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What are Bonbons and How to Make Them


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Bonbons

When I used to think of bonbons, I imagined someone lounging around, leading a life of leisure with a French poodle, a glass of wine, and chocolate. I would have been hard-pressed to tell you exactly what are bonbon was and I certainly couldn’t have told you how to make bonbons or that it was possible to make them at home!

Bonbons

Things have changed since I received a bonbon lesson from French pastry chef Clemence Pereur at her St. Louis cafe, Like Home.

Bonbons

What Are Bonbons?

I now understand that bonbons are confections with a thin chocolate shell and oozy filling that spills out when you take a bite (the sky is the limit when it comes to these fillings).

What Are the Fillings in Bonbons?

Bonbons can be filled with caramel, oozy ganache, fruit purees and more. There are three bonbon filling recipes at the end of this post.

What Is the Difference Between Bonbons and Truffles?

Truffles are made by making a ganache (chocolate and cream filling) that thickens to the point that the ganache can be rolled it into a ball. The ganache ball is then dipped into a a chocolate exterior that is typically much thicker than the exterior of a bonbon.

How to Make BonbonsBonbon

While bonbons are something that people typically make at home, there is no reason that you can’t learn how to make bonbons at home!

Before proceeding, also make sure that you have a bonbon mold. Most of us don’t have one of these just sitting around. Luckily, they aren’t too pricey.

Here are the basics:

Temper the chocolate.

tempering chocolate

Clemence says that the hardest part of making bonbons is tempering the chocolate (prepping it so that it ends up smooth and shiny instead of grainy) and that in chocolate school most people messed up the tempering about 1/3 of the time. She explained that this was often due to overconfidence. As long as you check the chocolate temperature with a candy thermometer, you should be fine. I’ve already written a complete guide to tempering chocolate, so if you haven’t read that yet, start there to brush up on tempering and then carry on reading about bonbons. Using tempered chocolate is the key to making shiny bonbons!

The higher quality chocolate you use, the better your bonbons will taste. This same high quality chocolate rule applies to pretty much all of my chocolate recipes. Temper more chocolate than you will actually need. You can always cool any chocolate that you don’t end up using and use it for another project. Clemence suggests using 500 grams of chocolate for 24 bonbons.

Clemence tempers her chocolate on a marble slab. If you are trained in this method, by all means do it that way; otherwise, it will be easier to use my microwave method.

filling bon bon molds

Fill the bonbon molds.

Don’t be skimpy here. Overflow each depression with luscious chocolate! We want to ensure full coverage.

distributing chocolate

Distribute the Chocolate

Use a bench scraper to tap the side of the mold. This gets the chocolate to drop all of the way into the depressions. When you see little bubbles form on top of the chocolate, you know you are good to go on to the next step.

remove excess chocolate

Remove Excess Chocolate

Turn the mold upside-down and tap some more on the side of it with your bench scraper. A layer of chocolate will remain, coating each depression, and the rest should come raining out.

scrapingScrape

Run your bench scraper along the inverted mold to remove any remaining excess chocolate.

cooling and filling

Cool and Fill

Set the mold in the fridge for about an hour or the freezer for about ten minutes to let the chocolate harden.

Then, it’s time to fill the bonbons. In the recipe section below, you’ll find recipes for three of Clemence’s fillings: Earl Grey ganache, passion fruit caramel (my favorite), and vanilla dark chocolate ganache. Pipe the fillings into the bonbons almost to the top.

closing

Close the Bonbons

To close the bonbons, spoon tempered chocolate over the top of the mold – just half way across. Then, scrape across the top with your bench scraper onto the uncovered half. If needed, fill in any empty spots with additional chocolate.

Cool as before. Then, tap the molds on the counter to extract the bonbons!

Bonbons

You’ve got this!

Bonbons
5 from 12 votes
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Three Bonbon Filling Recipes

These are three outstanding fillings that you can use for bonbons: Earl Grey, passion fruit caramel, and vanilla dark chocolate ganache.

Course Dessert
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Servings 48 bonbons filled per filling

Ingredients

Vanilla Dark Chocolate Ganache

  • 100 grams heavy whipping cream
  • 100 grams dark chocolate
  • 5 grams vanilla extract
  • 10 grams glucose you can also use corn syrup

Earl Grey Ganache

  • 350 grams heavy whipping cream
  • 15 grams Earl grey tea
  • 75 grams unsalted butter
  • 10 grams trimoline you can also use corn syrup
  • 500 grams milk chocolate

Passion Fruit Caramel

  • 25 grams glucose you can also use corn syrup
  • 250 grams sugar
  • 20 grams water
  • 100 grams heavy whipping cream
  • 100 grams passion fruit purée

Instructions

Ganache Instructions (for Vanilla Dark Chocolate Ganache and Earl Grey Ganache)

  1. Bring cream to a boil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. If making Earl Grey ganache, place tea in a tea ball in the cream during the boil. Remove from heat as soon as the liquid begins to boil.

