How to make chocolate tiles

March 1, 2008

Well, our lovely ISP have decided that three days of internet a week is quite enough, and turned ours off this morning, so I don’t have easy access. At the moment I’m in one of the 24 hour computer labs at uni, as my other half had things that had to be dealt to – so no new photos today, sadly. But Lorraine, from Not Quite Nigella, asked how to make chocolate tiles, and since it’s dead easy I thought I should share with you all.

Firstly, melt your chocolate. You’ll probably need about 300g for a 25cm cake, but it depends how thick you cut your tiles, how much overlap you want, and also how thinly you spread the chocolate – so my best recommendation is to have a play and see what works for you.

With regard to what chocolate to use, I’m still a bit of a n00b, and I use compound chocolate, which is easier to work with. I usually make white chocolate tiles, but that’s purely for aesthetics, and milk and dark chocolate will work just as well.

As far as melting goes, if you use couverture you already know what you’re doing; if you’re using compound you can either melt in a bowl over a gently simmering pot, or put it in the microwave. If you use the microwave, be sure not to overcook it – you can take it out as often as you like to check, stir it often, and usually as soon as it starts getting liquidy you can stir out the rest of the lumps – or use very quick zaps to finish it off if necessary.

Once you have your melted chocolate, lay out a length of graseproof paper on the bench (for a 25cm cake maybe a bit under a metre – sorry, I’ve never measured exactly how much length it takes for a cake), and use a spatula to spread it out. Spread it about as wide as you want for the height of the walls, and then along the paper until it’s all spread out.

Once it’s begun to set, just enough so that dragging a knife through makes a nice groove and so your knife doesn’t pick up too much chocolate, score down the chocolate at intervals – depending where you put your score-lines depends how wide the tiles will be. I like to make mine a bit varied, from about 5cm to 10cm in width (although the biggest ones I’d probably only use on a larger cake). I’m also intentionally messy with the top edge, so that the height varies a little and I get a really random look – but if you’re more fastidious you can make your lines clean and your spacing even. 😉

If you want to make them look like the ones up the top of the page – see, on the banner there? – you can spatter milk or dark or white chocolate (one that contrasts with what you used before, preferably!) over them at this point. Just melt it and then fling it around with a fork. It’s great fun! (just be careful that you clean up anything else you spatter reasonably quickly, as set chocolate is not so easy to wipe off…)

Leave them to set completely, and then attach them to your cake. I ice my chocolate cakes with ganache, and if it’s recently poured or spread on, and hasn’t set yet, you can probably stick them straight on. Otherwise use a little leftover ganache to ‘glue’ them on. Voila!

Hopefully this is helpful – I promise I’ll be back with photos and other interesting things as soon as the lovely people at iHug sort out our home internets, thus allowing me to easily upload new pictures for you!



  1. Oooh thanks so much for writing this out, I really appreciate it 😀 I will definitely give this a go. I forgot to mention before that I love them so much we had white chocolate tiles on our red velvet wedding cake with strawberries. The white and the strawberries was a great colour combination!

  2. No worries – you inspired me! I was looking for something I could write about without new pictures. 🙂

    I know that some decorators use molds to make regular shaped tiles – I like the irregularity, I think it’s kind of fun, but it all depends what you’re going for… Your wedding cake sounds great, mmm red velvet!

  3. I came across your blog through google. I am making a 3 tier black forest cake for a wedding on Saturday and have never done chocolate decorating before, am covering the sides of the cakes with dark choccie tiles as per the grooms request. Thanx so much for the info, it will help me alot!! BTW do you ever “temper” chocolate?? Do you know if it is necessary to do this to store bought 70% chocolate? I am clueless :)Will take a stroll around your archives when I have more time. Bit under chocolate pressure right now…….xx Colleen in SA

  4. Hi Colleen,

    Thanks – glad to be of help! Store bought chocolate shouldn’t require tempering – you only need to do this with couverture. I use compound chocolate so I never temper (yet) as I don’t yet own a food thermometer.

    Good luck with your cake!


  5. Thanks again Rosa, you reply so promptly!! One last question (not sure if you make stacked tiered cakes)how does one stablize the cakes on top of each other so that the top ones dont sort of squash the bottom one?? 🙂 I am getting real nervous about this cake now. Gonna have sleepless nights 😦

  6. The best way I’ve discovered is to use drinking straws cut to length – cut five or so the depth of each supporting tier, more if it’s really big, and each layer should have a base board of some kind – I have cardboard cake rounds, but a regular piece of cardboard cut to size and covered in tin foil or cling film would do the trick. 🙂 Does that make sense?

    Feel free to ask away if you have any more questions, too – not that I’m an expert, but if I can help I will. 🙂 I’m sure it’ll all work out fine!

  7. WOW! That will help me stax!! Thanx so much again Rosa, you are really a great help. I am going to bed now, been practising making tiles so will sleep on all my newly gained knowledge and start early tomorrow morning again, I think once I have the chocolate tiles sorted out I will be happier. The ones I made cracked and broke very easily so I think I must make the ones for the cake a bit thicker…of course I did only cut them into tiles when they were already set hard so that might have had something to do with them breaking 🙂 Cheers, will chat again xx

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