You’ve seen those “hot chocolate bombs” flying off the shelves at bakeries, and now here’s an adult twist from a Connecticut restaurant group.
Wood-n-Tap, with nine locations across the state, has created a 21+ version of the confection with a boozy center. The dark chocolate shell is filled with a blend of Bailey’s Irish cream, Grey Goose vanilla vodka and coffee liqueur from Bloomfield’s Waypoint Spirits – their take on an espresso martini.
The team spent time figuring out how to best contain the cocktail in the chocolate balls so it wouldn’t leak. Culinary director Chanthoeun Thanh devised a way to "jellify" the alcoholic mix, using kappa-carageenan, a gelling agent, to turn the “martini” into a semi-solid. The substance is placed between two hollow chocolate molds, which are then sealed together with more chocolate to create the ball shape.
As hot milk pours over the bomb, the chocolate melts and dissolves, releasing the good stuff. The bombs are packaged with powdered cocoa mix and mini marshmallows, which complete the hot chocolate experience once stirred together in a glass or mug.
“It’s a lot of attention to detail,” said Hartford Restaurant Group’s beverage director Michael Knudsen. “We did a lot of back and forth, but we came upon the perfect ratio. It all dissolves once you give it a quick stir.”
“I think everyone knows how popular these hot chocolate bombs are, and we saw a way to step it up and make it a nice dessert or cocktail addition to the menu,” said Phil Barnett, Hartford Restaurant Group’s co-owner and co-founder. “It’s actually been pretty interesting to come up with the idea, and then make it work and taste good.”
The $8.99 treats are being served at all Wood-n-Tap restaurants, and they’re also packaged to go for at-home enjoyment. woodntap.com.