Every year at Christmas, the task of dessert tends to land on my shoulders. I love whipping up sugary treats for my loved ones, and typically look forward to the opportunity to create something amazing year after year. But with a busier-than-ever schedule as of late, I’ve been on the hunt for a way to make something drool-worthy, with minimal effort involved. I can’t believe I’m even admitting this, but when time is of the essence, I’m not ashamed to purchase a store bought dessert, and work a little magic in the kitchen so I’m not faking it entirely. For this year’s treat, I picked up a gorgeous (and ridiculously delicious) red velvet cake with buttercream frosting at my favourite local bakery, Bake Shoppe, and created some handmade chocolate almond pinecones to decorate the top. While I loved the simplicity and rustic-meets-modern feel of the pure white finish, the little pinecones were a great addition, and admittedly made me feel as if I didn’t totally cop out. To finish, I snipped a few sprigs of thyme from my herb garden for garnish, and I truly couldn’t be more thrilled with the results.
Melt together the chocolate chips, condensed milk, and butter. Stir in the salt and vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap (place the plastic wrap directly on top of the melted chocolate to avoid any hard film) and let cool completely, about 2 hours.
Once cooled, scoop golf size balls of chocolate into your hand. Roll into a ball, and slowly pinch one end until you end up with a pinecone-like shape.
Starting at the point, gently press a sliced almond into the fudge. Press another sliced almond right next to it, overlapping slightly. Continue to do so until your chocolate fudge is completely covered. Try to use only whole pieces of almond, and tilt them forward (towards the point) rather than sticking straight up.
They're a little delicate, so be careful when you handle them, but once you're done, gently place the finished pinecone on a pan and refrigerate for 15 minutes until completely solid. Then, decorate your cake!
This should make 4-5 good size pinecones
Lark & Linen Interior Design and Lifestyle Blog https://jacquelynclark.com/