How to make a Bake Off-inspired melting chocolate dome
This step-by-step beginner's guide will help you make the ultimate decoration for a chocolate dessert – all you need are some balloons and chocolate
Chocolate domes that melt to reveal a hidden inside are not just turning up on The Great British Bake Off, they're on-trend on restaurant menus and available ready-made from the supermarkets – they are the dessert of the moment.
They might look like culinary magic but you can easily make them at home, with this simple recipe.
Follow BBC Good Food’s handy guide and surprise your guests...
How to make a chocolate dome
Chop 150g dark chocolate and melt it, either by putting it in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water (but not touching the water), or in a microwave, stirring after every 30 secs. If you're microwaving it, be sure to do it in short bursts, mixing often, as the chocolate can burn easily if left unchecked.
Once melted, leave to cool for around 5 mins. You want the chocolate to be still runny but not too thin so it all slides off.
Blow up two balloons until they are the size you want your domes to be (it's a good idea to cut whatever you are hiding underneath into the size you want first, about 10cm should do). Sit them knot-side down in a mug or glass tumbler.
Coat them in a spray cooking oil (or brush them with a flavourless oil such as grapeseed) then dip the tops into the melted chocolate. Let any excess drip off and then return them to the mug or glass and chill for at least 1 hr or overnight. The neater you make the edges as you dip, the neater your dome will be.
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Once set firm, if you are worried that the chocolate is too thin, re-melt the chocolate and dip the domes again.
When the domes are set, pop the balloon carefully by snipping the knots off with scissors, the balloons will deflate so you can pull them gently from the domes. Keep the domes chilled until you need them, and be careful as they will be quite fragile.
When you are ready to serve put a square chocolate brownie on each plate, added a scoop of ice cream and a scattering of pecans. For extra wow-factor pour over the warm caramel sauce to melt the dome and reveal the dessert underneath.
You could also use a chocolate sauce instead of caramel, we like the one in this recipe.