CHOCOLATE LEAVES: Select non-poisonous leaves such as mint or rose leaves.
Wash the leaves and pat dry with paper towels. Melt 1 or 2 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate over hot water in a double boiler; let cool slightly. Using a small spatula, spread a thin layer of chocolate on the back of each leaf. Place leaves on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet, chocolate side up; freeze until chocolate is firm, about 10 minutes. Grasp leaf at stem end and carefully peel away from chocolate. Chill leaves until ready to use.
CHOCOLATE CURLS: Melt 4 (1-ouce) squares semisweet chocolate over hot water in a double bliler. Pour chocolate out into a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Spread chocolate with a spatula into a 3-inch-wide strip. Smooth top with a spatula. Chill chocolate until it feels slightly tacky but not firm. (If too hard, curls will break; if too soft, chocolate will not curl.) Gently pull a vegetable peeler across chocolate until curls form.
Transfer curls to a tray by inserting a wooden pick in end of curl. Chill curls until ready to use. CHOCOLATE-DIPPED FRUIT: Make sure fruit is completely dry before dipping. Melt 4 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate over hot vater in a double boiler; transfer to a small bowl, and let cool slightly. Grasp fruit by stem and dip in chocolate, turning to coat the bottom of the fruit. Allow excess to drip back into bowl. Lay fruit on side on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Allow fruit to stand at room temperature until chocolate hardens or place in refrigerator about 10 minutes. Don't store coated fruit in refrigerator; the chocolate coating will sweat when returned to room temperature and will lose its sheen. CHOCOLATE CUTOUTS: Melt 6 (1-ounce) squares semisweet chocolate over hot water in a double boiler; cool slightly. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil; pour the chocolate onto the cookie sheet, and gently shake it until chocolate is smooth and level and about ⅛-inch thick. Let stand until partially set.
Press a cookie cutter half-way through the chocolate to outline shapes.
Remove the cutter, and let stand until chocolate is firm. When hard, reposition the cutter over the oulines, and press down to cut smoothly.
Lift the cutter up, and remove the cutout by gently pressing through the cutter with a small wooden utensil (fingers will leave prints on chocolate). GRATED CHOCOLATE: You can grate unsweetened, semisweet, or milk chocolate to sprinkle on top of pies, etc. It's easiest done in a food processor, but you can grate it by hand. When grating by hand, hold chocolate with a paper towel or wax paper so heat from your hand will not soften or melt the chocolate.
FOOD AND WINE BB TOPIC: FOOD SOFTWARE TIME: 07/04 8:30 AM TO: ELAINE RADIS (BGMB90B) FROM: ELAINE RADIS (BGMB90B) SUBJECT: R-MM CHOCOLATE DESRT
From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini
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