Simple and elegant, chocolate leaves are wonderful to have around for both pre-planned and last minute desserts.
They're gorgeous, impressive, and require very few tools and just a little time.
Your family will marvel at the beautiful cake you present using leaves from your own back yard!
Prepare your cake or cupcakes. Allow to cool completely. If using cupcakes, frost.
To create chocolate leaves
Rinse leaves in cool water. Allow to dry completely or gently dry using a blowdryer.
Cut bulk chocolate into small chunks. Gently melt to 90 degrees F, stirring constantly to maintain temper.
Place the backside of a leaf (for a more detailed design) gently into the melted chocolate, being careful to avoid getting chocolate on the front of the leaf. Remove from chocolate and allow excess to drip off.
On a clean kitchen surface or parchment paper, gently drag the leaf to remove any additional excess.
If there are any holes in the chocolate, use a spoon to fill in with additional chocolate.
Allow to set for 5 minutes.
Once the chocolate is partially set (starting to loose it's sheen), use the spoon to add another layer of chocolate.
Allow to set for at least 10 minutes. --Optionally, you may place leaves in the freezer for 6-8 minutes. Once removed, lightly cover leaves with parchment paper. For some leaves this method adds a nicer shine.
Very carefully peel leaves from chocolate, starting with the stem and slowly pulling toward the tip.
Use right away or store in a seeled container for up to 6 months.
To enrobe cake in chocolate
Cut bulk chocolate into small chunks. Gently melt to 90 degrees F, stirring constantly to maintain temper. *
Place cooled cake onto cooling rack. Pour melted chocolate over cake and use spatula to cover and smooth sides.
Decorating the cake
While chocolate is still melted, begin by adding larger leaves around the outer edge of cake.
Fill in the middle using medium sized leaves.
Fill in any holes using small leaves. -If the chocolate starts to set before you finish placing leaves, use a blowdryer on LOW held 6 in. from surface to reheat.
Using spatula, gently lift cake from cooling rack and place onto serving dish.
Garnish with fresh leaves, pinecones, etc.
We'd love to see photos of your chocolate leaf creations. Feel free to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org