  2. Place remaining ganache ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Pour hot cream into the bowl and stir until chocolate is melted and all ingredients are fully integrated.

  3. Let ganache rest until ready to use.

Passion Fruit Caramel Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan on medium-high heat, bring glucose, sugar and water to boil until they have a dark caramel color. Do not stir.

  2. At the same time, combine the cream and passion fruit together in another small saucepan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Remove from heat as soon as the liquid begins to boil.

  3. When the caramel is done, carefully mix in the cream and passion fruit. 

  4. Let the caramel rest for at least 30 minutes before adding to the bonbons.

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Clemence Pereur
Clemence Pereur is 27 years old and from France. She started culinary school when she was 15 years old. After three years of school, she got her culinary degree. She then decided to go to pastry school for a year to the famous Alain Ducasse pastry school and got her pastry degree. Because that was not enough, she decided to go to chocolate school for an additional two year degree. When she got this degree, she went to work at FAUCHON – a really famous pastry shop in Paris. After this experience, she went to work for for Yannick Alleno at his Parisian bistro. Working in France was not enough anymore, so she decided to move to America and did an internship at the St. Louis Club in Clayton, Missouri for almost two years. After this experience, she thought that it was time for her to have her own baby – her own shop! Like Home (Comme à la Maison) is her dream come true. It’s a place to eat good food and to feel like home.

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14 comments on “What are Bonbons and How to Make Them”

  1. run 3 says:

    This looks like absolute heaven!! Can’t wait to make this!

  2. Empritkaji says:

    Nice cake… I like it…

  3. Amanda says:

    First, that marble board is gorgeous!! I need! Second, I was just like you. I thought bon bons were something bored women ate at home because of all the references on TV when I was a kid haha. It turns out I’ve had plenty of bon bons in my life and I love them! I can’t wait to make my own!

  4. Gloria says:

    Oh my….how delicious do these look. Honestly, I don’t think I would have the patience to make them. I do however, have the patience to eat them. It would be hard to stop at one….and I sure wouldn’t either!! Can you say addictive?? YUP!!

  5. Wow what a treat for you to get such a lesson! And thank you for sharing all of your knowledge with us! The hardest part for me is definitely tempering the chocolate, thanks for all of the tips! These look PERFECT. I LOVE the caramel!

  6. Marisa Franca says:

    WOW!! I’m impressed! I’d love to see the bonbons made from start to finish and then of course, sample a few. I’ve never eaten a bonbon. I think I’ll have to wait to either try to make it myself or travel to get some genuine French bonbons.

  7. Carmy says:

    Oh my goodness!! I need a dozen of these in my life right now. I think these are going to be my new favourite dessert. That passion fruit caramel sounds like something I need a bucket of.

  8. Amy Nash says:

    Love, love, love this video! Man alive, watching that tempered chocolate being scraped off the bonbon mold was making my mouth water! Chocolates are so wonderful and such a special treat to make them yourself! Can’t wait to try these!

  9. Kathy McDaniel says:

    This is such a great tutorial! I love all the detailed information and omg! all those flavor combinations are amazing! I may just have to make them all!

  10. Dana says:

    YOU MAKE IT SEEM SO EASY! I love the idea of coming up with my own fillings and such. How fun! I also love how these are decorated. They’re so simple and beautiful. I need to give this a shot one of these days :)

  11. Sarah says:

    I make truffles all the time, but bonbons look so much more complicated! A mold! Of COURSE you use a mold! Duh. Soooo now I need to make these- I love it!!

  12. Donna says:

    Oh wow, these are so fancy! I have made a lot of truffles and bon bons in my time, but definitely nothing as sophisticated as these. Hubbies birthday is coming up, so maybe a good time to try out something sweet and new for a surprise. Thanks for the information tutorial :)

  13. Wonderful post! I love how the idea of sitting around all day and eating bonbons seems so lazily decadent, yet the process of making them is clearly not one for the lazy! But hey, once you make them, you’re allowed to laze around all you want eating them, right? I love that you went a step further here and included the delightful and unique fillings. I’ve done a bit of chocolate making myself but never delved into anything quite this complex – but I have to say I’m tempted now! You make it look very doable!

  14. Amanda says:

    What a great post! I always had the same impression of bonbons, until I realized how many of them I’ve actually eaten over the years. :) What a wonderful opportunity to learn how to make them at home. I’m going to try my hand at them!

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