Photo: Cactu Soup/iStockphoto
The most spectacular Easter dessert ever. If you're in a hurry, just make the shells and fill them with ice cream or sorbet.
680 g white chocolate chips
6 to 8 small round balloons, (use the heavy-duty ones meant for helium, not the dollar-store variety)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
1/2 cup granulated sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups 35% cream
Put the white chocolate chips in a heatproof bowl or saucepan set over a saucepan full of hot—not boiling—water. Stir until melted and smooth.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with waxed paper.
Blow up the balloons until no more than 4 to 5 in. (10 to 12 cm) in diameter. Tie a knot at the opening. Working with one balloon at a time, hold it by the knot and dip the bottom into the melted chocolate until it comes about halfway up the sides of the balloon. It's OK if the top edge of the chocolate is uneven—you may have to tilt and roll the balloon to coat it. Let the excess drip off for a moment, then dip again into the chocolate to make a double thickness of the coating.
Place, standing up, on the waxed paper. Repeat until you've used up all the balloons or all the chocolate. Refrigerate until very firm. When completely firm, pierce each balloon with a pin to deflate and carefully pull out of the chocolate. Discard balloon. Keep shells refrigerated until ready to fill.
Now make the filling. In a medium saucepan (preferably one with a heavy bottom), whisk together the lemon juice, zest, sugar and eggs. Add the butter, cut into chunks, and place the saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking often. The butter will melt (keep whisking), then the mixture will begin to thicken (keep whisking).
When the mixture is thick enough to leave whisk marks on the surface and the first bubble appears on the surface, remove from heat. This will take about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, cover the surface with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold—at least an hour.
Beat the whipping cream until stiff. Add half of the lemon mixture into the cream (reserve the rest), carefully folding it with a spatula so that no streaks remain—but don't deflate the cream. Spoon into the prepared shells, dividing the mixture evenly among them. Into the centre of each shell, spoon a dollop of the reserved lemon mixture (see—the yolk!).