If you want to impress your friends at your next party, try serving yummy desserts in a chocolate shell! Your friends will think you labored for hours to treat them in such a special way; but what they won't know is just how easy and relatively inexpensive it is to make chocolate shells. With a little know-how, and a lot more time and patience, you can make your own chocolate shells just by following these step-by-step illustrations.
Decide what size you want the chocolate shells to be. Blow up basic, round balloons to match that size. Set aside.
For each balloon, you will need another bowl just slightly SMALLER than the balloon, itself, so the balloon can be propped up on the bowl.
You will also need a much larger bowl to transfer the melted chocolate in. This bowl needs to be large enough for the balloons to be "dipped" in the chocolate and rolled slightly from side to side.
Melt the chocolate. If using a microwave, be sure to use a microwave-safe bowl, and change the power level to at least half power. Stir chocolate frequently. If using a double boiler, turn the burner on a low setting, being sure to stir frequently. Some chocolates (such as chocolate chips) melt better with approximately 1 tablespoon of butter added to the bowl or pan.
Once the chocolate is melted, transfer to the larger bowl, as described in Step three.
Holding on to the tied end of the balloon, dip the balloon straight down into the chocolate and gently swirl or roll from side to side and front to back, until chocolate reaches the right height on the balloon for your desired size of shell. Also, you can prop the balloon on one of the smaller bowls, as described in Step two, and use a spoon or spatula to help spread the chocolate around.
To harden the shells, keep the chocolate-dipped balloon propped up in its holding bowl, and place in the refrigerator or freezer. Hardening time will vary depending on the type of chocolate used, the thickness of the shell, and if the shell was placed in the refrigerator or the freezer. Plan on a minimum of one hour, checking on the shell every half hour or so. Replace shell in refrigerator or freezer if not completely hardened.
Remove the balloon once the chocolate is completely hardened. Be careful when handling the balloon at this point. The chocolate is hard and brittle. Gently pull up on the tie/tail of the balloon and make a small cut with scissors. Help the air escape very slowly, rather than instantaneously. A sudden release of air, or popping of the balloon, may cause the chocolate to break. If any part of the balloon continues to stick to the chocolate, gently pry apart with your fingers. Take your time to prevent the chocolate shell from breaking.
Trim the edges of the shell with food scissors. Fill shells just before serving. Keep shells refrigerated until ready to serve.
Drizzle white chocolate over dark-chocolate bowls for contrast, and vice verse.
Melted chocolate is hot; handle carefully. Stir chocolate often to prevent scorching.