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.
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:
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:
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.