Rippled chocolate bombe

A clever and impressive dessert

  • Prep:25 mins
    Cook:1 hrs 40 mins
    Plus cooling time
  • A challenge

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 584
  • fat 38g
  • saturates 20g
  • carbs 55g
  • sugars 37g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 9g
  • salt 0.46g


  • 150g bar plain chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
  • 250g butter, softened
  • 225g golden caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 142ml carton double cream
  • 175g plain chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
  • candied fruits or candied orange strips, to decorate
  • crème fraîche, to serve


Good Food know-how
We made the bombe in a 1.7 litre/3 pint stainless steel mixing bowl to get the shape shown in the picture. If you don’t have one, you can use an ovenproof pudding basin of the same capacity – the cake should still take 11?2 hours to cook.Make ahead
If you’re making this for a dinner party, bake the sponge the day before, let it cool down, then wrap it in cling film and keep it in an airtight container. You can put the chocolate cream and fruits on up to 6 hours ahead of serving, as long as you keep the bombe in a cool place, but not in the fridge.


  1. Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 3/fan oven 140C. Grease a 1.7 litre/3 pint stainless steel mixing bowl and line the base (approx 9cm/31?2in) with a circle of greaseproof paper.

  2. Break the chocolate into pieces in a heatproof bowl. Add 25g/1oz of the butter and stand the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water until the chocolate has melted (or melt it in the microwave). Stir until smooth.

  3. Put the remaining butter in a separate bowl with the sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and 85g/3oz of the almonds. Beat together for 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy. Spoon 350g/12oz of this mixture into another bowl and stir in the cocoa powder and milk. Stir the remaining almonds and the vanilla extract into the remaining plain cake mixture.

  4. Spread a little of the vanilla mixture in the base of the bowl. Top with a spoonful of the cocoa mixture, then a little of the chocolate sauce, taking care not to let the chocolate sauce get near the edge of the bowl or it will burn during baking. Continue to alternate the three mixtures in the bowl, placing large spoonfuls in at random and spreading them slightly to mix up the colours. Level the surface, then swirl a skewer or the end of a teaspoon through the mixture, two or three times, to ripple the colours together. Don’t overmix or the colours will lose their definition.

  5. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes until the cake is risen and the surface feels firm to the touch. To check that the cake is done, pierce the light part of the cake with a skewer – it should come out clean. Leave to cool in the bowl, then loosen the edges and invert the cake on to a flat serving plate.

  6. Make the chocolate cream. Heat the cream in a small heavybased saucepan until hot and beginning to bubble round the edges. Add the chocolate pieces and remove from the heat, stirring gently. Pour into a bowl and leave until the chocolate has melted. Chill for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture just holds its shape when beaten.

  7. Using a palette knife, swirl the chocolate cream over the top and sides of the cake. Slice the candied fruits and use to decorate the top of the cake. Keep in a cool place (not the fridge) until ready to serve. This is a luxurious dessert, so serve thin slivers with a dollop of crème fraîche to cut through the richness.

Suggested recipes from this collection...