This homemade Chocolate Bonbon with hazelnut is literally a few minutes of effort and will certainly impress everyone! Bonbons are the perfect bite size treats but also can be the most appreciated handmade gift!
Making Bonbons is so much fun, people tend to fall in love with the process at first sight! Bonbons are super versatile, can be made in a great variety of flavors with endless fillings, and using a different mold you end up with something totally unique.
📖 What Bonbon is?
Bonbon is a small chocolate confection and can come in various shapes, sizes, colors, and fillings. The sky is the limit but usually features a chocolate shell that is filled with some sort of ganache, liqueur, fruit marmalade, nuts, or maybe other crispy layers. The word bon means "good" in the French language so bonbon must mean something extraordinary (my translation)!
Bonbons are often referred to as pralines in some countries although caramelized hazelnut filling is also called praline... To add to the confusion the word praline in Belgium also refers to filled chocolates that are basically chocolate bonbons. No matter how you want to call them, bonbons or pralines, they are magical, and mastering them can be one of the most rewarding skills you can learn as a home baker!
📝 Ingredient notes
- Chocolate: Obviously you will need some chocolate to make this Chocolate Hazelnut Bonbon recipe however not all chocolate are created equal. In general, worth to remember that in the case of recipes that require chocolate decoration or chocolate work, the quality of the chocolate goes way beyond taste. In this recipe, I am using Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets). This is a high-quality chocolate (yet affordable) that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than the average supermarket chocolate. The additional cocoa butter, combined with proper tempering technique gives the chocolate a more shiny look, a firmer “snap” when broken, and a creamier, more smooth texture. Couverture type of chocolate is used by professionals and by home bakers who want to take their chocolate work to the next level. It is usually sold online in a bigger pack eg. 1 kg and is perfect to make recipes that require high-quality chocolate. I order mine from Amazon and surprisingly the price/kg it is not even so much more expensive than low-quality supermarket chocolate. Try this Chocolate Hazelnut Bonbon recipe with the best quality chocolate you can access, and remember that the quality of the Bonbon will be simply in line with the quality of the chocolate you use
- Cocoa butter powder (optional) : There are a few ways to temper chocolate and since in my Hot chocolate Bomb post earlier I shared the seeding method, I thought it is useful if I share another method this time that is called cocoa butter powder method . If you can´t access cocoa butter powder, no problem, please read my earlier post about the seeding method in which case no cocoa butter is needed
- Hazelnut: You will need a 15 whole roasted hazelnut without the skin, one into each bonbon
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all Ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
👩🍳 How to make this recipe
1. What is the difference between melting and tempering chocolate
Both involves melting chocolate...but they are very different, indeed. Please note that each chocolate has a certain melting temp and if you go way above that, the chocolate either will burn or separate. I managed to burn a whole bowl of white chocolate once in the microwave, don´t be like me!
In short, when chocolate is melted, the molecules separate. When you temper the chocolate, you bond those molecules back together so your chocolate will harden with a glossy shine and fine "snap".
With simply melting chocolate, without tempering, the chocolate will somewhat harden but will lose its initial shine, will be matt with an unpleasant texture. There is no need to temper chocolate when you use chocolate IN a recipe like when you make brownie, however when chocolate IS the recipe, for example chocolate decoration, chocolate bonbon etc. you need to apply a proper pre-crystallising / tempering.
Good news is that as fancy as it sounds, chocolate tempering is actually rather easy and quick, really nothing to be worry about! There is one easy step between melted and tempered chocolate... Continue reading!
💡 Top Tip: Without appropriate chocolate tempering it is likely that you simply won´t be able to unmould these Chocolate Hazelnut Bonbons from the mould because they stay will crystallize uneven and stay somewhat too soft and unpleasant.
3. How to temper chocolate
From the Callebaut website I think you might find this piece of learning material below useful:
When you add chocolate to dishes as a flavour component (e.g. chocolate mousses), it suffices to simply melt it without tempering.
What is tempering / pre-crystallising?
The purpose of tempering chocolate is to pre-crystallise the cocoa butter in it, which is important to make your chocolate ready for processing. During tempering, the cocoa butter in the chocolate takes on a stable crystalline form. This guarantees a perfect finished product with a satin gloss and a hard snap. It also makes the chocolate contract during cooling, which makes it easier to unmould. If chocolate is simply melted and then left to cool down, the finished product will not be glossy. If you make the small effort of bringing your chocolate to the right working temperature properly, you are guaranteed to get the desired end result. And that’s what we mean by tempering: bringing chocolate up to the right working temperature while making sure that the crystalline structure of the cocoa butter in it is stable.
There are various methods to temper chocolate, earlier I made a blog post about seeding method, please read in here. With seeding method you basically temper the chocolate using the chocolate itself, no need for cocoa butter, so if you can´t access cocoa butter please temper your chocolate with seeding method.
