Why would I want to be able to make bonbons myself?
Being able to make bonbons, is a skill that you can apply throughout your life. Bonbons are great gifts to give, especially if you made them yourself, to basically anyone for any occasion. Of course, you can also gift them to yourself and experiment your way to creating your perfect bonbon. The variations are only limited to your own imagination. With some practice, you will be able to make something that looks finger-licking good.
What do I need to make my own bonbons?
You will need a bonbon mould and couverture chocolate, preferably a high quality one. The variation possibilities already start here, as you can get different moulds for differently-shaped bonbons and different couverture chocolate for a different taste. Those are the basic things you need, next comes the ingredients for the ganache (=filling) and possibly something to sprinkle on top of the bonbons.
How to make the bonbons?
Tempering the chocolate is an essential step for making a smooth evenly-colored shell for your bonbons and requires you to become a bit of a chemist as you take the chocolate through a temperature curve. We mentioned earlier that you need couverture chocolate as it has additional cocoa butter, which is ideal for tempering.
What you need is a medium-sized pot for heating water, a metal bowl that fits inside the pot and a rubber or silicone spatula. First, heat the water and bring it to simmer, then turn off the heat. Second, put 2/3 of your chocolate inside the bowl and place the bowl inside the simmering water. Water ruins the process, so make sure to use a dry bowl and don’t let any water from the pot enter the bowl. Do not stir until the chocolate is 2/3 melted, allowing it to melt further. Third, if melted, remove the bowl and place it on a kitchen towel, then stir in the remaining 1/3 of your chocolate. This is called seeding. As your mixture starts to cool down, make sure there are no solid pieces of chocolate left in the bowl.
The chocolate should be below your body temperature and you can check by holding the spatula against your lower lip or just above your wrist on the inside of your arm. If it feels refreshing, the chocolate is at the right temperature and so you can get your chocolate mould out (to be precise, the chocolate should be cooled down to 32 degrees Celsius). Pour your chocolate into the moulds by using a teaspoon or a piping bag, do not fill more than half. Then put the mould into the fridge and regularly check to see whether the chocolate has hardened. Then add the ganache, again do not fill the mould completely as the final step is to add another layer of melted chocolate. Return to the fridge once again until they are hardened. Once they are ready, store in a cool, dry place (not the fridge!).
Your ganache can be anything and so we do not describe how to make that. Instead, we recommend to experiment until you find a combination of flavours that you absolutely love.