About 4 months ago I started learning French. It is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time but only then decided to do. It’s been challenging at times (pronunciation, looking at you). But also – a lot of fun. One of the cutest words I’ve learned so far is “Bonbons” which means candies.
Incidentally, the first “bonbons” I ever made were Julia Child “Truffes aux Chocolat” – also French. And while these are technically truffles, I like the name Bonbons much better!
These are perfectly sweet bites that will keep in your fridge for up to two weeks in an airtight container. Meaning – make-ahead friendly! They are easy, delicious, and go so well together with coffee in the morning or as a light finish to a meal. Sometimes you just want something small after a hearthy dinner and these work so well for that. Not to mention, they are so easily customizable. You can put nuts in them, not just on the outside, substitute apricots for raisins and so on. This flavor combination, however, is my favorite. Note, however, that the taste of pistachio is very subtle because it’s ground so finely. Its main role is presentation but if you’d like it to be more pronounced, add more coarsely chopped ones into the chocolate before forming.
Dried Apricot and Pistachio Bonbons
- Mini muffin paper cups
- 10 oz milk chocolate
- Double shot of espresso or 2 oz of very strong freshly brewed coffee
- 4 oz unsalted butter, cut in pieces
- 2 oz dried apricots, finely chopped about 9 of them
- 1 Tb Liquer of your choice, I used an Orange flavored one (Grand Marnier)
- 1 oz finely ground unsalted pistachios scant handful
- 1 oz unsweetened cocoa powder
- In a glass bowl, melt the chocolate over a water bath or in the microwave. If your microwave doesn’t have a “melt” option, microwave in 20 seconds increments, until just starting to come together when mixed with a spatula.
- Add the espresso or coffee and mix well with a hand mixer.
- Add the chilled butter, one piece at a time, waiting to add a new one until the previous one is completely mixed in.
- Add apricots, liquer, and mix well.
- Chill for two hours in the fridge.
- When chilled, prepare your work station. You will need a small plate with ground up pistashios and a small plate with cocoa powder. I strongly recommend preparing a couple of wet paper towels to wipe your hands because chocolate gets messy. Lay out a tray or a shallow container with mini muffin paper cups.
- Using a sturdy teaspoon or a melon baller (the side that’s about 1 in in diameter) scoop up some chocolate from the bowl of chilled mixture. It can vary in size so don’t get to hung up on that. I like them a little smaller, but that’s more work.
- Roll the scooped up chocolate in your hands until it’s a smooth circle.
- Dedicate one hand to cocoa powder and one to pistachios. Place a chocolate ball into the pistachio mix but don’t roll around. The goal is to cover half. Transfer it to the cocoa powder plate dipping the other side in. You may end up holding the ball with two hands at the same time so you don’t mix chocolate and pistachios or you can use two forks.
- When it’s covered with pistachios on one side and with cocoa powder on the other side, gently transfer it into the prepared paper cups.
- If the chocolate becomes too warm, put it in the fridge for additional 45 minutes of chilling time.
- Repeat with the remaining chocolate. Keep in the fridge and serve cold!