When it comes to buying gifts for that special person in your life, it's hard to go past flowers and chocolate. Unfortunately, this also suggests a lack of thought and effort on the gift giver's part -- especially if you forget to take the petrol station's price tags off. The solution is to combine both pressies into one super-romantic concoction that you've made yourself. Here's a recipe from professional chocolatier and regular Masterchef guest Kirsten Tibballs that will put you in your partner's good books for years to come.
Kirsten Tibballs is the director of the Savour Chocolate and Patisserie School in Brunswick, Victoria and a regular guest judge on Masterchef Australia. Earlier today, Kirsten unveiled the world's largest chocolate bouquet at the Cake, Bake and Sweets Show in Melbourne where it will be official judged for entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The monstrous 700x170cm confection took over 900 hours to make and comprises more than 100 kilograms of chocolate. (Interested Melbournites can check out the finished result with their own eyes at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre between October 3 and 5.)
“Chocolate flowers class is something we regularly teach at Savour, so it's been a great opportunity to show off the talent of our pastry chefs and allow the public to view this spectacular display. Plus, to get the Guinness World Record will be a massive achievement,” Kirsten gushed.
We asked Kirsten to share one of her slightly less challenging floral creations with Lifehacker readers keen to try their hand at dessert gardening. Below you'll find detailed instructions for crafting an elegant white chocolate flower, complete with edible petals.
Chocolate Flower Recipe
- 45mm wide x 100mm length Acetate plastic strips or an overhead projector sheet cut into strips
- Plastic bowl
- Paper or plastic piping bags
- A cardboard or metal ring
- Palette knife
- Sticky tape
- Callebaut White chocolate
Part 1: Tempering your chocolate
- Place the required chocolate in a plastic bowl (glass retains too much heat).
- Melt the chocolate at no more than 30 second intervals stirring in between.
- Melt the chocolate until you have 50% solid chocolate and 50% liquid chocolate continue stirring without applying any additional heat.
- It may take a few minutes for all the solid chocolate to melt. Stir continuously during this time.
- If the chocolate does not melt completely apply gentle heat with a hair drier. Do a test with a plastic scraper which should set at room temperature in 5-10 minutes.
Part 2: Creating petals
- Take the tempered white chocolate and spread a layer onto an acetate strip the width of the palate knife.
- Before it sets place a piece of sticky tape around the edges to curve the petal.
- Let each petal set for 20 minutes at room temperature or 10 minutes in the fridge.
Part 3: Flower assembly
- Cut the sticky tape off the prepared petals and remove the acetate.
- Use a metal tart ring 120mm in diameter or create your own out of cardboard only about 20mm high. Place the ring on a piece of baking paper.
- Pipe a 50mm disc of the prepared tempered white chocolate into the centre of the ring.
- Place a row of petals around the ring setting them in place with the piped white chocolate.
- Pipe additional white chocolate in the centre and add another row of petals.
- Continue this process until you reach the centre.
- Some petals may need to be propped up as they set with scrunched paper towel.
- Once the flower has set remove the ring and any paper towel.
If all goes smoothly, your creation should look something like the video below. Frankly, If if your better half isn't impressed by this you're better off alone. If they are impressed, break up with them anyway -- that way you'll get to eat the lot.