February 28, 2021

How to Make Vegan Hot Cocoa Bombs

Hot cocoa bombs are the trending equivalent of dalgona coffee this season. Sure, they’re convenient for making a cozy mug of cocoa, but they’ve also provided many with (hours?) of entertainment via Instagram reels and stories. Comprised of a hollow chocolate shell filled with marshmallows and hot cocoa mix, these trending treats turn cocoa into a cause for celebration. Here’s how to make them at home. 

It starts with chocolate
Let’s get the hard part over with by creating the chocolate shell that will contain your cocoa mix and marshmallows. This involves tempering chocolate—a culinary term for the process of melting and cooling chocolate so that it eventually hardens into a glossy finish with a crisp snap. Tempering also stabilizes the chocolate and makes it easier to work with. This tutorial provides a thorough step-by-step to tempering. Alternatively, you could throw caution to the wind and melt the chocolate over a double broiler, but do so at your own risk. 

Once your chocolate is tempered (or melted), use a food-grade brush to evenly line the inside of a silicone dome mold with the chocolate. Allow this to harden in the fridge—up to 10 minutes. Once set, ever so carefully pop out your chocolate molds and fill half with about one tablespoon each of cocoa mix and vegan mini marshmallows (try Dandies). 

Consider customizing
The standard hot cocoa bomb is filled with mix and marshmallows, but don’t let that limit you. There are an infinite number of ways to customize your filling to create flavored hot chocolate. Try adding in a teaspoon of crushed candy canes for a peppermint cocoa, instant espresso for a mocha, or a small pinch of cinnamon to make Mexican hot chocolate. Be sure your flavors are represented in the decorations, too. Roll the peppermint bomb in candy cane dust (just blitz one in a high-speed blender), top the mocha with a chocolate-covered espresso bean, and sprinkle the Mexican cocoa bomb with a dash of cinnamon. Even if you stick to the basic filling, add a bit of flaky sea salt to the top of your bomb. The salt will enhance the chocolate flavor. 

Seal the deal
At this point, you have two halves of a chocolate sphere—one filled, one empty. It’s time to seal the deal. Heat a pan over the stove then press the empty halves onto the pan to instantly melt the edges. Immediately press the empty halves onto the filled halves to cement the bombs. Be careful not to press too firmly to prevent cracking. Allow the melted edge to fully solidify before moving on to the decoration. 

Get creative
Technically, your vegan hot cocoa bomb is complete, and you could plop it in a steaming mug of plant-based milk without adding any adornment. But what’s the fun in that? You could do a simple, elegant drizzle of vegan white chocolate (see The Vegan Rhino’s post) or get crafty with these adorable reindeer look-alikes. Let your creativity run free! 

When all else fails … 
Hot cocoa bomb fail? The good news is, it will taste the same when you toss it into a mug of milk regardless if you were able to successfully create the perfect sphere. Alternatively, go support a vegan-friendly small business and opt for store-bought. We love the inventive flavors of this Etsy purveyor—from the gold-leafed confections to green-hued Grinch bombs, you’ll want one for yourself and everyone on your gift list. 

Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and fitness enthusiast living in Orange County, CA.

Photo credit: Little Blog of Vegan

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