This is my complete guide to making hot chocolate bombs. I will cover every detail that I've learned, from materials, to chocolate types, to storage and shipping ideas. When you're ready to make your own hot chocolate bombs, decide which mold you'd like to work with and follow the link at the bottom of the post to the correct recipe. There, I'll have detailed instructions and video tutorials to help with the process.
There are three types of molds you can use to make hot chocolate bombs: silicone, 3 part, and polycarbonate. I'll go over each below and you can choose which one suits you best in the recipe at the bottom of the post.
There are lots of different types (shapes, sizes, etc.) of silicone molds you can use for hot chocolate bombs, but this recipe is specifically for a mold that creates spheres that are 2.75 in (67mm) diameter. I find that these fit into a standard sized mug really nicely and are big enough to fit lots of fillings.
These molds can come in different colors or have different descriptions, and we're going to use a pretty common size (sometimes referred to as "large" sized). I got mine from Amazon here.
They are the most inexpensive and (probably) most popular style mold for the home baker to to use for hot chocolate bombs. The molds are made of food safe silicone that is both heat and freezer safe. They are extremely flexible, which works to our benefit, but also makes it a little tricky for handling. Don't worry, we'll cover all that.
Some people like to cut their molds into individual pieces, so that essentially you're dealing with one half sphere at a time. This is a great benefit of using silicone because you can very easily cut them with scissors.
I have cut some of my silicone molds, but I find that the more simple the shape, such as this half sphere here, the easier it is to work with. The half sphere shape just lends itself really easily to popping out the finished chocolate pieces. (They are probably the easiest silicone molds to use for bombs.)
For that reason, I am much more efficient leaving the mold intact in that I am able to make more bombs at a time. You can cut them if you feel more comfortable; your recipe amounts and the technique are almost identical as if you were to use an uncut mold.
Three part molds are fairly new for making hot chocolate bombs. Due to their design, they offer a high amount of precision, which is useful if you have to make lots of bombs. They do have a small learning curve, but I'll walk you through every step.
These molds can come in many different shapes to create hollow chocolate forms, and I am going to show you how to use the 70mm (2.75inch) size. This size refers to the diameter of the completed sphere and is perfect for fitting into a regular coffee mug. I got mine from Amazon here (be sure to select 70mm).
These molds are made of PET, which is a food safe, BPA-free recyclable plastic. Each mold also comes with 3 very thin inserts. The name "3 part" comes from a top piece, the inserts, and a bottom piece. Because they are made of plastic, they cannot be heated or placed in the dishwasher. It's recommended that between usages its wiped clean with a paper towel to remove residue.
Polycarbonate are the most rigid and durable of molds you can use with chocolate. They come in various shapes to make all kinds of chocolates, from large bars to miniature shapes. These are slightly smaller than bombs you make using silicone or 3 part molds but still fit into a standard sized mug really nicely and are big enough to fit lots of fillings.
For traditional hot chocolate bombs, we'll need the domed shaped molds, which come in a few sizes. The ones I'm using is in this tutorial makes spheres that are 2.5 in (63mm) diameter (the manufacturer that makes these molds here refer to this mold as "large" sized). I got mine from Amazon here.
These type molds are used by professional bakers and chocolatiers and are the most expensive of the three types. They are, however, going to be the most durable for long lasting use. Also the rigidity of the mold has it's perks - you'll be able to scrape these things clean of chocolate without harming the chocolate inside each cavity. We'll cover that below.
You can use either compound chocolate (candy coating chocolate) or real chocolate; I've used both with great results. The main difference between these two types is the presence of cocoa butter and cocoa solids.
This difference will dictate how you will prepare the chocolate for your bombs. Real chocolate requires tempering for it to firm up properly, whereas compound chocolate is a melt-and-go type chocolate.
In my Hot Chocolate Bomb 101 video below, I go over the difference between chocolates in more detail as well as a basic technique for using compound chocolate.
My recipes use compound chocolate. I do have tutorials that make bombs using real chocolate (see my Hot Chocolate Truffle Bomb video here), but it's a little different working with tempered chocolate. It's not difficult, but it does require a little more technique, which you can see in the video I posted in this paragraph.
Popular US brands of compound include:
My favorite out of all of these in terms of taste and performance is Mercken's. They don't have a waxy taste or strong artificial aftertaste. When making hot chocolate bombs, they don't require any thinning. Mercken's is what I use in most of my tutorials on YouTube.
I buy Mercken's from Amazon in these flavors: milk chocolate wafers, dark chocolate wafers, and white chocolate wafers. They also make several types of colored wafers and flavored wafers, thought I usually use the white, dark, and milk mostly.
I keep lots of white on hand because I can color it and it has a pretty mild flavor. For coloring, you'll want to use what's called candy coloring or oil based coloring. Two brands that I use are Wilton's candy coloring (limited colors, inexpensive) and Colourmill (insane color range, a bit pricier).
You don't need any fancy equipment to make bombs, but I do have a set of tools I always bring out to make my bombs that may be useful.
Material List (Amazon links):
These hot chocolate bombs are made using ingredients that are safe to store at room temperature. They are best kept in a cool and dry place, wrapped in foil to protect from light.
What I do is use regular foil or candy wrappers made of foil and wrap the chocolates. Then place them in an airtight bag, then into a box of some sort so they don't get crushed. You can kind of see how I package my bombs in the shipping section video, below this section.
Wrapped tightly with foil to keep out light, and in an airtight container in a cool and dry place, they should last at least a few weeks. This is if you are filling your bombs with powders (and not ganache as in some of my videos).
The only ingredient that runs the risk of getting stale are the marshmallows. They just tend to dry out when out of their packaging for too long. If you plan on storing your bombs for a while, try the dehydrated marshmallows. (The dehydrated marshmallows also come in cute shapes, like the ones you find in Lucky Charms cereal!!)
The fridge or freezer is usually not ideal for storing chocolate. When you remove the chocolate from the cold, it can collect condensation as it warms up to room temperature. This usually happens when the interior of an object is much colder than the ambient air that contains some amount of water (humidity). Inevitably, the water droplets will damage the surface of your chocolates and give a cloudy appearance.
If you live in a really hot climate, this may be your only option. What I do with my ganache bombs is keep them in an airtight container in the fridge in cupcake liners. Below the liners is a paper towel that I've dusted with baking soda. The baking soda acts as a slight desiccant (a compound that absorbs water from the air) and helps keep the interior of your container as dry as possible. You can also buy food packaging desiccants. (I see them in my seaweed snacks :) )
When you want to use them, gradually move them out to room temperature. Maybe to a cool dark place with the lid closed, then open the lid, then bring it out to where you are. This may help mitigate the condensation from forming.
I've shipped out hot chocolate bombs to my family last year, but be aware that it's a really risky task. You have to provide a fair amount of cushioning for the bombs in addition to your bombs being pretty well constructed. Don't forget to compound that with the amount of turbulence packages often experience during the shipping process.
My bombs have a 75% survival rate, but my family really didn't care and ate them all anyways. Here is a video I made of how I shipped my bombs from coast to coast in the middle of a holiday season.
If you're looking for a sturdier option for shipping hot chocolate treats, try my hot chocolate pops. They are super duper stable, pretty easy to make, and just as fun for everyone to stir.
Alright! Are you ready to make your bombs? Your recipe is down below.
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