Can you think about the best salad you’ve ever had? I can….this CHOCOLATE salad cake. Yeah, that’s right. A salad made entirely out of chocolate….well sort of. Keep reading and you’ll find the small pieces that are not chocolate.
This is the perfect way to enjoy one of the best ingredients known to man and not feel as guilty in indulging in it ;).
I LOVE CHOCOLATE! I truly believe it’s one of those things I can’t live without. Like if someone tells me they don’t like chocolate, I look at them really funny. I just can’t understand why you wouldn’t like chocolate. It’s the best thing ever.OMG, I can't believe this is cake!Click To Tweet
I’ve seen a couple of “salad cakes” using wafer paper…have you ever tasted wafer paper? It basically tastes like nothing. My challenge to myself was to avoid using wafer paper because I’m not fond of the stuff…no offense to those who live by it because you can really create some amazing things with it. The test to myself was “how can I avoid using wafer paper?” …….chocolate! What if I painted lettuce with chocolate instead of the method of laying wafer paper on lettuce and wetting it to take its shape…..
wa-la….look at these results. It’s amazing, isn’t it?
Doesn’t it look so real?
Then it was figuring out how to paint chocolate. If you’ve ever tried to paint chocolate with food gel or dust and alcohol it doesn’t really adhere to the surface well and causes beading. So I went on a search to find and edible paint for chocolate. AND, I found it. Keep reading and you’ll find exactly what I used.
I posted the salad cake photo to my Instagram a year ago (Yes, it took me a year to finally do a blog and post about it along with my first video tutorial). I joked around saying that I was practicing my photography while working on a new salad recipe, which wasn’t necessarily a lie (by the way the amazing salad cake image was shot with a Canon EOS Rebel under the best lighting ever, natural sunlight). Everyone probably thought “why is she posting a salad. What’s so special about this salad.” They had no clue it was a chocolate salad cake.
The next post was this one below. I thought for sure everyone, someone would have caught on because of the champagne glass full of milk. But no one caught it.
The followup was this post below. I couldn’t hold on to the secret any longer.
The response was CRAZY. They just couldn’t believe this was cake. Now I’m teaching you all the tricks to make your own chocolate salad cake to fool your friends and family. You can use some of these methods to make all sorts of cool things.
I’m also sharing my perfect chocolate cake recipe. Hope you enjoy.
- Mold Putty
- circle cookie cutters
- edible paint for chocolate such as poppy paints
- buttercup in poppy paints or a light yellow color
1. Prepare and bake cakes. You’ll need 3 different cakes:
- 4″ x 4″ vanilla cake, 1″ high
- Half of a 6″ round red velvet cake
- 6″ x 3″ round chocolate cake leveled and cut in half horizontally.
Note: These are the exact cakes I used but if you don’t have these cake flavors or don’t want to waste left-over cake, feel free to change it up a little.
2. Prepare white chocolate cream cheese buttercream.
3. Melt orange chocolate melts. Place in the fridge or freezer until the chocolate is set.
Note: I used silicone bowls to melt chocolate in the microwave as I’ve found it is better for distributing heat and easy to remove chocolate from bowl once it solidifies.
1. Melt Ghirardelli White Chocolate Melts.
2. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a tray. Break off romaine lettuce leaves and place on the parchment paper.
3. Dip brush in melted white chocolate and begin brushing each piece with a couple of layers of chocolate. When all pieces are covered, place in the fridge or freezer until the chocolate is set.
4. When the chocolate has hardened on the leaves, remove from the fridge or freezer. You can apply another coat of melted white chocolate if you would like the pieces to be thicker. I chose not to as I wanted the lettuce to look as natural as possible. Gently remove chocolate from lettuce.
Note: Be very careful when removing chocolate from the lettuce especially if you’ve only painted a thin coat of chocolate. They are fragile. Some may break but that is okay because what you are looking for here is to capture the lettuce texture and not a perfect shape.
5. Using your buffer brush, gently buff in a thin layer of poppy paint buttercup yellow.
6. With the same brush gently buff in a thin layer of poppy paint avocado, blending the avocado into the buttercup yellow.
7. Using the same brush gently buff in a thin layer of poppy paint green, blending the green into the avocado. For the final coat, using the same brush, gently buff in a thin layer of Wilton’s Moss green, blending the moss green into the poppy paint green.
