Cooking Through "The Baker's Man": Chocolate Caramel Bombe
When I got the idea to cook my way through The Baker’s Man, I wasn’t immediately thinking of how challenging some of the recipes would be. Today’s recipe is inspired by Chapter 5: Chocolate Caramel Bombe. At this point in the novel, Anna feels as though a bomb has gone off in the center of her life, and although she doesn’t know how to fix the damage, Eli is more than willing to help her. She’s just not sure if this is a good idea or a bad one.
I’ve never made a bombe in my life, and once I started my search for the perfect one, I found there are lots of options out there. Some bombes have ice cream concealed in the centers, while others have pound cake or jellyrolls buried in their middles. Other bombes are loaded with chocolate and a few held fruits hidden like gems.
However, none of the recipes for bombes I found were made with caramel in the center. There’s a reason why. Pick me, pick me! I know the answer! Caramel is gooey, runny, delicious, and messy when it comes to the middle of a bombe. As soon as the bombe is cut, caramel flows like lava. This isn't necessarily a negative aspect, but I know why others have avoided it. It doesn't make for the prettiest display, but it sure does taste good.
Chocolate Caramel Bombe
Difficulty Level: Difficult and labor intensive (takes more than a day to create)
Cookie dough layer:
3 c all-purpose flour
¾ tsp salt
1 ¼ c light brown sugar, packed
¾ c granulated sugar
1 c unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 ¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 c mini chocolate chips
½ c whole milk
How to Make
Line a 2 ½ quart (10 c) bowl with plastic wrap.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together flour, salt, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Pour in butter and vanilla extract. Mix until a dry dough forms. Add chocolate chips and mix on lowest speed (this is "Stir" on KitchenAid machines).
When chocolate chips are evenly dispersed, add whole milk slowly with the machine on low speed.
Remove dough from mixer bowl and press into the bottom and up the sides of the lined bowl.
Place in freezer while you make the chocolate mousse.
¼ oz package of powdered gelatin
2 tbsp cold water
3 egg yolks
½ c sugar
½ c milk, hot (put in the microwave for 30+ seconds)
8 oz high quality chocolate, chopped
1 ½ c whipping cream
In a medium saucepan sprinkle gelatin over water. Let stand for 1 minute.
Whisk in eggs and sugar. Stir in hot milk.
Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Mixture will thicken after 5 minutes. When done, it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Stir in chopped chocolate and blend until chocolate has melted and no white streaks remain. Let cool.
Whip cream until stiff peaks form.
Gently fold whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until well blended.
Remove bowl lined with cookie dough from freezer and pour in mousse mixture. Smooth the top to even with a rubber spatula.
Place in the freezer until firm, 4-6 hours or overnight.
4 tbsp butter, melted
½ c sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ c all-purpose flour
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 jar of caramel sauce
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch round baking pan and line bottom with a parchment circle.
Stir together butter, sugar, and vanilla in bowl.
Add egg. Beat well with spoon.
Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended.
Spread batter thinly and evenly in prepared pan.
Bake 10-15 minutes. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.
Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap and peel off the parchment circle.
Remove mousse from freezer.
Pour caramel sauce over mousse layer. Freeze for at least 30 minutes before continuing assembly.
Press brownie into caramel layer gently but firmly. Trim the edges of the brownie so that it fits inside the bowl and is flush with the bottom of the cookie dough bowl. Trim edges of cookie dough bowl if necessary to make it flush with the brownie.
Freeze bombe again for at least one hour.
Turn entire dessert out onto a wire rack and let come to room temperature. Note: Bombe will not immediately come out of the bowl, nor will plastic wrap immediately release from bowl.
Peel off plastic wrap. Place wire rack inside a large jelly roll pan with a lip. Let stand at room temperature while you make the glaze.
9 oz chocolate, finely chopped
1 c heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp corn syrup
Place heavy cream in a large microwaveable bowl. Heat in the microwave at 40 second intervals until very hot but not boiling (you can do this on the stove top if you don’t have a microwave).
Stir in chopped chocolate. Let stand for 3 minutes then begin gently stirring mixture. Whisk, but do not whisk vigorously as it will create air bubbles in the finished glaze. When chocolate and cream are thoroughly mixed and smooth, add corn syrup. Stir until combined.
Transfer to a 4-cup measure with a pour spout. Note: Corn syrup can be omitted if desired. It is used to give the glaze an extra glossy appearance.
Pour glaze over entire surface of bombe. Allow the dessert to stand until the glaze dripping subsides, then pour excess chocolate in the jelly roll pan back into the 4-cup measure. Rewarm glaze for 20-30 seconds in the microwave if it has thickened. Stir then pour a second coat over the entire surface of the dessert.
When dripping subsides, repeat warming and pouring process a third time (the more times you cover with chocolate, the smoother the surface becomes).
Transfer bombe to a cake plate using a large spatula on one side of the dessert and a hand supporting it on the other side. Place a line of standard size chocolate chips flat-side-out around the bottom edge of the dessert. Keep chilled. Slice and serve.
The Baker’s Man can be purchased in paperback or for the Kindle from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, and other major retailers.
Chapter 1: Peanut Brittle
Chapter 2: Rum Cake
Chapter 3: Morning Glory Muffins
Chapter 4: Mudslide Cookies
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes.