These bon bons courtesy of Chocolatier Dominic Hutchings are definitely one for those with a sweet tooth! The creamy texture of the milk chocolate works wonderfully with the sweetness of the sugar and honey, and the unusual addition of the thyme adds a hint of spice and bitter notes.
Polycarbonate chocolate mould
Cotton wool pads
Creating the design and bon bon shells
Orange cocoa butter
White cocoa butter
Take your polycarbonate chocolate mould and using the cotton wool pads, give your mould a polish as this will give the chocolate a shiny shell.
Start melting the cocoa butters, then take your paint brush and in a swirling motion, paint one layer of white, let that dry and then paint an orange layer.
Place the 500g of chocolate into a plastic bowl and melt to 45 degrees in 25 second blasts inside the microwave.
Once it's reached the temperature, pour most of the chocolate onto a marble slab and using both the chocolate scraper and palette knife, move the chocolate about to cool it down. Make sure you are keeping an eye on the temperature during this process. You want the chocolate to be cooled down to 25-26 degrees.
When it's reached the temperature, scrape the chocolate back into the bowl, mix and bring it back up to a working temperature of 29-30 degrees.
Place the chocolate into a piping bag and fill each cavity with chocolate all the way to the top. Give the mould a good tap to remove any air bubbles, then flip it upside down to turn out all the excess chocolate.
Using the scraper, tap the side of the mould to remove the excess chocolate and scrape on the base to remove it all.
Place onto a sheet of greaseproof paper upside down and leave at room temperature for 5 minutes.
Take your mould, scrape off any excess chocolate around the sides or on the mould and leave to one side whilst you create the filling.
Thyme, panela sugar, manuka honey filling
100g Manuka honey
142g Whipping cream
50g Panela sugar
79g Caster sugar
44g Unsalted butter
Place the manuka honey into a piping bag and pipe a small amount into each chocolate shell around 3mm.
In a pan, bring the whipping cream, panela sugar, light brown sugar and salt to the boil. Add in the thyme and cover with clingfilm and leave to infuse for 30 minutes.
Once infused, pass the cream mix through a sieve and return to a clean pan on a medium heat to keep warm for the process of making the caramel.
Take a clean pan and create a direct caramel using the caster sugar. Once at a caramel colour, add in the glucose and heat until dissolved.
Add in the cream, combine and cook to 107°C. Pass the caramel through the sieve, cover with clingfilm and leave to cool to 60°C.
When it's 60°C, add in the butter and emulsify into the caramel using a hand blender. Leave to cool until it's at 29-30°C.
Place the caramel into a piping bag and pipe the caramel into the cavities leaving 2mm of space from the top. Leave for 3-4 hours to skin over.
Re-temper the chocolate and place into a piping bag. Using a heat gun, carefully heat the top of the shells only for a second so that it creates a seal around the sides.
Pipe the chocolate over the cavities, level using a palette knife and then using the chocolate scraper, scrape off any excess leaving a clean flat bottom to your chocolates.
Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes to set before turning them out.
If a couple aren't releasing, place the mould into the fridge for 10-15 minutes and then all of them should fall out.