This is the only Christmas Hot Chocolate Bomb recipe video you will ever need! Hot chocolate bombs are chocolate spheres filled with hot chocolate mix and lots of marshmallows, my one also includes some pumpkin spice because why not! The hot cocoa bomb is the ultimate comfort drink and can be the perfect edible gift to your loved ones! Besides, making them is one of the great pleasures during winter, over the Christmas holidays.
Making a Hot chocolate bomb is super simple, literally taking chocolate and molding it into spheres. Today you will learn the scientific way by tempering chocolate for maximum shine, however, don´t be scared, it is easier than it might sound! I have a detailed step-by-step recipe for you including a video so you can watch me how to make it. Let´s get started!
What is a Hot Chocolate bomb?
Hot chocolate bombs or Hot cocoa bombs are chocolate spheres filled with marshmallows, cocoa powder, Nutella, chocolate chips, etc.! Once you pour steaming hot milk over the top, the hollow chocolate melts away and releases those marshmallows and other fillings into your milk. Utterly delicious and so comforting!
Christmas Hot chocolate bombs are typically made in semi-sphere silicone molds however they can be made in any other mold really, eg. heart shape for Valentine´s day. It is a great joy to make them at home and can be the perfect homemade Christmas gift too to your loved ones. You can make this recipe with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and even white chocolate, however since chocolate molding is involved, I recommend using the best quality chocolate you can access.
The decoration is what makes the Hot cocoa bombs super special, you can use your imagination and the sprinkles that are available to you. Remember, while making Hot chocolate bombs, you are dealing with chocolate so you will need to apply some baking science, namely working with the right temperature chocolate to achieve the best possible result. My step-by-step tutorial will help you to achieve the best hot chocolate bombs of your life!
Why this is the Best recipe?
- Beautiful shiny results – My Hot chocolate bomb tutorial will explain step by step the science behind how to work with chocolate (hint: simply melting chocolate is not enough) therefore your hot cocoa bomb will turn out perfect, and professional
- Super delicious – I am adding my secret ingredient to this Hot cocoa bomb: pumpkin spice! Nothing is more comforting than making your own hot chocolate bomb, sitting down with the family, and watch how the hollow chocolate melts away
- Versatile – Hot chocolate bombs are super versatile. By learning one base recipe you can make hundreds of different variations eg. with white chocolate or dark chocolate or using different fillings and decoration
- Chocolate: Obviously you will need some chocolate to make this Hot cocoa bomb recipe, this time we are making it with Milk chocolate. However, not all chocolate is created equal. In general, worth to remember that in the case of recipes that require chocolate decoration or chocolate molding, the quality of the chocolate goes way beyond taste. You might have recognized that by simply melting chocolate you won´t achieve shiny results. Well, you will need couverture chocolate if you want to replicate those beautifully shiny chocolates that you buy from the store! In this Hot chocolate Bomb recipe, I am using Callebaut Milk Chocolate (callets). This is high-quality chocolate (yet affordable) that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than the average supermarket chocolate. The additional cocoa butter, combined with proper tempering technique gives the chocolate a more shiny look, a firmer "snap" when broken, and a creamier, more smooth texture. Couverture type of chocolate is used by professionals and by home bakers who want to take their chocolate work to the next level. It is usually sold online in a bigger pack eg. 1 kg and is perfect to make recipes that require high-quality chocolate. I order mine from Amazon and surprisingly the price/kg it is not even so much more expensive than low-quality supermarket chocolate. Couverture chocolate is not a must in this recipe, but it is worth remembering that there is a proper science behind shiny, smooth, firm "snap" chocolate balls and the quality of the chocolate ball will be simply in line with the quality of the chocolate you use.
- Mini Marshmallows: Traditionally chocolate bomb is filled with mini marshmallows (and for Christmas, you definitely have to have it!) so when the ball opens up the marshmallows will float on the top of the milk. Super fun! Frankly, if for some reason you don´t have it, you can replace it with other fillings eg. chocolate candies
- Hot chocolate mix: Funny enough I did not use hot cocoa mix in this recipe simply because the chocolate ball itself will bring the hot chocolate flavors. Of course, you are free to use a few teaspoons of hot cocoa mix, or even better if you fill your hot chocolate balls with more chocolate chips. Alternatively, you can even fill the balls with Nutella and turn these into lovely Nutella Hot chocolate bombs
- Pumpkin spice: It is not a must but why not try filling your Hot chocolate Bombs with pumpkin spice? I used my homemade pumpkin spice recipe.
