3 Fancy-Looking (But Totally Easy) Ways to Garnish With Chocolate From Jacques Torres

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A master pastry chef and chocolatier they don’t call Jacques Torres “Mr. Chocolate” for nothing. Yet as accomplished as he is, he admits there’s not a whole lot of skill or know-how needed, in order to make dazzling cocoa presentations in your very own kitchen.

Jacques, co-host of the hit baking show “Nailed It” on Netflix, joined Rach in the studio to share a few easy tips for transforming plain, frosted cupcakes into confectionery masterpieces. (A couple of these tips would look really pretty on cakes, too!)

1: Here’s an ingenious use for your marble cheese board! Start by chilling the board in your freezer. While the board is chilling, melt a bag of your favorite type of chocolate on the stove top. Remove the marble board from the freezer, pour some of the melted chocolate onto the slab and use an offset spatula to spread the chocolate across the board. The chocolate will firm up instantly! Use the spatula to trim off the edges, remove the chocolate and wrap it around the base of a cupcake, pinching and crimping the top folds so the chocolate stays in place. And voila! The cupcake is cocooned in its very own chocolate sweater.

2: These decorative chocolate swooshes are so easy to make! Using a piping bag, a cone of parchment paper or even just a spoon, place dots or dabs of melted chocolate onto acetate paper (it’s the type of plastic that’s used to wrap flower bouquets), with plenty of space in between. Use an offset spatula or the back of the spoon to spread the dots into swooshes , and yes, they are all supposed to look just a little bit different! After the chocolate hardens, remove the pieces from the plastic and then poke them into your cupcakes, for a pretty decorative effect. Two pieces might look like bunny ears (Rachael’s suggestion!), while more could be a flower.

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3: For this garnish, you use dark and white chocolate to create a marbled effect. Start by tinting melted white chocolate with red food coloring, and spread into a thin layer on acetate paper. Use the back of an offset spatula (or spoon handle) to draw squiggles in the chocolate, or any sort of lines or shapes you want, really! Pour melted dark chocolate over the white chocolate so that it’s evenly covered. After the chocolate layers have hardened, use a cookie cutter (or water glass) to cut out circle shapes to dress up the top of your cupcakes!

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If your decorations don’t come out as you’d hoped, "Mr. Chocolate" has a last piece of advice -- "You can always eat it!"

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