Recipe: Bombe au Chocolat

Author & Photographer: Aidan Meara

Calling all chocoholics! This cocoa-dusted creation is sure to hit the spot for your next chocolate cake craving. All alliteration aside, the Bombe au Chocolat is an elegant mousse cake balanced by its almond biscuit base. This recipe was found by a family friend who enjoyed ordering the cake from a quaint little bakery while living in Brussels. Serve on its own, or with a handful of your favorite seasonal berries.

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A couple things to note before you start:

  • Depending on how dark you like your chocolate, you can mix and match percentages. For example, I use about 300 g dark and 100 g very dark (72% cacao) in mine. Feel free to play around with the ratios and even put in a little milk chocolate if you like it sweeter
  • This recipe can be made completely gluten free by swapping the small amount of  flour for gluten free flour
  • The almond biscuit can be made a day in advance of the mousse and left on a wire rack overnight to achieve a more biscuit-like base, if so desired.

Ingredients:

Mousse

  • 400 g dark chocolate
  • 600 mL heavy whipping cream
  • 50 g sunflower oil

Almond biscuit

  • 100 g egg whites (approximately 2-3 egg whites)
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 50 g powdered sugar
  • 100 g almond flour
  • 1 tbsp flour

Instructions:

For the almond biscuit

1. Preheat oven to 320 degrees F.

2. Mix the caster sugar and powdered sugar.

3. Mix the almond flour with all of the flour and half of the sugar mix.

4. Whisk the egg whites until they reach soft peaks, adding the remaining half of the sugar towards the end.  Fold the almond mixture into the egg whites, being careful not to over stir.

5. Grease and flour a 20 cm (approximately 8 inch) round cake pan.

6. Pour in the batter and level the surface.

7. Bake at 320 degrees for 20 minutes.  Leave to cool on a wire rack.

For the mousse

1. Line a 20 cm diameter hemispheric bowl with plastic wrap.

2. Melt the chocolate and oil in a double boiler.  Heat to 50 degrees C (122 F).

4. Whip the chilled heavy cream until it just barely holds in the whisk. Add a third of the cream to the melted chocolate and mix with a rubber spatula for 20 seconds. Fold in the rest of the cream.

5. Pour this mixture into the prepared bowl and place the almond biscuit on top.  Refrigerate overnight.

6. Remove from the mold and take off the plastic wrap.  Dust with bitter cocoa (I used Dutch Process cocoa).