[MY APOLOGIES: Due to a program glitch, subscribers may have received multiple notifications of this post. Yikes! Problem fixed. I was going to send another email apologizing for the multiple auto-emails but I figured you'd hunt me down if you got one more Ceramic Canvas email today. Sorry for the inconvenience.] Now on with the show…
I’d never had a bonbon in my life – nor had I really ever wanted to try one either. But that was before, this is now.
I’ve turned a new leaf. I had no idea what I was missing…But before I get to my life changing bonbon experience, let me take a moment for a brief commercial break.
Yesterday, the editors at Saveur online, named CeramicCanvas.com and our recipe for Double-Fried Sweet Potato Fries as a “Site We Love’ and ‘Best of the Web,” respectively. I want to thank them for the shout out and recognition. If you get a chance, check out the Saveur page or go directly to the recipe here.
Now back to our regularly scheduled program…bonbons.
Last week I got my hands on the cookbook, “Michael Mina. The Cookbook.” To me it’s more of a coffee table cookbook (you know, oversized, involved recipes and filled with stunning photos). It’s a truly beautiful book that inspires every time I pick it up. Thumbing through it the other day, I was stopped dead in my tracks by a photograph of bonbons.
The photograph featured an assortment of dark and milk chocolate bonbons, each using a sterling silver olive pick as a handle. Was it a little much? Yes. But I decided that I would have to give this impossibly pretentious presentation a try.
I had come across a recipe for Ginger Ice Cream a while back that I thought would be perfect for bonbons.
So, a plan was born. Bonbons (three varieties: bittersweet, milk and white chocolate) filled with Ginger Ice Cream.
I love them. As a matter of fact, after the first bite, it all of sudden became very clear why people would sit on their butts all day eating them…these babies are delicious.
My favorite was the bittersweet chocolate bonbon. The richness of the bittersweet chocolate worked well with the ginger ice cream.
Even on its own the Ginger Ice Cream is amazing. I’ll admit I was a little concern at first about putting diced crystallized ginger in the ice cream. But the sweet, slightly spicy taste of the ginger was a beautiful match for the creaminess and fat of the ice cream.
If you get a chance to try this ice cream as a bonbon or on its own, I highly suggest you give it a try.
BONBONS WITH GINGER ICE CREAM
For the Bonbons
Adapted from Michael Mina The Cookbook
1 Recipe for Ginger Ice Cream
3/4 lbs chopped chocolate (bittersweet, milk and/or white, separated)
2 TBLS vegetable oil
cookie crumbs (optional)
Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and place it in the freezer for an hour.
Working quickly with a melon baller, scoop the ice cream into twelve ½” round balls. Place the balls on the frozen sheet pan about 1” apart. In the ice cream gets too soft as you are working, return it to the freezer. Stick a sturdy toothpick in the center of each ice cream ball, making sure it stands up straight. Place the pan back in the freezer and freeze until very hard.
Melt the chocolate and the oil in the microwave. Stir until the chocolate is completely smooth and shiny. Pour into a small bowl and let cool slightly.
Using the toothpick as a handle, quickly dip the ice cream balls in the chocolate, turning to coat evenly. Let the excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Set the bonbons on the sheet pan and return to the freezer until the chocolate shells harden, at least 5 minutes. If you wish, spread the cookie crumbs on the sheet pan. Transfer pan to the freezer until they are ready to serve. The bonbons can be made a day or two in advance.
For the Ginger Ice Cream
Gourmet Magazine, November 1998
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup coarsely grated peeled fresh gingerroot
2 tablespoons water
2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup crystallized ginger
In a large bowl lightly whisk yolks. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan cook sugar, fresh gingerroot, and water over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Add half-and-half and bring to a simmer. Add hot half-and-half mixture to yolks in a slow stream, whisking, and pour into pan. Cook custard over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until a thermometer registers 170°F. (Do not let boil.)
Pour custard through a sieve into cleaned bowl and stir in cream and vanilla. Cool custard. Chill custard, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 3 hours, and up to 1 day.
Finely chop crystallized ginger. Freeze custard in an ice-cream maker, adding crystallized ginger three fourths of way through freezing process. Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden. Ice cream may be made 1 week ahead.
Makes about 1 quart