Note: You do not need to use all 4 colors. Play around with different variations making sure to buff in the paint gently as to avoid hard lines between colors. You can also add a tiny bit of lemon extract or vodka to the gel color to thin it out if it is needed.
8. Once all pieces are painted set aside.
Cake Ball Tomatoes
1. Crumble or blend red velvet cake. Add white chocolate cream cheese buttercream to the crumbled up cake and mix together. Form cake balls in the shape of cherry tomatoes. Dip a toothpick into melted white chocolate then into cake balls. Place in the fridge to chill until the chocolate is set. Allow to come to room temperature to avoid any cracking in chocolate coating. Once at room temperature dip cake balls into melted white chocolate. Allow chocolate to harden.
2. Using a paintbrush paint a layer of poppy paint orange and let dry.
3. Mix Wilton red and orange until it resembles the color of a cherry tomato. Paint a thin layer on top of the orange coating. Repeat for each ball and set aside.
Note: you can add a tiny bit of lemon extract or vodka to the gel color to thin it out if it is needed.
1. Place a piece of parchment paper on a plate or tray. Place the circle cutter on the parchment paper and pour or pipe melted white chocolate into it.
2. Place in the fridge or freezer until the chocolate is set. Use the Xacto knife to cut little seeds in the center.
3. Use a small paintbrush to paint poppy paint buttercup into the grooves of the cuts you just made.
4. Use another brush to paint poppy paint avocado on the sides then paint poppy paint green.
5. Paint a thin layer of piping gel on top to give it a shine. Repeat for all pieces and set aside.
1. Place a piece of parchment paper on a plate or tray. Place the egg cutter and a small circle cutter on the inside of the egg cutter on the parchment paper.
2. Pour or pipe melted white chocolate into the space between the egg cutter and circle. Place in the fridge or freezer until the chocolate is set.
3. Remove the chocolate piece from the cutter and repeat for 4 slices of avocado.
4. Using the Xacto knife carefully cut down the center of both pieces.
5. Paint the pieces with poppy buttercup yellow.
6. Using the buffer brush, brush the outer edges with poppy paint avocado. Once all pieces are painted set aside.
1. Remove orange chocolate block from the silicone bowl you melted and allowed to solidify. Begin to cut small size pieces from it that resemble shredded carrots. Once you have about 1/8 cup of shredded carrot pieces set aside.
Vanilla Cake Croutons
1. Cut small square pieces of vanilla cake.
2. Using the buffer brush and Wilton copper paint buff in a tiny amount on the top and bottom to make it appeared toasted.
3. Take a green candy melt chip and shred tiny pieces over the croutons and set pieces aside.
Peanut Butter Pecans
1. Make a mixture of mold material. Using rolling pin roll out a 1/2″ thick layer. Be sure to work quickly as the mold material sets fast. Place several pecans into layer before it dries. Allow mold to set about 20 minutes then remove pecan pieces and wash mold.
2. Melt peanut butter chocolate melts. Pipe mixture into all grooves of the pecan mold. Pick the mold up and tap lightly against the surface to ensure mixture has gone into every crevice. Place in the fridge or freezer until the chocolate is set.
3. Remove each piece from the mold.
4. Paint a thin layer of poppy paint brown to each piece then set aside.
1. Melt bright white chocolate melts and pour into the plastic bowl. Coat the entire bowl then place in the freezer until the chocolate is set. Repeat process 2 more times or until the bowl is as thick as you would like.
2. Using gloves remove chocolate bowl from the plastic bowl. Loosen the sides with your hands and if you find it hard to remove from the bottom give it a little push with your thumbs.
Note: gloves are used to avoid fingerprints on the chocolate bowl and dullness of shine.
3. To get perfect edges use a Xacto knife to trim off any access. Please be careful and take your time when cutting.
1. Using a spatula apply a coat of white chocolate cream cheese buttercream along the inside of the bowl.
2. Fill chocolate cake with white chocolate cream cheese buttercream between the cut layers.
3. Place the chocolate cake in the bowl. If the cake is too big, carve the sides until the cake fits into the bowl.
4. Cover the top of the cake with a layer of white chocolate cream cheese buttercream.
5. Begin placing the chocolate lettuce.
6. Then begin adding the other components until the salad bowl is full. You can use chocolate or buttercream to hold the pieces in place.
7. Shred white chocolate over salad for cheese and……
Congratulations! You should end up with something like this: