Sunday, December 13, 2009

Chocolate Bombes and A Giveaway

 Ed wanted chocolate bombes for his birthday, and this is what we came up with.  I'm warning you, this is an intense dessert.  One hemisphere is plenty, and the whipped cream really helps to cut the heavy chocolate.  It's a chocolate meringue hemispherical shell, filled with dark chocolate mousse, sealed with a chocolate meringue disk, enrobed in a milk chocolate glaze.  I think next time I'd do a milk chocolate mousse with a semisweet chocolate glaze to cut down the intensity just a bit.

There are a few components for these chocolate bombes, but you can easily spread the work over a few days if necessary.  And they were great!  If you need a little pep talk first before attempting something a little more complicated, then I highly recommend Julia Child's book, My Life in France.  I read it a month or so ago, and it was truly inspirational.  Julia was in her late 30's when she began taking culinary classes at the Cordon Bleu in France; she was almost 50 when her masterpiece Mastering the Art of French Cooking was finally published after 10 years of hard work.  She was  meticulous in her research and with her recipes, really makes you believe that you can do anything with enough practice.

This book meant so much to me that I really want you to read it too (plus I really want to meet some of you, my stats counter keeps telling me you're really out there, now's your chance to prove it!).  So I'm giving away a brand new copy!  I hope that reading about her experiences inspires you too, or at least gets you in the kitchen.  Just leave a comment below between now and Monday December 21st at 11:59pm EST, and tell me what inspires you these days - in the kitchen, at work, or maybe just in your daydreams...  (sorry, only open to North American residents.)  Tweet about the giveaway and leave a link in the comments for a second entry.  Or leave a comment on a previous blog post for another entry.

You'll need hemisphere molds to make the bombes as pictured.  I have these.  If you don't have molds, you could try making meringue/mousse stacks or sandwiches (make the meringue disks as indicated, and pipe layers of mousse between meringue disks; glaze).

Unglazed chocolate bombes

Recipe:  Makes 6 2.75" chocolate bombes.

For the meringue:

3 large egg whites
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa

Preheat the oven to 200F.  

Beat the whites on mediums speed with the whisk attachment of your stand mixer (or hand mixer).  When the whites begin to form soft peaks, increase the speed to high and slowly add the sugar, about 1 tablespoon at a time.  Continue beating to stiff peaks  

Place the powdered sugar and cocoa in a medium bowl, and stir together with a whisk or fork until thoroughly combined.  Gently shake the cocoa/sugar mixture over the whites, and fold until just combined.

Fill a decorating bag with the meringue, and use a plain tip 1/2" wide (or just cut a 1/2" hole in the bag).  Pipe the meringue into the molds (6 hemispheres, with 2.75" diameter).  If the meringue is stiff enough, you can pipe the meringue along the shell of the hemisphere mold; otherwise fill the shell about half-way and use a spoon to gently spread the meringue over the whole mold.  You want about a 1/4" thick layer over the whole mold.

With a pen or pencil, trace six 2.75" circles (or whatever diameter circles your hemishpheres are) on a sheet of parchment paper.  Flip the parchment paper over (you should still be able to see the circles), and pipe meringue disks onto the circles.  Start in the center of the circle and work outward.

Place the hemisphere mold on a baking sheet and bake the hemispheres and disks for about 2 hours until completely dry and crisp.  Store in a dry, airtight container for up to three days; or store in the freezer.

Meringue Disks (for the bottom of the bombes)

For the mousse:

6 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet or milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup heavy cream
Additional heavy cream to whip for garnish.

Place the chocolate in a medium-size bowl.  Throw in a pinch of salt (maybe 1/4 teaspoon).  Add the  vanilla extract.

Bring 1/2 cup heavy cream to a boil.  Pour it into the bowl of chocolate.  Let sit for one minute.  Then stir until smooth. Alternatively, pour the chocolate into the pan of cream (off heat), and stir until smooth.

Whip the remaining 1 cup cream to firm peaks.  Gently fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream.  

You'll have extra mousse.  Enjoy now, or freeze for later.

Plated Chocolate Bombe

For the milk chocolate glaze:  (adapted from Payard)

4 ounces milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream

Place the chocolate and corn syrup in a medium bowl.  Bring the cream to a boil, and pour over the chocolate.  Let sit for one minute, then stir until smooth.

Unglazed bombe - upside down


Fill the bombes with the chocolate mousse.  Use a knife to level it off, and carefully place one meringue disk over the mousse.  Be very careful, as the meringues are delicate.  Freeze for at least an hour.  Move the bombes to the fridge about an hour or two before serving (you can serve straight from the freezer if you want the meringue to retain its crispness, but I like it a little softer).

