Friday, February 4, 2011

When life hands you chocolate, make Alan Rickman.

Tomorrow, I'm hopping a bus to NYC to spend 24 glorious hours with my Uncle Gabe.  A few weeks ago, he sent me an email asking if I was able to come up on February 5th.  He's aware of my borderline creepy obsession with Alan Rickman and said he could get tickets to John Gabriel Borkman at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.  My uncle also started researching bars in the area and narrowed them down to a short list of places based on their beer menus.

You know how every family has that one "cool uncle"?  Yeah, that's Uncle Gabe.

Last weekend, he spent a few hours parked in front of BAM's stage door to scope out the Rickman situation.  There is a very (sur)real possibility that I may score an autograph and that I should bring a Harry Potter book that I want signed, just in case.  Naturally, I'm going to bring Half-Blood Prince.  Duh.

I've been wanting to give chocolate painting another go for a while now and I thought, "What better subject to work with than Alan Rickman?"  After Berry White, that is.

It takes some fine tuning but the process itself is actually pretty easy.

First, select a picture.  This proved to be the most difficult part.  Do I go with Hans Gruber?  Colonel Brandon?  The Sheriff of Nottingham?

I went with a classic, shexshy head shot.

Next, open the picture in Photoshop and turn it into a stencil.  I used a tutorial I found on Melissa Evans' site.  She breaks it down step by step, in a very user-friendly way.  Super cool site.

Cut out the stencil and tape it to a piece of cardboard.  Then tape a piece of waxed or parchment paper over it.

Use melted chocolate (bittersweet, semisweet, whatever you want) to paint the black areas.  Pipe it on over larger areas and use a toothpick for the small details and to fill in spots.  It's a lot like flooding a cookie.  Let the layer set in the fridge.

Next, use a lighter chocolate (I mixed white candy melts with a dab of brown food coloring) to add in highlights.  Place it back in the fridge to set.

Finally, cover the entire stencil with white chocolate.  Make sure it's warm enough to spread but not so warm that it'll melt the first two layers.

Put it back in the fridge to let it set one more time.  I got a little excited and took it out a little too early so be patient and give it some time.  Your picture will turn out more polished.

Take it out of the fridge, flip it over and very carefully remove the cardboard.

Edible Alan Rickman.  Sort of.

Maybe more like an Alan Rickman/Bob Odenkirk hybrid.

Chocolate painting is a really cool technique to play around with.  Use different colored candy melts, add text/words, make smaller stencils to create personalized cupcake toppers of your cat's face...anything, really.  My skills could use some sharpening - I'll give it another go after the giddiness subsides.

Happy Friday, everyone.

P.S.  And please:  if you're going to consume any beer this weekend, for the love of all that is holy, malty and hoppy, go micro.


  1. Very neat, a chocolate masterpiece!

  2. Ali, you are simply amazing. Hope you catch a glimpse of the Rickman.

    PS - I read Deathly Hollows cover to cover in under 24 hours last week.

  3. lmao - i would totally eat your alan rickman painting.

    i will picture his rough yet creamy(?) voice when chomping on his epic hair.

  4. So cool! I am impressed.

  5. Very cool, I think it totally looks like the photo, only more chocolatety. :-)

    Just FYI, you might want to bring a back-up item to get autographed. I heard somewhere that Alan Rickman wasn't signing any HP stuff. Probably because creeps were getting stuff signed and then hocking it on eBay. It sucks that greedy slimeballs have to ruin things for the real fans. Grrr..

    That being said, I also heard that AR has been really gracious at the stage door, signing and taking photos with anyone who asks. I've got tickets for Sunday. Good luck!

  6. siriusly Ali, this is amaaaaaazing. your Uncle Gabe is way cool.

    have so much fun in NY, please do be the girl who whoops when AR gets on stage. no actually, don't. be classy, just fangirl on the inside.

    stay warm!

  7. Gonna be such a cool weekend. All I get to do is this lame football thing people keep talking about. Wish I could get a chance to see his play.

