Use pliable, chemical-free, fresh leaves such as rose, lemon, mint or bay
leaves. The leaves must be clean and dry. Using a small, clean decorator's
brush, paint melted chocolate coating on the underside of the leaf where the
veins are most prominent. Paint the coating just to the edge of the leaf, but
avoid letting it lap over onto the other side or it will be difficult to remove
the leaf when the coating has hardened. Try to coat it thickly enough to avoid
having to apply a second coat; experiment with one leaf to determine how much is
Place the painted leaves in the freezer for 1-1 1/2 minutes or until hardened.
If a second coat is needed, apply it after the coated leaf has returned to room
temperature from its stay in the freezer.
Chocolate leaves look great with fresh fruit. Try grouping two or three leaves
with a bright red strawberry sliced and fanned atop lemon cheesecake.
Chocolate Double Dipped Strawberries
36 strawberries (about two 1 pint baskets), unhulled
1 1/2 C. semisweet chocolate chips (about 9 oz.)
1 T. vegetable shortening
1 1/2 C. chocolate sprinkles (about 6 oz.)
Line large baking sheet with waxed paper. Wipe strawberries clean; dry with
Stir chocolate chips and shortening in top of double boiler set over simmering
water until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Place chocolate sprinkles in
shallow bowl. Holding 1 strawberry by its green top, dip 3/4 of berry into
melted chocolate. Let excess drip off, then dip into chocolate sprinkles. Place
on waxed paper-lined sheet. Repeat dipping remaining strawberries into
chocolate, then into sprinkles.
Refrigerate until chocolate coating is firm, about 1 hour. (Can be prepared 8
hours ahead. Keep refrigerated.)