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German Chocolate Bombes


Yields 10 individual bombes

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 114

These showstoppers are a creative spin on a classic dessert. Here, individual ganache-glazed chocolate cake bombes are filled with decadent chocolate mousse and creamy pecan-coconut pudding. And, they're the perfect ending for a dinner party because you can make them ahead.

For the cake
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 oz. (1/4 cup) natural cocoa powder 
  • 1-1/2 cups boiling water  
  • 7 oz. (1-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda 
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt 
  • 1-1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar  
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature  
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, at room temperature 
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
This recipe contains raw eggs; if that’s a concern, buy pasteurized.
For the coconut-pecan filling
  • 3-1/4 oz. (about 1 cup) sweetened, shredded dried coconut, toasted and cooled
  • 3 oz. (2/3 cup) pecans, toasted and cooled
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar  
  • 2-1/2 oz. (5 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cut into chunks 
  • 6 large egg yolks 
  • 1 5-oz. can evaporated milk 
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
For the chocolate mousse
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (preferably 70% cacao), chopped (about 1 cup) 
  • 3-1/2 oz. (7 Tbs.) unsalted butter 
  • 2 large eggs, separated 
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar 
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream 
  • 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract 
  • Pinch kosher salt 
For the glaze
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate (preferably 70% cacao), finely chopped (about 1 cup) 
  • 2 Tbs. light corn syrup 
  • 1 cup heavy cream 
Make the cake

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Coat a 13x18-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

Put the chocolate and cocoa in a medium heatproof bowl, add the boiling water, and whisk to combine and melt the chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly. In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. 

Beat the sugar and butter in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl halfway through. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Slowly add the buttermilk and vanilla—the batter will look curdled at this point. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Alternate adding the flour mixture (in 3 additions) with the chocolate mixture (in 2 additions), ending with the flour mixture. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and tap the pan on the counter to level the batter.

Bake until the cake springs back when poked in the center with a finger, about 20 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. (Well-wrapped, the cake will keep for up to 2 days in the refrigerator, or up to 1 month in the freezer.) 

Make the coconut-pecan filling

Pulse the coconut and pecans in a food processor until they resemble coarse cornmeal. 

Combine the sugar, butter, egg yolks, evaporated milk, and vanilla in a 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a spoon or spatula, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spoon and hold a trail when a finger is drawn through it, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip on high speed until cooled, fluffy, and slightly lightened in color, 6 to 10 minutes. Add the coconut-pecan mixture and beat on medium speed until combined, 1 minute more. Refrigerate until ready to use. (You can refrigerate the filling for up to 1 week.) 

Make the chocolate mousse

Melt the chocolate and butter in a large bowl set in a skillet of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat and stir with a spatula to combine. Set aside to cool slightly. 

Whip the egg whites in a clean stand mixer fitted with a clean whisk attachment on medium-high speed to soft peaks, 1 to 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar and continue to whip to stiff peaks, 3 to 4 minutes. 

In a medium bowl, whip the cream with a whisk or electric hand mixer to medium-stiff peaks. 

In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt. Mix the egg yolk mixture into the chocolate mixture with a spatula. Fold in the whipped egg whites, then fold in the whipped cream—there shouldn’t be any visible streaks. 

Assemble the bombes

Set two silicone bombe molds that hold at least 5 bombes each (3-1/4-inch diameter and 1/2-cup capacity) on a 13x18-inch rimmed baking sheet. 

Turn the cake out onto a cutting board. Use a 3-1/8-inch round cutter to cut 10 circles from the chocolate cake. Reserve the remaining cake for another use. 

Scoop about 1/4 cup of the mousse into each mold and smear it evenly all over the insides of the molds with the back of a small spoon. Refrigerate or freeze until set, 10 to 20 minutes. Evenly distribute the coconut-pecan filling among the molds (about 2-1/2 Tbs. each), and then gently press a cake circle into each mold. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Unmold the frozen bombes one at a time onto a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Let sit until nearly room temperature, 2 to 3 hours.

Glaze the bombes

Put the chopped chocolate and corn syrup in a medium stainless-steel bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium-high heat until just boiling, then pour it over the chocolate mixture and let sit for 3 minutes. Whisk gently until smooth. Transfer to a liquid measuring cup for easy pouring.

Pour the glaze evenly over the bombes to coat them completely. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. (Glaze the bombes no more than 8 hours in advance.) 

Let the bombes sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. 

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 850, Fat (kcal): 63, Fat Calories (g): 560, Saturated Fat (g): 36, Protein (g): 11, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 20, Carbohydrates (mg): 67, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 4.5, Sodium (g): 210, Cholesterol (g): 310, Fiber (g): 6,

Photo: Scott Phillips

Spectacular, worth the effort. I also made a batch using a raspberry mouse, with a raspberry center. Worked out great as well! Worked out well as some people cannot eat nut, and some won't eat coconut.

I was asked to create a spectacular dessert for a formal dinner event for about 100 people. As one of the desserts I made 50 of these bombes. It was great being able to make and freeze the cakes ahead of time. It was my first time using the silicone molds and it was easier than I thought. They were a real hit. Not one left. This is a keeper!

this dessert was spectacular!! I made it for our 35 years and running new year's eve celebration to enthusiastic acclaim. I followed the recipe as written with the exception of not refrigerating the bombes overnight, as I was a little behind schedule.With only 5 hours of freezing before the glaze, they still turned out fine. I loved being able to prepare everything before my guests arrived, so that all I had to do was serve. I will definitely make these again, especially now that I have the molds. In fact I would love more ideas for using the bombe molds . As an aside, the people at, are super reliable- They provided reliable tracking and the molds came exactly when they said they would.

I needed a “show-stopping” dessert for our five course, sit down dinner party, and this was perfect! There are a lot of steps but well worth it. The cake alone is worth the effort. As previously mentioned, I too had trouble with the mousse leaking out before and after I glazed them. I let them sit out for 3 hours but will cut that back to one or two hours. Also, we found it helpful to leave about a ½” of space at the top of the mold after putting the mousse in. I decorated it with a little sugar flower on top, my guest thought I bought the bombes from a bakery. We had nine guests and 10 bombe, one left over for later…..not! The men snuck into the kitchen and devoured it. I guess that is the best compliment you can get. We will be making this again.

I made this as a dessert for Thanksgiving. This was a HIT! Everybody loved it! It's chocolaty yet not too sweet and very rich. My husband and I shared only a half and it was enough for both of us. The recipe is very easy to follow and the whole process seems to be very long but you can make the the cake and the filling in advance so it helps for people who have limited time. The recipe says to leave the bombes in a room temperature for a few hours but i wouldn't leave it for that long next time. My room temperature was around 70F then and the leaving time was too long for my case that the mousse got really soft and the filling started coming out. So next time I'm leaving long enough so the bombes are not too cold that glaze wouldn't harden as you pour it over. Overall I'm very happy I tried this recipe; nothing else is complimenting than seeing people's reaction when they take the first bite! I enjoyed every step of this recipe and more than anything it taste SO good! I would make it again!

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