Viral TikTok Reveals How To Make DIY Hot Cocoa Bombs

2020 might have brought us what could well be one of the worst years in collective memory, but lockdowns and sheltering at home have also given us fun food trends that have ended up dominating social media. From frog breads and whipped instant coffee to edible holiday homes artfully constructed with edible meats and cheeses (aka charcuterie chalets), there have been quite a few fun culinary ideas. But because the holiday season always makes everything that much more extra, we couldn't think of a more 2020 way to greet the holidays than the hot cocoa bomb.  

Hot cocoa bombs — the truffle-looking chocolate orb filled with all the goodness that goes into a mug of hot chocolate —aren't just pretty, they taste good too, making them worthy of the attention social media has showered during this winter season. If you're already active on social media, a hot cocoa bomb will need no introduction, but if this is a new concept for you, prepare to be delighted.

The chocolate shell conceals a serving of hot chocolate ingredients which include hot cocoa powder, dried marshmallows, and even candy pieces, which are revealed when the bomb hits a mug of hot milk. If you haven't gotten your hands on a store-made one already, know that making them at home may not be as challenging as it looks, particularly if you're adept at making chocolate. It starts with tempering chocolate, a process where high-quality pieces of chocolate are first melted to a certain temperature to get them chocolate-bomb ready.

To make hot chocolate bombs, begin with tempering

One way to temper chocolate is by melting it in a double boiler on your stovetop. Ghirardelli says you'll need to stir until the chocolate hits a liquid and smooth consistency, which is when the chocolate is between 110 to 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Alternatively, you can also microwave your semi-sweet chocolate by nuking it in a clean and dry microwave-safe bowl in short, 30 second bursts until the chocolate is half melted, then continue to microwave with 10 second intervals on high and then stir until all the chocolate is melted. Cococo Chocolatiers recommends removing the chocolate early and mixing it instead, since it can easily burn. If you have a good candy thermometer, keep your dark chocolate at between 80 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit (or 27 to 32 degrees Celsius).

Do remember that when tempering chocolate, don't be tempted to take out and use whatever chocolate bars you might have sitting in the pantry, because while these pieces might be good for filling your bombs with, you're better off using actual couverture chocolate, which contains a minimum of 35 percent cocoa solids and 31 percent cocoa butter (via The Spruce Eats). 

You can fill your hot cocoa bomb with a variety of sweet fillings

Once the chocolate is ready, you'll want to get a silicone mold with deep cavities and which measure about 2 1/2 inches wide and a pastry brush to help you spread your chocolate. That mold will determine the shape of your hot cocoa bombs, and if no silicone molds are available, The New York Times suggests silicone cupcake holders will also do the trick. You'll need to use the pastry brush to coat the inside of your mold or cupcake holders with about a teaspoon of melted chocolate for every half mold. You'll then want to let the coated mold sit at room temperature until the shells are nice and hard. If you find the couverture chocolate getting hard as it cools, you'll want to reheat the chocolate without burning it by returning it to the top of the double boiler or microwaving the chocolate for 15 seconds.

Once your shells are hard and cool, you're ready to remove them from the molds and fill them with a hot cocoa recipe of your choice. The New York Times recommends a portion of one tablespoon of hot cocoa mix and up to six mini marshmallows, adjusting for taste. To seal the balls, use one empty half shell and press that against a warm pan before laying that on top of the filled shell, and then decorate.

These hot cocoa balls perform best when they are used in mugs with eight ounces of very warm milk. Enjoy!