You can make these delights up to 24 hours in advance and layer them up in baking parchment in a large airtight container. Make sure that none of the decorations touch each other or they may be damaged. Keep the container in a cool place, but not in the fridge or the chocolate may lose some of its sheen.
Spread the tempered chocolate into a thin, even layer on a sheet of acetate paper. When the chocolate is just beginning to set, cut it into 5mm strips with the trellis wheel or a very sharp knife. Carefully roll up the acetate of chocolate and secure it with tape until the chocolate is set. Once the chocolate is set, carefully open out the acetate paper and the chocolate curls will drop out. Use as required.
Pour a thin line of tempered white chocolate down the centre of the work surface. I like to use a small marble slab because it cools the chocolate quickly and evenly, but you can use a marble or quartz work surface or the back of a flat baking sheet. Use the spatula or a palette knife to spread the chocolate into quite a thin layer. Spread it out, stretching from left to right rather than from top to bottom. Then use the cake-decorating comb to run through it from left to right, make sure you press right down to the bench Leaving you with just stripes of white chocolate. Then let it firm up for a moment or two.
When the white chocolate has firmed up (it needs to be quite firm otherwise when you add the dark chocolate it will become marbled rather than giving you definitive lines) add the tempered dark chocolate on top and then using the angled palette knife work the dark chocolate into the lines of white chocolate, filling in all the gaps in a nice even thickness and using the palette knife to scrape off any excess. Take a sharp knife and clean up the edges of the large rectangle shape so it is neat for when you make the cigarettes.
Wait until the chocolate is no longer soft and then take the bench scraper in both hands. Position the blade 2.5cm or so from the far end of the chocolate. Hold the blade at about a 25° angle from the surface. Working quickly and firmly, and with consistent pressure, push the bench scraper away from you, causing the chocolate to roll over itself. Keep forming cigarettes, working quickly so that the chocolate doesn’t get too hard. Repeat this process until you have as many cigarettes as you need. The good news is that although these may sound like they are difficult to make, they take very little time and will get easier with practice!
Line a large baking sheet with acetate or baking parchment. Fill the disposable piping bag with tempered dark chocolate and snip off the end. Then use this to pipe patterns and designs with the chocolate, making them 2.5–5cm in size. Keep practising to create consistent designs. Leave to set and use as required.
Using the paintbrush, paint bay or sturdy mint leaves with tempered dark chocolate (or you could paint half with tempered white chocolate and the other half with tempered dark chocolate). Prop the painted leaves against an object, such as the handle of a wooden spoon, to create slightly curved leaves. Leave to set and then use tweezers to carefully peel the chocolate leaf from the bay or mint leaf, discarding the leaves. Use as required.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.