I've been meaning to make a chocolate bomb for a while – what better excuse for a showstopping dessert that Christmas?
The fun thing about this dessert is the interactive nature of it: guests get a golden sphere of paper-thin chocolate surrounded by iced berries and cream, and can pour hot toffee sauce over themselves it to reveal the surprise as the chocolate melts away: inside each golden ball is a square of sticky toffee pudding.
The chocolate was enough to make five spheres using my 3.15″ silicone hemisphere mould. The sticky toffee pudding recipe is enough to make nine regular-sized servings if you serve it as the traditional pudding (ie by itself), but yields 16 chocolate bomb-sized squares.
Ready? Let's go.
Ingredients for Chocolate Spheres:
300g chocolate (dark, milk or white – your choice) melted and tempered
Edible gold lustre dust
Ingredients for Cake:
115g medjool dates
125ml hot, strongly-brewed tea
45g unsalted butter
50g light muscavado sugar
125g self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Ingredients for Syrup:
100g dark muscavado sugar
Ingredients for Toffee Sauce:
150g dark muscavado sugar
150ml single or double cream
1/2 tsp sea salt
Double cream, whipped
1. Using the back of a teaspoon, spread a thin layer of tempered chocolate on the insides of a silicone hemisphere mould. Pop in the fridge for about 15 minutes, gently pop the set chocolate out of the moulds and repeat for a second batch. Stamp out holes in half of the spheres by dipping a metal cookie cutter in hot water, drying it with paper towel and gently pressing it on the bottom of the spheres. To join the spheres, heat a saucepan on a very low heat, turn the heat off and place a whole hemisphere and a hole-punched hemisphere on the pan to melt the edges, Quickly lift them back out of the pan, stick them together and put back in the fridge. Repeat until you have five spheres, and dust with edible gold dust. Pop back in the fridge.
2. To make the cake, de-stone and chop the dates, and soak them in hot tea for 30 minutes (it'll turn into one big mush, this is fine). Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease and line the bottom of an 8" square baking pan with baking parchment. Cream the butter and sugar together, whisk in the egg and stir in the rest of the ingredients. Pour into the pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until springy to the touch.
3. To make the syrup, boil the sugar and water together for three minutes, and leave to cool for a few minutes. Pour evenly over the still-warm, cake, and let the cake cool completely.
4. To make the toffee sauce, bring all the ingredients to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for three minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for just a minute.
5. Assemble the dessert: cut the cake into squares just small enough to fit under the spheres, place one in the middle of a serving plate and pop a sphere over it. Surround with frozen berries, a quenelle of cream and a sprig of mint. Pour the hot toffee sauce into serving jugs and let your guests pour the sauce themselves.
Enjoy, and merry Christmas everyone.