For An Easy Way To Elevate Dessert, Look No Further Than Chocolate Shavings

Picture yourself preparing to host a long-awaited dinner party. The table is set, and you're in the midst of smoothing out a thick layer of whipped cream on that homemade chocolate chess pie for your friends to enjoy. As you take a step back to admire your work, you realize your homemade pie might benefit from a little decoration, or extra pizazz to showcase your culinary efforts. 

Good Housekeeping provides various ways to elevate your favorite desserts, such as incorporating brown butter or extra salt. While you could serve a homemade pie with the suggested chocolate sauce or one or two scoops of vanilla ice cream, adding a little something extra atop that decadent layer of whipped cream gives your dessert even more eye appeal. 

If you're unsure about picking an equalizer to top your homemade dessert, look no further than chocolate. Chocolate has been used for thousands of years (per Britannica), and based on a survey conducted by National Today, 79% of Americans indulge in a piece or two of chocolate at least once each week. And if you have a chocolate bar handy, chocolate shavings are just what your homemade dessert needs for a little extra flair.

How to make chocolate shavings

No matter which variety you prefer, chocolate simply tastes great alongside many other foods. Delicious explains that whether your confection of choice is made with fruit, cheese, oats, or even coffee, chocolate serves as the perfect accompaniment. When it comes to crafting homemade chocolate shavings, depending on the style you're after, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First off, LifeHacker states that all you need to create chocolate shavings are your favorite chocolate bar and a trusty vegetable peeler. According to Santa Barbara Chocolate, all chocolate is comprised of a number of cocoa solids, including cocoa butter, which melts at certain temperatures. If you're after sharp-looking shavings, LifeHacker recommends using a chilled bar of chocolate. The more curled you want your shavings to be, the more malleable your chocolate needs to be, which requires varying degrees of heating. Five to 10 seconds in the microwave is all you need to achieve tight chocolate curls with your veggie peeler. 

For a unique way of handcrafting chocolate curls, try Ree Drummond's recipe, which uses melted chocolate, a clean spatula, and the backside of a baking pan (via Food Network). 

Tasty dessert toppings besides chocolate

If you're not completely sold on the idea of adding chocolate, there are other fun toppings you can add to your next round of desserts. Apart from the ways brown sugar can elevate your dessert, there are many fun additions you can try if your next homemade treat needs a little sprucing up and you're fresh out of chocolate bars. And while New York Street Food awards sprinkles as one of the most favored dessert toppings around, there are certain confections that call for more sophisticated extras.

If you're planning to make a cheesecake or any neutral-flavored dessert, you may want to try making Once Upon a Chef's homemade berry sauce. Not only does this flavorful complement produce a bright eye-popping color, but it will also provide a flavor boost to any subtly-flavored treat. You could also add some texture to your dark chocolate silk pie recipe by adding a few sprinkles of Martha Stewart's homemade crumb topping to that final layer of whipped cream. If you really want to get creative, try your hand at making Chelsweets' sugar shards, which are comprised of a simple sugar syrup, with the finished product mirroring tiny pieces of edible stained glass. 

And if chocolate is still on your mind after pondering all of these dessert toppings, yet you don't have any chocolate bars stashed in your pantry, you can always make Food Network's chocolate whipped cream, which calls for cocoa powder instead of solid chocolate.