For this Chocolate Hazelnut Bonbon I used a different method, I tempered the chocolate with cocoa butter powder and thought it is the perfect opportunity to share with you the technique. There are 4 super simple steps to follow (for the exact melting, working, and set temp of your chocolate follow the instructions on the bag of chocolate you are working with, as per below:
💡 Top Tip: Compared to the seeding method I find the cocoa butter method even easier and more stable, less opportunity for mistakes.
Melt your chocolate to 45-50°C (in case of dark chocolate). You can use a microwave, in that case check and stir the chocolate every 30 seconds. Or you can use a double boiler, in this case do the process over low heat so you don´t burn the chocolate
Allow the chocolate to cool at room temperature to 34-35°C (for dark chocolate)
Add 1% cocoa butter powder to your melted chocolate, i.e. 2 g for 200g of chocolate. I am using a product from Callebaut called Mycryo and it is perfect. Buy any cocoa butter powder if Mycryo is not available for you
Mix well cocoa butter powder with chocolate
Use chocolate according to the recipe bearing in mind the chocolate "working temp" and "set temp"
That´s it, easy peasy!
💡 Top Tip: Please note, that I am tempering 200g of chocolate with 2g (1 teaspoon) of cocoa butter powder for the sake of keeping the process simple. If you want to be extra precise you need 150g chocolate and 1,5g cocoa butter for this mold however I find it is much easier to measure 1 teaspoon of cocoa butter (that is 2g) than 1,5g which is difficult to handle for an average kitchen scale.
4. The process of making Chocolate Hazelnut Bonbons
After tempering the chocolate, making this Chocolate Hazelnut Bonbon is super easy and quick!
1. Make sure first that you properly clean your Silikomart Choco Flame mould (I am using vinegar and paper towel) as any residue will be seen on the chocolate
2. Pipe chocolate into the Silikomart Choco Flame mould. Don´t fill it full as a piece of hazelnut will go into each
3. Place one hazelnut into each hole. Pipe some more chocolate on top to cover the hazelnut
4. Carefully tap the mould onto the kitchen counter a few times - this help to release potential air bubbles
5. Smooth the top with an offset spatula so your Chocolate Hazelnut Bonbon will have a flat bottom
6. That´s it! If your tempered the chocolate correctly, the chocolate will set and you will be able to pop the Chocolate hazelnut bonbons out of the mould easily. Leave the chocolate set either on room temp (30-60 minutes) or in the fridge (15-30 minutes) or in the freezer (5-10 minutes). If chocolate is tempered correctly the Bonbons should be easily removed from the mould. I usually place my mould into the freezer for 10 minutes and that´s it, delicious home made Chocolate Hazelnut Bonbon are ready!
5. Decoration: There is not much need of decoration, however a bit of gold leaf can´t hurt, can it?
💡 Top Tip: Use gloves while unmould the Bonbon. Although chocolate should be already set when you unmould them yet gloves can prevent leaving finger prints on the surface of the bonbons also ensure that you do not melt the chocolate with your warm fingers
For making Bonbons you will need a mold. There are a great variety of shapes available to purchase from semi-sphere to heart, square, etc. Material wise polycarbonate and silicone are the most common ones.
The mold I am using to make these Chocolate Hazelnut Bonbons called: Silikomart Choco Flame mould. I love the design and it is super easy to work with it, I can warmly recommend it!
For chocolate tempering you will need a thermometer. I purchased an Infrared thermometer gun last year and absolutely love it, it is the most accurate and convenient way to check the temperate whether I am making curd, cream, or tempering chocolate!
I also recommend investing into some Piping bags, as a home baker, you need it all the time it is much easier and neater to pipe things than anything else like pouring or spooning.
Last not but least, for a consistent, happy baking experience always measure your ingredients with the help of a Digital scale. Cup measurement is an indicative figure only and not appropriate for tempering chocolate!
More Chocolate Bonbon and Decoration recipes
Chocolate Bonbon with hazelnut
- 200 g Dark chocolate eg. Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets)
- 2 g Cocoa butter powder for tempering, optional
- 15 pieces Hazelnut whole roasted hazenut, without skin
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Clean your chocolate mould to get rid of any potential residue
- Melt and temper chocolate. Use a thermometer, eg. Infrared thermometer gun to measure the chocolate temp while tempering
- For the tempering: In case of Callebaut Dark Chocolate (callets), melt chocolate to 45-50°C then allow the chocolate to cool at room temperature to 34-35°C
- When chocolate reached 34-35C add 1% cocoa butter powder to your melted chocolate, i.e. 2 g (1 teaspoon) for 200g of chocolate. I am using a product from Callebaut called Mycryo, use any cocoa butter powder you can access. Mix well cocoa butter powder with chocolate
- Pipe chocolate into the mould, place one hazelnut into each
- Carefully tap the mould onto the kitchen counter a few times to release potential small air bubbles
- Smooth the top with an offset spatula
- Leave the chocolate set either on room temp (30-60 minutes) or in the fridge (15-30 minutes) or in the freezer (5-10 minutes). If chocolate is tempered correctly the Bonbons should be easily removed from the mould. Tip: Use gloves when unmoulding the Bonbons