Homemaker • Crafter • Baker
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The Complete Guide to Making Zebra Domes

If you’ve been to Walt Disney Word, and more specifically to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Boma, you might have an idea what Zebra Domes are. If not, well your mind is about to be blown. These little domes of scrumptious joy have gotten themselves quite a little cult following and for good reason. They really are divine!

This recipe is one that is frequently asked for by diners visiting the resort, resulting in it becoming widely available online. But in all my searches, I’ve never come across anything more in depth than the original, simple and outright massive yielding recipe, straight from the Boma kitchen.

What if you want to make this at home? In an ordinary kitchen? For an ordinary number of people (not 180!)? And you’ve no idea how to create a ganache, let alone a dark and white chocolate version.

I’m here! I’m here to hold your hand through the whole process.

(Keep reading until the end for the full recipe)

Let’s Start at the very Beginning

During a trip I made to South Africa in 2010, I was lucky enough to have some Rand currency left over.  This fuelled a shopping spree through the one and only shop in Durban airport.  In true, classic, 20-year-old fashion, I naturally opted for the 1-litre souvenir bottle of alcohol… Amarula, a cream liqueur, not unlike Bailey’s in texture but made from the fruit of the Marula tree.

The zebra dome recipe handed out by Animal Kingdom Lodge calls for Kahlua, but it turns out this isn’t exactly what they use in their kitchen. Being an African themed restaurant, they actually use Amarula! Huzzah! By complete fluke, I already have this in my ever-expanding booze collection

Disney possibly figured that the average holidaymaker wouldn’t have access to such a specialist ingredient and so adapted the recipe accordingly. I’m not sure about the US, but I often see Amarula lining the shelves of the British supermarkets – it’s well worth trying to seek out because it transforms the zebra domes and makes them that much more authentic.

Next, you’re going to need something to make these babies in! At Disney, they use 40mm half sphere flexipan moulds to create the zebra dome shape.  A few years ago, when I first made these, I was lucky enough to find some on eBay, at a very reasonable price (the one they use at the restaurant retails for $120!). If you aren’t able to get hold of any, you can substitute with other shaped silicone moulds, just make sure it’s flexible so you’re able to pop the domes out.

Lastly, you’ll need some sort of chocolate sprinkles or shavings that can sit around the base of the dome. Anything goes here; I’ve used a variety of different sorts over the years.

Be Prepared

Before getting stuck into moussy dome goodness, we’re going to want to prepare the sponge bases.  I sliced the Madeira loaf cake into slices 2 to 3mm thick as I prefer more mousse, but you could cut thicker slices if you wanted.

Once you have your slices, you’ll need a circle cutter the same size as the base of the dome moulds.  I didn’t have one the exact size, so I took a slightly bigger cutter and made several cuts until I had the correct size.

I suggest doing this step before making the mousse so that you don’t end up like a headless chicken trying to get the cake ready before the mousse sets.  Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything… 🙂

Making the Mousse

Now you’re ahead of the game with your cake prepped, start by melting the milk chocolate chips over a bain-marie. While it’s melting you can whip the cream to soft peaks.

Next, you’re going to need to soak the gelatine leaves in some cold water, to soften them so they incorporate nicely into the mix.  In the meantime, you can whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, until they are light and fluffy.  This will take a few minutes but it’s important to add as much air as possible to help create the mousse texture.

Mix the softened gelatin leaves with the coffee and Amarula in a bowl set over the bain marie and combine until the gelatin has dissolved.

Now everything is ready, it’s just a case of putting it all together! First, fold ⅓ of the cream into the chocolate.  Follow this by adding the sugary egg yolks and then the boozy coffee gelatin.  I use a rubber spatula to fold everything together; it’s important to be gentle so that you don’t expel all the air you’ve spent time whisking in!

Fold in the remainder of the cream to finish. Don’t be alarmed at how runny the mousse is – it’s the job of the gelatin to set it! Now all that’s left is to fill the domes – make sure the silicone mould is on a baking tray so that it’s supported. I used a big piping bag to distribute the mixture but you could use a spoon.

Make sure you don’t fill the moulds right up to the top. Leave a few millimetres to top each one with the disc of sponge.

Pop a disc of cake on top of the mousse in the mould, then put the tray into the freezer to set.

Glazing the Zebra Domes

While the domes set we’re going to need to make a couple of chocolate ganaches. This might sound complicated but in essence, a ganache is just a warm cream that melts and mixes with chocolate. Simple!

