Chocolate Baskets with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. (Jessica J. Trevino/Detroit Free Press/TNS)
Photo: Jessica J. Trevino/TNS
Photo: Jessica J. Trevino/TNS

Make your own chocolate bowls for Valentine’s Day

Nothing says “I love you” like chocolate. It’s the universal way to melt your valentine’s heart. It’s also good for your heart. Thanks to flavanols, antioxidants also found in berries, red wine and grapes. So in small amounts, chocolate is good for you. Many health experts recommend eating a 1-ounce square of chocolate a day. And the darker the chocolate (which is higher in antioxidants), the better.

 But we love chocolate for other reasons, too. Like being able to mold and shape it. This recipe for small chocolate bowls is made using blown-up balloons as the mold. It works like a charm. We filled the bowls with ice cream and drizzled them with more melted chocolate and garnished with fresh berries. It’s a perfect dessert to make your sweetie swoon. 


Chocolate Baskets with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. (Jessica J. Trevino/Detroit Free Press/TNS) USA
Photo: Jessica J. Trevino/TNS


 Makes: 6 (depending on size) / Preparation time: 10 minutes / Total time: 10 minutes (plus chilling time) 

 You will not use all the melted chocolate, but you need that amount to be able to dip the balloons in. Makes as many chocolate bowls as you like. Or keep the chocolate for another use. 

 Parchment paper 

 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips 

 1 teaspoon vegetable oil plus additional for brushing balloons 

 6 water balloons, blown up (no water) and tied 

 Ice cream, optional 

 Fresh berries, optional 

 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a microwave-safe bowl place the chocolate chips and oil. Microwave for 1 minute. Continue microwaving in 30-second increments, stirring in between, or until chocolate is melted. 

 Lightly brush oil on the balloons opposite the tied end. 

 Spoon a small amount of the melted chocolate in a circle about the size of a 50-cent piece to create a base. 

 Dip the lightly oiled end of the balloon in the chocolate so it coats the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides. Set on the chocolate base and press lightly so it holds in place. Repeat with remaining balloons. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill until set. 

 Pop the balloons and remove and discard the pieces. Fill the chocolate with ice cream, garnish with berries. 

 Note: Most balloons are made of latex, which can cause an allergic reaction. 

 Adapted from several recipes. Tested by Susan Selasky for the Free Press Test Kitchen.

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