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Basil White Chocolate & Olive Oil Almond Bon Bons

Most of you may already know this, but I won my competition! It was a local chocolate competition hosted by one of my food proveyors, Altamira Foods. Click here for more info on them! They host this competition every year, last year I placed 3rd. This year, I wanted it. I was determined to put out the absolute best work that I could. We were to make a plated dessert, bon bons, and a chocolate display (showpiece) that displayed our bon bons. We were to use either the new Almond Inspiration chocolate or a different dark chocolate (or both). I went with almond all the way. This chocolate, if you haven’t heard about it, tastes 100% just like fresh ALMONDS! It’s similar to white chocolate in the way that white chocolate isn’t really chocolate, but since it has cocoa butter it in you can temper and use it the same way you would use a regular chocolate. Was that confusing? This “chocolate” is made purely with almonds, cocoa butter, and sugar. No milk, no cocoa. You can temper it, make ganache, use it in anyway you would any other chocolate. Anyway- back to the competition…
 
 
The night before, all the competitors had to meet to go over the rules. They told us at this point we were being thrown a curve ball and had to come up with one bakery item to make and serve along with everything else. I mean…!! As if there wasn’t enough to do! We had to utilize a fruit that we were not going to be given until we got onstage the next day. So I had all night to this of what “bakery item” I could whip up that would impress the judges, work with whatever fruit I got, and didn’t take up too much of my time. I went in the next day with a few recipes and when I got up there I decided to go with French macarons. I mean, go big or go home right? I knew it could pull it off, and no one else probably would attempt it. I started that as soon as I got on stage, and whatever fruit I got, I’d just make a jam with it for the filling (I got raspberry). I ended up making a vanilla French macaron with basil white chocolate ganache (since I had left over from my bon bon) and raspberry jam!
 
 
 
My bon bons were a White Chocolate Basil & Olive Oil Almond ganache, with a white chocolate, gold-speckled shell. They were beautiful, yet only half of them came out of the mold. There was some miscommunication as to whether or not the bon bons could be filled ahead of time or not, and unfortunately mine were not filled long enough. But the few that managed to come out of the mold were delicious, stunning, shiny as can be, and exactly how I envisioned them. I decided to share that recipe on here today because I really loved the flavor combination!
My chocolate display… BROKE right out of the gate. I had a solid ring made out of chocolate, and as soon as I started putting it together, that ring fell down and snapped in half. I half panicked, shook it off, and got back to work. Took the two pieces and glued them back together with some chocolate. Then started over and started building my piece. I put two flowers on it, sprayed it with a cocoa butter spray as best as I could (I have very little experience using an airbrush), and it came out pretty decent! At this point I was definitely running out of time and I hadn’t even started my plated dessert. And at this point, I realized I hadn’t spun my ice cream yet.. YIKES!

My plated dessert was an almond strawberry layered cake with almond granola, strawberry coulis, almond whipped ganache, and basil ice cream. WELLL… I was a little unfamiliar with the ice cream machine. I didn’t freeze it fully, and I didn’t spin it in time, so my ice cream didn’t set. It was like a soft milk shake. My assistant suggested using a carafe and pouring it over table-side, so that’s what we did! 

Even though we all had 1 ½ hours on stage, it FLEW by. I was running around, sweating my butt off the entire time. If I could do it over, I would change about 10 things. But I can’t complain about the results. I knew I would place high, but I didn’t think I was going to win. When it came down to it, it was all about the taste. I couldn’t have been happier at that moment. The weeks and days leading up to this competition have been full of stress and sleep deprivation. I couldn’t be happier with the results but I am glad to get back to work and a little more sleep.

Basil White Chocolate & Almond Olive Oil Bon Bon

Basil White Chocolate Ganache

White chocolate 5 oz.

Glucose 1 oz.

Cream 5 oz.

Basil 0.25 oz.

Almond Olive Oil Ganache

Almond 5 oz.

Cream 1 oz.

Olive Oil 4 oz.

Glucose 1 oz.

