Featuring tomato roses, lemon roses, and orange roses
This is actually easier than it looks.
Starting at the end (whatever the opposite of the stem end is called), peel a tomato (or lemon or orange or whatever you feel like trying) in one long piece.
Lay the peeling out flat, skin side down. Now, as if you’re rolling up some left-over ribbon, start rolling it, starting at the end you cut last (the part closest to the stem).
It’ll kind of slip around while you’re rolling it, so it’s helpful to keep a finger or 2 on each side. When you’re at the end, tuck the wide end underneath and set your rose down. If it looks weird, flip it over. If it still looks weird, unwrap it and try again.
A couple tips:
— Use firm tomatoes; they cut smoother and the skins don’t wrinkle as easily. Note: The 2 roses above… the first one was a firmer tomato, the second one wasn’t and kinda wrinkled as I was cutting it, making the edges less smooth.
— The thinner you peel them, the easier they are to work with because they curl around easier.
— For oranges and lemons, I’ve found it’s easier to use a potato peeler than a knife… it gets it thin and doesn’t break off as easy.
— If a peeling breaks off before you’re done, just finish peeling, then overlap the pieces an inch or so when you roll it up.
Chocolate roses and butter roses coming later… it’s a different technique to make them.
You’ll notice that I’m doing this because I get a kick out of it, not because I’m refined, elegant, and professional! First of all, I should’ve got my husband to do the photography instead of someone less than 4′ tall. But, I picked on the one who was sitting on a barstool with her face within a foot of my project, asking questions and wanting to help. Can’t blame her… at 4 years old, I’d have been dying to be turned loose with a paintbrush, melted chocolate, and leaves… paint, lick, paint, paint, lick…
I’ve made chocolate leaves only once in my life… just last weekend. So, if you’ve made them twice, you’re more experienced than me.
I went out to my rosebush (if you DON’T know me, you’re picturing something with beautiful pink roses hanging all over it, aren’t you? And if you DO know me, you’re thinking, “Huh?! You have an ALIVE rosebush?!”, aren’t you?)… anyway, I went out to my rosebush and picked 8 leaves off, brought them in and washed them under running water, and patted them dry with a paper towel. Then I took a paintbrush (everything else that’s actually a kitchen tool looked too big and cumbersome) and spread melted chocolate on the bottom side of the leaf.
I just let them harden a little at room temp, then put another coat on and put them in the fridge to harden. Then, I got them out and peeled the leaves off…
When they were done, we were awing over them and Lexi said, “Mom, they’re SO pretty! Can I eat them?” Um, let me think… “No!”
I put them back in the fridge till I was ready to use them.
Next time, I’d make them a bit thicker. It was kinda neat how thin and delicate they were, BUT I started with 8 leaves, had 3 casualties, and ended up with 5 because they broke when I was pulling the leaves off. It was fun and they looked so neat… I’ll definitely make them more often!
Have any of you made chocolate leaves before that you could give us all some more tips?
What I put the leaves on was a new recipe , so I’ll throw that in here too, while I’m at it.
German Chocolate Cream Pie …from the 2002 Quick Cooking Annual cookbook
1 pkg (4 oz) German sweet chocolate
1/3 cup milk
1 pkg (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp sugar
1 carton (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 graham cracker crust (9 inches)
Whipped topping, frest mint and chocolate dessert decorations, optional
In a saucepan over low heat, cook the chocolate and milk until choc is melted; stir until smooth. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
Stir in chocolate mixture. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon into crust. Freeze until firm. May be frozen for up to 3 months, just in case you could leave a chocolate pie alone for 3 months, knowing it’s right there in the freezer!
Remove from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with whipped topping, mint and chocolate decorations if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings.
I had a bunch of melted chocolate left over and no more Cool Whip, so I just drizzled the chocolate over… it does need garnish of some sort, looks very plain without!
It was really good, except that I’m a milk chocolate fan, not semi-sweet. To me, this German sweet chocolate tasted just like semi-sweet. I want to try it again sometime and substitute 4 oz (or more ) of milk chocolate chips instead of the German chocolate.
The congratulations go to Jan from MO. You will not be disappointed in how she made it! And the neat thing is that she asked someone to take progress pictures of the project… ah, progress pictures, a lady after my own heart! Another neat thing is that she is my sister. Her site is jan_n_dan.
The real set is decor in her coffee-themed kitchen. It’s smaller than normal size… the tea set, I mean. (Someone else with a coffee-themed kitchen was wondering where you got that little set, Jan, and wants one like it for decor in her own kitchen.)
To make the cake, Jan wrapped plenty of tin foil around each piece, then gently pulled each piece out of the tin foil form, filled the forms with cake batter (not just ordinary cake batter, she used a mocha cake recipe so it would be more fitting when they eat it ) , then baked them. When she took them out of the oven, let them cool, and peeled the tin foil off, what she had was this…
So, she set to work, carving…
Then came the frosting…
The lettering and drawing was tedious, esp on the little cups…
The ‘coffee’ in the cups is chocolate syrup. Everything else is cake and frosting except the lettering and decals were done with melted chocolate and the handle on the teapot was made with chocolate, then covered with frosting. Definitely a work of art!!!! Made just for the contest… and for fun and because she’s adventurous and likes to take on challenges. Nobody helped her. Completely edible. Very creative. Good job, Jan!
This prize was won by #7 , the ‘grilled cheese sandwiches’ made from pound cake and frosting…
They really do look real! Great job, Evangeline !
And now, the top 4 honorable mentions…
#9, the teapot cake (for those of you who wondered, she shaped the handle and spout with rolled fondant that was tinted pink to match the frosting).
#2, the frosting and apricot ‘eggs’
#12, the kitty litter cake with appropriate props
#19, the barn cake
Thanks so much to all of you who took the time and effort to enter something! You’re the ones who made it a success! I’m anxious to try some of your foods, esp ones that look like main course, but are actually a dessert.
And thanks to all the voters! Contagious enthusiasm and a surge of votes the first 2 days was exciting and fun!
And thanks to the 13 new subscribers who subscribed to seasoned_to_taste last week!
Next up on seasoned_to_taste:
A series of fun stuff to do for adding a bit of flair to entertaining and food presentation… tomato roses, lemon roses, chocolate leaves, napkin folding, place setting ideas, etc.