Pair with the Chocolate Buttermilk Cake and Bittersweet Chocolate Icing, from the Altitude Adjustments article in the February 2017 issue.

This simple mixture comes together quickly but needs to cool and be kneaded before shaping; prepare it at least an hour before use. Wrap and store it in the fridge for several months. It turns into edible “clay” when warmed with your hands until flexible. Perfect for elegant cake decorations, edible dough is also fun to make with children, molding animals and playful figures. Do not overheat when melting or chocolate will separate. ​

7 ounces semisweet chocolate or a high-quality Swiss white chocolate, chopped

¼ cup light (Karo) corn syrup

Unsweetened cocoa (for working dark chocolate; sifted cornstarch or confectioners’ sugar for working white chocolate)

Paste or powdered vegetable coloring (optional, for white chocolate)

Edible gold powder (optional and preferably Wilton; available at craft or cake-supply shops)

A few drops of spirits or rum (optional, for gilding)

This recipe works at all altitudes. Makes 6–8 1½-inch roses.


  1. Place chocolate in top of double boiler over simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Cool 4–5 minutes.
  2. Pour corn syrup into chocolate all at once, stir hard with wooden spoon about 2 minutes until mixture thickens, looks dull, and pulls away from pan.
  3. Turn chocolate out onto plastic wrap, press into a flat packet, wrap. Set in cool place about 1 hour, to chill and firm. In hot weather, refrigerate. (Dough can be refrigerated up to several months.)
  4. After firming, chocolate must be softened slightly, rolled out, and kneaded to develop plasticity. If too stiff, unwrap and microwave a few seconds. Roll out on a surface dusted with cocoa, cornstarch, or confectioners’ sugar. When chocolate is flexible, model it as you would clay.
  5. Form a cone for the base. Cut petal and leaf shapes from rolled-out dough, wrap around base of the cone, pinch at bottom, and flare out edges. Blend gold powder with a drop of spirits to liquefy; brush on edges of molded chocolate rose petals.