This post may be a bit of a departure from my usual quilting fodder, BUT, I’ve fallen deeply into a hot chocolate bomb making craze. Many of you have reached out asking how to make hot chocolate bombs and so I’m here today to walk you through the process!
I’ll cover different types of molds and sizes, ingredients you’ll need, and the best techniques that I’ve found to make the chocolate spheres.
First – let’s start with the chocolate spheres. I looked at a lot of tutorial on how to make hot chocolate bombs, and to be honest, they all said something like “melt some chocolate and paint it into your mold”. I’m here to tell you NOT to do that. I tried it that way. It was tedious. And slow. And irritating. Jason even walked by at some point and said “that looks fussy”. Yup, honey, sure is.
The “paint the chocolate” method is fine if you’re only making, say, 6 hot chocolate bombs. But if you’ve decided to make hot cocoa bombs for everyone on your Christmas list this year, let me tell you, this is not the way. I have spoken. 😉
PS: All supplies and how-to are detailed in this YouTube video! Check it out for a full step-by-step!
The Molds & Sizes
First, let’s take a look at available molds and sizes. Hot cocoa bombs most usually come in two sizes: 2″ diameter and 2.5″ diameter spheres. Most hot cocoa bombs I’ve seen for sale in big box stores this year are 2″ diameter.
PROS: Fit easily in a standard mug, and use 8-10 oz. milk
CONS: Difficult to fit a lot of hot cocoa mix and marshmallows inside
PROS: Plenty of room for hot cocoa and marshmallows inside. Use 12-14 oz. milk and makes a generous treat.
CONS: Doesn’t fit in a standard mug, need an extra wide mug to accommodate
Once you decide on the size of cocoa bombs you want to make, you next have to purchase a mold. I’ve come across two mold varieties in my searches for the perfect cocoa bomb materials. The first is a silicone mold. The second is the BWB 3-part plastic mold.
PROS: Chocolate is easy to remove without breaking
CONS: Difficult to get an even coating on the inside of the mold, and due to weight of chocolate, can end up with a flat bottom on your spheres as the silicone is very pliable and thin.
PROS: Since the mold is made of hard plastic, you get a perfect sphere and even coating of chocolate.
CONS: Shells can be difficult to remove – the 2″ are fine but I have a skull-shaped one that is a struggle. They are also pricier than silicone molds.
As you can see, the cons of one mold are rectified by the other, and vice-versa.
Here’s my favorite molds:
- For 2.5″ hot chocolate bombs, I prefer the silicone molds. I’ve figured out a way around the negative aspects of the mold (more on that later). I used the Chef’n brand of molds.
- For 2″ hot chocolate bombs, I prefer the BWB molds. I used the 50mm one, which equates to 2″. This is because I’m able to quickly fill a whole tray at once. You just need to take your time when removing from the mold. However, I didn’t buy the 2.5″ mold because it only comes with 3 half-shells, which means you’d need to make a lot of trays to get enough shells (or buy a lot of molds).
How to Fill Your Molds:
Okay, so now we have our molds. How do we actually fill them?
Each 2″ sphere half requires 16g of chocolate (for a total of 32g per finished cocoa bomb). My mold has 5 cavities, so I melted 80g of chocolate.
The BWB molds have a line on them that designates a fill line. Simply fill the chocolate up to the line in each cavity, add the flexible insert on top, add the lid to the top of that, and flip the whole thing upside down. This part is very important. It helps the chocolate to set and release from the molds. The instructions also say you can place the mold in the fridge or freezer to help it set. I let it set on the counter to get the best shine for about 20 minutes or until cool to the touch. Once cool, place the mold in the freezer for exactly 2 minutes. No more, no less. Remove from the freezer, and the chocolate should be easy to remove.
To remove from the mold, take off the lid but leave the flexible inserts within the molds. Place your fingers within the insert, and push it up and away from the mold, essentially “sliding” the chocolate out. You want to keep the inserts in place until the chocolate is fully released from the mold. This keeps it from breaking.
Each 2.5″ sphere half requires 25g of chocolate (for a total of 50g per finished cocoa bomb). My mold has 6 cavities, so I melted 150g of chocolate. I recommend doing one mold at a time so that your chocolate doesn’t harden too much as you work.
To use the silicone mold effectively, we need a few other supplies. For every mold you want to fill, you’ll need (4) wide-mouth 8oz canning jars, (1) lacrosse ball, and cling film.
First, suspend the mold using the canning jars. The jars should have a mouth wide enough that they don’t interfere with the mold at all, but help keep it from the counter where the bottoms would flatten.
Then, cut pieces of cling film to approx 5″ x 7″. You want the pieces big enough to cover the lacrosse ball but not so big that they are unwieldy.
Melt your chocolate, and divide it equally between the cavities of your mold. Working quickly and one at a time, cover the lacrosse ball in cling film and press it into the first cavity until you see the chocolate all the way to to the top of the mold. It is okay if the chocolate comes up further than the mold, that’s easy to remove later.
Gently pry the cling film away from the lacrosse ball so that you can remove the ball without removing the cling film. Continue until you’ve filled your mold. Let the chocolate set until hard. Once completely hardened, you can gently peel off the cling film, making sure it doesn’t tear, and pop the chocolate from the mold.
