Random Happenings

Random notes and pics about events in the life of a not-your-typical Computer Science grad student. (Yes I am a nerd, but I don't live and breathe the SciFi channel, well maybe Stargate SG-1...)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bombe's away!

My friends Olga and Roger just got married last weekend. (Yea!) As part of the festivities, we had a wedding shower/party thing at my house. Roger's sister and I decided to serve fruit, cheese, and dessert. What could get better than that?

I hadn't made many real desserts in a while, so I was really looking forward to it --- I was ready to go all out. Nathan and I have been working on eating healthier and losing weight. We've experimented with some protein-fortified puddings and pies, but those don't count as dessert. (I know it sounds pretty aweful, but the puddings are really not as bad as you'd think.)

I asked Olga what were some of her favorite desserts. Of course, she had no trouble coming up with a few: cheesecake, tiramisu, and chocolate. "Hmm, something chocolate", I thought... I remembered how much she loved the Chocolate Amaretto Mousse Bombe we had at Cafe Eccell. That's it! I'll make one!

A little easier said than done since I've never made a bombe before and have only seen one made on TV. Of course, the one on TV was for a cherry bombe instead of an amaretto bombe. I searched and searched, but I just couldn't find exactly the right recipe on the web. So, I decided to make one up, piecing together bits of different recipes I found.

While I absolutely, positively, love, love, love to cook, I have to admit that I am a recipe girl. I rarely venture from the safe haven of the recipe card into the wild unknown. I am getting better, but I am not quite at the "let me just whip something up from what looks good" stage. I hope to get there one day.

Lucky for Olga, my bombe experiment actually turned out pretty good and didn't blow up in my face! (Ha, ha, very punny.) It was devoured at the party. Every time I looked up, someone was getting just one "last" helping. Chocolate is pretty hard to resist, expecially when it is laced with almond liquor.

Given the overwhelming results, I decided that it is only fair and just to share my recipe with all of you. I have to warn you, though, just looking at the ingredient list could make you want to head straight for the gym! It's not playing around.

Chocolate Amaretto Mousse Bombe

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1/2 c. half & half
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 Tbs. Amaretto (or up to 1/4 c. depending on how happy you want it)
  • 3 c. heavy cream
  • 16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • toasted almonds for garnish on top
Line a medium/large (freezer-safe) bowl with plastic wrap, leaving a little bit extra to hang over the edge. Put the bowl in the freezer to chill. (This bowl will determine the shape of the bombe.)

Melt 6 oz. of chocolate. Set aside.

Fill a large bowl with ice. Place a medium bowl inside the large bowl. Set aside. (These bowls will help the eggs in the next step cool down quickly.)

Put the sugar, butter, egg yolks, and half & half in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until it comes to a slow boil. Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and strain into the medium, iced bowl. Stir until the mixture is cool.

Add the vanilla, almond extract, and Amaretto into the egg mixture. Slowly (a little bit at a time), add the melted chocolate into the egg mixture. (If you add it too fast and the chocolate is hot, you could have scrambled eggs instead of mousse.)

Whip 2 c. of heavy cream to stiff peaks. Fold cream into the egg mixture.

Whip egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into the egg/cream mixture. (At this point you have chocolate amaretto mousse. You could stop here and put it into fancy dessert dishes or wine glasses and chill in the ice box. Not a bad way to go.)

Remove the plastic-lined bowl from the freezer. Put the mousse into the bowl and smooth out the top. Put back in the freezer and chill 6 hours or overnight.

After the mousse has chilled, melt the remaining chocolate and cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat. When the chocolate has melted, remove from heat and let cool a little. The chocolate should not be hot, but still pourable. (Now you have an incredibly decadent ganache that you can use to top other things like cakes or dip strawberries in. Yum!)

Put a wire rack on top of a sheet pan. (I like to line the pan with foil for easy cleanup.) Take the bowl of mousse of out the freezer and invert it onto the wire rack. (If you have trouble getting it out, just run some warm water on the outside of the bowl; that should loosen things up.) Pour the ganache over the inverted mousse. Sprinkle the bombe with the toasted almonds. Put back into the freezer to chill.

To serve, just slide two flat spatulas underneath the bombe to release it from the wire rack. You can then transfer it to your favorite platter. Enjoy!


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