Mother’s Day Topiary

 

For Mother’s Day one year I decided to make an edible topiary for Mama.  It was really not as hard as I thought it was going to be, just very time consuming and, of course, took up my kitchen counter space.

I started with the pot.  I took a microwave safe bowl and melted milk chocolate for 1 minute, stirred then microwave another 15-30 seconds.  I poured some of the chocolate into a plastic bowl (plastic makes it easier to get the chocolate out when your done) and rolled the bowl to make sure the chocolate was coated on the inside then poured the excess back into the microwave safe bowl.  I let that set up then repeated that several more times to get a good thickness of chocolate into the inside of the plastic bowl.  This was to make the “pot” all one color on the outside so I could add the different flavors to the inside.

To keep the “pot” from being a huge block of chocolate (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) I made 3 different kinds of chocolate so when it’s sliced open there would be 3 layers of flavor.  I made one layer with toasted coconut and white chocolate, the next layer was milk chocolate with pecans and the top layer was green chocolate with toasted hazelnuts.  I just melted my chocolates for 1 minute in a microwave safe bowl, stirred, then another 15-30 seconds till all the chocolates were melted.  Then just fold in the nuts or coconut and start layering each batch.  It’s best to let each layer set a little before adding the next.  You can pop this in the freezer or refrigerator to help speed things up.  I put some green food coloring in a Ziplock bag with some coconut and kneaded the bag till the coconut was completely mix.  I put that to the side for later to pat around the base to look like grass.

As that is setting up I took 3 pretzel rods and used melted milk chocolate to “glue” them together to make one thick rod.  When they were set I dipped the whole thing in chocolate.  I did that twice so I would have a top and bottom “trunk”.

Next I started with the balls…yep, Rice Krispies balls…one just a bit bigger that the other.  They are light weight and easy to form.  I cut out a little section of the smaller ball to insert the pretzel rod then used green chocolate to help glue in the rods.  I did the same with the bigger ball but cut a hole in the top and bottom.  It’s easier to do that now before adding the leaves but don’t put to two pieces together.   At this point I have 2 balls with the trunks attached…like two big Tootsies Pops!!  To make the leaves just melt green chocolate in a Ziplock bag for a minute, knead the bag then microwave another 15-30 seconds till the bag has no solids pieces.  Always use caution when taking out your bag because this will be very warm and sometimes a little hot.  Your chocolate should never be real hot.  If it is you may want to knead more and microwave less.  Flatten one of the corners of the bag with your fingers.  Instead of cutting the tip off the bag, cut towards the bag just a little.  This will give a ripple effect when squeezing out the chocolate and make the leaves.  You may want to practice on some wax paper and rotate the bag in your hand a little till you get the shape you like.  Now, just start squeezing little “leaves” all over the balls starting from the bottom and overlapping to the top. I took a heavy mug and put the trunk-end into the mug to let the chocolate leaves set to prevent damaging the chocolate while it was still wet.  When the leaves were set I carved out a hole in the middle of the pot about 2 inches deep and wide enough for the trunk to fit.  I used a little melted chocolate to glue the trunk (attached to the bigger ball) to the pot and let that set.  Then putting the smaller ball/trunk (using green melted chocolate as glue) carefully stick the trunk into the pre-cut hole on the top of the bigger ball.  I took my bag of green chocolate and add a few more leaves to cover some of the hole where I attached the trunk to the balls.

While all that was setting up I started working on the “flowers”.  I have a ton of recipes for truffles – they are all over the web – so I made 3 different kinds.  I dipped each kind of truffle in a different colored chocolate and let them set.  I melted more chocolate in Ziplock bags and squeezed dots on wax paper wider than my truffles to make my petals and popped the truffles onto the petals.  When they were set up and I could handle them I took more melted chocolate in my bags and added different designs.  Once everything was set and could be handled I took the same color chocolate as the petal color in a Ziplock bag then glued the truffle flowers randomly over the two balls.

Almost there!!  I always seem to add one more thing to my stuff so I added some snails I made from Rice Krispies and some “rocks” from a couple of other truffle recipes I also liked.  But, I needed a ribbon for my pot.  I had a bag of different flavored Tootsie Rolls.  I took 4 flavors I thought had the colors I needed and rolled them out in long strings.  Then, laying them side by side, I covered with wax paper then rolled with a rolling pin.  That made a great ribbon.  I used a little green chocolate to tack the ribbon in places around to top part of the pot. 

Now, my final item – the green coconut I made earlier.  I squeezed some green melted chocolate on the top of the pot then sprinkled with the green tinted coconut.  DONE!!

Well, almost done.  I like to wrap my gifts in bags and tie them up with a ribbon….everything’s edible except for the plate!!  Happy Mother’s Day, Mama!!