Zach’s La Bomba
Posted: 02 May 2011 01:08 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I made Zach’s La Bomba this weekend. It’s not on schedule for HCB until 2 weeks from now but I’m trying to bake ahead.

Don’t look to closely at the bomba, as it’s far from smooth! So unlike the book’s or Matthew’s perfect replica.

Not smooth because it’s partially my fault. I want to make 1/2 recipe but don’t have small pyrex bowl. I have pyrex containers but they’re kinda square. In the end I use 2 ceramic bowls and a very small pyrex container. I thought of lining the ceramic bowls with foil & plastic wrap (Anne’s sugggestion). Actually staarted doing this, but then I thought the creases around the bowl will make the impression in the mousse. So I scratched that idea and just spray the bowl well and proceed.

This recipe takes a long time. I made everything (except the glaze) on Friday night and it took me 3 hours. I followed the recipe exactly including buying the very expensive Valrhona Manjari.

Some issues: For the sabayon, Rose said to melt the cream with V. Manjari over hot not simmering water, I did this and by the time the chocolate was almost melted it started separating. I actually see the oil that was cocoa butter oozing out. Since I still have enough chocolate, I started over. This time disregarding her instrution of hot water and reduce the temperature of the water. I even took the bowl (I use metal bowl) off the heat several times, while continue whisking. It didn’t separate like before but it was almost there - the mixture looks very glossy. I added a couple of tablespoon of cold cream, hoping it will look better but it didn’t. The sabayon turned out well though. I used my hand mixer and crank it up. It did double in volume, though the temperature didn’t quite get as high as 170 degrees (more like 115-120). I have to admit after the incident with the chocolate I was afraid, so I only use medium heat.

Completing the mousse, I had to melt the rest of the V. Manjari with the cream. This is a much bigger amount of chocolate. Again, the instruction said to use hot, not simmering water. I use lower heat because I didn’t want it to separate. In addition, I put a small portion of the chocolate aside (to be added after everything is melted), and again the chocolate threatened to separate. Even after the addition of the extra chocolate, it still looked glossy. I really don’t know what I did wrong.

Side note: For the cake I used Schaffenberger bittersweet and melting it the same way and I didn’t have any issue.

Even with all the issues with chocolate, the completed mousse turned out fine. And super yummy. I used blackberry tea from Teavana (it’s green tea, unfortunately, but can hardly taste the green part), and steep 5 frozen blackberry in the tea - making it extra fruity.

Unmolding the bomba was problematic, both for the ceramic bowls and the pyrex cup, though the pyrex cup was a tad easier. Making the lacquer glaze was not hard. Though absentmindedly I forgot that I have to strain it the 2nd time, so there’s little specks on the mini bomba.

Tastewise, this is delicious! It’s very fruity and very rich. I’m glad I only made 1/2 recipe as we can only eat a small slice at a time.

And finally, I apologize for such a long post!!! But this cake takes 4 hours so I suppose it makes sense to have a wordly post (plus I have to rant about my chocolate issues smile)

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Posted: 02 May 2011 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Wow, Jenn, your bomba is quite beautiful, and it looks super-yummy.  Thanks for the timing notes, as well, re preparation.

Rats! about the sticking!  Hopefully someone with the bomba thumb will tell us how to get there without sticking or creases from bowl liners!!

As I was reading your post, I was thinking the chocolate must be the culprit, because, well, you’ve melted chocolate before, and there’s no magic to it, so if you had different results, I’d chalk it up to the chocolate, too. 

I’m so glad to know it’s rich and can be served in small slices.  I rejected making this last year for a particular occasion due to size, so it’s nice to know that it has more servings than one might expect.

I keep staring at the picture of the slice on my other monitor.  I want to eat it.  Badly.  cheese

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Posted: 02 May 2011 05:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Wow, Jenn, I applaud your monumental achievement, it looks wonderful!  surprised  I think that must be one of the most time-consuming and difficult cakes in the book.  You’d never know you had issues to look at it.

How did you like the combo of chocolate and blackberry?

If it makes you feel any better, I had a similar problem with the tiramisu sabayon, I whisked it so fast (trying to achieve the proper volume) that it kept cooling down and it never reached 170.  I think I got it up to 150F.  Next time, I’ll put more water in the double boiler so the heat is closer to the bowl- hopefully then I’ll get to the right temp.

About the separating chocolate- that can happen if the chocolate/cream mixture gets too hot, did you remove it from the heat before all the chocolate was melted?  If you encounter that issue again, it should come together with gentle stirring once it cools enough, I forget what temp but I’ve definitely done it and it worked just fine.  I hope you still have the separated Valrhona… shame to toss it!

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Posted: 02 May 2011 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Anne, thank you for the compliments! It sucks that it stuck, but I half expected to have some drama because I deviate from the recipe. At least it’s not worst (ceramic bowl breaking etc).

Anne in NC - 02 May 2011 05:18 PM

I keep staring at the picture of the slice on my other monitor.  I want to eat it.  Badly.  cheese

I have plenty of bomba, my friend. If only we live in the same city!

Julie, thanks for the monumental achievement comment! Rose said (to Marie) that this is the perfect cake to end the book, as it’s a compilation of all the skills.

