This is a glamorous, gorgeous, slightly old-school centerpiece that is easier to make than it looks. The recipe's many parts can staged over time, so that you only need a few minutes to un-mold and glaze the bombe on the day you serve it. You can swap the cranberry-raspberry spread for 2/3 cup of any fruit preserves if you like. You can swap your favorite dark or milk chocolate mousse or even lemon mousse or Bavarian cream for the white chocolate mousse. Once you've got the hang of lining the mold with snuggly fitting jelly roll slices into the mold, filling it with mousse, and using the remaining jelly rolls for the bottom, you can mix and match most of the elements to create your own bombe. This one is adapted from my first book (and 1990 James Beard Cookbook of the Year award winner), Cocolat: Extraordinary Chocolate Desserts. Bombes away!
- Do not use white chocolate chips or white compound coating or meltways. Use only white chocolate that lists cocoa butter on the ingredient list, and no other type of fat.
- To tighten a jelly roll, imagine it as rolling a sleeping bag as tightly as possible so that you can squeeze it back into its impossibly small bag. Start with the sponge sheet on a piece of foil on the counter with one long side facing you. Start at the edge of the cake thats nearest you—and using the foil under the cakes as necessary, fold the least amount of cake possible over itself to start the roll, and keep the roll as round and tight as possible as you roll the cake away from you. When the roll is complete, squeeze and tighten it as follows: Roll the entire jelly roll back towards the center the foil. Pull the far end of the foil towards you and over the jelly roll to cover it. Hold a ruler or straight edge on top of the foil against the bottom of the jelly roll. Use your other hand to anchor the foil under the cake against the counter so it won't slide while you press the edge of the ruler away from you, against the top foil (which should be free so it will slide forward) as you tighten the jellyroll inside the foil. Wrap the jellyroll tightly in the foil. —Alice Medrich