What’s Up, Hungry People
Come with me into a world of imagination as I attempt to recreate the iconic edible tea cups from the 1971 movie classic: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Inspired by the novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, the movie follows Charlie Bucket, a poor boy who wins a chance to meet the eccentric Willy Wonka for a scrumdiddlyumptious tour of the chocolate factory Wonka has created.
Honestly if you haven’t seen this movie yet or haven’t watched in a while, do yourself a favor and watch it the next time you have the chance! It surprisingly holds up – and the parts that don’t are made up for with hilarious internet memes.
One of the most unforgettable scenes in the movie is when the group of lucky golden ticket finders enters Wonka’s chocolate room for the first time, encountering an enchanting forest filled with candy from floor to ceiling.
That scene has been etched into my memory for as long as I can remember – as a kid, I too dreamed of an opportunity to enter the whimsical world of Willy Wonka.
One such treat that has eluded the internet for ages is Willy Wonka’s edible tea cup. In the 1970s movie, the tea cup was likely made from wax, and Gene Wilder probably did a quick spit take immediately after taking a bite.
Well, I’ve been thinking about this tea cup for decades now – and after multiple requests to make it popped up over on TikTok, I knew it was high time to make the famous flower for myself.
In fact, making this tea cup flower in real life is actually quite easy. All you need are some water balloons and yellow candy melts!
What Are Candy Melts?
Candy melts or chocolate wafers, also known as confectionery coating, are a type of confectionery product commonly used for melting, dipping, and decorating various sweet treats. They are similar in taste to white chocolate but come in a variety of vibrant colors that can be used in many different applications.
Candy melts have a smooth texture and are designed to melt easily and harden quickly, making them ideal for coating cookies, cake pops, pretzels, and other desserts. They have a similar consistency to chocolate but do not require tempering, which is the process of heating and cooling chocolate to stabilize its crystalline structure.
Though I still temper my candy melts out of habit, that step is completely optional.
Creating the Petal Cups
To start, we’ll craft the edible tea cup itself. Begin by melting the yellow candy melts in the microwave until smooth. If you prefer, you can also use a double boiler method for melting. Stir until the candy melts are velvety and free of lumps.
To achieve a glossy texture, you can perform a quick tempering process by stirring in some room temperature candy melts. This helps stabilize the structure and creates a smoother finish. Allow the melted chocolate to cool for a few minutes, ensuring it is still pliable.
Next, inflate a water balloon about halfway, making sure not to overinflate it as it may pop when dipped into the melted chocolate. Gently squeeze and shape the balloon into a cylindrical form before dipping it into the chocolate. By rocking the balloon from side to side, you can create beautiful “petals” along the sides. Transfer the coated balloons onto a chilled baking sheet, which will aid in quick setting, and place the sheet in the fridge for a few minutes.
Crafting the Flower Base
While the petal cups are setting, let’s work on the flower base. Line a tea plate with parchment paper. Using a spoon, dab melted chocolate onto the four corners of the parchment, creating petals. Then, gently drag the spoon towards the center to form a plate for the petal cups to rest on. Place the plates in the fridge to set.
Adding the Finishing Touches
In the meantime, let’s create handles for the tea cups. Shape melted chocolate into the desired form for the handles and set them in the fridge to harden.
Once the petal cups, flower bases, and handles are ready, it’s time to assemble everything. Carefully remove the water balloons by popping them with scissors, ensuring no balloon remnants remain inside the cups. If the bottom of a cup is missing, dip it into more melted candy to fill the hole. For added stability, adhere the cups to the flower bases. Attach a handle to each cup, and voila! Your fully assembled, fully edible teacups are ready to serve.
Helpful Tips for Making Will Wonka’s Candy Tea Cups
- Melting Candy Melts: When melting candy melts, it’s important to do so gradually and at a low heat. Use short bursts of microwave heat or a double boiler to prevent overheating and ensure a smooth consistency.
- Adding Gloss and Texture: To enhance the glossiness and texture of the melted candy melts, perform a quick tempering process. This involves mixing in some room temperature candy melts to the melted chocolate, which helps stabilize the structure and create a smoother finish.
