Popping up for a special brunch, bridal shower or any kind of fun occasion is this sweet posy idea. There's a surprising secret behind the dessert cups. "You dip blown-up balloons in melted confectionery coating to create the flower shapes," Barbara says. "Then you let the coating dry and pop the balloons. The cups look complicated, but they're actually a breeze." What guest like best when Barbara brings this treat out at the end of a meal is that the flower cups are entirely edible. "People are always amazed," Barbara relates.
- Seven 7-inch round balloons
- 1 pound white candy coating, coarsely chopped
- Yellow paste food coloring
- CHERRY FLUFF:
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling, divided
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
- Sliced almonds and fresh mint, optional
- Wash, rinse and dry outside of balloons. Inflate one balloon to a 6-in. diameter and tie end. Inflate remaining balloons to a 3-in. diameter and tie ends. Wash, rinse and dry tied ends. Spray balloons with cooking spray.
- In the 2-qt. bowl, microwave candy coating until melted; stir until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes; add food coloring. Holding tied end of large balloon, dip it into the coating. Form four to six petals by rolling the balloon back and fourth in coating halfway up the sides. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet to dry, about 2 hours.
- Repeat with smaller balloons, creating only four petals. Set aside to dry, about 1 hour.
- Just before serving, cut tied ends of balloons with scissors to deflate. Remove balloon. See recipe (right) for serving directions.
- Cherry Fluff Filling: In a small saucepan, soften gelatin in water. Cook and stir over low heat until dissolved. In a food processor or blender, puree 1 cup of pie filling. Set remaining filling aside. In a bowl, combine pureed filling, gelatin mixture, sugar, lemon juice, almond extract and salt. Cover and refrigerate until mixture reaches the consistency of egg whites. Fold in the whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.
- To serve, place large flower cup on a serving platter; fill with Cherry Fluff. Surround with small flower cups. Spoon fluff into small cups; to with reserved pie filling. If desired, garnish each with almonds for stamens and mint for leaves. Yield: 6 servings.
Originally published as Fluff-Filled Flower Cups in Country Woman May/June 1998, p14
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