Chocolate Bowls

I wanted to offer up something sweet for Valentine’s Day. Although I realize as I type this it’s technically too late to get any actual V-Day use out of this idea; no matter. Any day can be made better by anything served up in a chocolate bowl.

Chocolate bowls are dead easy to make. (And if you want to make a bunch of little girls ecstatically happy at a birthday party, let them all make their own, and then use them as vehicles for ice cream sundaes.) All you do is this: melt chocolate. Preferably dark or semi-sweet, which isn’t as soft as some milk and all white chocolates; chocolate chips work just fine. Do this gently; in a double boiler or bit by bit in the microwave.

Let it cool ever so slightly; you want it to be melty but not so hot that it will melt the rubber. Blow up as many balloons as you want bowls. Don’t blow them up huge, or you will have salad-bowl-sized chocolate bowls (unless this is what you’re going for). Also, barely blown-up balloons are thicker than those blown to capacity.

Dip them into the chocolate, then set on a piece of waxed paper or foil (they will stand perfectly upright, creating a nice flat base all by themselves) and leave them be until the chocolate cools and sets. That’s it. If you want to be fancy about it, swirl some white chocolate (not a lot) into the dark before dipping, or if you rock the balloon back and forth in multiple directions (it’s hard to describe this; you’ll know what I mean when you do it) you end up with a chocolate tulip that you might pay big bucks for in a pastry shop.

I have, I warn you, had one explode – KABLAM! – as I proudly held it up to a cooking class of about 25, leaving a Julie-shaped chocolate outline on the back wall behind me. I then received a long and hilarious email from an attendee of said class, who had the same experience at home (after watching me do it – go figure) that resulted in her having to REPAINT HER CEILING.

(Insert disclaimer here.)

So – proceed at your own risk. Although admittedly I haven’t had one explode before or since. We’ll see if one explodes on camera tomorrow. (Hopefully not – I don’t think fifty thousand dollar TV cameras like that much.)


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26 comments on “Chocolate Bowls

  1. Dana mccauley
    February 14, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    What’s Valentine’s Day with out a bit of chocolate mixed with danger! Sounds like a worthy experiment — as long as you are at someone else’s house that is!

  2. thepinkpeppercorn
    February 14, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Beautiful! (although, I have to admit, that I kinda want to see a balloon explode!!) hehe

  3. Erica B.
    February 14, 2009 at 11:03 pm

    That bowl is gorgeous Julie! (Much more dramatic than the one Michael Smith did for chocolate mousse when he put plastic wrap over the back of a muffin tin. No threat of a muffin tin exploding lol.) 🙂

  4. Dorothy
    February 15, 2009 at 3:06 am

    The chocolate bowls are great, especially filled with raspberry mousse! My daughter and I once made chocolate paper bags by painting melted chocolate inside small paper bags. It was way too fiddly for me. What did you fill yours with?

  5. Rose
    February 15, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Hi Julie,

    A while back you let us in on the secret for perfect poached eggs (crack them into a bowl before sliding into the boiling water). Well, I did poached eggs for V Day brunch and they were perfect!! Seems lame, but it was quite exciting to finally have the perfectly smooth eggs just like in your picture!
    Thanks so much, I’ve learned lots….Rose

  6. Manon from Ontario
    February 15, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Wow that looks delish!

    Last night for desert, I served strawberries with chocolat dip, yogurt dipp and maple butter dip…

    For breakfast I served pancakes filled with the leftover strawberries, some banana slices, vanilla yogurt and a teaspoon of chocolat sauce, all rolled up and with a coulis of maple syrup on top :p, I think I heard them purring 🙂

    It was meant for yesterdays Vday breakfast but my daughter had to be in school by 8:00 am.

    Your chocolat bowl kinda reminded me of our last two meals…

    Got to go, your show is coming on here in Ontario on Viva in 10 min.

    Take care.


  7. sue.d
    February 15, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    Somehow the idea of exploding chocolate is really quite thrilling, something I think we should all experience at least once. Maybe outdoors (I’ll wait ’till it’s warmer) would be a Good Thing though, hmmmm?

  8. Vivian
    February 15, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Ah, the perfect vessel for my just-made lavender ice cream or the espresso-flavoured one that followed. I figure winter is the perfect time to make use of the ice cream machine, as one can use the great frozen outdoors to prepare the gel canister instead of taking up precious room in the home freezer. Thanks for the inspiration, Julie.

  9. Eleanor
    February 15, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Totally off subject but does anyone have a recipe for Subway Restuarant’s Subway Sauce?

  10. Nancy G
    February 15, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Vivian if you are out there… is your lavender ice-cream recipe something you would want to share? That sounds delicious!

