The winters can get long up north so this year my family and I decided to pack up our travel trailer and head down to the sunny beaches of Florida for part of the winter. It has been nice soaking up the rays and playing in the surf but living in a trailer for 6 weeks does have its disadvantages. Sharing 32 feet of living space with a husband, teenager, preteen and two weiner dogs is enough to make us all want to kill each other some days. The most difficult thing for me, though, is that I miss my kitchen. We have a nice little kitchen in our trailer but it’s just not ideal for most of the confectionery things I like to do. And even if it was, it’s not like I have any of my tools or supplies with me to do much anyway.
I had accepted the fact that I wouldn’t get to make any sweets while on this trip when a friend sent me a link to some chocolate bowls she had found online. I hadn’t made chocolate bowls in years but I remembered that they were very simple to make and required very few supplies. That was perfect! I had almost everything I needed in the trailer, aside from the chocolate and balloons, and it was also something I could easily blog about. We shouldn’t have to skip out on a little elegance just because we were traveling. So here is a tutorial on the chocolate bowls I made. If I can do it in our camper then you can make them at home.
Step 1: Gather Supplies
You will need a pot and a metal mixing bowl that fits snuggly on top of it without touching the bottom of the pot (you can use a double boiler or melting pot if you have one), a spatula, parchment paper or wax paper, candy melts and small balloons, preferably 4 or 5 inch diameter. The only small balloons I could find at the grocery store were water balloons. If you use water balloons like I did, make sure they are the kind that are made with thicker latex, like a normal balloon. You can usually find these in the party section of your store. I don’t recommend the real thin water balloons because they are much more likely to pop on you. You will also need a large plate or baking sheet that will fit in your refrigerator (not shown.)
Step 2: Melt Chocolate
Pour your candy melts into the metal mixing bowl while you bring about a half inch of water to a boil in the pot.
Once the water is boiling, remove the pot from the heat and place the bowl on top. Make sure that the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
Let the candy melts set until you start to see them melting on the side of the bowl. You can then take your spatula and stir them around a little. Continue to stir and let them melt until there are just a few chunks left in the bowl.
Remove the bowl from the pot and let it set on the counter while you slowly stir. The final chunks will continue to melt from sitting in the warm chocolate. Whatever you do, do not overheat the chocolate. If the chocolate gets too hot it will seize up on you and your whole batch will be destroyed. Remember that chocolate needs very low heat to melt, think about how easily it melts just from your body heat when held in your hand. You are better off to use low heat and take your time melting it than higher heat and risk burning it. This is why I don’t recommend using a microwave for melting chocolate. I know a lot of people do but I have found that it is so easy to overheat it in a microwave that I usually always try to avoid that method.
Step 3: Dip Balloons
Inflate one balloon for every bowl you will need. I found that I was able to make six bowls easily with the 12 ounces of candy melts that I melted. Make sure you inflate the balloon all the way so that there isn’t a nub of plastic on the bottom. Wipe down each balloon with a damp cloth to clean it and then dry completely with another dry cloth.
Whenever I dip anything in chocolate I always try to place my chocolate in as small of a container as possible that is still wide enough and deep enough for the dipped item to fit. This minimizes the amount of chocolate you have to use and makes it much easier for the chocolate to completely surround the item being dipped. I found that our plastic camping bowls were the perfect size for dipping the balloons.
Pour the chocolate in a bowl and then hold your balloon and dip it into the chocolate, covering it as deep as you would like the depth of the bowl to be.
Step 4: Place on Parchment
Remove the balloon from the chocolate and then set it upright on a piece of parchment or wax paper that has been placed on a plate or baking sheet. The chocolate will slide down a little and puddle on the bottom, forming a base for the bowl.
Continue dipping the rest of the balloons and placing them on the parchment paper, being sure not to let them touch.
Step 5: Refrigerate
When all the balloons have been dipped, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for about a half an hour. As you can see, I had to get a bit creative with our small trailer refrigerator but I made it work. I was only able to refrigerate four bowls at a time.
Step 6: Deflate Balloons
At this point the bowls should be firm and release easily from the parchment paper. Remove them from the refrigerator.
Take something sharp and pointy (I found a safety pin in a drawer) and carefully poke it into the thick part of the latex up by the knot. If you poke it too low it is likely to pop the balloon and you have a greater chance of destroying your bowl. Keep the pin in the balloon and gently pull it down a bit so that the air slowly leaks out.
As the balloon deflates it will start pulling away from the chocolate.
When it has deflated this much you can gently pull the rest of the balloon away from the bowl. Occasionally, your balloon may pull away a little bit of chocolate at the bottom of the bowl and leave a small hole like this one.
If that happens, just remelt a little chocolate and use a spoon to place it on top of the hole. Put the bowl back in the refrigerator for about 10 more minutes then your bowl should be sealed. It may look a little messy but you will be covering that part up with your dessert anyway.
Now you have some beautiful chocolate bowls!
What you decide to fill them with is up to you. My daughter likes to make chocolate mousse and fill them with that. I went the simple route, since we are in the trailer, and made ice cream sundaes. Doesn’t this look yummy?!
Proof that you can have a fancy dessert even while living in a camper.
Until next time, God bless and Sweet Dreams.