Chocolates aren’t something I make often, although I have always wanted to learn how to do it well. I’ve been seeing hot chocolate bombs for months now, and I wanted to give them a try! For a St. Patrick’s Day twist, I wanted to attempt to bring out the flavors of Irish coffee, which is one of my favorite drinks in the colder months. Irish coffee, of course, never has chocolate in it, so this will be more of a mocha flavor with hints of brown sugar and Irish whiskey.
Notes on Ingredients
Chocolate – I used Callebaut couverture milk chocolate Callets to make my hot chocolate bombs. Use your favorite chocolate, although very dark chocolate may overpower the other flavors. White chocolate would also be a nice variation.
I prefer to use a chocolate meant for baking or chocolate making – not chocolate chips. I didn’t bother with tempering the chocolate here, since it is meant to be melted and mixed into milk.
Espresso Powder – Instant coffee granules will also work in this recipe.
Irish Whiskey – I used Jameson.
White Chocolate – I used Callebaut, but since it is just for the decoration, you could use white baking chips, almond bark, or candy melts.
Green Food Gel – I don’t recommend using liquid food coloring because it might alter the texture of the chocolate. Ideally, oil based food coloring is the best to use when working with chocolate. I used a water based gel, however, and it worked out fine.
Notes on Technique
- Heating the cream a little will help the espresso powder and sugar dissolve, so that they will mix evenly in the truffles. Be careful not to let it get too hot, though, or a skin will form on top.
- If the cream doesn’t melt the chocolate after a couple of minutes, you can microwave it for about 8 seconds on high. Don’t let the chocolate get above 100 F (38 C) or the chocolate will get lumpy and will be more likely to seize when you stir in the whiskey.
- Though it’s better to heat chocolate using a double boiler, I frequently melt small amounts of chocolate in the microwave. You have to be vigilant, though. I usually microwave the chocolate for no more than 15 seconds at a time on high, stirring in between to see how soft the chocolate is. When the chocolate is soft enough, there should still be a few chunks. If you keep stirring, the hot chocolate surrounding them will melt them.
- I prefer to work with silicone chocolate molds because they are very flexible. This helps when you are making more delicate shapes out of chocolate, like spheres. I recommend placing them on a baking sheet before using, however. This will make them easier to move without disturbing the cooling chocolate.
- I found it worked much better to use a teaspoon to spread the chocolate on the inside of the mold, rather than a paint brush.
- Make sure to spread the chocolate all the way to the upper edge of the mold. If the chocolate there is too thin, you won’t be able to stick the two halves of the sphere together. I used the dropper that came with my chocolate molds to pipe a ring of chocolate along the upper edge to thicken it.
- Try not to leave a big puddle of chocoalte in the center of the molds, because it will take longer to cool and might not leave enough room for the truffle.
- To stick the two halves together, I heated a baking sheet in the oven and pressed one sphere half onto it until it began to melt. Then I quickly stuck it onto the other half, which I’d already filled with the truffle. Even if the edges don’t line up perfectly, they may still stick together.
- If there are cracks along the edges, heat some more chocolate and use a paint brush to fill in the gaps. If these areas look rough, you can always hide them with drizzle and sprinkles.
Irish Coffee Hot Chocolate Bombs
- Two 6 cavity (2-inch) semi-sphere chocolate molds
For the Truffles:
- 3 ounces chocolate (any kind)
- 2 tablespooons heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon Irish whiskey
For the Chocolate Spheres:
- 5 ounces chocolate (any kind)
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 ounce white chocolate
- green gel food coloring
- green sprinkles
Make the Truffles:
- First, chop the 3 oz of chocolate and add to a medium bowl. Next, pour the heavy cream into a microwave safe measuring cup or bowl, and microwave on high for about 10 seconds. Stir in the brown sugar, espresso powder, and salt, and microwave again for another 10 seconds. Stir again, heating if necessary until the espresso powder is well incorporated and the brown sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the hot mixture onto the chocolate, allowing it to sit for about 30 seconds before stirring slowly. If the chocoalte does not melt completely, microwave for 8 more seconds on high. Stir until the cream mixture is fully incorporated, then stir in the tablespoon of whiskey. The ganache should become smooth and shiny. Chill the ganache in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Make the Chocolate Spheres:
- Place both chocolate molds on a baking sheet. Chop the 5 oz of chocolate and add to a medium microwave safe bowl or a double boiler. If using the microwave, heat for no more than 15 seconds at a time, stirring after each time to check the softness of the chocolate.
- Use the back of a spoon to spread the chocolate inside the half-spheres one at a time, making sure the chocolate is thick along the upper edge. Try not to leave a big puddle of chocoalte in the center, because it will take longer to cool and might not leave enough room for the truffle. If the chocolate begins to harden, heat it again until it is smooth. Once you have spread the chocolate in all of the molds, move the baking sheet with both molds into the refrigerator and chill for about 1 hour.
Assemble and Decorate:
- First, shape the truffles. Cover a small baking sheet or plate with parchment or wax paper. Add the cocoa powder to a small bowl. Using a teaspoon to scoop the ganache, divide it into six equal portions. Using your hands, roll each portion into a ball and roll it in the cocoa powder. Place on the prepared baking sheet and chill again until ready to use.
- Next, prepare the chocolate spheres. Bake an empty baking sheet until it is hot to the touch. Keep it in the oven until you need it. Gently remove the chocolate shells from the molds, pressing from underneath. Line them up on a separate plate or baking sheet, and place a truffle in 6 of them. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and place it upside down in your work area. Place an empty half-sphere on the bottom of the baking sheet until it begins to melt, then press it on top of one of the filled half-spheres. The melted chocolate should bind both halves together. Assemble all of the spheres before decorating.
- Heat the 1 oz of white chocolate in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until it is melted. Stir in a little green food coloring, then transfer to a piping bag fitted with a small round piping tip. You can also use a plastic bag with the end snipped off. Drizzle the green chocolate over the tops of the spheres, then add the sprinkles, pressing them into the drizzle so that they will stick. You can store these hot chocolate bombs in the refirgerator for up to 2 weeks.