Lemon leaves are traditionally used, but you can substitute other leaves. Just make sure that they are pesticide-free and well-washed and dried. It helps to choose leaves with a pronounced pattern of veins, so the design will more easily transfer to the chocolate.
- 24 fresh lemon leaves (or other large, clean leaves)
- 10 ounces chocolate, white chocolate, or candy coating
1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with waxed paper, and lay the washed and dried leaves on the baking sheet, face up.
2. If you are using real chocolate, temper the chocolate by following these instructions. If you are using candy coating, microwave it until it is melted, stirring after every 45 seconds to prevent overheating.
3. There are two ways to coat the chocolate leaves. If you will be making the leaves all one color, you can simply use your finger or a small pastry brush to smooth an even layer of chocolate on the top of the leaf. Make sure that the chocolate extends all the way to the edges, and that there are no translucent spots where the chocolate layer is thin. Replace the leaf, wet chocolate side up, on the baking sheet and repeat with remaining leaves and chocolate.
4. If you want to make multicolored leaves, you will need to be using white chocolate or white candy coating. Divide the chocolate into multiple containers and color the portions using oil-based candy and chocolate colors.
5. Pour the multicolored chocolates onto a large plate, drizzling them together in random patterns. I recommend having a larger proportion of lighter colors, since the motion of running the leaves through the chocolate will begin to mix the colors and the lighter colors will soon turn darker.
6. Hold a leaf by the stem and drag the top of the leaf through the chocolate puddle, creating a multicolored design. Check the leaf to make sure there are no transparent areas. Clean off the sides of the leaf for a smooth edge. Replace the leaf, wet chocolate side up, on the baking sheet and repeat with remaining leaves and chocolate.
7. Allow the leaves to dry completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Carefully peel the leaves from the chocolate, trying not to handle the leaves too much to prevent your body heat from melting the chocolate. Once the leaves have been removed, the chocolate leaves can be used immediately, decorated with luster dust, or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.