Bombe aux Trois Chocolats

Bombe aux Trois Chocolats

Printer Friendly Recipe

Recipe adapted from Julia Child

Serves: 12

Serve with Joseph Phelps Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Step One: Chocolate Fudge Cake

1 stick

Unsalted butter

4 oz.

Unsweetened chocolate

1 more stick Unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups Sugar
3 Large eggs
1 tsp. Vanilla
½ tsp. Salt
1 cup All-purpose flour

Use a jelly roll pan about 11 X 17".

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Butter the jelly roll pan and cut a sheet of wax paper to fit it, overhanging the ends by two inches.  Press the paper into the pan, butter again and then flour the paper, knocking out excess flour. 

Melt one stick of butter and the chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water.  Cream the second stick of butter and the sugar.  Add eggs one by one, then vanilla, salt and melted chocolate.  Add flour by thirds, blending briefly.  Spread the batter evenly into pan and set in middle of preheated oven. 

Bake 25 minutes, or until set but top is still spongy.  (A toothpick should come out with a few specks of cake on it. Do not let it overcook.)  Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes.
Turn upside down over a cake rack and unmold the cake, gently pulling off wax paper. Cool 10 more minutes.

Step Two: Chocolate Mousse

12 oz.

Semisweet chocolate, broken into pieces

1 ½ oz.

Unsweetened chocolate, broken into pieces

2 ½ tsp. Plain unflavored gelatin
3 Tbsp. Dark Jamaica Rum or Cognac or Bourbon whiskey
3 Large eggs
2 Egg whites
1 ½ cup Heavy cream
1 ½ tbsp. Vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. Sugar
  Large pinch of salt

Melt chocolate in double boiler over simmering water.  Measure gelatin into a bowl, add rum or Cognac and let soften.  Separate the eggs, dropping the whites plus the two extra whites into a beating bowl and the yolks into a stainless steel saucepan.  Set the whites aside for later.  Place egg yolks in double boiler over simmering water.  Beat the yolks with a wire whip until thick and sticky.  Blend in the cream; stirring slowly with a wooden spatula, reaching all over bottom of pan as liquid slowly heats. Bubbles will begin to appear on the surface, and then subside. Watch for a whiff of steam rising - this indicates that the sauce is thickening. Continue for a few seconds until sauce clings in a light layer to the back of the spatula. Immediately remove from heat and stir for 1 minute. At once, stir the softened gelatin mixture into the hot custard until dissolved completely. Stir in vanilla, then melted chocolate.

Beat egg whites at slow speed until egg whites are foamy.  Beat in the pinch of salt and then gradually increase speed to fast until egg whites form soft peaks.  Sprinkle in the sugar and beat until egg whites form stiff shining peaks.  Fold them into the chocolate and then return the whole mixture to the egg white bowl.  Cover and chill if making in advance.  (If made and chilled in advance, leave out at room temperature until it has softened.)  Mousse will keep several days under refrigeration or may even be frozen. 

Step Three: Assembly

Complete preceding recipe for Chocolate Mousse and Chocolate Fudge Cake.

Whatever you have chosen as a container for molding the dessert, you will need a pattern of paper cut-outs to guide you in fitting the cake into the container.  (Make these patterns out of paper to fill the container until you have a complete pattern and then use the pattern pieces to cut the cake.)

This is the system we use for our round bowl: a small cake circle for the bottom of the bowl; 7 ‘rectangular’ wedges of cake to rest on the circle and touch the top of the bowl all around with a little space between each wedge, allowing the mousse to peek through its encircling walls of fudge cake.  We also have a large circle to cap the mousse.  All scraps of fudge cake go into the center, giving the bombe a little extra sturdiness for its life out of the mold. 

Before cutting the fudge cake, slice off a ½ inch border all around the rectangle, since the edges tend to be brittle.  These cut-offs make nice little cookie bits to serve another time.  Then cut the cake using the pattern.

Line the bowl with plastic wrap and arrange the cake pieces in the bowl, pressing gently into place, best side out.  Pile half the mousse into the cake-lined bowl, cover with scraps of the cake.  Fill with the remaining mousse and place the large circle of cake on top, pressing it down to force the mousse into the bowl and around the pieces of cake.

Cover and chill at least six hours, or overnight. (The bombe may be refrigerated for several days.)
Step Four: Unmolding

4 oz.

Semisweet chocolate

½ oz.

Unsweetened chocolate

2 Tbsp. Chopped waluts
  A bowl of lightly whipped cream sweetened with confectioner’s sugar and flavored with vanilla.

Loosen the bombe from the mold by pulling up the plastic wrap, then fold wrap down the outside of the bowl.  Center the serving platter over the top of the mold and reverse the two, unmolding the bombe onto the platter.  Melt the chocolate over hot water and pour over the top of the bombe, letting chocolate drip lazily and unevenly down the sides.  Sprinkle the top of the cake with the warm drizzled chocolate with the chopped nuts.
Serve by cutting into wedges, like a round cake, and let each guest add whipped cream.  (Or not; I am a purist and like my chocolate bombe unencumbered by anything else!)