Here are a few things that don’t go together: impossibly delicate chocolate molds, outdoor photography and July. Fortunately I made a lot of cups and garnishes. Edible “balloon” cups are nothing new, but still a great way to wow guests at a dinner party. You can make them ahead and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to fill and present them.
Start with the balloons. I like’em small because big balloons make big cups that you have to fill with lots of dessert or ice cream. Little ones are a bit more challenging but work a lot better, especially if they’re filled with rich peanut butter mousse, as these are. Mrs. Pastry calls this dessert “peanut butter cup of the gods”, and it’s hard to disagree.
These little balloons — made for water balloons — can be had in most toy stores.
I only blow them up a little bit.
Dip them in meted chocolate, ideally tempered dark chocolate which will make firmer cups with a nicer “snap” when you bit into them.
Get a nice coat on there, wait a few seconds…
…and dip a second time.
Place them on a parchment-lined sheet. They’ll make their own little “feet.”
Allow them to cool completely, especially if the chocolate is tempered, about an hour. When they’re firm, freeze them for about twenty minutes before handling them.
Remove the balloon by clipping the very ends with scissors. This keeps them from popping and damaging the cups.
The balloons will stick to the interiors of the cups, probably. It can be a little difficult extracting some of them, since the thin, thin cup walls start melting as soon as you touch them. If you have difficult balloons, grasp the cup by the “foot” with the fingers of one hand and peel the ballon out with the the fingers of the other — but just for second or two. If the cup is starting melt and you haven’t fully extracted the balloon, put the cup back in the freezer for a minute or so and have another go.
When you’ve extracted all your balloons you can store the cups in the fridge or on the counter, provided it’s not hot in your kitchen. Fill them at your leisure. I spooned in some peanut butter mousse, then piped a curlicue of mousse on the top. I could have piped it all in but I dunno, I wasn’t thinking clearly.
For the garnish, I used a fork to drizzle some free-form shapes on a parchment sheet at the same time I made the cups. I likewise let them firm, then froze them. I peeled them off when the cups were filled and I was ready to serve, like so:
Easy as pie.