Faux bois, French for "fake wood," is a lovely decorative motif. A wood-graining tool creates the white chocolate markings on bittersweet chocolate panels. Use these to decorate any woodland-inspired confection.
- Yield: Makes enough to cover one cake with four 5-inch-high tiers (15-, 12-, 9-, and 6-inch squares)
Photography: Dana Gallagher
Source: Martha Stewart Weddings, Fall 2004
- 12 ounces white chocolate, melted
- 2 pounds bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Cut a large piece of thin acetate into strips that are 5 inches wide and as long as one side of each of the tiers (you will need 4 strips of each length per tier). Place a strip on a clean work surface with a short side facing you. Coat surface of wood-graining tool with a thick layer of white chocolate. Starting at top of acetate strip, rock coated tool back and forth while dragging it in one swift motion to make a vertical striation. Transfer acetate, chocolate side up, to an upside-down rimmed baking sheet; refrigerate until set, about 6 minutes.
Meanwhile, temper bittersweet chocolate: Melt 2/3 of the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water until it registers 118 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove bowl from heat, and add remaining chocolate to the bowl; stir with a rubber spatula until chocolate cools to 84 degrees. Remove any unmelted pieces; discard. Return bowl to pan; stir until chocolate reaches 88 degrees to 90 degrees.
Immediately transfer acetate to work surface; pour bittersweet chocolate on top. Quickly spread evenly over the entire surface with an offset spatula (do not spread it too much or white chocolate will smear). Use immediately.