5 Expert tips regarding the technique
1. What equipment is needed to make Hot chocolate bombs
The actual chocolate ball consists of 2 semi-spheres, so you will need a spheres mold to make those. I have a Semisphere silicone mold from Silikomart that contains 6 semi-spheres, each cavity is 7 cm / 2.7 inches in diameter, so I can make 3 balls at one time. If you have a bigger family, consider purchasing more mold. It is a really inexpensive tool and easy to handle, also can be used for other desserts too eg. mousse domes.
For chocolate tempering, you will need a thermometer. I just purchased an Infrared thermometer gun and absolutely love it, it is the most accurate and convenient way to check temperate whether I am making curd, cream, or tempering chocolate! My husband loves it too, he measures everything with this! You can also measure temperature with other kinds of thermometers, choose according to your preference.
2. How and why temper chocolate
As mentioned above it is not a must, but highly recommended to temper your chocolate if you want the chocolate ball to look shiny and more firm. There are various methods to temper chocolate, for home bakers and with a small batch of chocolate, I recommend the "seeding method" that is super easy and can be achieved with a microwave and thermometer, eg. Infrared thermometer gun. It might sound complicated and too scientific, but in fact, it is really easy.
All you need to do is melt chocolate to a certain temperature then add more chocolate chips (that is called callet, it is already tempered and it is NOT the same as supermarket chocolate chip!) into the melted chocolate - that will bring down your chocolate temperature to the so-called working temperature. That´s it!
If you can access couverture chocolate, the required temperatures are stated on the bag. In my case, for the Callebaut Milk Chocolate (callets) I have to warm up the chocolate to 45C / 113F then cool it down to 29-30C / 84-86F by adding more chocolate. Easy peasy. For the exact science, read more below:
From the Callebaut website I think you might find this piece of learning material below useful:
Each variety or type of chocolate should be tempered before you use it to mold chocolates and hollow figures or to enrobe cakes and chocolates. In short, whenever chocolate needs to have a beautiful satin gloss and a hard snap, tempering is absolutely crucial.
When you add chocolate to dishes as a flavor component (e.g. chocolate mousses), it suffices to simply melt it without tempering.
What is tempering / pre-crystallizing?
The purpose of tempering chocolate is to pre-crystallize the cocoa butter in it, which is important to make your chocolate ready for processing. During tempering, the cocoa butter in the chocolate takes on a stable crystalline form. This guarantees a perfect finished product with a satin gloss and a hard snap. It also makes the chocolate contract during cooling, which makes it easier to unmould. If chocolate is simply melted and then left to cool down, the finished product will not be glossy. If you make the small effort of bringing your chocolate to the right working temperature properly, you are guaranteed to get the desired end result. And that’s what we mean by tempering: bringing chocolate up to the right working temperature while making sure that the crystalline structure of the cocoa butter in it is stable.
Tempering with Callets™
Pre-crystallisation is very easy if you add chocolate that has already been tempered to your melted chocolate. And this is where Callebaut Callets™ prove to be a real game-changer: the cocoa butter in these small drops of tempered chocolate already has the right crystalline structure. When added to melted chocolate it prompts the chain reaction resulting in properly crystallized chocolate. The required quantity of Callets™ depends on the temperature of both your melted chocolate and the Callets™. When your melted chocolate is at a temperature of about 40°C, the rule of thumb is to add 5% Callets™ at ambient temperature (i.e. between 15 and 20°C).
In my case using Callebaut Milk Chocolate (callets) the tempering process is the following (you can use the same method if working with milk chocolate)
Melt chocolate to 45C / 113F in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds
Once chocolate reached 45C / 113F, immediately add 5% callets - so in case of 150 g chocolate add 7.5 g callets (chellet=chocolate chips of the same chocolate you melted)
Stir the chocolate well to mix callets thoroughly and evenly. Do the callets melt too quickly? That means your chocolate is still too hot. Add more callets to lower its temperature and continue stirring
Stir until you’ll obtain a slightly thickened chocolate, and reach 29-30C / 84-86F - that is the working temperature of my Callebaut Milk Chocolate (callets). Last is the quality check: pour a small amount of chocolate onto a piece of parchment and put it into the fridge for a minute or two. If it looks shiny and snaps when you break it into half, your chocolate has been tempered properly! If not, start again... Been there before, don´t get disappointed! Practice... practice... practice... is the "secret"!
3. How to make the Chocolate semi-spheres
When molding chocolate the ultimate goal is to mold the RIGHT temperature chocolate EVENLY and THICK enough, so it will be easy to unmold at a later stage.
