Chocolate roses are a great way to add some sophisticated flair to cakes and cupcakes. They are made using modelling chocolate, a simple combination of chocolate and glucose which creates a flexible, moldable material. Ideal for roses and other simple flowers, it can also be cut or shaped into other decorations to liven up your baking.
Step 1: Preparation
Modelling chocolate only requires two ingredients: 4 oz chocolate (I used dark chocolate, purely a matter of personal preference) & 2 tablespoons of liquid glucose.
To make the modelling chocolate you need:
- a bowl & microwave to melt the chocolate in
- a spoon for stirring
- scales/measuring cups
- a fridge
For the chocolate roses:
- a small chopping board
- a small rolling pin
- rose petal cutters, or a print off of the template, a knife & some patience
- cornflour to stop things sticking
- (and optional edible glitter if you share my magpie tendencies)
Step 2: Making the modelling chocolate
First, melt the chocolate. It's easy to do this in the microwave, using short 30 second bursts & stirring in between to ensure it doesn't burn.
When melted, pour in the two tablespoons of liquid glucose, and stir through the mixture until just combined. It will still be very liquid
Cover the bowl in clingfilm and put it in the fridge.
Check every half hour or so, until the mix has begun to firm up. At this stage you can scrape the chocolate out of the bowl before it sets too hard & bends your spoon (this possibly only happens to wannabe students with a motley collection of IKEA cutlery). Scrape the chocolate onto some clingfilm or into a freezer bag, wrap it up, and return it to the fridge until firm. This should take an hour or so.
Step 3: Using modelling chocolate
Modelling chocolate is fairly easy to use. It can be manipulated a similar way to sugarpaste icing or even plasticine, but is a little messier. Just squeeze and work it in your hands until it becomes flexible, and then get creative!
At this stage you can play around, model small things, or roll it out and cut out shapes with icing or cookie cutters. Be careful when rolling the chocolate out, as it can be fragile and tear, so dust your hands & work surfaces with cornflour frequently to stop things sticking, and work carefully. If it gets too warm and a bit melty in the heat of your hands, return the chocolate to the fridge briefly to firm up.
Step 4: The rose: Start simple
This a simple method for making roses out of modelling chocolate, sugarpaste, flowerpaste...any kind of modelling material really.
Start off by shaping a small cone. This should be around 2/3 the length of your largest petal.
Let that sit while you make the petals.
Step 5: The rose: Pretty petals
To get a more lifelike texture, pinch the edges of the petals to flatten them. This will add a little frill, giving the flower some life.
Keep dusting you hands, board & rolling pin with cornflour to stop the chocolate sticking.
Step 6: The rose: Building up the layers
Press and smooth the petal onto the cone to secure it. The modelling chocolate should stick well to itself, but if you are having problems use a light brush of water to attach it.
The next layer has 3 petals. These are wrapped around the cone and overlapped. Furl the edges outwards little to give the flower some texture.
Step 7: The rose: The next layer
Five petals will give you a small rose, good for topping a single cupcake, but for a more elaborate flower keeping adding layers, moving up in odd numbers of petals, 7, 9, 11 ...
When the rose is as big as you want, pinch off any excess at the bottom and smooth it over. Make any final adjustments to the shaping and position of the petals before the chocolate sets.
To make smaller buds stop at 3 petals, wrapping them more tightly around the cone. These are good for filling in gaps or adding interest to a simple posy of roses.
Step 8: The rose: Finishing touches
If there are any white marks left by the cornflour, carefully wipe these away with some water and a small paintbrush. Make sure to treat the rose delicately, as the petals are fragile and can crack.
At this stage if you like a bit of sparkle you can brush some edible glitter or lustre onto the edges of the petals.
Now all that's left to do is attach the flowers to the cake or cupcakes of your choice (using icing or royal icing for a secure fix), and sit back and wait for the wows.
Step 9: Hints, tips & forgotten things
- This is a UK recipe, using liquid glucose commonly found in any large supermarket. In the US this is called corn syrup.
- Modelling chocolate can be stored for a good few months, like its shop bought equivalent. Wrap the block well in clingfilm, and store in a plastic freezer bag or sealed container. If the chocolate is too hard to work with next time, and doesn't warm in your hands, soften it in a microwave in short bursts of a few seconds.
- I used dark chocolate, but the process is the same for both milk & white chocolate. Using white chocolate also allows the material to be coloured. Add the colour to the melted chocolate, blending well, before adding the glucose. It's best to use colouring pastes, so as not to affect the consistency of the chocolate.
- Any cake decorating equipment mentioned (small rolling pin, rose petal cutters, edible glitter) can be found in sugarcraft shops, some larger supermarkets, or on the internet.
- I was far too lazy to bother tempering the chocolate when I did this. This can lead to a dusty appearance, and a white bloom on dark chocolate, which can be covered up with glitter and sparkles (my usual method.) However, adding the glucose to properly tempered chocolate at the beginning will give your roses a beautiful glossy sheen. More patient people than I have explained this process, and there's a great instructable here.