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Make an (Edible!) Terrarium

Mar 2, 2016

by Heather Baird

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Don’t have a yard? Terrariums are an easy, adorable way to add greenery to your space. Simply add your favorite plants to a few layers of rocks and charcoal — with the requisite cute miniatures, of course — and you’ve created a verdant paradise that grows on your windowsill.

So, how do you make a terrarium even better? By making it out of chocolate and candy, of course! Inspired by all things terrarium, this edible faux-terrarium begins with a foundation of candy-coated chocolate rocks, and cacao nibs are a tasty stand-in for the typical charcoal layer. Mini-chocolate cupcakes are baked and crumbled on top to mimic potting soil, and candy succulents are planted on top.

You Will Need:

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For the Chocolate Cupcakes
Yields 8 mini cupcakes
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons buttermilk (or whole milk)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Mini muffin tin and 8 liners

For the Candy Clay
12 ounces green candy melts
1/4 cup light corn syrup
Fluted pastry wheel or fluted cookie cutter

You may also substitute ready-made fondant or marzipan.

For the Terrarium
42 ounce food safe jar with tight-fitting lid
2/3 cup candy chocolate rocks
2/3 cup cacao nibs
Miniature plastic terrarium decor; I used a deer cupcake pick!

 

Step 1: Make Mini-Chocolate Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8 cups of a mini muffin tin with paper liners.

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In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk in milk and oil until just combined. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake papers.

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Bake for 9 to 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely.

Step 2: Make Candy Clay

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Place the candy discs in a microwave safe bowl. Cook in the microwave at 100% power at 30 second intervals until the discs are melted and can be stirred smooth (about 90 seconds total). Add corn syrup and stir well.

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Turn mixture onto waxed paper. Place another sheet of waxed paper on top and roll the candy to 1/4 inch. Let stand until firm, or transfer to the refrigerator to speed setting.

Candy clay will be hard at first; knead a quarter of the clay until soft and pliable. Repeat with remaining clay. Store in a zip-top bag with the air removed.

Step 3: Make the Succulents

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To create “Hens and Chicks”: Roll the soft clay out between two sheets of waxed paper to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a fluted pastry cutter (or one edge of a scalloped cookie cutter), cut a line through a 6-inch piece of the candy clay. Cut the piece with a straight-edged knife 1/2 inch below the zigzag line.

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Roll the piece jellyroll style. If you have trouble getting the clay started curling, wrap one end around a toothpick and use it to roll up the clay. Roll two 6 inch pieces together for a large “Hen,” and roll one piece up for smaller “Chicks.” Gently squeeze the bottom portion of the candy succulent to cause the zigzag edge to fan slightly.

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Dust with purple color dust, if desired.

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To Create “Green Fingers”Roll candy clay to 1/2 inch thickness. Cut a piece to roughly 6 x 2 inches. Cut the piece into “fingers” using a straight edge knife.

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Roll the piece up jellyroll style, as before.

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Place the succulent upright and place it in a cupcake paper to hold its shape. Some succulents have a naturally occurring powdery appearance; dust with powdered sugar for this effect, if desired.

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To Create “Aloe Vera”: Roll candy clay to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut four 3-inch triangles from the clay with the fluted pastry wheel. Gently press the leaves together at the bottom. Let stand until firm, about 30 minutes.

Step 4: Assemble the Terrarium

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Layer the chocolate rocks evenly in the bottom of the jar. Sprinkle cacao nibs over the rocks. Crumble the cupcakes in a bowl and layer the crumbs on top of the cacao nibs evenly. Arrange the succulents on top of the “soil,” and add miniature decor, if desired.

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Now, revel in your candy terrarium creation — and dig in.

All photos by Heather Baird.

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