Chocolate orange & cranberry red velvet bombe

Chocolate orange & cranberry red velvet bombe

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 10 mins Cook: 45 mins plus chilling

A challenge

Serves 15

This stunning festive dessert makes a great alternative to Christmas pudding, with a hidden cream cheese and cranberry filling

Nutrition and extra info

  • sponges only

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal537
  • fat38g
  • saturates23g
  • carbs40g
  • sugars30g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 175g butter, very soft, plus extra for greasing



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 1½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 75g buttermilk
    Buttermilk pancake mixture in bowl with whisk



    There are two types of buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is a thin, cloudy, slightly tart but…

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 x 10g tubes red food colouring (make sure it’s a bake-safe variety – we used Dr. Oetker)
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

For the ganache and filling

  • 450ml double cream
  • zest 2 oranges



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 100g bar white chocolate, finely chopped
    White chocolate squares, stacked

    White chocolate

    why-t chok-lit

    To purists, this is not chocolate because it is made only from the fat or butter of the cacao…

  • 100g bar dark chocolate, finely chopped
    Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

    Dark chocolate

    dahk chok-o-let

    Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

  • 200g bar milk chocolate, finely chopped
    Milk chocolate squares

    Milk chocolate

    mill-k chok-lit

    Milk chocolate is classically made from dark chocolate of low cocoa solid content and a higher…

  • 180g tub cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 50g dried cranberries, plus extra to serve
  • sprinkles and edible glitter (optional), to decorate


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Grease 2 x 16cm hemisphere cake tins, then dust with flour and shake out the excess. Stand the tins on two ramekins placed on a baking tray to hold them steady. Put the cake ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add a pinch of salt and whisk together until smooth and evenly coloured bright red. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for 45 mins. Remove from the oven, cool in the tins for 10 mins, then tip onto a wire rack and leave until completely cold.

  2. Meanwhile, make the chocolate-orange ganache and the filling. Pour the cream into a saucepan, add the orange zest and heat until just steaming. Put half the white chocolate in a bowl, and the dark and milk chocolates in another bowl. Pour 50ml of the hot cream over the white chocolate (strain it if the orange zest is in big strands), and the remaining cream over the dark and milk mixture. Leave the bowls for 1-2 mins, then stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool for 10 mins.

  3. Put the cream cheese in a bowl and whisk lightly to loosen. Add the icing sugar and the cooled white chocolate and cream mixture, then blend until smooth. Stir through the cranberries, then chill.

  4. When the cakes are cold, you can start assembling. With the cakes flat-side up, use a 7cm biscuit cutter to mark a circle in the centre of each. Use a spoon to gently scoop a dip in each cake, about 4cm deep (save the crumbs for cake truffles – see tip, left.) Remove the cream cheese mixture from the fridge and use to fill the cavities in the cakes, spreading a little onto the flat surfaces too, to help them stick together. Invert 1 cake onto the other to create a sphere, and place on a wire rack set over a baking tray (this will catch any chocolate drips).

  5. To ice the cake, the chocolate ganache needs to be the right consistency – pourable but not too runny. If it has set a little too much, place in the microwave for 10-20 secs, then mix until smooth; if it is too runny, chill until it has firmed up a little. Pour half the ganache over the cake, letting it cover the sides and run into the tray below (use the chocolate drips for cake truffles, see Tip). Cover the whole surface using a palette knife. This is just the first coating, so won’t fill the gap between the sponges. Chill the cake for 20 mins or until the ganache has firmed up a little.

  6. Remove the cake from the fridge. Cover the gap around the middle with the remaining ganache, smoothing it all over with a palette knife. Return to the fridge for another 20 mins until firm, then transfer to a serving plate.

  7. Melt the remaining white chocolate in the microwave in short 10-sec bursts. Drizzle over the top of the cake, then scatter with dried cranberries, sprinkles and edible glitter, if you like. Chill if not serving straight away – it will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Remove from the fridge 30 mins before serving.

