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Anyone has any idea how to make petals open when sauce is poured onto the plate like pictured in this video?

I realize it requires a lot of artistic skills to do it on this level, but what is the general mechanism behind the chocolate petals opening?

  • This helps to show what is going on, and more exactly how it is constructed: youtube.com/watch?v=dtdPvzz3cjE It also shows that even with a master it doesn't always open quite right! Really a thing of beauty though! – BrianH Mar 4 '15 at 22:28
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Gravity is making the petals open. If you look at the shape of the petals their center of gravity is towards the outside of the bowl, but they are being held in place by something underneath. I suspect that it's simply one piece of chocolate melted onto another. When the custard (warm or hot) is poured on it melts the bonds holding the petals in place allowing them to fall.

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    It looks like it might be ice-cream or similar in the middle ... so you could afix the chocolate petals to that, and a warm sauce would melt it enough for the petals to break free and fall. – Joe Mar 4 '15 at 13:32
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    Good idea @Joe, you could also lean them against something which will expand when it gets wet. I'd go for the melting option though. – GdD Mar 4 '15 at 14:05
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    Indeed, I'll second Joe with the idea that ice cream is likely holding the petals and the warm sauce is warming the ice cream enough to make it soft. GdD also has the right idea in that the center of gravity of the petals lies just below the horizontal middle of the petal, with lateral weight on the outside of the petal at the center of gravity (quite literally, the heaviest point of the petal is on the outside of the petal, just below horizontal middle). – jsanc623 Mar 4 '15 at 16:39
  • I think jsanc623 is right about the center of gravity -- if the ice cream was just slightly soft when you started, it could behave like a mastic, where much of the adhesive property is from the lack of air behind the item, so the air pressure on the outside holds it down. You'd have to experiment with balancing eveything just right, and the precise temperatures to use for the ice cream & sauce so that they fall away quickly like that. – Joe Mar 5 '15 at 17:39

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