Hot chocolate is good—great even. But a hot chocolate bomb? Now we’re adding some drama to the experience. So, what are hot chocolate bombs and how did they become so popular? Also, let’s figure out how to make one at home, so that you can stand in your kitchen and utter the words, “Now I am become Death, destroyer of mugs.”
What is a hot chocolate bomb?
A hot chocolate bomb is similar to a bath bomb, just with a lot less soap. It’s a hollow sphere of chocolate that is filled with cocoa mix and often other treats like sprinkles, marshmallows, and other edible delights. When added to hot liquid (usually some sort of milk), the sphere melts, infusing the liquid with decadent chocolate and the other goodies.
The hot chocolate bomb craze really took off in 2020 on TikTok. People were stuck at home thanks to the pandemic, so they all collectively thought, “Let’s start getting into the world of high-class chocolatiering.” The trend got so big that the New York Times even wrote about it and #hotchocolatebomb has over 500 million views.
Creating a chocolate sphere is a skill usually reserved for the most daring dessert chefs and chocolatiers, mostly because the process is so delicate and labor intensive. But when you have all the time in the world, it’s a feat that is worth attempting. Of course, these days you can also just buy hot chocolate bombs from places like Target, Walmart, and World Market.
How to use hot chocolate bombs?
Here’s how to use a hot chocolate bomb to make super-fast hot cocoa: Get a mug, insert your bomb, and pour hot milk over it. The milk will melt the sphere, the hot cocoa mix inside will mix in, and voila. If you want to be really extra about it, make traditional hot chocolate first and then pour that over the bomb. Then, enjoy your sugar coma.
Or, you could just be like me and eat a hot chocolate bomb like an apple.
How to make hot chocolate bombs?
The key is tempering chocolate which, if you’ve ever seen an episode of The Great British Bake Off, requires more sorcery than actual baking skills. Tempering chocolate creates a smooth, glossy finish. The science behind it all involves crystals, just like a Jedi’s lightsaber. As chocolate melts, it breaks down the crystals inside, which then reform when it cools. Tempering controls this process so that these crystals break down and reform in the proper way.
Using a bain-marie (a hot water bath, essentially) and continuously stirring, melt your chocolate to approximately 110-115 degrees Fahrenheit; you must monitor it with a kitchen thermometer. Also, make sure that your chocolate doesn’t come in contact with water during this process; any moisture can ruin the crystallization process.
After the chocolate is fully melted, remove the bain-marie from the heat and let the chocolate cool to about 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point, the liquid chocolate can be poured into two half sphere molds, forming the two halves of your bomb. Let these set in a cool place.
Meanwhile, prepare your add-ins for the bomb: cocoa mix, marshmallows, pretzels, raviolis—whatever your heart desires. After the chocolate is set, place your add-ins in one of the hemispheres. You can connect the spheres together with more melted chocolate or sugar glue. Once the sphere is dry, you’re ready to bomb!
If you read all this and are like, “No way, Oppenheimer,” then never fear. As I said earlier, hot chocolate bombs are available to purchase almost everywhere on the internet.