When ready to serve, pour milk chocolate glaze over the bombes, and serve with whipped cream.   


The schmaltzy version 

Stumble Upon Toolbar


  1. I don't know if this is fair, since you probably want to hear from people you don't know IRL. But I'll post a comment anyway.

    As for what inspires me at work: Just living in Hawaii, and not wanting to have to leave here. Every week, I try to do something really amazing (watching a big wave surfing competition last week, an amazing hike yesterday, and so on). It reminds me how lucky I am to live here. Then I get back to work, or I'm going to blow it.

    In the kitchen: I like the book "Think Like Chef" by Tom Collicchio. These days, I go to the farmer's market two or three times a week, buy whatever looks amazing, and know that I can cook it up into something delicious. I also really like this blog:

  2. Baking inspires me. I love coming home from work and baking!

  3. This one is from Jennifer Andreadakis Jensen. My love for my family inspires me to try new things. As I have served my family, I have learned how to sew dresses, french braid hair, paint, cut hair, decorate cakes, make home repairs, research numerous topics for school projects, volunteer in various capacities at schools, etc.

    I don't love cooking but I love serving my family healthy meals. They feel better and I feel better knowing they are eating right. My mother-in-law died of colon cancer so I make sure my family has a healthy dose of fiber. My current favorite cookbook is "Pressure Perfect" by Lorna Sass. My pressure cooker has been perfect for making whole grains and dry beans in 1/3 the time. Great for the busy Mom.

  4. Lately I've been inspired by wonderful raw materials (whether that means gorgeous yarn or fresh vegetables or something else).

  5. I want to try cooking korean/asian food in general, just went to a korean restaurant few days ago and it was so delicious!

  6. I am inspired by the new items the grocery store carries and by watching Food Network. Thanks for a GREAT giveaway!

  7. wow! these chocolate bombes are truly inspiring! lately i am especially intrigued by images i see on various blogs, so i have a running list of links that i want to go back and make! i'd love to see more "in-process photos" for this recipe...

  8. these Sound Great , and look so fancy I can't wait to try them First to get a mold to make them in How about Almond and Chocolate Almond Ice cream With a mint white chocolate glaze? lol sorry but I love to Cook And love to try all kinds of things and put my own twist to it. OR try French vanilla ice cream with Vanilla meringues and a eggnog Glaze.? LOL OK I,ll stop now I,m making me hungry.

  9. I get inspired to cook for my family while I'm at home for the holidays. Thanks for the giveaway and the great blog!


    zekks at yahoo dot com

  10. Michelle - of course it counts, you were actually the first person I know in real life to leave a comment on my blog in 6 months!

    Anna - yeah, I should take more "in process" pics... I wish I had better light in the kitchen. Assembly isn't too tricky though.

    Lady Snowstrixx: I know, so many great flavor combinations! I see a chocolate/peanut butter bombe in my future. And you can always make meringue/mousse sandwiches until you get the molds.

    Thanks for the sweet comments y'all.

  11. Especially since people you know IRL are eligible, I was inspired to post by your next post. I do remember the movie you mention, though I think I've only seen it once. I very much enjoy reading your recipes, even if they tend to be too chocolate-y for my taste. I do have my eye on some of the non-chocolate recipes though, for when I find a little time.

  12. I am inspired by all of the many cooking blogs. I love tastespotting!

  13. Matt - make the pumpkin bread, it's one of my absolute favorites! Or the peanut butter cake (not too much chocolate, and you can always do the cream cheese frosting in the filling instead)

  14. It's usually all about the Christmas music for me right now. However, my daughter will be 2 in January so this the first Christmas she really is into Christmas. I love it!

  15. Everything inspires me. We decided to build a house in the country but couldn't find anyone way out here who knew how to use the product we wanted to build with. We ended up building it ourselves. We are NOT builders. It took 7 years and we made some mistakes. We hired out the difficult stuff like foundation, electrical, rough in plumbing and roof. We did everything else ourselves by trial and error, asking a lot of questions at the home improvement center and reading on the Internet. Ever since we finished, I have found that I am willing to try anything. I see an item I want to add to the house and I think "I can make that myself, save money and tweek it so it is exactly what I want". The same is true for my cooking. I am no longer afraid to try difficult recipes. About once every other month I make something that neither one of us will eat but that's all a part of the process. The rest of the time we are eating good.

  16. Baking inspires me these days, but it should be my academic and professional goals.

  17. Such adorable bombes! And what a fun giveaway =D. Lately, what has inspired me has been beautiful blogs. That, combined with my need for gluten free, always keeps me going!