Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Where have all the flowers gone? On a birthday cake, most everyone.
In New York City roses will be blooming for another month or more. Take advantage.

Take any dessert, homemade or from a bakery, and add fabulous touches like chocolate rose leaves and edible flowers and herbs. Growing roses organically in my all-container roof-top garden, I have materials at my fingertips from May to November.
Visitors Annabelle & Lucy decorated this cake for Annabelle's 8th birthday. We made the cake and icing together. I picked the materials with them to make sure we chose only edibles. The girls made the chocolate leaves and placed them and all the flowers on the cake.
In addition to the chocolate leaves we used roses and rose petals, calendula petals, pansies, small marigolds, borage flowers, lavender, rose geranium leaves, and mint leaves.
What You Need
4 ounces semi-sweet or milk chocolate
15 leaves from a rose bush or other non-poisonous shrub. The leaves should be dark green, leathery, mature leaves not the lighter green new leaves.
Look for medium sized leaves with nice thick veins. Keep a little stem on the each leaf. This will be your handle.
butter knife
Wax paper and paper towels
Dinner knife

What You DoRinse the leaves quickly and pat them totally dry with a paper towel.
Unwrap the chocolate break or chop into pieces and melt it in a microwaveable bowl on high for one minute. Stir and if not fully melted return for 30 seconds more. Let the chocolate cool off for one minute. Never get water drops anywhere near melting chocolate.
Put a piece of wax paper on the bottom of the tray.
Turn the leaves bottom side up, so the veins of the leaves stand out more. Hold the leaf at the stem end.
Dip butter knife in the melted chocolate and cover the bottom side only with chocolate. Don’t cover the sides or the stem at all. When you finish coating each leaf put it on the tray, chocolate side up and let it chill in the refrigerator for an hour or more.When the chocolate is firm, turn over a leaf, grab the stem and peel the green leaf back back. Use a clean knife in the other hand to steady the leaf as you're peeling.
IMPORTANT TIPS: Make the coat of chocolate about 1/8 of an inch thick or more. If it’s too thin the chocolate will crack when you try to peel off the leaf. Handle the chocolate leaf with a knife as you place it on the cake. Heat from fingers will quickly melt the chocolate. Place on the cake, good side up, the impression of the veins showing.The proud birthday girl with "the most beautiful cake I ever saw".


Kathy said...

How beautiful!

Shady Gardener said...

That was Wonderful!! I hope I can remember this until next June... ;-)

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