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Making Homemade Chocolate BonBons with Ganache filling
What the deuce is a Bon Bon? Unless you follow Top Chef Just Desserts or are as obsessed with all things chocolate as I am you may imagine a Bon Bon as something a Munchkin danced with down the Yellow Brick Road. I guess the best way to describe it is a chocolate covered explosion of flavor!
Being a poor out of work actor recently moved to Charlotte North Carolina, Christmas was a bit of a stress. I have 7 younger brothers and sisters, friends, family, and all of whom I would like to do something for. Something homemade is so personal and appreciated, and who doesn't love candy?
Last year I experimented with wreath making and marmalade. This year I decided on Bon Bons and marshmallows. These were a huge success!
You should begin by making your filling. I did a burned caramel inside a milk chocolate shell and a chocolate orange ganache inside of a dark chocolate shell. This recipe is for the latter... the crowd favorite!
WHAT YOU NEED:
One Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips (good quality)
Two Cups Heavy Cream
One Tbsp Gran Marnier (Optional)
The Zest of One Orange
In a small saucepan over medium low heat combine cream and zest. Bring to a simmer. Be careful not to scold.
Once simmering pour the cream mixture over chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl. Add Gran Marnier if you are using it. Let sit for a minute or two before stirring until smoothe. (If your zest is not so fine in texture you may want to pour cream through a mesh sifter over the chocolate.) I don't do this, but it is a matter of taste!
Let cool to room temp. before using in Bon Bons!
1. fill a large bowl with 2 inches of cold water, add 3 to 4 ice cubes, and set aside.
2. Bring a medium saucepan filled with 1 to 2 inches of water to a simmer over high heat; once simmering, turn heat down to low. Place 18 ounces of the chocolate in a dry heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan and stir until chocolate is completely melted and reaches 118°F. (Make sure chocolate does not come in contact with water or exceed 120°F.)Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Add remaining 6 ounces chocolate and stir until all chocolate is melted and cools to 80°F. Once all is melted, I put the bowl over the ice to speed cooling off.
3. Once cooled Return the bowl to the saucepan and stir until chocolate reaches 86°F; immediately remove from heat. Do not remove the thermometer from the bowl; check the temperature periodically to make sure it stays between 85°F and 87°F. (Chocolate must remain in this temperature range while dipping or it will not set up properly.) Keep the saucepan over low heat and use it to reheat chocolate as necessary.
To test if chocolate is properly tempered, spread a thin layer on parchment paper and place it in the refrigerator for 3 minutes to set. If chocolate hardens smooth and without streaks, it is properly tempered.
For white and milk chocolate: Heat to 116 to 118 degrees Fahrenheit; cool to 80 degrees Fahrenheit; reheat to 85 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit.
For dark chocolate: Heat to 118 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit; cool to 80 degrees Fahrenheit; reheat to 88 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using a small pastry brush paint the inside of a bon bon mold. I find the silicone ones to work the best. A simple design is easiest as well, perhaps a smooth Bon Bon mold.
Start out with a thicker layer of chocolate to begin with before venturing into thinner more refined finishes.
Paint the bottom and sides of the mold completely. Place in freezer for a few minutes to set.
Filling Bon Bons
Once the Shell is set, fill each Bon Bon with the cooled ganache. Using pastry brush cover filling with the tempered chocolate. Place in the freezer for a few minutes until set.
Pop each Bon Bon out one at a time careful not to crack the outside shell. use foil candy wrappers to cover each finished product!
Try different variations of flavors! I even bought some edible dust and decorated the chocolates! Be as creative as you want! The Bon Bons last about a week on their own but much longer if you freeze them.