What is a Pâte à Bombe?


pâte à bombe
pâte à bombe with a hint of pink food coloring

A pâte à bombe has a close resemblance to Italian meringue. So close in fact the steps to prepare the pâte à bombe are the same as Italian meringue except it uses egg yolks instead of the egg whites. It is whipped into a light consistency that results in a very airy and fluffy concoction used in dishes such as mousses, parfaits and butter creams. It can also be used as a base for ice cream which is quite delicious as well.

Remember your childhood where you were excited to lick the beater of anything sweet that was prepared? Well this is one of those – no matter how old you are – you’re going to want to lick the beater kind of recipes. Trust us, you’re going to love it!

How to prepare an excellent pâte à bombe:
Prepare a sugar syrup (sugar and water), heating them in a heavy saucepan to 249F. Meanwhile, whip the egg yolks in a stand mixer, until light and frothy. Shut off the mixer. Slowly and carefully, pour the hot syrup into the mixture as a thin stream and mix with the egg yolks. Beat on high until the mixture has almost doubled in volume, it is completely cold and has transformed into a light yellow airy mass that is uniform.

pâte à bombe
can be used in a mousse

12 large egg yolks
1 ½ cups sugar
1/3 cup water

Words of Caution:
Make sure to not heat the temperature too high. If the syrup becomes too hot, it will caramelize or harden instead of allowing the mixture to be light weight.

When adding the egg yolks to the syrup mixture, pour it near the edge of the bowl rather than into the whisk, to avoid clumps. These drops will harden and create unavoidable lumps that ruin the end result.

Tips for creating a successful pâte à bombe:
Allow the egg yolks to reach room temperature before beginning the creation of the mixture.

The syrup needs to heat to 245F – 249F and should not exceed this temperature. If it does, it will not work.

All of the equipment and mixer should be fully clean and free from any fat residue that will throw off the final product.

Any leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. To use frozen material, thaw for 10-15 minutes and beat gently until soft.  

pâte à bombe
can be used in parfaits
Photo of author
Sarah is known for her extra fancy yeast breads, melt in your mouth pies, and everything salads. She has won awards as a home cook, and is passionate about helping others feel smarter in the kitchen. Sarah is the cooking genius of the sister duo.

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