Introduction: Guilty Pleasure Bonbons and More

About: When things don't go the way I want, I still hear my father say: ‘There is no such word as can’t.’ The things I make, I make thanks to him. He taught me how to bake and paint and everything in between, I got h…

Today I make guilty pleasure bonbons: bonbons with a filling of heavy cream, mascarpone and real butter. This recipe makes three kind of sweets but is easy to split if you only want to make the bonbons or do you prefer the Cantuccini’s? The bottom of the bonbons is a thin biscuit layer and because only baking cookies for the chocolates is a lot of work because of the small amount of dough you use, so we make almond biscuits (Cantuccini’s ) too. You can use Cantuccini’s also very well in desserts for example tiramisu. The remaining chocolate from the bonbons can easily be transformed into chocoshell, a chocolate sauce that becomes hard as soon as it is poured over ice.

Step 1: What You Need:

For the bonbon bottoms / Cantuccini’s:
This recipe is based on gluten-free, you use flour in addition to almond flour, that is possible too, but of course they are no longer gluten-free. Be aware that because these cookies are baked twice, they are very hard. Italians usually dip them in liquor or coffee. If you want to nibble be careful with your teeth.
If you do not want to bake Cantuccini’s but only want to make bonbons than skip the biscuit layer for the bonbons.
* 200 g. self-raising almond flour (or 75 g. pure almond flour, 90 g. rice flour, 35 g. lupine flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder.)
* 150 g. caster sugar
* 2 eggs
* pinch of salt
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 1 tbsp amaretto
* Lemon peel of 1 lemon
* 3 tbsp orange juice (option)
* unsalted and unroasted almonds with skin (75 g.)
Glass or cup
Baking paper
Baking tray

For the Bonbons filling and top layer:
* Biscuit rounds
* 125 ml of heavy cream
* 100 g. mascarpone
* 75 g. real butter
* 100 g. sugar
* 1 tsp Vanilla flavor
* Amaretto
* Instant coffee
* 200 g. Dark chocolate*
Baking tray or spring form
Baking paper
2 pans (or pan with bowl for melting chocolate )
Piping bag
If you do not want to make a chocoshell sauce for ice cream than use the remaining melted chocolate to make chocolates.

*If you prefer to use milk chocolate or white chocolate, reduce the sugar to 75 g. otherwise it will be very sweet.

Option Garnishing bonbons:
Every garnish that you like. I chose marzipan because I had it in stock. I only had white marzipan and I did not have any natural coloring in the house so I colored the marzipan with food color.

Chocoshell ice cream topping:
Leftover melted chocolate
Coconut oil

Step 2: Making Cantuccini's and the Bottom for the Bonbons:

Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius.

The dough: Add flour, sugar, and salt together in a bowl and stir. Now add the remaining ingredients, but keep one egg and the almonds apart, we will use it later. Now stir everything well with a spoon until you have a nice sticky dough.

Cover a baking tray with baking paper. Take about 1/5 of the dough and form a roll between your hands. Place the roll in width on the baking tray and stretch it out to a roll about 1 to 1.5 cm high and wide. Divide the remaining dough into three and make 3 times a roll that you also stretch over the width of the baking tray. These rolls are about 2.5 to 3 cm wide and 1 to 1.5 cm high. Try to keep all roles equally high. Now push the almonds in the last three rolls and press them under the dough. This goes easy with a damped finger otherwise the dough will stick to your finger. Now egg wash the rolls with the remaining egg.

Place the baking tray in the middle of the oven and bake the rolls for 20 to 25 until golden brown.

Take the rolls out of the oven as soon as they are are golden brown and lower the heat of the oven to 130° Celsius. Cut the rolls into slices as hot as possible. Cut the role of the bonbons in slices with a thickness of 0.5 cm, form rounds and press flat, place on a baking tray covered with a baking sheet. Bake the rounds for the bonbons in 15 minutes at 130 ° Celsius. Remove from the oven after 15 minutes, allow the rounds to cool completely and store in airtight container or jar.