The white chocolate ganache is important as this is what you will use to glaze the zebra domes. Although the recipe calls for a dark chocolate ganache, this isn’t 100% essential as you could substitute it with some melted chocolate.

The method is the same for both types of ganache, it’s just the ratio that varies, due to the different cocoa content of the two chocolates.

First place the cream in a saucepan and the chocolate in a mixing bowl. Heat the cream until just before boiling point, then immediately pour over the chocolate. Leave to melt for a couple of minutes and then stir gently to combine – you don’t want to overmix and incorporate lots of air as this will lead to bubbles.

If you find the chocolate hasn’t completely melted once you’ve finished mixing, you’ll need to gently heat the ganache until the chocolate pieces have combined with the cream to make a smooth silky texture. I recommend doing this over a bain-marie but you could do it in the microwave so long as you are careful not to burn the chocolate – it’s oh so easy to do!

You’ll want to glaze the domes while the ganache is still runny. I’d suggest keeping the bowl of ganache over a bain marie until the domes are set.

Once they are firm enough, pop the domes out of the mould and place them on a wire rack. Pour white chocolate ganache over the top of each one; you can gently tap the rack to help encourage the ganache down the dome.

Finishing touches

Put the dark chocolate ganache (or melted chocolate) into a small piping bag and pipe the zigzag stripes across the dome.

The last part is a little tricky but gets easier with practice. Place the sprinkles on a plate and one-by-one carefully lift each of the domes using a palette knife. Gently lower the dome onto the sprinkles and push them around the base to secure them, leaving it on the palette knife the whole time.

Transfer the domes to a lined baking tray and refrigerate until set. I think they taste best when served chilled and fresh.  You’ll find after a couple of days in the fridge they definitely deteriorate.

So there you have it, your very own guide to making Zebra Domes in your own kitchen. If 60 domes seem too many, you can always half the recipe or maybe increase the size of the mould you use. My next experiment is to try making them in teacake moulds to serve as individual full-sized desserts.

Have you had Zebra Domes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge? Do these taste as good? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Have a magical day!

 

Print
Zebra Domes
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hrs
 
Servings: 60 domes
Ingredients
  • 150 g milk chocolate chips
  • 20 ml espresso coffee
  • 32 g egg yolks
  • 22 g granulated sugar
  • 2 sheets gelatine
  • 40 ml Amarula liqueur
  • 330 ml whipping cream
  • approx 300 g Madeira sponge cake, store bought
For the white chocolate ganache
  • 345 g white chocolate chips
  • 125 g whipping cream
For the dark chocolate ganache
  • 25 g dark chocolate chips
  • 20 g whipping cream
Method
  1. Cut circles of cake, 2-3mm thick, the same width as the top of the dome moulds.

  2. To make the mousse, start by melting the milk chocolate. 

  3. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks

  4. Soften the gelatine in cold water

  5. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until they are light and fluffy

  6. Mix the gelatine with the coffee and Amarula, then set over a bain marie until the gelatine has dissolved

  7. Fold 1/3 of the cream into the chocolate.  Add the egg yolk mixture and the coffee gelatine mixture, before folding in the rest of the cream.

  8. Pour into the silicone dome moulds, leaving a 2mm space at the top. Fill this space with a circle of cake. Put in the freezer to set

  9. Make the ganaches by bringing the cream to just below boiling point, then pouring over the chocolate.  Leave to melt for a few minutes before mixing to combine.  Keep the ganache over a bain-marie while the domes completely set.

  10. Once set, pop the domes out of the moulds and line them up on a wire rack. Pour white chocolate ganache over each one to glaze.

  11. Pipe the dark chocolate ganache over the dome in a zig-zag stripe pattern.

  12. Add sprinkles to the base of each dome and refrigerate until set.

Recipe Notes

When scaling the Boma recipe down, it was impossible to maintain round numbers of ingredients. Rather than split a gelatin sheet (which would be difficult to do accurately) I instead split an egg yolk.  This recipe calls for 1.6 egg yolks but to make your life easier I have listed the number of grams I used. I would suggest separating two eggs, beating the yolks together lightly and then from that weighing what you need.

 

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2 Comments
  1. These look and sound amazing!

    • Thanks so much Carly! You should definitely give them a try; if you do, let me know how you got on 🙂

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