First off way to go! Many people are intimidated by chocolate. But as one of my Chef Mentors told me a long time ago “everything is easy when you know how to do it”. So let me give you some tips. First and foremost, make sure you have fun! Chocolate is a food of love.
Some chocolate cup tips:
To make great chocolate cups you have to start with great chocolate. Pretty simple, but I can’t stress that point enough.
Use a small, clean inflated balloon to dip into tempered chococolate, then lean it against something to set on aluminum foil or parchment paper, chocolate side down. Once cool and firm (10min or so) gently remove balloon. This way you end up with a uniform shape with a small “foot” on the bottom to support and display your dessert creations.
Let’s say you wanted to make a trifle or small chocolate cake, individual size resting in a perfectly fitting chocolate shell. After you bake and let your cake cool, cut small rounds 2.5-3 inches wide. Wrap them in plastic wrap so that you have something to hold onto at the top, dip them halfway into the tempered chocolate and let set on aluminum foil or parchment paper. Once set, carefully remove the cakes and plastic wrap. Then you can build little layer cakes in the cups for a real show stopper.
Tempering is a specific way to melt and control the crystallization of chocolate so your chocolate doesn’t “bloom” or show streaks of white on the surface. When chocolate is properly tempered it contracts, making it much easier to remove from molds, or balloons, or anything else for that matter. If you want more information on tempering let me know, I would be happy to discuss.