The Craft Store Knife That Makes Working With Chocolate So Much Easier

Spreading chocolate with a palette knife
Spreading chocolate with a palette knife - Jupiterimages/Getty Images

If you want a nice homemade gift or a sweet way to surprise a loved one, making homemade chocolates and confections is a great way to go. However, if you're going to set out on this endeavor, it pays to have a few key pieces of equipment in your repertoire to make your job easier and ensure you get beautifully fashioned treats.

One such piece of gear to have on hand is something called a palette knife. These special tools don't look much like a traditional knife at all, as they have a rounded top and a flat blade. Although they're used for cooking, and in this case, chocolate making, they're also handy for painting and certain types of art, making them a fixture in most craft stores.

Now, the reason having a palette knife on hand is so critical for chocolate making is that it makes the whole process easier. For one thing, you can get rid of lumps and create a smooth liquid while working with the melted confection. Plus, it also helps you temper chocolate perfectly. All of that results in sweets that both taste and look exquisite.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

How Palette Knives Are Used For Dessert-Making

Chef tempering chocolate
Chef tempering chocolate - JG Fotografia/Shutterstock

We already know that palette knives are handy for tempering chocolate, but this is particularly true when using the tabletop method, which involves smoothing the melted treat out on a flat, cool, typically stone surface. The palette knife helps you maneuver the chocolate around, keeping it moving and breaking up chunks and lumps to create a uniform confection. Besides tempering, you can also use the knife to separate melted chocolate and create strokes, which can then harden and be pieced together to craft chocolate decorations like roses.

While these tools make working with chocolate much easier, they also help with other areas of baking. For instance, you can use a palette knife to help you lift and move your chocolate bonbons or decorations once they're hardened. Or, you can use them in cake-making similarly to how you'd use an acrylic cake disk to decorate your dessert and smooth out the frosting on it. The result is that even if you aren't making chocolates, having a palette knife on hand is an essential tool for making beautiful desserts.

Different Types Of Palette Knives

Array of various palette knives
Array of various palette knives - Madamsom/Shutterstock

If you want to use palette knives in chocolate making, it's also important to know that there are a few different styles out there. For one thing, some of these knives have a flat handle while others have a trowel shape. The trowel shape is handy because it can prevent you from accidentally touching the chocolate or icing that you're working with as the handle will be offset higher than the working end of the knife.

Besides the handle shape, another thing to be aware of is that the tip of the palette knife can change, too. The standard is a rounded tip, although you can also find square and even pointed tips. Pointed tips are handy for making unique shapes, such as flowers, leaves, and feathers, out of your chocolate.

Finally, they're also made out of varying materials. You'll often find these knives made from stainless steel or metal, and often with a wooden or plastic handle. However, some knives are also made entirely out of plastic, giving you something a bit more economical if you don't want to break the bank just to make well-tempered chocolate.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.