- Chilling for Stability: Placing the dipped balloons on a chilled baking sheet helps the melted candy set quickly and provides a stable base for the petal cups. A cold baking sheet or parchment paper can be used to ensure the cups maintain their shape.
- Creating the Flower Base: When forming the flower base, make sure the chocolate petals extend beyond the cup’s diameter to provide ample support. You can swirl the spoon in the center to create a well for the cup to rest on.
- Handle Preparation: Mold the handles from the remaining melted candy melts and set them in the fridge to harden. It’s a good idea to make extra handles as they can be delicate and prone to breaking.
- Removing the Balloon: When popping the balloons, do so carefully with scissors. Check for any balloon remnants stuck inside the cup and remove them to ensure a clean and edible teacup.
- Filling in the Bottom: If a cup has a hole at the bottom, you can dip it into additional melted candy melts to fill in the gap. This will ensure your cup is fully enclosed and ready for serving.
- Serving and Liquids: These edible teacups are best suited for serving very cold liquids, such as iced tea, to prevent melting. Avoid using hot liquids as they may cause the cups to soften and lose their shape.
- Storage and Shelf Life: Edible teacups made with candy melts are best consumed within a few days after assembly. Store them in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator to maintain their freshness.
- Experiment and Have Fun: Feel free to experiment with different colors, flavors, and decorations when creating your edible teacups. Let your creativity soar and have fun with this whimsical culinary project!
Serving and Enjoying
To truly appreciate these whimsical creations, serve them with chilled beverages such as iced sweet tea. Indulge in a quick sip from your edible tea cup, savoring the magical experience it offers.
Remember, these cups are fully edible, from the cup to the plate, but be cautious and only serve cold liquids in them to prevent melting.
These tea cups have been on my list of foods to make since I was a literal kid, so bringing it to life felt like I won the golden ticket, and got to step into Willy Wonka’s factory and bring these teacups home as a souvenir.
What fictional feasts should I recreate next? Let me know in the comments! Or head on over to TikTok to leave your suggestions!
Edible Tea Cups from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory
- 24-32 oz yellow candy melts or white chocolate yellow candy melts
- ice cold tea for serving
- Begin by placing a large baking sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to expedite the setting process.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, pour half of the candy melt wafers. Microwave the wafers in 30-second intervals until they start to melt. Alternatively, you can use a double boiler to melt the wafers.
- Stir the melted wafers until smooth, then add the remaining unmelted candy wafers. Allow the new wafers to sit for a few minutes to melt into the hot ones, helping to temper the candy melts for a better texture.
- Inflate a water balloon about halfway with air, ensuring not to overinflate as it may cause the balloons to pop when dipped in the melted candy.
- Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and place it next to your work station.
- Dip the balloon into the melted chocolate, ensuring an even coating on the bottom.
- While keeping the bottom of the balloon in the melted candy, tip the balloon about 45 degrees in different directions (left, right, up, and down) to create petal shapes up the sides of the balloon.
- Quickly transfer the dipped balloons one by one onto the chilled baking sheet. Hold the balloons upright for a few seconds to set the base, then carefully transfer the entire baking sheet to the refrigerator to finish setting the cups.
- While the cups are setting, create the flower base by lining a tea plate with a 5×5 piece of parchment. Use a spoon to dab melted chocolate onto the four corners of the parchment, then drag the chocolate into the center to create petals. Swirl the spoon in the center to form a plate for the petal cups to rest on. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill.
- Transfer the remaining melted candy to a plastic baggie and snip off one corner. Use this baggie to pipe handle shapes onto a long piece of parchment paper placed on a baking sheet. Transfer to the refrigerator to chill.
- Once the cups are fully set, carefully pop the balloons and gently remove them from the insides. If the bottom of a cup is missing due to the balloon sinking while setting, dip the end of the cup in some melted chocolate to seal it up.
- Place the cups onto the prepared plate and use a small amount of melted chocolate to secure them in place. Chill until ready to serve.
- While the cups are fully edible from cup to plate and can be filled with liquid, ensure they are kept chilled until ready to serve. Serve only very cold liquids or desserts within the cups, as anything warmer than room temperature may cause the candy to melt.
- Serve these delightful edible tea cups with your favorite floral tea and enjoy the whimsy as if you were touring the rest of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory!