Remember those Chocolate Roses I made? (Check back later because I have to post that tutorial next!) I still have plenty of leftover chocolate plastic from making the roses. I kept it tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and then put all of that in an airtight plastic container. All you have to do is take a small piece of the chocolate plastic and warm it up in your hands or beat it with a rolling pin! What fun! Yes, the beating part.
The recipe is simple: Melt 6 oz bittersweet chocolate and combine it with 1/3 cup
corn syrup. Mix thoroughly until combined. Spread the mixture thinly and evenly on a plastic wrap-lined sheet pan for a few hours (covered with more plastic wrap). Knead the chocolate plastic to soften and keep it wrapped in plastic wrap when you're not using it.
I like a squat shape for my mini pumpkins, so I kind of squash the ball between my palms. Then I use a toothpick (or a skewer, or my favourite tool--my metal "cake tester") and trace lines up and down...and all around the pumpkin to--well, make it look like a pumpkin!
Take a tiny ball of chocolate plastic and roll it into a tiny log to make the stem. Cut off a stem-sized piece and use a toothpick to position it into the pumpkin.
I like to make a hole down the top of my pumpkin with a toothpick first. I drill down to about the centre of the pumpkin.It's a delicate matter. You can use tweezers I suppose, but I find a toothpick works fine because the little point helps guide the stem end into the hole.
I use the toothpick tip to squish and press down the stem to attach it firmly to the pumpkin top and then proceed to make a leaf.
Create a tiny ball of chocolate plastic into a leaf shape. I know that pumpkin leaves don't look like this, but I'm working in such a tiny scale that I don't really care. This simple leaf design is so much easier to handle. If you're so inclined, go ahead and make the pumpkin leaves look botanically correct. I find that trying to make little curly tendrils doesn't work well as the plastic chocolate doesn't hold its shape so well when it's rolled so thinly.
You can use the Mini Chocolate Pumpkins to adorn Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Brulees or this Pumpkin-Pie Chiffon Cake oozing with Dulce de Leche. They're great on cupcakes too. If you want, you can use white chocolate and tint the finished shapes with food colouring but I'm not as crazy about the white chocolate flavour as real dark chocolate :)
Yes, I'll post my original Pumpin-Pie Chiffon Cake Recipe next (I was a busy little baking-bee this weekend). It's yummerific. I'm on a roll because I winged the recipe with all the extra pumpkin puree I had on hand from making those Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes. I still have some puree left and am thinking of adding it to a certain creamy dessert I've made in the past...