Thursday, February 13, 2014

Christmas Egg Nog Trifle with Chocolate Mint Leaves

This post of waaaay overdue! With everything going on with new years and stuff, I am finally getting around to sharing my christmas project. 

After many years of getting each other gifts for christmas, our close friends were running out of gift ideas for each other. So two years ago, rather than the traditional gift exchange, we decided to hold a white elephant gift exchange. And this year to change things up, we organized a secret santa gift exchange. 

To celebrate this special occasion, I wanted to make a grand centerpiece dessert. I had already made a Buche de Noel last year so I needed something different. After browsing around, I came across this recipe and immediately knew that I had found just the thing I was looking for. 

I had never made chocolate leaves before but I was up to the challenge. Rather than using the camellia leaves as suggested by the recipe, I used readily available mint leaves instead. I simply melted bittersweet chocolate, set it over a warm bowl of water and started painting the mint leaves with the melted chocolate using a small paint brush. I used the bottom side of the mint leaves so that the intricate veins would be more prominent. Then each of the painted leaves were draped around the inside wall of a bundt pan so they would retain a curved shape as the chocolate was setting.  

After about 15 minutes in the refrigerator, mint leaves were carefully peeled off from the chocolate layer then voila - delicious chocolate mint leaves! With the beautiful vein patterns, flexibility, and affordability, mint leaves turned out to be perfect for this application. 

To add some christmas festivities, I brushed each leaf with shimmery gold and silver dust.

To the trifle itself, I topped if off with a layer of freshly whipped cream with a touch of vanilla and dusted it generously with unsweetened cocoa powder.

The trifle turned out beautifully and served as a stunning centerpiece on our scrumptious brunch table. The gift exchange was a huge success as well. What better way to spend the holidays eating delicious food with the ones you love?

Time to think about what to make this coming holidays...

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