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Comments, questions and tips

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30th Dec, 2015
This is impressive to look at and easy to execute - sponge was light , filling delicious etc but much too heavy after Christmas dinner - I made a passion fruit tart with home made ice-cream as an alternative that was much lighter and everyone preferred it - maybe we are just not chocolate lovers in this house - most of it went in the bin .
26th Dec, 2015
So easy to make! Looks and tastes stunning!
16th Jan, 2015
Made this for a big dinner for 12 people. Absolutely stunning, particularly finished off with a large sparkler in the middle when put on the table. Sourcing the pans was a challenge: Amazon came up trumps, but you need to look for " hemisperical pans" and not, as I assumed, "bombe mold"!
26th Dec, 2014
Made this for Christmas day and it was heavenly. Went down a treat with all 20 of us. Lovely velvety cake (couldn't believe I just dumped everything together and mixed) and yummy orange flavour to the chocolate. I didn't have any hemisphere tins, so used my metal mixing bowls to bake in. The shape was a little off but I used the dug out portion of the cake to piece the cake together and got a relatively round ball. Had lots of chocolate ganache left over to lick after the cake was decorated. Will be making this again on a regular day, not just Christmas.
21st Dec, 2014
Just won the Christmas Bake Off at work using this fantastic recipe. Never won anything ever before! Fabulous recipe. 5 stars.
12th Dec, 2014
So easy to do. I followed the result precisely and ended up with exactly this picture result. A definite show stopper
7th Dec, 2014
This cake is easy to make but a little bit time consuming to decorate, the time and effort however are well worth it. I made the sponges and froze them a week before I needed them. The day before I needed the cake I defrosted the sponges and assembled it. Unfortunately my cream cheese went runny after giving it a stir with the sugar. I put the cheese mixture in the freezer for about 45 to set it again. The orange flavour with the chocolate was really tasty. The little bits of cake from the middle of the sponges made lovely truffles using the extra ganache as suggested. I would think you could get 10 to 12 slices from the cake judging from how much we used. Makes a great centrepiece.
7th Dec, 2014
I am really glad I tried this recipe well before christmas... The cake is not done in 45 minutes, I did the trick with the skewer and it came out soaking wet, i'd say it needs an hour minimum. The recipe says nothing about making the surfaces fit together, the cakes are both very round on top so wont fit easily. The moulds are not filled to the top as well, so I would make more batter next time and cut the tops of with a wire. The timing is bad, the ganache will have cooled completely when the cakes are finally cooled down. I have not yet tasted the result. Hopefully it is worth the trouble.
9th Nov, 2016
In the recipe is says to use 75g of Buttermilk. Is this correct? Should it be in ml or should I weigh out the buttermilk?
goodfoodteam's picture
14th Nov, 2016
Thanks for your question. You can either measure out 75ml or weigh 75g, whatever is most convenient.
21st Nov, 2015
Would beetroot work instead of the red food colouring?
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Dec, 2015
Yes this should work, but the colour won't be quite the same. Also make sure that the beetroot powder doesn't taste earthy as you will need to use more than is usually recommended to get a bright colour.
23rd Dec, 2014
Hello, I`d like to try this cake this Xmas but I might not be able to get the cake tins. If I wanted to do it in a regular cake tin, what size would I need and what would the cooking time be? Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
5th Jan, 2015
Hi balicska you could bake this mixture in 20cm spring form cake tins then use the filling to sandwich the cakes together. The cake will then have a flat base and top so will not be the same shape as pictured but should taste just as good. We have not tested the timings in standard sandwich tins so cannot guarantee perfect results. We would also advise you check it after 30mins and bake for longer if needed. When cooked, a skewer inserted into the middle should come out cleanly. Alternatively you could try using similar size pudding basin. Let us know how you get on. 
18th Dec, 2014
Can you tell me what I can do to stop the cake from collapsing after I have put the filling in? As when I made it this is what happened.
goodfoodteam's picture
19th Dec, 2014
Hi kirstinf make sure you don't scoop out too much of the cake to create the space for the filling - you only need to cut out a 7cm circle which is 4cm deep and do ensure it is completely cold before doing so. That said, don't worry too much if it does collapse in places - you can use some of the chocolate ganache to stick any broken pieces back together and it will also help cover any joins when you ice the cake at the end. Hope this helps, let us know how you get on. 
16th Dec, 2014
Just wondering if the sponge can be made ahead of time and frozen until needed and then defrosted and decorated?
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Dec, 2014
Hi Wired271085 should be fine to freeze the sponges as long as they are not filled or decorated. Let us know how you get on. 


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