Introduction: Dessert Sushi

Samanayrs is a unique traditional art pet adoptable with it's own site and forums. In celebration of Valentines Day (2012) they hosted a chocolate cooking contest. Judged for creativity, deliciousness, and effort each entry must use chocolate as a main ingredient and include a card somewhere in the image with the creator's username. 

For this contest AmazonDreamer decided to make chocolate sushi. It's creative, takes a good amount of effort, and ended up delicious! She does not have an instructables account of her own, however, so I am recording the creation process here in her stead.

Food you will need:

Short Grain (Sushi) Rice
Fruit (Kiwi, Strawberry, Rasberry, Watermelon, Apples, and Cantelope)
Semisweet Chocolate Chips
Agave Syrup (or Corn Syrup)
Coconut Milk
Vanilla Extract
Almond Paste
Lemon Juice
Food Coloring

Non-food stuff to have:
Rice cooker (optional; pot and stove work, too)
Sushi Mat
1-Gal Zip-top bag
Parchment Paper (essential!)
Smaller zip-top bag
Pinch bowls for holding cut fruit
Rolling Pin
Cutting Board
Knives, Peelers, Mandolin

Step 1: Wash and Prep Rice

The first thing to do is to wash the rice to remove the excess starch.

Pour rice into a large-ish bowl, then pour water over it. Scrub it between your hands, drain the water, and re-rinse until the water runs clean again. 

Let dry for an hour, then cook according to rice/rice cooker directions!

Step 2: Make Modelling Chocolate

To make modelling chocolate (the "nori") you will need your chocolate chips and agave (or corn) syrup. 

8 oz. Chocolate chips melted in the microwave
Pour your chips in a bowl that fits them and microwave for about a minute, then 15 second intervals after that until almost completely melted. Pull them when you have a few small unmelted bits left and stir to finish. It's better to under-cook them and melt them by stirring vigorously than to burn your chocolate.

Add 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Agave (or corn) Syrup
Stir to combine and using a spatula get the resulting mixture into a zip-top bag and stash in the refrigerator to set. Minimum one hour, we let it sit overnight.

Step 3: "Pickled Ginger"

To make dessert-style "pickled ginger" you will need one good apple. Our honeycrisp didn't keep it's flavor very well, but a tart variety like granny smith would fare much better. Go for a tart, strong apple. You will also need lemon juice, red food coloring, a peeler, and a mandolin.

Acidulated Water
First, make acidulated water by adding a generous amount of lemon juice to a small bowl of water. This water will make your apple slices resistant to browning. This will also be how we make the "ginger" slices look pink.

Add 3-4 drops red food coloring
Mix the, now pink-tinged, solution.

Slice Your apple very thinly.
We took the peel off with the peeler and tried a few pieces with it, but found that a mandolin slicer turned out a much better, more consistent, product. Experiment until you get the right thickness.

Toss the apple in the solution and let sit.
We kept ours in the fridge overnight, which was way too long and washed out the apple flavor. Minimum 1-hour for good color.

Step 4: "Wasabi"

To make the wasabi you will need almond paste and green food coloring. Almond paste is similar to marzipan (and is in the same part of your cooking isle), but has a higher almond content and a better texture for making "wasabi".

All you have to do is add a drop of green coloring to about a tablespoon of almond paste and mix until the color is even!

Step 5: Mise En Place

Now you're just about ready to construct the sushi!

Cut your strawberries, kiwi, and cantelope into long, thin strips for inclusion in the roll. Stage these pieces in small bowls. Cut the watermelon into slabs that are about the same size as the slab you'd find on hand-formed sushi.

Take your modelling chocolate out of the fridge and break into one large piece and one smaller piece. For each bit of the chocolate, knead it a bit to make it pliable, then roll it between pieces of parchment paper until you have a thin, squarish sheet. Stash chocolate in the freezer for a minute or two if it starts to get too warm to work with, and stash it in the freezer for about 5 minutes before making the final roll to make sure it'll behave properly.

To make the sushi rice properly sweet, add about 1/2 cup coconut milk and a drop of vanilla extract to approximately 2 cups of (cooked) sushi rice. This actually makes waaaaay more rice than you'll need, so feel free to reduce the amounts. 
Add agave syrup to taste for a final dash of sweetness.

Step 6: Cut and Preliminary

Take out your large sheet of chocolate "nori" from the freezer and carefully remove the top layer of parchment paper. Using a pizza cutter (or a knife) clean up the edges a bit to make it more square, then carefully peel back the second sheet of parchment paper. Stash back in the freezer if your kitchen is warm; temperature control is crucial.

Take out the smaller sheet of chocolate "nori" and, using a pizza cutter (or knife), cut into thin strips. Stash in the freezer until needed.

Put your sushi mat inside of a 1-gallon plastic bag to protect it from the chocolate. You might consider giving it a very short spray with non-stick spray and wiping off the excess as extra insurance against sticking, but this isn't necessary if your work quickly.

When working with the sweetened rice, dip your hands in water first to make sure the rice sticks to itself and not to you!

The Big Roll
Take out your large sheet and add a line of sweetened rice topped with the fruit slices. Your rice may still be warm, so move quickly! Give it a prliminary roll in the parchment paper to get the chocolate to stick to itself, then peel back the parchment paper and use the plastic-coated sushi mat to form. When you've got a good shape, stick the mat-wrapped roll in the freezer to chill.

After 5 minutes or so, cut into six pieces and arrange on a plate.

The Hand-Formed Sushi
Make a ball of sweetened rice in your hand, then place a slab of watermelon on top. Drape a strip of chocolate "nori" over the top, tucking the ends underneath and arrange on your plate. 

The Warship Rolls
Take a small bit of sweetened rice and shape into a small ball. wrap a strip of chocolate "nori" around the outside. Take a rasberry and tear one side to make it lay a bit flatter, then arrange it on top of the rice, inside the "nori" wrapping and set on your plate.

The Condiments
Put a pinch of almond "wasabi" on the corner of your plate. 
Remove some slices of apple from your acidulated water, laying them on a paper towel to dry. Pick one of the right thickness and cut into strips, arrange them in a sort of rossette-ish pile next to the "wasabi".

We started to get excited during this step and forgot to take pictures of the creation process for the hand-formed rolls, Warship rolls, and condiments. Sorry!

Step 7: Enjoy!

Eat your beautiful dessert sushi! It's gorgeous!

I liked the big fruit roll the best, although amazon preferred the rasberry Warship rolls. The hand-formed rolls weren't as good because the quality of the watermelon we can get in Iowa in February isn't that great, but they were still tasty!

Enjoy experimenting with your own dessert sushi styles!

Valentine's Day Challenge

Second Prize in the
Valentine's Day Challenge