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Chocolate Bombe

serves 8 - 10


2 eggs, separated

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

large pinch of salt

1/3 cup sifted all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons melted butter, cooled slightly


1 tablespoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin

4 large egg yolks

2 cups heavy cream, divided

3/4 cup coffee

¼ cup brandy, crème de cacao, Kahlua or rum

1/3 cup granulated sugar

10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


1. Make the cake:  Butter and flour an 8-inch cake pan.  Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.  Combine the yolks, sugar and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until thickened and light-colored.  Set aside.

3. In a clean bowl beat the whites along with the salt until soft peaks form.  Fold the whites into the yolks.  Fold the flour into the eggs.  Finally, fold in the butter.

4. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.  Bake about 15 minutes, until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.  Cool on a cooling rack.

5. Place 1/4 cup coffee and vanilla in a small cup.  Sprinkle the gelatin over the mixture and let the gelatin soften for 5 minutes.

6. In a medium bowl, whisk the yolks until blended.

7. In a heavy, medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the cream, the remaining 1/2 cup coffee and sugar.  Set over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Gradually whisk about 3/4 cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolks until blended. Add the liqueur of choice. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan.  Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon for 2 to 4 minutes, until the custard has thickened slightly.  It is done when you can run your finger down the back of the coated spoon and a path remains in the custard for several seconds. Do not allow the custard to boil.

8. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately strain the custard into a stainless steel bowl.  Add the softened gelatin mixture to the custard and stir until completely dissolved.  Add the chocolate and stir until melted and smooth.  Set the bowl over a larger bowl containing ice water and stir for 5 to 10 minutes, until cool but not solid.  Remove the bowl from the bowl of ice water.

9. In a chilled medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 cup of the cream until soft peaks  form.  Using a rubber spatula, fold one third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.  Fold in the remaining whipped cream.

10. Line a 6 cup bowl with plastic wrap.  Scrape the mousse into the bowl, smooth it into an even layer.  Remove the cake from the pan and trim to fit the top of the bowl.  Set on the mousse pressing down lightly.  Set in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or until completely set.

11. To unmold the cake, remove it along with the plastic from the bowl, gently peel back the plastic and sprinkle with generously with cocoa.