The richness of dark chocolate paired with the fruitiness of Ruby chocolate and a speculaas spice mix makes for a great fall and winter bonbon.
Speculaas spice mix
The speculaas spice mix follows a fixed distribution of spices. You can always make more and store it for later use. There are also pre-made speculaas spice mixes available. To make the spice mix, simply combine all dried spices. The distribution is as follows:
- 10 parts Cinnamon (ground)
- 2 parts Clove (ground)
- 2 parts Nutmeg (ground)
- 1 part Ginger (dried, ground)
- 1 part Cardamom (ground)
- 1 part White pepper (ground)
For the bonbon filling, 2 grams of spice mix is required. Resulting in:
- Cinnamon (ground), 1.2 grams
- Clove (ground), 0.24 grams
- Nutmeg (ground), 0.24 grams
- Ginger (dried, ground), 0.12 grams
- 1 part Cardamom (ground), 0.12 grams
- 1 part White pepper (ground), 0.12 grams
If you don’t have a scale that is precise enough to measure small amounts, just make a larger batch. The spice mix can be stored in an airtight container for later use.
Ingredients for the bonbons
For the ganache filling:
- Double cream, 133 grams
- Glucose (or honey), 8 grams
- Ruby chocolate, 223 grams (can be bought through Amazon or in specialty stores)
- Unsalted butter, 14 grams
- 2 grams of speculaas spice mix (see above)
- (Optional) colored cocoa butter in red
For the chocolate shells:
- Chocolate, e.g. Callebaut 54.5% Dark chocolate with a 3-drops fluidity, see my chocolate mousse recipe for more information on chocolate fluidity. The amount of chocolate will depend on the size of the molds. For the molds used in this recipe, roughly 700 grams of molten chocolate was required.
- (Optional) Food-grade bronze spray
- Polycarbonate chocolate molds (mold used in the picture)
- Stick blender or food processor
- Tempering equipment, I use a temperature controlled chocolate melter.
- Piping bag
- Spatulas, pallet knife, or something else to clean up the molds after filling
Note on molds: You can use silicone molds to make the chocolates. However, to create very shiny bonbons, you are restricted to using the hard-plastic polycarbonate chocolate molds. These molds can be found online or in specialty stores.
1. Prepare molds and chocolate
Heat the dark chocolate to 45 degrees. Clear the molds with a microfiber cloth.
(Optional) Spray the molds with bronze spray. You can also use colored cocoa butter to color the molds.
2. Make the ganache
This can be done in parallel with tempering the chocolate. For the ganache:
- Let the butter come to room temperature.
- Finely chop the ruby chocolate or use a food processor, add the glucose.
- Add spice mix to the double cream and bring to a boil.
- When the cream is just boiling, remove from the heat and add the cream to the ruby chocolate.
- Wait one minute, and emulsify with a stick blender or in the food processor.
- (Optional) Ruby chocolate can lose some of its ruby colors when adding other ingredients. To remedy this, you can add a bit of melted colored cocoa butter to the ganache.
- When the mixture has cooled down to 34 degrees, add butter and emulsify for a final time.
- Transfer to a piping bag and reserve for later.
3. Temper the chocolate and making the shells
Temper the chocolate by letting the dark chocolate cool to 27 degrees (partly by adding some unmelted chocolate), then increase the temperature to 32 degrees.
Pour the chocolate into the molds. Bash the side of the mold to remove air bubbles. Empty the molds by putting them upside down, letting all excess chocolate drip out. Let the chocolate harden upside down, for example, on a small rack.
4. Filling the bonbons
When the chocolate had hardened, fill the bonbons with the ganache. Make sure that the ganache has cooled down enough not to melt the chocolate shells. Let the ganache firm up in the shells. You can put the molds in the freezer for a couple of minutes, just make sure that no moisture gets in the bonbons.
When the ganache has hardened, top up the shells with the remainder of the tempered chocolate.
Let the bonbons harden completely, optionally for a few minutes in the freezer. Then remove from the shells. If the chocolate was tempered correctly, the bonbons should come out freely from the molds.