Ingredients & Flavors
Now that we can fill our molds without crying, let’s talk about my favorite brands and flavors. For the chocolate shells, I like to use Ghirardelli brand chocolate and white chocolate. The chocolate melts beautifully, creates a lovely shine, and, most importantly, tastes delicious too.
If you’re looking to make specialty bombs with colors, I recommend Wilton Candy Melts. Although you could buy special food dye specifically for chocolate, I find the candy melts easier to use. You can alter the color of them by mixing different colors together or by mixing the Ghirardelli white chocolate to them. Just know that the candy melts tend to be a thicker consistency than the Ghirardelli chocolate.
I really brainstormed around flavors for my hot chocolate bombs and I came up with 4 flavors that I really love. Hot Chocolate, Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, Mint Hot Chocolate (not Peppermint), and Butterscotch.
To create the Mint and Butterscotch flavors, I used Guittard brand chocolate chips. Because chocolate chips are designed not to melt, I found it useful to do a 1:1 ratio of chocolate chips to Ghirardelli white chocolate.
For example, my mint chocolate shell is 25g Guittard mint chips and 25g Ghirardelli white chocolate. Mix them together until smooth and pour the mixture equally into two 2.5″ cavities. I promise it still tastes VERY minty! For the mint chocolate, the mix on the inside is just sweetened cocoa, no added mint. For extra mint, you could add Andes candies. This mint chocolate bomb tastes like Creme de Menthe and is absolutely delicious.
The Butterscotch shell is constructed the same way as the mint shell, with a 1:1 ratio of Guittard Butterscotch chips and Ghirardelli white chocolate. However, the mix on the inside is a butterscotch vanilla mixture.
Hot Cocoa Mix:
For my hot chocolate mix, I use Ghirardelli Sweetened Ground Cocoa. It is the perfect blend of cocoa powder and sugar. It is really important that someone making the hot cocoa bombs uses milk, as there is no milk powder inside the bomb. However, using this hot cocoa mix means we get more cocoa powder for a richer chocolate taste.
For the salted caramel bombs, I use Starbucks Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate mix.
For the Butterscotch (or Butterbeer) Hot Chocolate Bombs, I made my own mix which I’ll share in a future blog post.
Don’t forget the marshmallows! They make the bombs SO much fun! You can use miniature marshmallows, freeze dried marshmallows, or specialty mallows! I used a combination for my bombs. I liked the Lucky Charms marshmallows (large, not freeze dried) for a special surprise. I also found tree and star marshmallows at Target. There were also snowflake marshmallows (for Frozen themed maybe?!), gingerbread marshmallows.. you name it! Look for fun specialty marshmallows!
You’ll find recipes where people add caramel sauce, alcohol, or other moist ingredients to the filling of their bombs. I chose not to do that with mine so that they would have a longer shelf life. I wanted people to feel they could enjoy them throughout the month of December. If you want to add anything to your chocolate bombs, make sure it is a dry filling (crushed peppermints, sprinkles, etc.).
Vegan Hot Chocolate Bombs:
It is possible to make hot chocolate bombs vegan! Use your favorite vegan chocolate chips, vegan marshmallows, and vegan hot chocolate mix to make the bombs. When making the bombs, heat up your favorite milk-alternative and enjoy! (I think cashew milk would really shine here, since it is has a creamy consistency!)
A vegan hot chocolate bomb is also great for people with lactose allergies who otherwise might miss out on all the fun.
Filling the Hot Chocolate Bombs:
Warm a clean plate up in the microwave or use a pan that has been gently warmed on the stove. Place one sphere half down to melt and level the edge. This only takes seconds. Then fill with your mix:
For the 2″ bombs, fill with 1 tbsp cocoa mix and as many mini marshmallows as you can fit.
For the 2.5″ bombs, fill with 2 tbsp cocoa mix and as many mini marshmallows as you can fit.
Melt the second half of the sphere and press it to the filled first half creating a seal.
Packaging Hot Chocolate Bombs:
I found a few different ways to package my hot chocolate bombs.
2.5″ Cocoa Bombs: Singles
I used two different types of packaging for single 2.5″ cocoa bombs. These plastic shells are great for a single cocoa bomb, they fit really snuggly inside. However, if you’re doing any bombs with ears or other decorative pieces, they might not fit. In which case, I found these cupcake boxes worked really well.
2″ and 2.5″ Cocoa Bombs: Sets
I used this 9×9 Bottlebox hinged container to package up multiple hot chocolate bombs. You can comfortably fit 4 large or 6 regular sized cocoa bombs inside. I used some shredded paper and muffin liners to keep the bombs contained, but you could also use mini marshmallows for a marshmallow explosion!
Final Thoughts on How to Make Hot Chocolate Bombs:
Hopefully this (very lengthy) blog post has helped demystify making hot chocolate bombs and has you excited to try them! I find them super fun to make and give as gifts. You can keep the decorations simple or go all out with themes!
Have you learned a trick or two about making cocoa bombs? Share them below so we can all learn together!