Le Cordon Bleu's Annabella bonbons and hazelnut clusters

If you're searching for the perfect homemade chocolate recipe (or two!), you're in the right place...

Brought to you by Le Cordon Bleu London

Homemade gifts are always greatly received and these bonbons are perfect for impressing your friends and family over the festive season. They’re especially delicious enjoyed with coffee! Here, these specially selected homemade chocolate recipes from Le Cordon Bleu will make for the perfect gift or post-dinner treat this Christmas. If you do enjoy making these treats, find out more about Le Cordon Bleu's dedicated chocolate making classes here.

Hazelnut clusters

 

For the caramelised hazelnuts:

  • 40 ml water
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 100 g hazelnuts
  • 5 g (1 tsp) unsalted butter

For the milk chocolate coating:

  • 300 g milk chocolate

To caramelise the hazelnuts:

  1. Bring the water and sugar to the boil, swirling the saucepan to dissolve the sugar. Cook for about 5 minutes until the syrup registers 117°C (242.6°F) on a cooking thermometer. Remove from the heat, add the hazelnuts and stir until the sugar crystallises, coating the hazelnuts with a white powder. Return the saucepan to a low heat until the sugar melts and the hazelnuts turn golden brown, then add the butter. Remove from the heat immediately and spread onto baking parchment. Using a fork, immediately arrange the hazelnuts into groups of three, bonded by the caramel; set aside to harden for about 10 minutes.

To temper the chocolate for the coating:

  1. Coarsely chop the chocolate and place two-thirds (200g (7oz)) in a bowl; melt over a simmering bain-marie until the temperature reaches 45°C (113°F) on a cooking thermometer. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the remaining chocolate, stirring until the temperature cools to 26°C (78.8°F). Return the bowl to the bain-marie and, stirring gently, reheat the chocolate to 29°C (84.2°F). Using a fork, dip the hazelnut clusters into the tempered chocolate. Shake gently to remove any excess chocolate and place on baking parchment. Set aside to harden for 30 minutes before serving.

 

Ingredients

  • 40 g raisins
  • 20 ml rum
  • 150 g almond paste
  • icing sugar (for dusting)

For the chocolate coating

  • 300 g white chocolate

For the decoration

  • 50 g dark chocolate

Instructions

1
Macerate the raisins in the rum overnight.
2
The next day, combine the macerated raisins and the almond paste.
3
Dust a work surface with icing sugar. Wearing rubber gloves, divide the almond paste into two equal parts and form each one into a rope.
4
Cut the rope into pieces 1cm (½in) thick (about 10-15g (¼-½oz)). Roll by hand into balls and place on a plate.

Tempering the white chocolate for the coating:

1
Coarsely chop the chocolate. Place two-thirds (200g (7oz)) of the chopped chocolate in a bowl; melt over a simmering bain-marie until the temperature reaches 40°C (104°F) on a cooking thermometer. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the remaining chocolate, stirring until the temperature cools to 25°C (77°F).
2
Return the bowl to the bainmarie and, stirring gently, reheat the chocolate to 28°C (82.4°F).
3
Make a small paper piping bag using baking parchment. Melt the dark chocolate over a bain-marie, then allow to cool. Wearing rubber gloves, dip the almond paste balls into the tempered white chocolate. Shake gently to remove the excess and set on baking parchment to harden. Fill the paper piping bag with the melted dark chocolate. Roll and fold over the top of the bag until the chocolate is squeezed into the nose of the cone; the parchment should be taut around the chocolate. Snip off the end close to the tip and streak the white chocolate with fine lines of dark chocolate.

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