If you’ve never experienced boozy chocolate bon bons, you are in for a treat! Some call these rum balls. Others associate them with cake pops. But these require a more polished name, because they are far more than just balls and pops (ahem).
A bon bon is typically candy or a small confection. Since these little boozy bites are a small confection, one can easily get lost in how many they’re eating. I’m guilty!
There is a bit of a time commitment to make these confections, but they are well worth it. Especially as a gift or any special occasion. In order to save some time, make the cake ahead and freeze it. For this recipe, you can use just about any left over cake, it doesn’t have to be chocolate. Just make sure the cake doesn’t have any fruit in it like this one. I like to keep some cake in the freezer so when I need to whip out a quick dessert, half the work is already done.
The bon bon recipe is very versatile. Depending on your tastes, or your gift recipient, you can use rum or Kahlua in this recipe. The boozyness can be adjusted to your liking, increasing or decreasing the alcohol while adjusting it with the cream. If booze isn’t your thing, leave it out and replace it with more cream and/or espresso or strong coffee.
The cocoa nib bon bon is for the dark, bitter chocolate lover. The nibs are crunchy and are a mouth watering contrast to the creamy, melty texture of the inner bon bon. The possibilities for different coatings are endless. You can use just about any toasted and finely chopped nut or sweetened and toasted coconut flakes to roll the bon bons in.
These make great gifts. I’ve packaged them up in cellophane bags, or small confection boxes. The bon bons hold up well in the packaging and ship beautifully as long as it’s not above 80 degrees. Everyone loves getting these little treats as gifts! So when you can’t mail a cake, send them bon bons!
Boozy Chocolate Bon Bons
- 2 C Perfect Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes 12 oz
- 1 ¼ C Whole Almonds divided for finishing (6 ¼ oz)*
- 1 C Shredded Coconut divided for finishing (3 oz)*
- 3 1/4 C Chocolate Chopped Baking Bar or Wafers (I use Guittard 70 or 72% Couverture) divided for finishing (16 oz)*
- 4 Tbs Dark Rum or Kahlua
- 5 Tbs Heavy Cream
For Finishing the Bon Bons
- ¼ C Cocoa Nibs Optional 1 ½ oz
- Reserved from above:
- C *2 ¼ Chocolate Chopped Baking Bar or Wafers, (I use Guittard 70% or 72% Couverture) (10 oz)
- C *½ Toasted Almonds fine chopped (2 ½ oz)
- C *¾ Toasted Shredded Coconut (2 ¼ oz)
For the Cake
The Perfect Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes cake recipe is used for this recipe. I usually make a whole batch of the Perfect Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes, bake it in a sheet pan, cut it into four pieces, wrap it in plastic wrap twice and freeze it. For this recipe, you'll only use 1/4 of the cake, so you will have some leftover. It can be used for many different desserts including future bon bons. If you'd rather have cupcakes, make the cupcakes and just pull 4 cupcakes to freeze for future bon bon use. You'll need two cups of cake. If you have any other left over, frozen cake, this bon bon recipe is a good recipe to use it in. Just make sure the cake doesn’t have any fruit in it.
For the Bon Bons
Set up a bain marie by filling a large, deep saute' pan or stock pot ¾ full with water. Heat water until steaming. Keep the burner on med-low so that water continues to steam. The bain marie will be used to melt the chocolate.
Heat oven to 325F. On separate sheet pans, toast the whole almonds for 25-30 minutes and the coconut for 15 minutes. Watch the coconut closely, stirring every 5 minutes. It can burn quickly and easily. Allow the coconut to cool while the almonds finish toasting. Place almonds in food processor and pulse 25 times. You want a fine chop. Set coconut and almonds aside in separate bowls.
Place 1 C of chopped chocolate in a stainless bowl. Place the bowl in the ban marie (with the bowl floating in the water), and begin the melting process. Keep an eye on the temperature of the chocolate. You don’t want it to get above 110F. Periodically take the bowl out of the ban marie and stir the chocolate. The residual heat from the bowl will continue to melt the chocolate. Wipe the bottom of the bowl dry and set aside.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment on, add the cake, ¾ C of the fine chopped almonds, ¼ C of the toasted shredded coconut, the 1 C melted chocolate, rum and heavy cream into the stand mixer bowl. Mix on medium until ingredients are evenly distributed. The mixture will be very moist.
Line a baking pan with wax or parchment paper. Using a #50 scoop or 1.5 Tbs each, scoop the bon bons out of the bowl and place them on the wax paper. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
Remove the bon bons from the refrigerator. Using your hands, roll the bon bons each into a ball. Refrigerate for another 10 minutes. While these are in the refrigerator, place the remaining 2 ¼ C of chopped chocolate into a stainless steal bowl. Heat over the bain marie not allowing the chocolate to get above 110F. Be sure there is enough water in the bain marie as to not let the stainless steal bowl touch the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
Finish the Bon Bons
Have your ingredients ready and a pan lined with wax or parchment paper. You’ll need ½ C toasted fine chop almonds, ¾ C toasted coconut , ¼ C cocoa nibs (optional) and the 2 ¼ C chocolate you just melted. Remove the bon bons from the refrigerator. Use your right hand to dip and roll the bon bon in the chocolate and the left hand to roll the bon bon in the finishing ingredient. The coating of chocolate should be relatively thin, so you’ll need to manipulate the bon bon so that there is not a lot of excess chocolate. Gently, set the bon bon, after rolling, on the lined pan. Use all of one finishing ingredient before starting another as to not mix the finishing ingredients.
Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before storing them in a covered container. Bring to room temperature before serving.
Inspired By Laurette Feit of Sweet Laurette's Café’ and Bakery