Use this recipe to garnish our Belgian Chocolate Birthday Cake.

Martha Stewart Living, January 2002


Recipe Summary

Garnishes one 9-inch cake


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts on a baking sheet. Bake until fragrant and toasted, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a clean kitchen towel; rub to loosen skins. Place sugar and water in a medium heavy skillet. Stir with a fork over medium-high heat until dissolved; let boil undisturbed for 3 minutes. Add nuts to pan; stir with wooden spoon until caramel seizes around nuts. Transfer to parchment-lined shallow baking sheet; let cool.

  • Once nuts are cool, place half of chopped chocolate in a deep medium-size stainless-steel bowl. Place bowl over a saucepan with 1 inch of simmering water; stir until chocolate is melted and hot. Add remaining chocolate to bowl, remove bowl from pan of water, let stand about 5 minutes, then stir until smooth.

  • Pour half the chocolate onto an inverted baking sheet; spread with a bench scraper until 1/8 inch thick or slightly thinner (chocolate should be opaque on surface). Let stand until just tacky. Hold scraper at a 45º angle; scrape chocolate off surface. Store curls at room temperature in an airtight container layered with parchment.

  • While chocolate sets, add candied nuts to remaining chocolate in bowl, and stir until coated. Spread nuts on a parchment lined baking sheet, and let stand until set.

  • Sift cocoa powder on top of dried nuts and toss to coat. Store in a resealable plastic bag for up to 1 week, until ready to use.