It takes just 30 seconds to make amazing chocolate leaves using a bowl of chocolate and a comb! Use the leaves to decorate cakes, pies, and cupcakes or simply arrange them on a plate for a super easy dessert!
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the amazing kitchens at Kakao Chocolate and to play at being a chocolatier for a day. This meant that I got to eat all of the chocolate that I wanted all day long—hello, sugar high!
One of the coolest things that these chocolate magicians taught me was how to make chocolate leaves. I’m excited to be able to share that with you!
What Tools Do You Need to Make Chocolate Leaves?
You can use white, dark, or milk chocolate for these leaves. It just has to be tempered.
Tempering chocolate means that you heat and cool the chocolate under controlled conditions so that the little crystals of cocoa butter in the chocolate all form at the same size. Tempered chocolate has a smooth, glossy finish on the outside, it doesn’t melt in your hand as easily, and it gives a nice snap when it breaks instead of crumbling apart.
The process doesn’t take much time, and it makes your chocolate easier to work with and – most importantly – easier to eat.
The easiest way to temper chocolate is by heating it in short bursts in the microwave. If you aren’t familiar with the method, read more in my post on how to temper chocolate.
You can use a special cake-decorating comb that sells for under one dollar.
If you don’t have one, if you don’t want to buy one, or if you can’t possibly wait to start making these chocolate decorations right this minute, then a regular old hair comb will work as well. Be sure the teeth of the comb are big enough for the effect, and of course, wash and dry it thoroughly first.
How to Make Chocolate Leaves
Pour some tempered chocolate onto parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, regular wax paper is a good substitute.
Use the comb to drag lines on both sides of the chocolate.
Use your finger to draw a leaf shape around the border of the chocolate.
Fold the parchment paper up a little to create a slight curve in the leaf.
Cool in the refrigerator for about thirty minutes.
When they are done, peel the leaves off the parchment paper.
How to Store Chocolate Leaves
If you have tempered the chocolate properly, you can store your chocolate leaves at room temperature in an airtight container.
Can You Use Actual Leaves?
For a more realistic looking chocolate leaf, you can paint tempered chocolate onto the veiny side of real, green leaves. Before painting with chocolate, wash and dry the leaves thoroughly. Also, make sure that the leaves aren’t from poisonous plants like poison ivy or poison oak.
Once the melted chocolate has cooled and is firm, peel the leaves from the chocolate.
For bigger designs where you want bold strokes of chocolate that a person could recognize across the room, use the combing method. For smaller, more delicate dishes where you want your guests to take the time to savor every detail of your exquisite design, you might give the leaf painting method a try.
Best Ways to Use Chocolate Leaves
- Use them to top any fall cupcake, like a pumpkin cupcake. They are so perfect on Thanksgiving cupcakes!
- Place them on a Dutch apple pie after it’s done baking.
- Serve alongside toasted pumpkin seeds, toasted marshmallows, and graham crackers on a snack or dessert board.
- 1 pound tempered chocolate
- Pour a long blob of tempered chocolate onto parchment paper.
- Use a clean hair comb or a special cake decorating comb to drag lines on both sides of the chocolate.
- Use your finger to paint the outline of the leaf.
- Cool until hardened (about 30 minutes in the refrigerator) and then peel off the parchment.