Whether you’re garnishing a breakfast shake or decorating a cake, grating chocolate overtop or adding chocolate shavings is an easy way to elevate everything to expert-status. It also helps if you’re melting chocolate for things like chocolate-dipped fruits, because uniform, shredded chocolate allows for a quick and even melting process.

Culinary expert Devin Connell is the co-author of cookbook Two Dishes, owner of Delica Kitchen and founder of food  website Crumb. Here, she shares her secrets for the best way to make chocolate dust and shavings.

All About the Curl

Adding pâtisserie-style chocolate curls to your desserts is easier than you think. Keep in mind that the higher the cacao percentage of the chocolate, the harder the texture and therefore easier it is to work with. Sticking to Lindt Excellence 78% Cacao Dark Chocolate or a higher cacao percentage will give you the best results. If you want to use milk or white chocolate, place the unwrapped bar in the freezer first to help harden it.

To achieve perfect chocolate curls, use a sturdy vegetable peeler and run it along the side of a chilled bar. Continue until you’ve created enough curls to create an enticing presentation on top of your dish of choice.

Done and Dusted

Use a fine chocolate dust to elevate a smooth and silky smoothie or in combination with a stencil to create playful shapes and patterns on a cake. Place a microplane and your chocolate bar of choice in the freezer for at least ten minutes before you start to prevent the chocolate from melting as you go.

To create the dusted effect, run the microplane across the chocolate while you’re positioned over your dessert. If you want to create a special shape or pattern, lay a stencil over your dish first.

For an easy and beautiful dessert, try adding chocolate dust to a platter of sliced oranges or strawberries with whipped cream.