You’d think from looking at this blog that I haven’t been cooking much lately–which really isn’t true. I’ve just been stuck in round after round of reruns–lots of pesto, hummus, buttermilk biscuits, salads with buttermilk horseradish dressing. I have a few things waiting in the wings to post . . . oven roasted tomatoes (my garden is still overflowing!), a roasted beet salad with chevre . . . simple things, nothing fussy or complicated. But all I can think about are the cookies I’d like to be baking, the triple layer banana cake I’d really like to make with all those bananas stacking up in my freezer, the chocolate fudge recipe that I still need to tinker with, sigh.
Since I’m short on time (as usual!) today, you’re getting this quick post on Chocolate Modeling Clay (see parts one and two to catch up). The picture above is a Springerle cookie press I picked up a few weeks ago, isn’t it gorgeous? It is a solid wood block, hand carved with beautiful designs, normally used for making traditional springerle (springer-lee) cookies. I’ve been fiddling with a cookie recipe for these, not done with that one yet, so I’ll talk more about the cookie end of things in a later post. For now, just know that this type of cookie press is pretty darn fabulous for using with chocolate modeling clay.
No matter what you use the press for–cookies, clay, etc.–make sure you dust the press really really really well with flour, rice flour, powdered sugar (for cookies), or cocoa powder (for clay). This falls under the “don’t do what I did” category, for which I could write a whole lotta posts (don’t ask about the Tomato Olive Foccacia, I’m not ready to talk about it yet). Just trust me, you don’t want to spend an afternoon with a toothpick and your cookie press. Nuff said.
Usually modeling clay with this press is a treat, the clay is very forgiving, even when you have to pull at it a bit to get it to release. Just dust the mold with cocoa powder, knead up some clay until it is smooth and pliable, and use a rolling pin to roll it evenly over the press. Roll it past the design a bit, and then use the excess along the edges to carefully pull the clay away from the mold. Trim and set aside to dry. I dusted the excess cocoa off the first few pieces, but then decided I liked the look of the cooca “highlights” better, so I left the rest alone.
Check back soon to see what I end up doing with my clay designs!