What better avenue for the pudding of yesterday to be slurped up than in homemade chocolate dessert cups. Pudding is only one of a thousand yummy things that could fill these elegant cups – I’m thinking ice cream, fresh fruit, custard, cake…the options are endless.
A perfect, gourmet Valentine (or any-tine) treat that will leave your family and guests oohing and aahing at your creativity and culinary genius, these little cups are surprisingly easy, especially if you bring along a little patience.
Making use of every day balloons, the cups take shape in little time. I’ll confess, I had a few shattered casualties my first go-round, but no worries, my kids made short work of the chocolate shards.
I can’t wait to hear what your imagination dreams up for these little beauties! (Check out the step-by-step instructions below the recipe.)
Blow up 12 balloons, inflating them only to the point that the bottom 1/3 of the balloon will be the perfect size for a chocolate cup. You definitely won’t inflate the balloon to it’s full capacity. Gently wash the balloons with warm water and let them dry completely (to avoid seizing the chocolate with little drops of water). Set the balloons aside.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl in the microwave, taking care not to overheat the chocolate or it will seize and harden. If you want to avoid the white “blooming” lines that can appear in dried chocolate, reserve about 2 tablespoons of unmelted chocolate and stir it into the warm, melted chocolate until all the chocolate bits are melted and smooth. This is a quick and dirty way to temper chocolate.
Take a balloon and press it into the chocolate so the chocolate comes about 1/3 of the way up the balloon. Set the balloon on a lined baking sheet to dry. Once all the balloons have been dipped, allow the chocolate to set in a cool location (like the refrigerator or a cool storage room or non-fumy garage). Don’t discard the chocolate until you have removed the balloons from the cups, in case there is any breakage that can be repaired. Once the chocolate has set, bring the trays of balloons to room temperature and let them sit for 5 minutes or so. You don’t want the chocolate to soften too much, but you want to take the chill off a little bit.
Carefully snip a tiny cut in the top of the balloon, holding on to the balloon, and avoiding a huge cut (this could cause the chocolate to shatter). The goal is slow and easy here. Let the balloon gently deflate. When it has released all the air, gently press the bottom of the balloon while peeling the balloon away from the chocolate. Again slow and easy. If you use your fingers to press down on the balloon while peeling it away from the edge, it will help the process.
Once the balloon is completely removed, store the chocolate cups in a cool location until ready to use. If a chocolate cup (or ten) ends up with a hole in the bottom, never fear. Simply dollop a small spoonful of leftover chocolate over the hole and let it set.
Latex: please be aware that these cups should not be served to anyone with a latex allergy!
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