These flowers might not have the fragrance of the real thing, but they taste good and can be used to give any cake a romantic touch.
Makes: 4-6 roses
Preparation time: approximately 30 minutes per rose
350g dark chocolate
75ml liquid glucose
• It’s important to knead the mixture properly so that it can be handled easily. Use it immediately, before it has chance to harden.
• Be patient – you need to practise and develop a feeling for the mixture, but the results make it worthwhile.
• Use good-quality chocolate, as this affects how easy it is to handle the mixture.
• Have a dish of cold water close at hand while you work and wash your hands regularly. The colder your hands the better, otherwise the mixture ‘sweats’ and becomes crumbly.
• The mixture becomes rock-hard when it’s completely cold. Keep it in a warm place, or under a lamp, while you are working.
• White chocolate can also be used – in fact, thanks to the absence of cocoa solids, it is easier to handle. You can also colour it with powdered food colouring.
• It is possible to use the same technique with shop-bought modelling icing.
1 Chop or grate the chocolate and mix it with the glucose in a mixing bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan containing simmering water (the bottom should not touch the water) and stir until the chocolate has melted. Set aside to cool. The chocolate will begin to harden from the outside as it cools, therefore stir the mixture occasionally. Once the mixture is cold, it must be kneaded until it has the texture of clay. It shouldn’t stick to your hands and might be slightly oily. It should be used immediately.
2 Pinch off a piece the size of a grape and shape it into a cone about 4cm long – this forms the inside of the rose.
3 Take another piece, roll it flat between two layers of clingfilm or baking paper and cut out a circle 2cm in diameter. Remember, real rose petals are thin and delicate, so shape the edges of the circle between your fingers to make them thinner and more pliable.
4 Hold one side of the shaped petal against the base of the cone and carefully turn it around the base. Pinch the base of the petal so that it sticks and bend the tips slightly backwards so that it looks like the inside of a rose. Repeat with another two petals of the same size and shape them around the cone. The next three petals are made by cutting slightly bigger circles (about 3cm in diameter) and following the same process. The chocolate becomes warm as you handle it and will therefore stick quite easily. Remember to shape the tips of the petals to create a more realistic appearance.
5 For the five outermost petals you should once again use the method described in step 4 but make the circles even bigger. Leave the rose to rest for a few hours before forming the stalk by cutting the cone with a sharp knife.