You’ve bought plenty of boxes of chocolate for Valentine’s Day, but have you ever tried to make them yourself? James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Dominique Ansel stopped by to show us his tips and tricks for tempering chocolate, as well as how to then use it to make picture perfect bonbons filled with a dark chocolate ganache for your Valentine.
For The Chocolate Bonbons
- 4 pounds dark chocolate, tempered
- Dark chocolate ganache, (recipe below)
- Chocolate bonbon mold
- Bench scraper
- Piping bag
Make sure your chocolate bonbon mold is clean and completely dry (just like when you were tempering chocolate, you don’t want any water or moisture coming in contact with your chocolate).
Using a ladle, pour enough of the tempered chocolate into each bonbon form to fully coat the inside. Flip the mold upside down to allow any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Scrape the bench scrape neatly across the top of the mold to create a level surface and remove any excess chocolate. Let cool at room temperature until the chocolate sets and hardens, about 15 minutes.
Fill a piping bag with dark chocolate ganache, twist the open end to close, and snip off the tip. Pipe ganache into each of the chocolate-lined bonbon forms until almost level to the top of the mold (about 20-25 grams, depending on the size of your mold). Let the ganache crystallize (i.e. start to harden and set) in the molds at room temperature, about 1 hour.
Using a ladle, pour more tempered chocolate over each bonbon form to completely cover the surface. Use the bench scraper to clean off the excess chocolate, so that you’re left with a smooth, flat coating of chocolate, completely sealing in the ganache filling. Let the bonbons stand at room temperature until the chocolate fully hardens, about 1 hour.
To unmold the bonbons, invert the mold and gently twist (tapping on your work surface if needed) until the bonbons fall out. Store the bonbons in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
For The Chocolate Ganache
- 1 3/ 4 cups heavy cream, (421g)
- 15 1/ 4 ounces dark chocolate, (66%)
- 4 3/ 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cubed (67g)
- Immersion/Hand Blender
- Candy Thermometer
In a medium pot, bring the cream to a boil. Remove from the heat.
Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, and gently stir with a whisk until smooth and the chocolate has melted. (TIP: You’re whisking to melt the chocolate here, not to incorporate air. Stop whisking when all the chocolate is melted.)
Blend the mixture with an immersion/hand blender until smooth and there are no lumps. Let cool to 95°F (35°C). Stir in the softened butter until fully incorporated. (Adding butter gives the ganache a tiny bit of shine and sheen, and also helps give the ganache a smooth mouthfeel.) Once the ganache cools to room temperature, use immediately to fill your chocolate truffles or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.