  11. LisaMer
    February 15, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    I’m filing this chocolate bowl idea away for later use! 😉

    Good luck on the home stretch, Julie. I can’t wait for book club!

  12. Margaret
    February 15, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Mrs. M… if you are reading, would you care to expand on the quantity of each ingredient in your crockpot Thai chicken recipe?

  13. Vivian
    February 16, 2009 at 8:16 am

    For Nancy G: I found the lavender ice cream recipe here:

    I didn’t have fresh lavender but used 1/4c. of dried. Make sure the flowers are organic/food grade or from your own garden and pesticide-free.

  14. Nancy G
    February 16, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Thanks Vivian!

  15. Vivian
    February 16, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Margaret, check back to your first post asking for Thai Chicken Thigh ingredient quantities. I posted a very similar recipe there. Note that I originally omitted the 1/4 c. peanut butter…but corrected it with a subsequent post. Hope it’s what you’re after.

  16. Colleen
    February 16, 2009 at 5:17 pm


    I understand this is a bit off topic, but I was wondering if I could get some advice. Some good friends (who are a fantastic couple with two adorable kids) are going through an extremely difficult time right now and I would like to make things a bit easier for them by making some complete meals to freeze and give them. I haven’t done anything like this before and I don’t know where to start. Any advice you may have would be truely appreciated.

  17. margo
    February 16, 2009 at 6:30 pm

    Eleanor: My son works at Subway, and claims the sauce is just an italian dressing.

  18. Margaret
    February 16, 2009 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks Vivian…I found your earlier message re: the Thai Chicken recipe. Will make it this week for sure.

  19. Carolann
    February 17, 2009 at 5:08 am

    Chocolate bowl – ummmm?? Does anyone have a recipe for low fat vanilla ice cream to go with the bowl? Have a new ice cream maker but am hesitant to use recipes that came with the maker – heavy cream and you guessed it high calorie. Geeze does everything good have to be fattening?

  20. JulieVR
    February 17, 2009 at 6:07 am

    The BEST low-fat alternative is fro-yo! But if you strain the yogurt first, and make sure it’s good-quality (none of that gelatin-thickened grocery store crap – and NOT fat free!) it’s completely fantastic! If you start with vanilla yogurt you don’t even need to add anything. Otherwise, just add vanilla extract and sugar to taste. (To strain, scrape it into a sieve lined with paper towel or a coffee filter and let it sit for a couple hours, or cover and refrigerate for up to 24.)

  21. Carolann
    February 17, 2009 at 6:24 am

    Thanks Julie – will give it a try and if I eat the chocolate bowl with this recipe standing up it doesn’t count as calories eh?

  22. Erica B.
    February 17, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Colleen: regarding freezeable meals…this morning’s “It’s Just Food” featured Julie’s ravioli lasagna, which is freezable. Basically in a 9×13 (or whatever size you need) pan layer a good tomato sauce with cooked (fresh) ravioli, thawed chopped frozen spinach (water squeezed out) and a bit of cheese, repeat as necessary, then top with a layer of sauce (be sure to cover the noodles or they get crispy) and then more cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze. Cook from frozen in a 350F oven for 35-45 min(til the cheese is melted and sauce bubbles).

    Otherwise Julie has a whole bunch of freezable meals here: and in my experience any soup (without pasta) freezes well.

    Hope that helps,

  23. Colleen
    February 17, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Thank you, Erica. That was very helpful!

  24. jay your hairstylist
    February 27, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    could you please call me on my cell phone or at the shop because i think your phone # has changed and i need to talk to you.

  25. Jenn
    March 13, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    I saw a woman make a pinata cake for her daughter by placing a chocolate bowl (a rather large one) over a single 8″ round cake covered in her girl’s favorite candies. I figured my soon to be 2 year old son would love being able to dimolish his birthday cake in a few weeks so I searched for ways to make this chocolate bowl and wound up here (thank you Google.).

    Needless to say I found two methods, one involving a balloon, as mentioned (and disclaimed), and the other involving a metal bowl. Not wanting to be discouraged on my main man’s bday I thought I would try both techniques.

    I had read your disclaimer about the balloon popping…. and the lady repainting her ceiling…. and i heard that little voice in my head say, “let it cool another minute”…. but I was curious and put the balloon in the chocolate with my head turned and eyes shut – and nothing happened…. Again, that little voice chimed in, “that should be enough.”…. I went more time around to smooth out the edge…. POP!

    I spent the next 45 minutes cleaning teeny tiny spots to globs of chocolate off of every visible surface in my kitchen.

    So, daring chocolateers – you have been warned.

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