Yesterday I burned myself (mildly, as it turns out) while pouring the Concord grape pate, so instead of doing more kitchen work I turned to painting with cocoa butter.
First I painted some holly leaves:
These were painted with a brush dipped in melted, colored cocoa butter – the red berry first, then the green leaves, and finally the gold background (stippled in with a sea sponge). Because the image transfers like a decal, the usual order is reversed – you paint the top layer first, then paint lower layers on top of that.
As you can see, it went surprisingly well. I haven’t tried these on actual chocolates yet, though – that will be the next step, which I plan to try as soon as Mike gets up this morning. It will look different on real chocolate – better, I hope!
After painting enough holly leaves for one batch of chocolates, I then tried playing with my custom printed transfer sheets from last year, painting a variety of textured backgrounds:
I don’t know about the stippled red background – it looks rather like a sea of blood. Though it works with the logo, it doesn’t work well with the animal motifs. And the green tends to disappear against the dark chocolate unless backed with gold. I think it would look fabulous on white chocolate, though.
All in all, though, I like the effect. I plan to run some trials this morning to see if it will work when actually applied to chocolate. If it does, then I may color all my chocolate transfer sheets this year – I really like the look, much more colorful and cheerful than plain gold. Just red and green for this year (the Christmas-y look), but perhaps other colors as well, next year.
I haven’t yet tried screen printing with cocoa butter yet – not sure I’ll get around to it, either, given the massive number of other things to do! It’s technical and tricky, and I don’t expect to succeed first round – an excellent reason to try it later, when I’m not under time pressure.
The Concord grape fruit pate was a failure, so whether I’ll be able to use it depends on whether I can still find fresh Concord grapes. A tricky proposition, because they just went out of season at the farmer’s market. If not, this year’s peanut butter and jelly will be made with strawberry jam. They’re both excellent flavors, so I win, either way.
Finally, I went to the San Francisco Chocolate Salon yesterday, and returned with quite a few intriguing flavors. Top on my list is Thai chili-peanut-lime, which tastes like one of my favorite Thai salads – the kind with dried shrimp, shredded coconut, bits of ginger, peanuts, etc. that you wrap in spinach or lettuce leaves, assembling it at the table. I bought some of those, and an assortment of other interesting flavors, and plan to taste-test them at work this morning to see which I want to include in this year’s chocolates. I predict I will be in a good mood all day. 🙂