Whether it's a birthday supper, wedding shower or dinner party, there are times when you would like an elegant dessert to finish out the meal. Instead of making an elaborate dessert, make a simple dessert and decorate it with edible chocolate art, such as twirly designs, hearts, butterfly wings or leaves. You can make individual bowls out of chocolate for serving the dessert. Although it takes more practice, once you have mastered making simpler chocolate art, you can try making chocolate roses.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Baking chocolate in sweet, dark or white
- Large glass bowl
- Heating pad
- Parchment paper or waxed paper
- Plastic food storage bag (optional)
- Rolling pin (optional)
- Pastry brush
- Mint or rose leaves (optional)
Melt the chocolate. Make sure the large glass bowl is completely dry; even one drop of liquid will cause the melting chocolate to seize into a lump. Break the chocolate into pieces of approximate equal size; this makes the melting quickly and evenly. Place the pieces into the bowl. Place in the microwave and set it for 30 seconds. Stir the chocolate and microwave for another 30 seconds. Continue stirring and microwaving until the chocolate is almost melted. Then stir it to complete the melting. To keep the chocolate melted, place a heating pad set on "low" near your work surface, cover it with a sheet of waxed paper, and place the bowl of melted chocolate on top.
Make a paper piping bag. Fold parchment or waxed paper to form a triangle. With the triangle point facing you, fold the left corner down to the centre. Then fold the right corner down and wrap it around the folded left corner to form the cone. Fold the ends into the cone to secure it. The chocolate will be spooned into the cone and the top folded down. When you are ready to pipe, snip a tiny portion of the tip off, about 1/8 inch in diameter.
Make chocolate designs. Set a length of parchment or waxed paper on a baking sheet. Draw different designs, such as hearts, Celtic knots or Fleur-de-lis; you can also trace around small cookie cutters for designs. Gently squeeze the chocolate-filled piping bag to trace the design. Place the baking sheet in a cool place to allow the chocolate to harden. Then peel off the paper and use a spatula to transfer the chocolate design to the dessert.
Make chocolate butterfly wings. Set a length of parchment or waxed paper on the work surface. With a pencil, draw a simple outline of butterfly wings; try for more the more rounded shaped and not the pointy end wings. Lay this paper across the length of a rolling pin to create a curve. You can tape the ends of the paper to hold it in place. Gently squeeze the chocolate-filled piping bag to trace the wing design. Set the rolling pin in a cool place until the chocolate wings harden. Then peel off the paper and use a spatula to transfer the wings to the dessert.
Make edible chocolate leaves. Pick fresh mint or rose leaves, or any leaf that has a strong veining pattern on the bottom. Select only leaves from plants that have not been treated with chemicals. Wash the leaves and allow them to dry completely. Turn the leaves over and paint the melted chocolate across the bottom of the leaves, approximately 1/8-inch thick. Place them on a plate covered with parchment or waxed paper and put it in a cool place until the chocolate hardens. Peel the real leaves off the chocolate leaves; you don't have to peel off the mint leaves, as they are edible.
Make an edible chocolate bowl. Melt 170gr of chocolate and 2 tablespoons of butter. Cut six 6-inch circles of parchment or waxed paper. Spoon approximately 1/6 of the melted chocolate/butter mixture onto the centre of one of the circles. Use the back of the spoon's bowl to spread the chocolate around the circle, to within approximately 1/4 inch of the edge. Carefully pick up the paper and drape it across an upturned ramekin or cup. Place them in a cool place until the chocolate hardens. Wait until it is time to serve before peeling off the paper. The chocolate bowl is a delicious container for ice cream, pudding or berries and whipped cream.
Make chocolate roses. Spread melted chocolate on a piece of parchment or waxed paper; it should be approximately 1/8-inch thick. Allow the chocolate to firm but not harden; it should not feel sticky to the touch. Press small round cookie cutters of varying size into the chocolate. Take the smallest circle and form into a small bud. Form the petals by using the next size circle and gently sticking the bottom of the circle to the bottom of the bud. Take the next size and overlap it just a bit to the bottom of the previous 'petal.' Continue adding the petals, shaping them as you like. Work quickly and avoid touching the chocolate too much, as the heat of your hands can melt it. If it begins to soften, place the "rose" in the refrigerator for a few minutes.
Tips and warnings
- You can use a plastic storage bag instead of a paper piping bag. Spoon the chocolate into the bag, and snip off a tiny portion of one corner.