Cut the remaining rolls, when still hot, into slices of about 1 cm thick. Place the slices on a baking tray and bake the biscuits in 20 minutes at 130 ° Celsius. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Store in airtight container or jar. Cantuccini's are crispy/hard. Served with coffee with amaretto they are delicious to dip or you can use them in desserts eg tiramisu.

Step 3: Making Bonbons: the Bottom

Melt a few cubes of dark chocolate au bain marie and spread the melted chocolate on a baking tray or flat plate, I use a spring form covered with baking paper because it fits better in the fridge. Place the biscuit rounds in the melted chocolate and let it harden in the refrigerator.

Separate the rounds and remove the loose chocolate. The circles now have a protective layer at the bottom. Drip on top of the rounds some amaretto and then sprinkle a pinch of instant coffee. Put the rounds back in the refrigerator.

Step 4: Making Bonbons: the Mascarpone/cream Filling:

Heat the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla flavor until the sugar has melted but do not boil the cream. Allow to cool down to room temperature.
Let the butter and mascarpone come to room temperature and mix together with a mixer. When the cream mixture is at room temperature, add it to the butter/mascarpone mixture and mix till stiff. Do not be alarmed at the beginning, it seems as if the mixture separate but just go on. It will take 15 to 20 minutes before it starts to stiffen. Mix until it is so stiff that the mixture does not move when you tip over the bowl.

Step 5: Making Bonbons: Combine the Biscuit and Filling

Remove the rounds from the refrigerator and fill the piping bag with the filling. Place baking paper on a baking tray (which fits in the freezer) and place the biscuit rounds on it. Now form dots on the rounds of about 1.5 cm high. You probably have more filling than rounds. Spray the remaining filling in dots without biscuit bottoms , you can store them in the freezer to make bonbons later. Now stick a toothpick in each dot and place the tray in the freezer for a few hours. Place the filling without biscuit rounds after a few hours in an airtight box and store in the freezer for later. They remain, at -18° Celsius, for about 3 months. Put the remaining dots, the one on the rounds, also back in the freezer till you have melted the chocolate.

Step 6: Making Bonbons: the Chocolate Layer

Break the chocolate and melt 3/4 of the chocolate au bain marie. When the chocolate has completely melted, remove the pan or bowl from the heat source and stir in the remaining 1/4 chocolate. Adding chocolate after melting makes the chocolate cool down more quickly and if you leave it, to harden outside the fridge, it will also shine nicely. Unfortunately, due to the temperature here I have to let it harden in the fridge and that makes chocolate a bit dull, as can be seen on the pictures.

Let the melted chocolate cool down to about 30° Celsius (too hot and your filling melts), use a thermometer or if you do not have one test a drop of chocolate on the inside of your wrist, if you do not feel the temperature of the chocolate it is about 30° Celsius. Pour the melted chocolate into a large flared cup or glass it will make dipping the bonbons much easier.

Remove about 10 to 15 chocolates at the time from the freezer, not more otherwise they melt too quickly. Dip the bonbons in the chocolate one by one till they are completely covered and let it drip out. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Continue with this till you have done all the bonbons.

Remove all toothpicks after dipping and put the chocolates in a cool room or fridge to harden. You can now garnish them if you like.

Step 7: Chocoshell Sauce:

Heat, au bain marie, some coconut oil in the pan or bowl in which you melted the chocolate. You have to eyeball a bit how much coconut oil you need, I needed a tbsp of coconut oil. Melt the coconut oil and stir in the remaining chocolate which was left in the pan or bowl. Pour the melted coconut oil in the remaining chocolate in the glass or cup and stir well. Pour the sauce into a glass jar, cool down and store in the refrigerator. Before use, put the jar in hot water to make it liquid again and pour over ice. Chocoshell gives a nicely solidified chocolate layer on ice compare to Magnums.

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