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Oct 23, 2003 03:34 PM

How do you make a chocolate bowl?

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I was perusing websites trying to get ideas for making my dessert buffet look stunning and I came across a website that had a buffet table with a large chocolate bowl sitting on a pedestal and it looked so attractive. I wondered if anyone else has done this and is it difficult to make the bowl. I imagine it would look even more attractive with chocolate dipped strawberries either in the bowl or the bowl turned over on its side with the berries spilling out. How do I make this?

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    torta basilica

    We took a cooking class for kids & they blew up balloons & dipped them in chocolate, chilled, then popped the balloon & voila'!

    8 Replies
    1. re: torta basilica

      I'm pretty sure that this is the best method (at least that I've heard of).

      To make your bowl extra-pretty, temper the chocolate before dipping!

      1. re: Mrs. Smith

        I am just wondering if the bowl will look as pretty as the one I saw. The shape of a baloon is quite different. The one I saw looked as if someone lined the inside of a bowl with chocolate. Would it work if you put a smooth layer of aluminum foil in a bowl and brush melted chocolate on and freeze or refrigerate and peel the foil off? I am just guessing. The balloon technique sounds easy, but I wonder what the actual shape would look like because the bowl I saw had a flat bottom and it was huge.

        1. re: Elle

          I think these are usually made by pouring or painting melted tempered chocolate on a plastic bowl shaped mold. The plastic has to be of a type that releases the hardened chocolate easily. I know you can find small molds sold by confectionery suppliers.

          1. re: rjka

            I saw Jacques Torres do it on TV once-- he just lined a bowl with lots of plastic wrap, leaving lots of extra at the top of the bowl, and then painted it with melted, tempered chocolate, using a clean pastry brush. He let it cool, then lifted the bowl out by the plastic wrap that extended over the lid of the bowl. I think he had put the bowl in the freezer before he started painting it, and then I think he let the chocolate cool at room temperature.

            Here's a recipe for a lace bowl.


            1. re: Erika

              No matter what method you use, make sure that you do at least to or three passes. Not only will this make your "bowl" a little sturdier, but it will also allow it to release better.

              i suggest you go with the balloon method (just use a BIG balloon) because it will give you a nice shiny interior to your bowl. But don't pop the balloon, let the air leak out using a pin near the knot.

              1. re: Jenny

                Okay, so I make a what do I fill it with?

                1. re: Parrot Mom

                  chocolate covered or plain strawberries, truffles, cookies dipped in chocolate, long stem cherries, or if you are feeling really adventurous you can surround the bowl with a little ice and dip a champagne or cider bottle in the chocolate and use as a whimsical ice bucket. Or you can get some of those gold foil wrapped chocolate and put them in the bowl, you can take an artists brush and brush a little edible 14 karat gold dust on the bowl for effect. It is only as limited as your imagination... have fun with it:-)

                  1. re: Elle

                    You could do a reverse fondue of sorts (cold instead of hot) with whipped cream or chocolate mouse.

    2. You can use a ballon or a bowl coated with chocolate. Chocolate contracts when it sets up so if you use a bowl, it should pop right out. I'd use the smoothest bowl I owned for this, probably plastic so you can twist it a little if the chocolate resists removal. As for the ballon, if you put the chocolate in a big bowl and dip the base of the ballon at an angle 3 or 4 times, you can get a petaled bowl. The base should form from the excess chocolate pooling at the bottom. Whether ballon or bowl, I'd put it in the freezer for 15 minutes to set and contract. Another idea is to use spun sugar on a ballon and build a sugar cage. Find a Jacque Torres (sp?) book or video as he does all of this.

      If you use real chocolate you need to temper it, which requires a marble board and chocolate thermometer along with patience. Or you can use Merckens, just melt it and mold it - no tempering necessary. I've never used Merckens, but it is easy and if the bowl is for show instead of chow then go for it. They also sell champagne bottle molds (google it; places that sell soap molds also seem to have the best selection of chocolate molds). The bottle mold is sold in halves, so your bowl would look like a champagne bottle cut in half. If you're really ambituous get some gold leaf and a fine brush and apply a label. They also sell champagne cork molds.