I love everything about this time of year–the cooler weather, the colorful trees, the fact that everything is pumpkiny or spiced…..and Thanksgiving! In today’s tutorial, I’m going to demonstrate how to create the most elegant chocolate leaves for your cakes and cupcakes!
It’s time to get a little fancy for fall. The best part of this chocolate leaf cake tutorial is that the process could not be simpler! No special decorating tools are required. All that you need are leaves and chocolate.
Your friends are family are going to be completely amazed by your chocolate and cake decorating skills! The fact that it’s a super-easy technique is going to be our little secret!
Here’s what I did….
First, I gathered up some leaves. Sturdy leaves with prominent veins are the ones to look out for. (I tried some oak and maple leaves and they were too thin). Preferably, you’ll want to pick them right off of the bush or tree rather than from the road- ha ha. :0) –
My favorites were camelia, gardenia, and rose leaves. While we’re not going to be eating the leaves, it’s a good idea to make sure that your leaves are not toxic. For a good reference, click HERE.
After selecting some leaves, you’ll want to wash them with soap and water and pat dry.
Next it’s time to prepare the chocolate! I work with candy coating or candy melts because it simplifies things (no tempering necessary).
After melting the dark chocolate and white chocolate in the microwave, I mixed a little of each color into our third bowl so that we would have three different shades to work with.
Next, it’s just a matter of brushing on the chocolate. Make sure to flip over your leaves and paint the backside. This way, you will have more detailed veins.
By the way, if you start with lighter shades of chocolate first and work your way to the deeper shades, you will only need one paint brush (rather than a paint brush for each bowl.)
I did my painting on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
After painting each leaf with chocolate, I moved the leaf slightly to the side so that it would not become stuck to the parchment paper. I predict that you will be neater than I was! I should have moved the painted leaves to a clean sheet :0) !
Place your cookie sheet in the refrigerator or freezer until the chocolate is firm. (I prefer maybe 5 minutes or so in the freezer). The leaves are much less fragile when the chocolate is chilled and firm.
My favorite part is peeling away the leaves! Just bend the stems away from the chocolate and pull back.
Here’s the cake that we’re working with today. An 8″ chocolate cake with cream cheese filling & ganache frosting. Pretty….but it needs a little personality.
Let the decorating begin! I used a bit of ganache as a glue to keep the leaves in place.
Keep adding leaves until you are happy :0) –I added a few cranberries for color and because they remind me of fall!
Here it is!
I loved making this cake and I hope that you will try it out too! — By the way, I used a Fudge Cake & ganache recipe from King Arthur Flour–CLICK HERE for the recipe!
Thanks for stopping by! If you make chocolate leaf cakes or cupcakes, send me pictures! I would love to see :0)