12 Days of Christmas Ideas – Day 7
I like table centrepieces. They look pretty and are a simple way to decorate for a special occasion. In fact whenever I am styling an event, one of the first things we consider are the table centrepieces. They draw in the guest’s attention and help to set the atmosphere for the occasion, and I believe this true whether you have 20 tables at a wedding or just the one for Christmas day dinner.
A friend mentioned today’s Christmas idea to me a few years back, but it has only been in the last few months that I decided to give it a try. And here it is, ’The Chocolate Christmas Tree Centrepiece’. It took me couple of tries to get this to work, but once I had the right materials it came together very quickly.
How I did this was to start with a cone. You could make one out of card or stiff paper but I just bought a polystyrene one from the craft section at The Warehouse. I then covered the cone with baking paper, using two flat head sewing pins to hold it in place. Then I sat it on a small ramekin so that it wouldn’t get stuck to the plate when I put the chocolate on it. I melted the dark chocolate buttons in the microwave and allowed it to cool just enough so that I could handle it once it was in the piping bag. Using a small round tip icing nozzle, I drizzled the chocolate all over the cone. Once it set hard I removed the cone and gently peeled away the baking paper. The easiest way I found to do this was by pushing a bamboo skewer into the polystyrene, then as I pulled it out I gave it a slight twist and it brought the cone out with it.
From there all that was left to do was to display the chocolate tree. I chose to use a cake stand with some artificial greenery and Christmas tree baubles – but you could use anything you like.
If you decide to give this idea a go, I would love to see your finished product. Either email me or leave a comment below.
My tips for working with Chocolate:
- Your tree is less likely to collapse when you remove the cone if the chocolate has set hard. Some chocolates seem to set harder like dark chocolate or cooking chocolate, but it is also important to consider the temperature of the room – the cooler the better.
- When melting chocolate in the microwave, cook for short periods of time only and always at 50% power. Stir well between each cooking time and be patient. If you rush the process you’re likely to ruin the chocolate.