen banana on the large holes of the grater. You can also shred frozen banana directly into to banana bread batter.


      Run a wedge of slightly warmed chocolate on the long slicer blade on one of the short sides of the grater for picture-perfect curls to add to cakes and cream pies.

      Cauliflower Rice

      If you don't want to lug out the food processor, grate cauliflower on the large holes of the grater. Then sauté with butter or oil, cover and steam until tender for a filling low-carb side.

      Hard-Cooked Eggs

      The crowning glory of the retro dish asparagus mimosa is a blanket of fluffy egg whites and yolks. The easiest way to get it: Shred a peeled egg on the big holes of the grater directly over freshly blanched asparagus and let it snow.

      Pop Tarts and Hand Pies

      For perfect, even rectangles of dough, use the bottom of a box grater as a super-sized cookie cutter (there's a nice built-in handle, too). It's also great for shaping homemade crackers.

      Brown Sugar

      Instead of tossing that rock-hard mass of dried out brown sugar, shave it to a powder on the raised spikes of the grater. Then add it to your oatmeal, coffee or marinade.

      Tomato Sauce

      Ripe summer tomatoes are so sweet and juicy, it's almost a crime to cook them. For a quick no-heat tomato sauce, grate a large tomato into a bowl. Add olive oil, fresh snipped herbs, salt and pepper and toss with hot, just-drained pasta. Inspired add-ins: sliced olives, fresh ricotta, mozzarella pearls or capers.

      Tenderize minute steaks and thin filets with the large raised spikes on the wide side of the grater.


      Salvage a singed slice by shaving off the dark spots on the small spikes of the grater.

      How to Grate and Shave Chocolate - Recipes

      My mom and dad were never interested in baking or cooking. Cooking was a necessity not a hobby. As a result, our kitchen lacks proper utensils such as graters, rolling pins, and zesters.

      Starting September of 2008 when baking and cooking became my hobby, I had to improvise when recipes called for certain tools or ingredients. For example, I used a knife to "shave" the zest off of lemons for my Lemon Souffle Pudding. Another time, I needed to flatten some bread dough. I ended up using a high ball glass to roll out the dough.

      Well, this time around, I needed to grate chocolate for a tiramisu. With no grater in sight, my handy dandy paring knife was my savior. This baby can zest citrus, peel fruits, and grate chocolate. Well. not "grate," but it can shave chocolate pretty well!

      By holding the chocolate bar at an angle, you can shave slivers of chocolate with a knife, resulting in some fine chocolate that you can sprinkle on top of your goodies. I'm not going to lie, shaving your chocolate with a knife is a pain, but it works.


      . When was this? Using a knife for shaving chocolate. Hope this wasn't after Christmas, considering that you got a grater as a present. Tsk, tsk. someone will be very sad.

      Lol, you know what this sounds like? "For example, I used a knife to 'shave' the zest off of lemons for my Lemon Souffle Pudding." Through the imagery. I'M IMAGINING YOU 'SHAVE' THE WAX OFF THE LEMON PEEL INTO THE SOUFFLE. ahh. .

      the pics are amazingly beautiful, with high resolution too. and looks like you cook professionaly. a! ---apple

      yes, i do have a google blog under the name Rosemary, but i am apple to you!


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