I know many of you share my obsession with Pinterest. I seriously have to limit myself to a couple of visits/week because I would never leave there otherwise.
These chocolate cups have been all over the boards. Original recipe is here. Basically, you melt chocolate, dip balloons into the chocolate, wait for the chocolate to harden, pop the balloons and you have chocolate cups. Sounds wonderfully easy!
Bakerella is one of my favorite baking sites to begin with but most of her recipes are very time-consuming and I just don't have enough interest in baking to spend 4 hours on a cake. These cups, though, seemed easy and quick and I even showed them to my husband. When we received an invitation to a neighbor's house for a cookout last weekend, my husband suggested we bring these for dessert. I thought it was a great idea! Little did I know what a disaster it would end up being. But we'll get to that in a minute.
Here's how I did it. I used Hershey's chocolate rather than baking chocolate simply because we like the taste of milk chocolate better.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
Cover a baking pan with wax or parchment paper and place tablespoons of chocolate on the pan to hold the cups in place. You want it to be a bit stiff so let the chocolate cool a little bit first.
At this point, it's helpful to have a willing assistant. If for no other reason than to make sure you don't eat the entire pan of chocolate before you can use it.
Libby was more than willing to help with every step of this project.
Next, have your husband blow up a bunch of small balloons and watch him get so lightheaded that he has to sit on the floor so he doesn't pass out. Hey - I knew better than to do it myself!
And this is where it all went downhill. In her recipe, Bakerella says to let the chocolate cool slightly before coating the balloons with it. But I also noted that many of her commenters were upset that their balloons kept exploding and suggested that she rewrite the recipe to talk about the temperature of the chocolate. She didn't - at least anywhere that I found - so I assumed that they had just heated the chocolate too much. Ummmmmm...............no.
This is when disaster struck. For an hour.
Exploding balloons. Screaming kids. Chocolate everywhere. Mommy in tears. For a solid hour. And only 45 minutes until the cookout and I had no dessert to bring.
No matter how much we let the chocolate cool (and cool and cool some more and cool even more), the balloons kept exploding. It was a nightmare.
By this time, the whole family was in the kitchen. The kids were loving it and licking chocolate off of the counters, the balloons, spoons, bowls - it was like being in a chocolate factory because chocolate was everywhere.
I was mad and frustrated and my husband stood there silently taking it all in. I finally gave up, everyone left the room and Libby and I hurriedly started covering paper baking cups in chocolate, hoping they had time to chill in the fridge.
Five minutes later, my husband strolled back into the kitchen and said, "Can I try?" I almost bit his head off and exclaimed, "It's no use! I'm sick of this! We don't have time to keep trying."
Well, all of you wives know exactly what happened. Right? He dipped a balloon in chocolate, set it on the pan and it was fine. No explosions. No chocolate flying into my hair or onto the cabinets. Nothing. The balloon just sat there.
As did the other 11 that he dipped.
So now we know how long to let the chocolate cool before dipping the balloons. One hour is apparently the magic time. My husband, bless his heart, didn't bat an eyelash when I started cussing and swearing and shed even more tears of frustration. Finally, when I sheepishly told him that this was going to make a great story to tell at the cookout, he laughed and hugged me.
And, oh my goodness, they were sooooooo good!
I filled them with vanilla ice cream and drizzled strawberry sauce on top.
In the end, I highly recommend these cups. They were THAT good.
But after you melt the chocolate, go have a bubble bath, drink a margarita, file your nails, walk the dog or something for an hour. Because it's going to take that long for the chocolate to cool.