Thursday, May 7, 2009


Abby Mandel's Boule de Neige (Snowball)

(Should be made at least a day before serving, but the whipped cream on the day it is served)

Eight ounces of semisweet chocolate (if possible, use Maillard's Eagle Sweet of Baker's German Sweet)
2 teaspoons dry instant coffee
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 pound (2 sticks) sweet butter, at room temperature
4 eggs (graded large)
1 Tablespoon Cognac or dark rum.

Adjust rack one-third up from the bottom of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. You will need a round, ovenproof mixing bowl (for baking this dessert) with a 6- to-8 cup capacity, it may be glass, pottery or metal, and it should preferably be deep and narrow rather than wide and shallow.

To line the bowl with aluminum foil, turn the bowl upside down, tear off a 12-inch square of foil and center it over the inverted bowl and press with your hands down on all sides all around to form foil into a bowl shape. Then remove the foil, turn the bowl right side up and place the bowl-shaped foil into the bowl. Press firmly into place.

Break up the chocolate and place in a small saucepan. Dissolve the coffeee in the boiling water and add it along with the sugar. Stir over moderate heat until the chocolate is melted- the mixture does not have to be smooth.

Transfer to the large bowl of an electric mixer and beat on low speed until smooth. Gradually add the butter and continue to beat at low speed until smoothly blended. Add eggs one at a time until smooth after each addition. Add the Cognac or rum and beat at moderate speed for about a minute.

Pour the mixture into the lined bowl and bake for 55 minutes. When done the top will be puffy with a thick, cracked crust.

Let the bowl stand at room temperature until the dessert is cool- it will shrink as it cools and shrink more in the center than around the rim.

To avoid having a hollow in the middle follow these directions:

A few minutes after the dessert comes out of the oven, place a piece of waxed( or parchment) paper on top of the bowl, touching the dessert. With your finger tips, press down on the edges of the paper to flatten the raised rim of the dessert (the crust will crack- that's all right) Repeat several times while the dessert is cooling in order to flatten the top as much as possible.
When the dessert is cool, cover airtight and refrigerate.

A few hours before serving unmold the dessert. Invert a flat dessert plate over it, invert the plate a bowl, remove the bowl and peel off the aluminum foil, refrigerate.

1cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons Cognac or dark rum

Careful not to make it too stiff or it might curdle while you press it out of the pastry bag.

You will need a pastry bag about 13 inches long and a medium-small star tube, or about a #4. Insert the tube into the bag, fold down a deep cuff on the outside of the bag, transfer the cream to the pastry bag, unfold the cuff and twist the top of the bag closed.

Now, completely cover the dessert with small pointed rosettes of whipped cream. Start at the center top and squeeze out one small rosette right in the middle. Then make a circle of rosettes touching one another around the one on top. Then another circle etc. the last circle should touch the plate.

This is from Maida Heatter's book of Great Chocolate Desserts.


  1. This can be made in a food processor in about a minute, as follows:

    Break up the chocolate and place it with the coffee and sugar in the processor bowl which has been fitted with a steel blade. Turn the machine off and on four times to start the processing and then let the machine run until the chocolate is finely chopped. With the machine running, add the boiling water through the feed tube and process until the chocolate is melted. Add the butter in small pieces and process until blended. Add the eggs and Cognac or rum and process about 15 seconds until well combined. Pour into foil-lined bowl and continue the recipe as above.

  2. how many would you say this serves?