Updated: Feb 4
Hot chocolate bombs have been the latest rage on all the baking blogs. You see them everywhere and I had to try them out for myself to see: Can a beginner baker easily create these extra chocolatey explosion delights?
The simple answer is yes!
They look so fancy and elegant but actually do not require a lot of ingredients nor do they require a lot of time. Some chocolate technique is needed, but I will help you through that and give you my tips and tricks for creating the perfect hot chocolate bombs.
It's January here in Germany and we're still in lockdown. Stores and schools are closed unless they are deemed essential (doctor's offices, grocery stores, pharmacies) and schools/daycares are only open to parents who have to go to work. Needless to say, my kiddos are home. While it is frusterating and tiring, my oldest who is in the 1st grade (7 years old) is doing such an amazing job. She gets up before her younger sister, every morning, and works in her room until her schoolwork is finished. No complaining. Then during the day she offers to babysit her sister so I can do Zoom meetings from my home office. She gets 1€ (about 1 US dollar and 20 cents) per hour and is saving up for an expensive pair of earrings. Hmm... wonder where she got that idea from?
These hot chocolate bombs were my way of saying thank you to the most amazing 7 year old I know. Maddy, you are mature beyond your years and you deserve a little extra sparkle in your dessert today. Thank You!
This past weekend it snowed, all day, just about 3 inches (7cm) or so, and to the kids it was dreamland. For this Chicago native, it was a blessing. Just enough snow for the kids to have fun, but not a crazy amount that you have to dig your car out. My girls spent the whole morning outside building a snowman, by themselves, and I secretly whipped up these beauties. By the time they came back inside, we all sat down and enjoyed a show-stopping cup of hot chocolate like we had never experienced.
Our senior dog, Baily, still loves to play in the snow and eat snowballs, even at the age of 12.
What do you need to make Hot Chocolate Bombs.
Silicone half sphere mold (they are easy and not expensive on Amazon. Get at least 3 because they only have 6 half spheres in each tray which is only 3 complete balls AND you will make mistakes, having extra is helpful!)
Baking Chocolate. You can use whatever chocolate you like, I like dark or semi-sweet so that is what I used.
Candy thermometer. You have to temper chocolate and make sure it is in a degree range that is not too hot and not too cold.
Hot Cocoa Powder & Marshmallows
First chop up your chocolate. I used one and a half bars of baking chocolate which equalled to 300 grams. Use bricks of baking chocolate and not chocolate chips. Chocolate chips have other ingredients other than just chocolate and the texture when you temper it will not be exactly what you want. Take the extra time, 5 minutes, and chop your chocolate into small pieces. Doesn't have to be perfect. The chocolate I buy is less than 2€ a block.
Second, microwave or use a double broiler to melt your chocolate. If using the microwave, heat only for a 60 sec increment. Take out the chocolate, stir with a wooden spoon and continue at 30 sec increments until fully melted.
Take a candy thermometer and check the temperature. For tempering dark chocolate you want to get it between 88-95 degrees F. Too hot and it will be too thin and won't coat perfectly. Too cold and your chocolate will be too thick to spread, and will come out looking dull. (this step of cooling takes awhile. Around 20-30 minutes. So take this time to clean up, do a load of laundry, get lunch ready, or just put on some netflix and have a fresh cup of coffee. Hmmm.... which one did I choose?
Ok, I cleaned up while I brewed my coffee.
Here you can do whatever is easiest. You can take a brush and brush on the chocolate. You can fill a measuring cup and pour the chocolate directly into the molds. I used my wooden spoon and just spooned it in. I spread the chocolate around evenly and scooped out the excess. You are just coating the outside, not filling the half spheres completely.
Looks super messy and it is. I was covered in chocolate. No worries! No one will notice. Don't spend so much time on making it perfectly clean. Just pop the tray into the freezer for about 15 minutes to set.
I was SO afraid of the unmolding part. And I was surprised at how easily they just popped out.
TIP: Fill your molds with more chocolate than you think you will need. You can do one layer, let it set, and fill it again with more chocolate creating a thicker shell. I wish I had done this. A few of my half spheres were too thin and cracked.
Even though a few cracked, look at that beautiful sheen. That means the chocolate was perfectly tempered. AND you can just taste test the cracked ones, just in case you were not sure how chocolate tasted.
Aren't you glad you made that extra cup of coffee?!?!
Next is the easy and fun part. You can decorate and fill your cups however you like with whatever goodies and sweets you love in your hot chocolate.
I put a scoop of hot cocoa powder and a small handful of mini-marshmallows into half of the spheres. I also tempered some white chocolate and used some food coloring to get some pretty pinks and blues. However, once it came to decorating I realized that just the white chocolate with some silver and white decorations looked so elegant. So I didn't use the colored chocolate at all.
To attach the half spheres together is easier than it might seem. Just heat a frying pan and once it is hot, take one half sphere and lightly place it on the pan for a second or two. This will melt just the edges creating a chocolate 'glue' that will make the two half spheres adhere to each other.
After a hard morning of building it was time to enjoy our special treat.
And now time for our Hot Chocolate Bombs to be put to the test!
My girls were wowed beyond belief and I couldn't have been happier to give them this extra special treat.