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Here's a quick look at how to make some chocolate leaves. I actually used candy melts for these, but real chocolate would taste better! Make sure to temper the chocolate correctly if you use the real thing so that you avoid the dusty-looking bloom on them when they cool off.
Start with some leaf presses or veiners, or some real rose or lemon leaves. It's best to use leaves that have no pesticides on them if you use real ones. If you're lucky enough to own some tacky plastic-leaved artificial plants from the 1970's, you can use those leaves, too!
Melt the chocolate or candy coating.
Using a clean paintbrush, paint a layer of the chocolate onto the BACK of the leaf. You want to use the backs so that the veining shows up the right way when you take the chocolate off after it cools off.
After the leaf is painted, paint more chocolate onto it so that it's about 1/8" thick.
Put the painted leaves on a piece of waxed paper to allow them to set up.
Using a leaf veiner is the same process. Paint the veiner and set it aside to set up.
After an hour or so (wait longer if you can to make sure they're really set up and ready to be removed) peel the leaves off of the chocolate carefully to expose the imprinted side of the chocolate leaf.
You might have to pick the edges of the leaves off if the leaves tear a little when you remove them.
And here are the leaves:
To remove them from the veiner, peel the veiner off carefully to detach the chocolate from the veiner.
This gives you some really nicely detailed leaves that people can actually eat. It's pretty easy to do, and it gives you a nice result.
Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC, online cake supplies at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com