December 23, 2010 § 6 Comments
In my last post I mentioned that I’m making chocolate mousse for dessert on Christmas. I decided to kick it up a notch with chocolate bowls to serve the mousse in. I’ve actually made little chocolate bowls using small silicone cups before but I wanted larger bowls for the mousse so I decided to use the water balloon method. These chocolate bowls are wonderful to spiffy up any dessert. Fill them up with fruit or any other item that won’t melt them.
I sent the Mister out to what he refered to as a scavenger hunt: fresh eggs, premium white chocolate (I already have the premium chocolate) and small water balloons. I wanted some white chocolate to go with the semi-sweet to make a marbling effect. But there must have been a huge sale on white chocolate because the shelves had no white chocolate. Oh well, I’ll have to settle on chocolate bowls. He did find the balloons, even though they were “bumpy” balloons and not water balloons. No problem. I just blew these up to the size I wanted and tied off.
I washed the balloons and dried them off thoroughly. You may want to make a few extra balloons more than you need. Then when I was ready to make the bowls, I lightly sprayed the balloons with cooking spray and wiped the spray on the area of the balloon that will come in contact with the chocolate. This will help release the balloon. Caution for anyone who wants to make this but is allergic to latex or will be serving them to people who are allergic to latex. If you want bowls that are latex free, you can use silicone bowls or line muffin tins lined with wax paper. You won’t get round bowls with the muffin tin but it’ll still look cool and taste yummy!
Everything prepped and ready to go. Have a sheet of wax paper ready to set the dipped balloons on.
Melt the chocolate like you would for the mousse: pot of simmering water, don’t boil the water and make sure no water touches the chocolate or else it will seize. The water really doesn’t need to be that hot before the chocolate will start melting. It took maybe 2 minutes for me and I pulled it off the pot when just before everything melted.
WARNING! Make sure to let the melted chocolate cool before you dip your balloon. Balloons do not like heat. They will pop. When they pop, they will splatter melted chocolate EVERYWHERE! I knew this going in so I made sure the chocolate was cool to the touch before dipping. And word of advice, if you think the chocolate is cool enough, let it cool for another 2-3 minutes. I did great for the first two balloons. On the third balloon however, I was having trouble getting the petals even so I was mussing a little longer than I should and then — BAM! Chocolate everywhere. It was actually kind of funny and I couldn’t stop giggling for a couple of minutes. But what a pain to clean up. I think the explosion had about a 6-foot radius. Another thing if you do have to clean up a chocolate splatter, make sure to secure your chocolate away from any water. Don’t want that to seize before you’re done.
Anyway, the melted chocolate should feel really cool but still liquidy. If the chocolate is very runny, it’s still too warm. When you tip the bowl, the chocolate should sluggishly run to the side of the bowl. Let me put it this way. The chocolate was cool to the touch when the balloon popped. It took me about 15 minutes to clean everything up (might have been longer) and the melted chocolate was at the perfect consistency for my last 2 bowls.
There are a couple of ways to hold the balloon. Best method is to hold it by the knot on top. I made the first one by holding the balloon on top like the picture below but I found it was harder to judge how high the sides were. To make a 4-sided petal bowl, I slanted the balloon to one side and dipped. I then went to direct the other side and did the same thing. The reason why I did opposite sides was so I center the petals exactly 180 degrees from each other. Of course you can always just dip and turn and dip and turn to make more petals. They don’t have to be all even and will still look pretty.
Once all the sides have been dipped, let some of the chocolate drip off.
Gently set it down on the wax paper. The extra chocolate that runs down will make a little base for the bowl.
I recommend making a couple more bowls than you actually need in case of breakage. Once all the dipping is down, put the balloons in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes to set up the bowls. Or you can put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes. One of the petal bowls was on the thin side so it didn’t survive the removal of the balloon. So I ended up with 3 petal bowls and one regular plain bowl. Here they are in the freezer.
Before removing the balloons, gently peel each one off the wax paper and check the bottom. Sometimes the balloon will show through on the bottom. Not a problem. Just dab a little of some melted chocolate and then reset. Or even just the heat from your fingers will melt enough chocolate to cover the bare spot. If you forget to check before removing the balloon and find a hole on the bottom, again, just dab some chocolate on the bottom to seal it up. I had one happen and I just broke a piece off the broken petal bowl and placed it on the inside bottom of the bowl. The heat from my fingers were enough to melt the chocolate so that it stuck to the bottom of the bowl. Back into the fridge or freezer to set.
Removing the balloon is the really fun part! NOTE! The heat from your fingers and hands can melt the chocolate within seconds so be very careful when handling the bowls. It was very difficult to take pictures of the process while I was making these so I’ll do my best to describe this next process. Some instructions say to use a pin so that the air can escape slowly. I however, found that the best way is to make sure the bowls are very cold and firm (I like the freezer) and to let the air out rather quickly. I snip the balloon near the knot and then watch the balloon pull away from the bowl. If you used cooking spray, it will help a lot. You’ll probably need to pull the balloon out from the bottom of the bowl since that’s where it likes to stick. Be careful not to grab the bowl with your fingers — body heat bad! I grab the balloon between my forefinger and thumb, like a pincher, and then pull it together. (Damn, this is where a video would help.) I keep doing this all around the balloon until it comes off.
Store the bowls in a cool place until needed. I’m keeping them in the fridge resting on wax paper since I don’t want to chance getting them all melty. I’ve got enough to do on Christmas day and don’t want to have to remake any. I’ll post a picture of the filled bowls on a follow-up post along with the hollow chocolate globes I made for fun.
Have a wonderful remainder of the week. We have a few days reprieve from the rain here in San Diego, just enough to dry out before the next system hit.