To make larger, curving shapes that resemble free-form bowls, cut a piece of
parchment paper or bubble wrap about 5-by-5 inches square or larger. Using a
small offset spatula or the back of a spoon, spread 1-2 tablespoons of melted
coating onto the square to within a quarter-inch of the edges.
The chocolate should be less than 1/8-inch thick. Carefully pick up the square
at opposite corners and lower it into a small bowl, custard cup or wide goblet
-- chocolate side up -- so the middle sinks somewhat and the outer edges slant
upward. The paper or plastic will curve toward the center in wavy folds, making
a free-form shape. Set the container and its chocolate-coated paper in the
freezer for 1-2 minutes to harden. When set, lift the paper from the bowl and
carefully peel the paper or bubble wrap off the chocolate shell.
Chocolate bowls make impressive desserts. To serve, pipe a pretty design of
chocolate coating or fruit puree onto a white dessert plate, set a chocolate
bowl in the middle, and fill carefully just before serving with flavored whipped
cream, raspberries, sorbet or mousse. Finish the plate with a garnish of fresh
fruit, a white-chocolate lattice or other decorative touch.
Strawberry-Chocolate Mousse Parfait
1 pint basket ripe strawberries, washed, stemmed and
3 T. orange-flavored liqueur or 3 T. frozen orange juice concentrate,
3 T. water
2 1/2 T. sugar, divided
1 C. semisweet chocolate pieces
1 1/2 C. whipping cream, divided
1/2 t. vanilla
Mint sprigs, for garnish, optional
In a bowl, toss strawberries and liqueur; cover and refrigerate.
To make chocolate mousse: In a small saucepan, mix water with 2 tablespoons of
the sugar. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 minute. Place chocolate
pieces in container of electric blender. Immediately add hot sugar mixture.
Blend until chocolate is melted and smooth.
In medium bowl, whip 3/4 cup of the cream to form stiff peaks. With rubber
spatula, fold chocolate into cream to blend thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate
until firm, at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. Just before serving, whip the
remaining 3/4 cup cream to form soft peaks. Beat in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon
sugar and the vanilla.
In four 10 to 12 ounce stemmed wine glasses or in dessert bowls, layer mousse,
whipped cream and strawberries, dividing equally. Garnish with mint sprigs.