I made this homemade vegan chocolate horse decoration for a cake to go on my partner’s cake for her birthday.
The design came from a photo one of us took of a Clydesdale X Arab, he’s a spunk. He looks like a Clydesdale but acts like an Arabian with his tail and and an extended trot.
Ingredients: Dark 75% cocoa chocolate with no milk or butter (I used about 70 grams/2.5 ounces). Icing sugar. A few drops of oil.
Equipment: Dry ceramic bowl, dry metal knife, toothpick for fine detailing, design on paper, sheet of baking paper to cover design, a plate or chopping board, adhesive tape.
Design: I had the design on paper in thick black ink which I’d traced from a print-out of the photo. Put a sheet of greaseproof baking paper over the top, shiny side up, and very thinly spread a few drops of oil over the whole area to ensure the chocolate won’t stick. It’s fine if it soaks into the baking paper. I taped the two sheets onto a small glass chopping board so I could rotate and move it easily to get the chocolate spreading direction right, but a kitchen bench top or a plate would have worked too (I think the colder the surface the better to prevent running outside the lines).
Melt the vegan chocolate (dark, 75% cocoa, no milk or butter) in a ceramic bowl in the oven set at 60C (140F). The chocolate was ready after a few minutes when the lumps were easily stirred through.
Other melting options:
You could microwave the chocolate or put a small bowl containing the chocolate into a larger bowl filled with hot water until it melts. Do not get water into the chocolate however, as it ruins it.
Spread the chocolate within the outline of the horse to start. Plopping blobs of chocolate onto the surface then spreading it out to the edges worked best for me. I could have made it smooth-surfaced but wanted it to look messy and rough like it does. Once it starts to look like it’s setting, try not to touch that area again unless you are spreading more chocolate over it – it looks really rough and scraped if you do.
I built up areas like his head, torso and shoulders by adding more layers of chocolate once the first was starting to set. The thin sections like his mane and tail held together fine but I wouldn’t use thin lines to hold larger areas together just in case.
For white areas I simply spread some icing sugar, for other designs this could easily be coloured with food dye.