I love the combo of blackberry and chocolate. I’m eating my 2nd piece now and it is a bit sweet. I wonder if I have more of a sweet tooth yesterday as I didn’t feel it’s too sweet then. I usually reduce the sugar about 10-15 grams for butter cakes, for genoise usually I omit most of the sugar in the syrup. This time I didn’t dare omitting any sugar, don’t want to compromise any texture.

Love your idea of adding more water to the double boiler, mine were a bit low. Would you whisk fast again next time? Or would you lower the speed a bit?

The 1st batch of valrhona I took it off the heat when only a little bit of chocolate remains (there were not a lot to begin with). The 2nd, bigger batch I set aside a small handful of chocolate in a bowl, they were added to the melted ones, and still they threatened to separate.

For the cake I use schaffenberger, and melted it with the same technique (though this one is melted by itself, not with cream), and I didn’t have any issue. I wonder if the Valrhona is softer, and so is more susceptible to separating? Maybe I should freeze it first next time smile.

I still have the separated valrhona! It’s in a small container in the freezer (with a label that said “separated ganache/valrhona”). So I can use this to make ganache again in the future right? Add more cream and chocolate?

Oh and Julie, have you made the St. Honore Trifle or the Apple Caramel Charlotte? I’m curious to know whether you think those are harder/easier than the Bomba.

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Posted: 02 May 2011 06:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Anne in NC - 02 May 2011 05:18 PM

I’m so glad to know it’s rich and can be served in small slices.  I rejected making this last year for a particular occasion due to size, so it’s nice to know that it has more servings than one might expect.

Anne, I think this is one of the dessert where quantity is not a virture. IMO at least. Would be good to serve this with another, lighter dessert.

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Posted: 02 May 2011 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Jenn - 02 May 2011 09:15 PM

I love the combo of blackberry and chocolate. I’m eating my 2nd piece now and it is a bit sweet. I wonder if I have more of a sweet tooth yesterday as I didn’t feel it’s too sweet then. I usually reduce the sugar about 10-15 grams for butter cakes, for genoise usually I omit most of the sugar in the syrup. This time I didn’t dare omitting any sugar, don’t want to compromise any texture.

Yes, quoting myself. I know what my problem is re. it being too sweet. Yesterday I ate my slice after it’s been sitting outside for 2 hours—> the fruity flavor is more dominant than the chocolate/rich/sweet flavor. Today I’m eating it straight from the fridge—> the fruity flavor is more suppressed and I taste the sweetness more.

Tomorrow I will put it out of the fridge for 2 hours!

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Posted: 02 May 2011 10:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Jenn - 02 May 2011 09:15 PM

Love your idea of adding more water to the double boiler, mine were a bit low. Would you whisk fast again next time? Or would you lower the speed a bit?

I’ll monitor the progress with my thermometer, and try to keep a balance between the temp rising steadily and the volume increasing.  If the temp rises quickly, I’ll whip like crazy, and if it doesn’t rise enough, I’ll slow down, and maybe even add boiling water to the double boiler.  Since I’ve already made one batch that prioritized whipping over temp, next time I’ll make sure to get to the right temp (even if it means less volume), though hopefully it will be a good balance and not sacrifice volume.

I wonder if the Valrhona is softer, and so is more susceptible to separating?

Quite possible.  Perhaps a slower melting is in order, and since it worked for you to keep some of the chocolate out of the melting pot, perhaps that’s the way to go in the future with V. Manjari.

I still have the separated valrhona! It’s in a small container in the freezer (with a label that said “separated ganache/valrhona”). So I can use this to make ganache again in the future right? Add more cream and chocolate?

Yes!  So glad to hear you didn’t toss the Valrhona.  It might work to just thaw and add to ganache, but if it were me, to be on the safe side, I would thaw and warm very slowly, being sure to stop while there’s still a bit unmelted.  (This will probably be a lower temp than where the chocolate melted in the first place).  Then allow it to cool, and when it looks as though it is starting to thicken a little, try stirring gently to re-incorporate the separated cocoa butter.  Please report back on whether it works.

Oh and Julie, have you made the St. Honore Trifle or the Apple Caramel Charlotte? I’m curious to know whether you think those are harder/easier than the Bomba.

No, the but the St Honore is near the top of my list for an event next week- just not sure yet if we’ll have enough people for it.  What did you think about those two versus the Bomba?

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Posted: 03 May 2011 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks Julie on the tips regarding re-melting the Valrhona. I will do a slow melting and report back.

I much St. Honore Trifle and Apple Caramel Charlotte than the Bomba. The Bomba is yummy but it’s much too rich for me (and a bit too sweet)—> I liken it to ganache where it’s yummy but can’t eat a lot of it (I know you feel differently on this subject smile). The other two are flavorful but they feel lighter.

I’m excited to hear you are considering making the Trifle. If there’s not enough people, would you consider making 1/2 recipe? I thought of making this again later this summer and want to experiment with using a 6 inch removable bottom/spring form pan to compose - instead of a trifle. Then I would refrigerate the whole thing and then take the springform off for photo. I’m just not sure the Chiboust cream would hold, standing by itself, but maybe extra gelatin added would suffice (another 1/2 tsp or something like that - like the recipe for the cream in TCB).

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Posted: 03 May 2011 11:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I have plenty of bomba, my friend. If only we live in the same city!

All my fave people live on the west coast!  Sometimes I wish I’d never left Albuquerque!!!

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