Since we are getting closer to Easter, it only seems a good idea to write about chocolate. Chocolate can be delicious, yet tricky at the same time. Especially when you try to temper it, which is what I am going to write about today.
But, it is so tempting, both to grown ups and to little helping hands. If there is one thing the little monkey’s will never turn down, it’s definitely chocolate.
I have made chocolate bowls by tempering chocolate. These are perfect for giving away little chocolate presents of homemade treats, or you can use them so serve dessert in instead of a normal bowl. The latter being what I was using them for this time. I first encountered these chocolate bowls, or the making of them, last year at a chocolate cooking class. We have this beautiful little Belgian chocolate shop in town that delivers classes on making different things with chocolate. They of course started selling the Easter bunny chocolates several weeks ago and when visiting the shop recently, I had a hard time convincing the 4 year old monkey that “no, he could not have a 4 kg chocolate Easter bunny” 🙂
- Steel bowl
- Saucepan in a size that ensures you can melt the chocolate in the bowl without having the bowl being immersed in water.
- Small balloons blown up
- Cooking thermometer that is accurate, preferably digital to keep good control of the temperature.
- Silicone spatula
2 * 500 grams good quality dark chocolate
For 6 small chocolate bowls, you need to do the same procedure twice to ensure the bowls are sturdy enough.
I prefer to use little chocolate buttons to avoid too much mess and chopping, if you are using a block of chocolate, then chop it into small bits before starting the melting.
The way to temper chocolate well, is to warm approximately 2/3 of the chocolate you are using in a water bath and once all is melted, take it off the heat and add the remaining 1/3 of chocolate. Stir until it all melts. and then cool down while stirring gently.
Involve your kids:
- You will likely have a bit of chocolate leftovers both after the first and second dipping. A good way to get it used is to let your kids dip fruit and berries in it for a treat. Strawberries, banana, apples and firm pears make good dipping fruits. Give them some skewers or forks and they will be happy to help! 🙂
- Another idea is to let them make little chocolates for later. Give them a spoon and a waxed baking paper and tell them to make circles on the paper the chocolate. They can sprinkle nuts or color sprinkles on top and leave to set. Then you’ll have homemade chocolates for Easter too.
Obs! Expect some cleaning after this though! 🙂
1. Put 350 grams of chocolate in a steel bowl and place it over the pot with simmering water. Melt it while stirring gently with the spatula.
2. Once all the chocolate is melted, take the steel bowl off and place on a towel to dry. Add the remaining chocolate to the mix and stir until melted.
3. Now comes the tricky part, bringing the chocolate gently down to 30 degrees Celsius. This is mainly a waiting game. Stir gently ensure it cools down evenly.
4. Once it reaches 30 degrees, dip the balloons into the mix to cover the base in chocolate, one by one.
5. Place the chocolate covered balloons on a waxed baking paper to set. They will then set at room temperature. This is again a bit of a waiting game.
Once they have set properly (give them 1-2 hours), then repeat from start with fresh chocolate.
Once set the second time, pop the balloons gently by cutting a small incision at the top. Pull the rubber out gently and firmly and make sure not to leave any little pieces. Put in a cool area out of any sun light to rest until you are ready to use them.
If you use a good quality, darker chocolate, then you can easily make these dairy free.
I have used chocolate from Callebaut, at 54% cocoa, and that is without any type of dairy. So if you can get your hands on it, you do not have to go very bitter to get the dairy free varieties. This chocolate is nice and sweet and the kids love it! 🙂