How Not to Make a Parmesan Bowl

Ahhhhh… Parmesan – my favorite cheese. When I found out about Parmesan bowls from the Hearts of Palm Salad recipe in this Behind the Burner video, you can imagine my level of excitement! Hello! Edible bowls of cheese!!!! I had to attempt to make them right away.

This is what a successful Parm bowl looks like - (mine did not look like this, AT ALL)

image via

Most recipes are just like this one. All you have to do is put a thin layer of the cheese in the sauté pan on medium-low heat, wait for the cheese to bubble, remove it from the heat, wait for it to stop bubbling, then flip the pan upside-down, over an upside-down bowl and wait for it to harden in the shape of a bowl. Easy right? No, it’s not. At all.

After about 5 Parmesan Bowl attempts, with 1.5 successes, I now know exactly what not to do when making these scrumptious treats.

1) DO NOT use a cup to drape the cheese over, follow the recipe and use a bowl. I thought all my bowls were too wide on the bottom to make a normal bowl shape out of the Parmesan, but I was wrong. If at any point during your Parmesan Bowl attempt, you think to yourself, “my cups would be a better size for these than a bowl.” THINK AGAIN. Cups have too dramatic of an incline, the cheese breaks too easily when using cups. Use bowls.

:(

2) Do not put too much cheese in the pan. Use a very modest amount, if you think you put too much, you probably did. When the cheese is draped over the bowl, it could easily rip if it’s too heavy (which it will be if you put too much cheese). Also, you’ll be wasting cheese and that is not good for anyone.

Too Much Cheese

3) Do not try and drape the cheese over the upside down bowl before it is ready. Make sure the cheese hardens in the pan (off the heat) for an adequate amount of time (2-3 minutes) before attempting to drape over bowl. If it is not hard enough, it will rip.

Parm was not hard enough, so it ripped. I tried to put it back together, it didn't work.

4) Do not use good Parm, use Kraft or something. The faker, the better, the more elastic the cheese will be when its melted. Even though I read a recipe that said cheaper grated Parm works better, don’t go artisan cheese on this one, I did anyway. Why? I don’t know, I just love good Parm. This may or may not be the reason for so many failed attempts.

damn you, artisan Parmesan

5) DO NOT, for one second, think your clothes won’t get greasy. They will. Melted Parm creates more grease than Pauly D’s hair. Wear clothes that you don’t care about because when you get grease all over a nice shirt, you will not be happy. Just like I was not happy when this experiment ended up ruining my tank top. I guess that’s just the price I had to pay for a Parmesan bowl. Don’t let it happen to you! (image via)

THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF CHEESE!! See the grease?

I finally figured it out!

Left Bowl: Success | Right Bowl: a little burned, but good enough

Now that you know all the mistakes, you’ll be making successful Parm bowls in no time!

Enjoy!

7 Comments

  1. wolfshowl says:

    Haha, I love how honest you were about the struggles! Trial and error is half the fun of cooking. That’s why I like the old cooking shows. They didn’t try to make the chefs look perfect. They just showed them cooking and mistakes happen sometimes!

  2. Tim Weinstein says:

    HAHAHAHA more greasy than Pauly D’s hair? YOU SLAY ME MEESH…

  3. kathi dougherty says:

    love the commentary, thanks for sharing! I’ll be attempting about 16 of these for bunko on thursday night!

  4. K.K says:

    Lol! Straight comedy! Love the honesty And struggle! Brightened my day, nice work.

  5. Marie says:

    It works well with cheddar cheese I let it brown a little in the pan, then flip it over and brown a little on the other side and then I molded it in a cupcake pan quickly while it was still hot, they are great!

  6. Manuela says:

    Due to your try outs my cheese cups came out perfect :-) thank you !

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