‘Tis the season for hot cocoa. That time of year when the sun sets early and there’s a little chill in the air. Maybe you want to start a fire, snuggle up with your loved ones, or read a good book with a mug of hot something warming your hands? But why settle for boring old, plain old hot chocolate when you could have a chocolate bomb instead?
So what is a hot chocolate bomb?
Hot chocolate bombs are chocolate spheres that contain hot cocoa powder, maybe some marshmallows, and maybe some crushed candy cane. Once you place the sphere into your empty mug, you pour hot coffee or hot milk on top of it and watch as the chocolate melts and the contents come burbling up to the surface, making for a lovely, eventful, and exciting cup of cocoa.
So I first learned about this creation a few months ago, but I didn’t want to do the recipe until it got a little bit colder and it felt more like hot cocoa season. Chocolate bombs have, however, been around for a few years. You can buy these hot cocoa bombs pre-made on sites like Etsy or Harry & David.
But why buy something retail when you can make them yourself at home, right? So when I researched how to make these a few months ago there were just a couple of YouTube videos on them including a Jira Williams video. I based mine loosely on hers, although now there are dozens of videos on how to make them.
So before you start, you’re going to need some kind of hemisphere mold. The most popular one I’ve seen used and the one Jira uses in her video is the silicone red mold (Amazon affiliate link) which I used to make my raindrop cake years ago.
You’re also going to need some compound chocolate. It’s important to use compound chocolate, or baking melts, because you won’t need to temper them. You’ll get a nice beautiful, shiny effect on your finished bombs which is what you want.
OK, so let’s get in the kitchen and make our bombs!
DIY Hot Cocoa Bombs
- Microwave oven
- Non-stick pan
- Silicone mold
- In a microwave-safe bowl, melt one pound of compound chocolate at 30 second intervals until it gets nice and gooey.
- Take about two tablespoons of your warm chocolate and place it into your hemisphere mold. Use the bowl of the spoon to coax the chocolate along the walls, making sure to get enough on the edge of the mold. Tilt and rotate your mold to assure maximal coverage.
- Place mold in the refrigerator for at least five minutes, or until it sets up. (The chocolate should look shiny.)
- Carefully extricate the chocolate from the mold, gently pulling it out. (There may be some cracking along the seams. If this is the case, you could either re-melt or use as is.)
- Warm up a non-stick pan on low for just a few minutes so it's just barely warm. Take your hemisphere and put it on the skillet, rotating it a little bit just to get the edges cleaned off, so they are nice and flat and will stick together.
- Fill one hemisphere with two teaspoons of hot cocoa powder, marshmallows, and candy cane bits. Attach the second hemisphere to the first — and there’s your cocoa bomb!
- You can also drizzle melted chocolate and/or put crushed candy cane on top to finish them off.
Beautiful, but how do they taste?
First of all, make sure to have a mug that is wide enough to accommodate the cocoa bomb. Bring some milk up to the scald and pour it over the bomb resting in your mug.
Now your marshmallows should burst up to the surface of the mug, rolling over delightfully. You can take a spoon to stir everything up, getting all that hot cocoa and chocolate and peppermint to mix into the milk.
Well? Tastes like childhood! Transports you immediately to age seven. So good!!
You’ve got those strange, dehydrated marshmallows on top that are crunchy and have kind of a frosting flavor to them. Overall the beverage doesn’t taste like real chocolate, it tastes more like instant hot cocoa powder — which makes sense given the combination of compound chocolate and hot cocoa mix. The hot chocolate itself is very rich because we used hot whole milk rather than hot water; and then there’s that little bit of peppermint in there. I think I would bump up the peppermint flavor in my next iteration of these. But that’s easy enough to do , even after the fact.
HOLIDAY GIFT IDEA
If you’re looking for a relatively low-cost gift to give for the holidays, I think these would be really fun to give to people — who wouldn’t want an exploding chocolate bomb!? In truth, I am a huge fan of consumable gift giving — something that you make yourself to be enjoyed by those you love!