Eat dessert. Then eat the bowl.
Making edible chocolate bowls is possibly the world’s most delicious and fun arts and crafts project. A classic pastry technique, these homemade chocolate bowls require only balloons and chocolate. (And, of course, whatever sweet treat you want to fill them with.) Here’s how to make them.
How to Make Homemade Chocolate Bowls with Balloons
Making chocolate bowls requires only the following:
- 6 ounces good-quality dark chocolate
- 12 small balloons
- 2 sheets of parchment
A couple of dos and don’ts:
- Use “real” chocolate, also known as baking chocolate, and not chocolate chips. Chocolate chips contain stabilizers. Melted chocolate chips will not harden correctly, and cannot be tempered.
- Use small balloons. If you only have standard balloons, blow them up only to the size of oranges or so.
- Take the extra step and temper the chocolate before dipping the balloons. Tempering chocolate is not hard, and will produce, smooth, glossy chocolate with a good snap when broken. Here’s how:
How to Temper Chocolate
If you really want to do these right, temper the chocolate. Tempering chocolate will give you a shiny, smooth dark chocolate with real snap. Un-tempered chocolate can look streaky, with a less crisp texture.
To do this, you will need a good-quality, accurate digital thermometer, a bowl, and spatula.
To temper dark chocolate (milk and white chocolate use different temperatures):
- Divide chopped chocolate into 2:3 ratio. Here, we will do 6 ounces of chocolate total, divided into two portions: 4 ounces and 2 ounces. (Again, you are using “real” dark chocolate, not chocolate chips.)
- Melt the larger (4-ounce) proportion to 115° to 118° F. Do this either over a double boiler or in the microwave in short time increments, stirring often. If you are using a double boiler, keep the water at a low simmer and leave space between the water and the bottom of the bowl.
- Remove the melted chocolate from the heat and begin seeding it with the reserved (2-ounce) chocolate in several additions, stirring frequently and letting one addition melt before adding the next.
- Stir and seed until the temperature of the chocolate is 87 to 89° F, and all the chocolate is fully melted.
Your chocolate is now in temper.
Pro tip: Keep your chocolate in its temperature range by wrapping the bowl with a gently warmed kitchen towel or tea cozy. You can also place it back on top of the double boiler, stirring, for a few seconds until it stays in its range.
Dipping the Balloons
After you have your small bowl of chocolate and about 8 to 12 small balloons, place two sheets of parchment on the counter top.
- Spoon a small dollop of chocolate onto the parchment; this will be the base for the bowl.
- Dip a balloon evenly in the chocolate bowl, letting it come up the sides of the balloon a bit. Then place the balloon on top of the chocolate dollop. Hold it in place for a few seconds until it stands on its own. Repeat with the remaining balloons.
Let the chocolate balloons harden for at least an hour. Then release the air from the balloons gently by piercing a small hole. Gently peel the balloons from the chocolate and discard.
Do not worry if a few break or chip. This is normal.
How to Serve Your Homemade Chocolate Bowls
Though these will stand on their own and serve as their own serving dish, it is best to place the bowls on a small plate. They tend to break once you start eating what’s inside.
As for enjoying your chocolate bowl, anything from fresh berries and whipped cream to ice cream with sprinkles would be great.