Fight winter blues with decadent cocoa bombs

When the weather outside is frightful, what could be more comforting than a rich mug of hot chocolate? 

Hot cocoa bombs really made the rounds in social media. During the holidays I was too busy to consider making my own. But like many right now, I'm hitting that mid-winter COVID wall, which makes cooking projects an absolute necessity. It gives the family something creative to do for a stretch of time, and drinking them feels decadent as ice storms rage outside.

You can buy silicone shells online, and if you can make a strong shell, the rest is gravy. You must make the chocolate layer thick, because if you don't, the cocoa powder inside will seep out though the holes, which form easily where the shell is too thin. Truthfully, this happened to me. You live you learn. I ended up patching up the thin holes with pieces of melting chocolate, giving the smooth shells a lot of texture.  

Terry's  Chocolate Orange

I'm obsessed with Terry's Chocolate Oranges, and wanted to make cocoa bombs that mimic the flavor. I also wanted to make a cocoa mix less sweet than the store-bought kind. If you'd prefer a more standard recipe, feel free to use ready-made hot chocolate packets, and ignore the steps I took to make homemade filling. For which there will be a lot left over!

What you'll need:

  • 1 bag (12 oz) of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 box (8 oz) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Confectioner's (powdered) sugar (to taste)
  • White sugar (to taste)
  • 2 dried orange peels
  • 1 bag (12 oz) white chocolate chips
  • Orange food coloring
  • Orange extract
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Sprinkles (optional)
  • Silicone mold

jar of dried orange peels

What to do:

  • It's best if you do this in advance, but take a vegetable peeler and peel the skin off of two oranges, preferably organic and definitely washed. Try to avoid peeling the white pith with it (too bitter). Dehydrate or bake until dry. 
  • Cut your silicone mold tray into individual molds. This way, it's easier to pop out the dried chocolate spheres. You can place them in muffin tins to stay upright. And they stack easiy for storage afterwards!
  • Melt your bag of chocolate chips on low heat in a pan, or in a slow cooker.
  • With a spaula, spread the chocolate chip batter into the mold.
  • With the back of a rounded spoon, smooth the chocolate filling around the mold evenly. Check for thin spots or holes! 
mixing bowl of homemade hot cocoa mix
  • Place each silicone mold in a muffin tray hole and slide into the freezer to harden.
  • While the molds cool off, dump the package of hot cocoa into a large mixing bowl
  • Place the dried orange peels into a grinder, grind to a fine powder then add to the chocolate. 
  • Add a mix of powdered sugar and white sugar, to taste. Sample the dry mix as you go.
cocoa bomb filling
  • Remove the tins from the freezer, and gingerly pop out the chocolate molds. Place them back into the tins.
  • While upright in the mold, fill one half with a heaping spoonful of hot cocoa mix (not much is needed, as the chocolate shell makes the cocoa rich).
  • Add mini marshmallows inside.
  • Microwave a plate until hot, then place it beside the remaining half of empty shells.
  • One by one, place the rim of the empty shell onto the hot plate until the edges melt, and while melted, press against the filled half shell.
  • Once the tin is filled with complete bombs, place back into the freezer to cool off.
  • While the bombs are cooling, melt half of the white chocolate chips on low in a pan, or in a slow cooker.
  • Add 4 drops of orange extract and a few drops of orange food coloring (play with it), and stir. 
  • Take a spatula and scoop contents into an icing piping bag, or a plastic bag with a tiny hole cut in the corner.
  • Remove bomb trays from the freezer and decorate with icing. 
  • Before the icing cools, you can also dust with sprinkles.

    And there you have it. After everything dries, these can be stored at room temperature. And once I get comfortable making these, I plan to experiment with all sorts of flavors. Chocolate peanut butter, chocolate coconut, and of course I'll be gifting candy cane versions during the holidays. If you have a cool combination you'd like to share, we are all ears! Enjoy!

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