1. Make sure first that you properly clean your Semi sphere mould (I am using vinegar and a paper towel) as any residue will be seen on the chocolate´s surface
2. If chocolate is at the right working temperature (29-30C / 84-86F), pour a small amount (one tablespoon) of chocolate into each of the semi-sphere and brush chocolate all around the surface. Pay attention to the edges in particular as you want that thick enough to be able to stick them together when later making the ball. Turn the Semi sphere mould upside down for a few seconds to remove any excess chocolate that is typically stuck on the bottom. Place the Semi sphere mould into the freezer for 3 minutes for the chocolate to set.
2. Make sure you check the melted chocolate temperature for the second layer. If the chocolate temperature falls during the process under 29-30C / 84-86F, heat it again and temper
3. Apply a second layer of chocolate similarly to the first one. Again, make sure that the edges are nice and thick so focus on that for the second layer. The chocolate should be thick enough throughout so it will be able to hold its shape when unmolding. You do not have to make the inside of the ball beautiful, it won´t be seen, instead, focus on the right technique and apply the chocolate all around the chocolate mold cavities evenly
4. Place the Semi sphere mould into the fridge for a minimum of 10-15 minutes for the chocolate to set. After 15 minutes, it will be easy to remove the semi-sphere chocolate from the mold, and if the chocolate is tempered correctly, it will be shiny and firm
4. How to assemble the Hot cocoa bombs
Making this Hot chocolate bomb recipe can be the most fun activity over the Christmas holidays, hope you will enjoy it as much as I do!
With the filling you can get really creative, all you need to be careful is to work with the chocolate spheres carefully in a relatively cold environment. If your kitchen is too warm, be prepared to use your fridge or freezer to control the temperature of the chocolate as obviously chocolate easily melts above a certain temperature.
To assemble the chocolate bombs microwave a small plate until it gets warm, turn one semi-sphere upside down, and smooth the edge of the chocolate in 3 seconds. After, fill it with your chosen fillings, then carefully grab another semi-sphere, smooth the edge with the help of the warm plate and seal the two together. The two semi-spheres should stick together as the warm plate melts the edge a bit. Throughout the process make sure you gently work with the chocolate, relatively quickly without melting them, and if your fingers are too warm, consider using gloves to avoid fingerprints on the chocolate.
5. How to decorate the Hot Chocolate bombs
Decorating really takes these chocolate balls to the next level, and the style is really up to you. I melted a small amount of dark chocolate (no need to temper) and using a piping bag decorated the Chocolate balls with it and finished with some sprinkles. You need to make sure to apply the sprinkles right away, as they only stick to the chocolate until it has not been set.
Yes, you can, however the bigger the mold the more difficult it is to get the chocolate to unmold so you have to be super careful properly tempering your chocolate
You can use any high-quality chocolate that you would typically use to make chocolate bonbons eg. Valrhona. Try to look around online if they are not available in your supermarket
Once assembled the biggest risk while storing is to break them, so make sure they are placed into an appropriate box. You can store them at room temperature, or if your house is warm, store them in the fridge instead
You can totally freeze the semi-spheres before assembling or even after assembling, however, once they are assembled, be careful not to break them and try to store them carefully, nicely wrapped
Other Christmas recipes
Hot Chocolate Bomb
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Melt and temper chocolate. For Callebaut Milk Chocolate (callets), melt chocolate to 45C / 113F in microwave stirring every 30 seconds, then bring temperature down to 29-30C / 84-86F by adding the chocolate challets (that is tempering). Use a thermometer to measure exact temp, eg. Infrared thermometer gun
- Brush the first layer of chocolate into the Semi sphere mould evenly paying extra attention to the edges. Place it into the freezer for 5 minutes to set
- Brush the second layer of chocolate into the mold. Make sure the chocolate is thick enough throughout so it will be able to hold its shape when unmold
- Place the mold into the fridge and let the chocolate set for 15 minutes. After set, carefully remove semi sphere chocolates from the mould
- To assemble the ball, microwave a small plate until it gets warm, turn one semi spheres upside down and smooth the edge of the chocolate in 3 seconds
- Fill with marshmallows, pumpkin spice and more chocolate, or any other fillings of your choice
- Carefully grab another semi sphere, smooth the edge with the help of the warm plate and seal the two together
- Decorate with melted dark chocolate and sprinkles
- Measure your ingredients with a Digital scale for accuracy
- Use the best quality chocolate you can access to be able to create professional results that is shiny hot cocoa bombs with a firm snap
- Feel free to experiment with this base recipe and replace milk chocolate with dark chocolate, use different fillings and decorations
- Make sure you read my Expert tips section above to maximize your success. A short recipe alone is not able to cover all the necessary details, and science behind chocolate work. Consider this recipe more like an in-depth tutorial, literally the only recipe you will ever need to make Hot chocolate bomb