    Ever since we had that conversation on the way out to Cobbler Cellars about Rickman vs. Roth as Snape I can't get it out of my head every time I either see Snape or see Roth doing something else. And, though it's admittedly fully sacrilegious to say so, I have to say an imagined Tim Roth Snape has kind of grown on me. Like, I would never, ever, ever, ever in a million years give up what Alan Rickman has done for that role, but perhaps in an alternate universe I would still like to have had the opportunity to see what Tim Roth could have done with it, too. I've randomly seen a lot of him recently, and he has some seriously dark moments. I honestly think he could have pulled off a very convincing - if quite different - Severus. Of course, he'd have to lose the blonde hair first.

    Anyway, have a blast with your uncle. Hope you get the chance to see him post-show =)

  8. Love the edible Hans Gruber - have a great time on your NYC trip!

  9. This is reason #22 why we should be friends. I thought I was the only one who had the creepy crush on Alan Rickman, but I'm happy to know that I'm not. So a couple of things: that picture = hot. That chocolate painting = tasty (get it?)
    Here's hoping you get your autographed HP book. And maybe get to share a nice microbrew with Snape!
    Have a great weekend Ali!

  10. Thanks guys :D Enjoy your weekends!

    Wendi - was that your first time reading Deathly Hallows?

    Anonymous - thanks for the heads up! I typically don't get starstruck (mainly because I've had only 1-2 run ins in my life) but meeting him would rock my wizarding world. Have fun on Sunday!

    Liam - Sacrilegious? Yes :P But I agree: Roth could have pulled off the role of Snape as convincingly as Rickman. I mean, if a car full of HP purists can agree to that, then it's gotta be legit :D

  11. This is freaking. awesome. I now have ideas floating in my head of stenciling others.

    Do report back and tell us if you got to see him. :)


  12. Ali, it was my first time reading any of the books. After seeing DH Part I in November and then holding a Potterpalooza movie fest at the holidays, I had to know how the story ends. Now I do.

  13. lol saw this on foodgawker XD awesome.

  14. You. Are. Amazing. That has long been one of my favorite Alan Rickman photos, and white chocolate is a weakness of mine. Oh, who am I kidding, so is Alan Rickman *laugh*. So glad that other people are as obsessed with him as I am!! Wish I could see one of his plays or have a random run in... alas for living in the Pacific Northwest *sigh*.

    Hope you got the signature and potential face-time you were hoping for!! <3

  15. just a random suggestion- perhaps you could flip your photo horizontally in photoshop before you choco-paint it? i know most people aren't perfectly symmetrical, and look a little funny if you flip-flop them. (see how bad-ass your chocalan looks before you flood him and flip him over?)

  16. Heather - thanks! While I didn't get the autograph, watching and listening to him do this thing for an evening more than made up for it :D

    Anonymous - aww man, I wish you hadn't posted anonymously so that I could give you proper kudos. That's a really good tip and you're right: while I'm pleased with the end result, I was hoping it would look closer to the way pre-flood chocalan looked. I'm always open to suggestions!

  17. Oh, this is AWESOME! I have to say, I LOVE Alan Rickman as well. And in chocolate? Even better! :) This post just made my day!

  18. Bridget - Thanks so much! I never realized how many people shared my love for Alan Rickman. Made me feel a lot less creepy for pining over Snape. I figured the next best thing to meeting him would be to create an edible version of him in chocolate (okay, that part is kinda creepy.)

  19. Okay, I know I'm all late to the party, but a friend of mine just posted a link to this entry on my FB wall. She knows how I get about all things Rickman.

    While I agree that Tim Roth would have played an appropriately surly Potions Master, I'm convinced that there wouldn't be even a fraction of the HP fanfiction featuring Snapesex if anyone but Alan had played Severus in the films.

  20. i think i love you. please read my partner (of 10 years) 's blog - djabberwock - and help me figure out how to break the news.
    Seriously tho, food/movie associations this funny are thin on th ground. Any menu suggestions for a festival of shelly winters movies where she drowns?

  21. What's with the obsession with Alan. Just curious.