Because chocolate is such a precious ingredient, I always want to make the most of it. And sometimes that means making a dramatic presentation with a small quantity of chocolate.  I wanted to make a pretty, delicate chocolate container that was not too difficult (or time consuming) to make and did not require special equipment of molds. A lacy pattern seemed like just the thing for individual desserts for a couple of reasons.  First, because the effect is so unusual in food (and impressive). Secondly, because you can make a container with very little chocolate. (My dessert cups are half an ounce each.) This is desirable not just to be thrifty, but because a huge hunk of chocolate is usually not what you want stuck in the middle of your dessert plate.  But a delicate form you can shatter into shards offers a pleasant textural contrast to a dish-- much like you get with a mint chip or stracciatella ice cream.

It took a few trials for me to hammer out a technique that works, but I finally found  a winner. First, I made a template for a parchment form, which gives you the shape of the bowl.  Then the lace pattern is made by piping loops of tempered chocolate out over the back of the form. ( And don't worry if you don't have a clue how to temper chocolate-- I give details on a microwave method that will give you tempered chocolate in under ten minutes.) Let the chocolate set and then peel away the parchment . Voila!  A stunning, (and simple!) bowl made entirely of chocolate.  I’ve even attached a pdf of my template so you can make your own bowl forms in a snap. The bowls work perfectly for serving ice creams,  mousses or chilled fruit.

The full project writeup is also available on my blog, along with a writeup on tempering chocolate including tips and troubleshooting.

Step 1: Assemble your equipment.

 All your tools should be spotlessly clean and dry. The first two steps (which involve cutting and shaping parchment paper) can be done ahead of time, but once the chocolate is in temper, you’ll only have a limited time to work with it, so it is imperative that your necessary tools will be within reach.

To temper chocolate in the microwave:
at least 3 oz. high quality chocolate* (makes four bowls).  White, milk or dark chocolate will all work equally well.
cutting board
bread knife
metal spatula (substitute butter knife if you don’t have one)
metal dough scraper (substitute metal spatula if you don’t have one)
small glass or ceramic bowl

To make lace bowls:
parchment paper
template (a pdf of my template is attached)
masking tape
plastic lids (optional) These are used to make an extra-flat bottom for the bowl to stand on. If you want to plate your dessert with the bowl tilted to one side this is unnecessary. The tops of plastic containers work well.

*There is a great instructable on how to temper chocolate using the seeding method. The method I describe works best for small quantities of chocolate. If you want to temper more than 8 oz. you should check out the stovetop seeding method!
<p>That is amazing! It looks delicious!</p>
<p>That is amazing! It looks delicious!</p>
<p>That is amazing! It looks delicious!</p>
too nice!
i did try it, although i can't do them right they ended up as solid chocolate lids on miniature pots of whipped cream and berries
It sounds like you might be having a little trouble piping (I am presuming that the chocolate tempering worked for you.) Getting the hang of piping can take a little while. You can make a few cornets and practice piping with ketchup, until you get a feel for it. Hope that helps!
yes i tempered it, but your suggestion sounds great, thanks<br>PS these are so cool, really pretty!
totally going to try this!!!<br>
These look fabulous! I can't wait to try them. :)<br>One question though (probably seems silly but I've only just started dessert cooking), would I just store these in the fridge until I'm ready to use them? How long will they keep for? Thanks in advance. :)<br>
Not a silly question at all! The instructions for my chocolate bowls involve tempering your chocolate. I'm noting this because lots of decorative chocolate recipes are for untempered chocolate, and storage is different for the two. <br><br>Tempered chocolate can be stored unrefrigerated for quite a long time (several months). You do want to keep it in a cool, dry place away from strong odors. After a party I stored a few of these bowls in a plastic bin separated by coffee filters, a month later they looked just as good as new. Tempered chocolate doesn't really go bad in the way that leftovers in the fridge will, but it will lose its temper, getting chalky-looking light colored patches, this is called blooming. Tempered chocolate stored in the refrigerator will actually bloom faster than if it is left out at room temperature. Be careful that room temperature is not at or above 80 degrees, or the chocolate will start to melt. If your house is too hot to store chocolate right now, then go ahead and put the bowls in the fridge for a few days, they'll be fine. <br>
Thank you so much for that! :D I will definitely give them a try. Much appreciated.
How kewl is this? I wondered how people made these. Thanks for the ible.

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Bio: Enthusiastic cook, blogger and (sometimes) crafter.
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