Salt 1/8 tsp

Directions:

First, make your white chocolate basil ganache. Heat cream, and glucose in a small pot. Put white chocolate in a small bowl and set aside. When the cream starts to boil, remove from heat and pour over white chocolate. Mix until smooth. Pour into a blender and blend with the basil on high until basil is all broken up and mixture has turned green. Pour back into a small bowl and set aside to cool down.

Next, make the olive oil almond inspiration ganache. Heat cream, olive oil, glucose, and salt in a small pot. Put almond inspiration in a small bowl. Once cream mixture starts to boil, remove from heat and pour over almond. Mix until smooth. Set aside to cool down.

You’ll want to color your mold first (if you’re coloring). I used a firm bristle paint brush to speckle the dots of gold. Let this set up.

 
Next, you’ll want to temper your white chocolate shell. Do this by placing some white chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler. Have a digital thermometer ready, and some additional white chocolate in a smaller bowl (this is what you’ll seed the melted white chocolate with). Melt the white chocolate to 115 degrees F, then immediately remove from heat and throw in the smaller bowl of white chocolate. This is the seeding method. You’ll let the white chocolate cool down to 79-81 degrees F, stirring every few minutes. Once it gets to that temp, you’re going to bring it up to 82-84 degrees F. This is your working temperature. Now get a ladle and cover your mold with the tempered white chocolate. Tap it with an offset spatula and invert the mold upside down to remove all the excess white chocolate. You should have a nice shell at this point. Keep an eye on your temp and make sure it stays within 82-84 degrees F, otherwise you may have to start over and re-temper this white chocolate in order to cap your bon bons. Put your mold in the fridge for a few minutes and then you can start piping in your fillings.
Starting with basil, pipe a small amount in each cavity. Put it back in the fridge and let the first filling set up before you pipe the second.
Pipe in the second filling, then back in the fridge before you cap.
Once fillings are set (30 min -ish in the fridge), you can cap your bon bon. Pour over tempered white chocolate ontop of the ganache and smooth it out with an offset spatula. I have used a transfer sheet to cover the bottom of my bon bons. You can do that by pouring white chocolate over your set fillings, then placing a transfer sheet right above. Using a scraper or an offset spatula, scrape across over each cavity so the transfer sheet is flush with the mold. Let this set up for 4+ hours before removing the bon bons from the mold.
Simply tap the bon bons out of their mold. If it is tempered correctly and the filling is set, they will pop right out!
I know this is a more difficult recipe, but please let me know if you have any questions!! Or click here to get more information about tempering chocolate.

Basil White Chocolate & Almond Olive Oil Bon Bons

Basil White Chocolate & Almond Olive Oil Bon Bons
Servings: 20
Author: Saura Madani

Ingredients

Basil White Chocolate Ganache

  • 5 oz white chocolate
  • 1 oz glucose
  • 5 oz cream
  • 0.25 oz fresh basil

Almond Olive Oil Ganache

  • 5 oz almond inspiration chocolate
  • 1 oz cream
  • 4 oz olive oil
  • 1 oz glucose
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Instructions

  • First, make your white chocolate basil ganache. Heat cream, and glucose in a small pot. Put white chocolate in a small bowl and set aside. When the cream starts to boil, remove from heat and pour over white chocolate. Mix until smooth. Pour into a blender and blend with the basil on high until basil is all broken up and mixture has turned green. Pour back into a small bowl and set aside to cool down.
    Next, make the olive oil almond inspiration ganache. Heat cream, olive oil, glucose, and salt in a small pot. Put almond inspiration in a small bowl. Once cream mixture starts to boil, remove from heat and pour over almond. Mix until smooth. Set aside to cool down.
  • You’ll want to color your mold first (if you’re coloring). I used a firm bristle paint brush to speckle the dots of gold. Let this set up.
  • Next, you’ll want to temper your white chocolate shell. Do this by placing some white chocolate in a bowl over a double boiler. Have a digital thermometer ready, and some additional white chocolate in a smaller bowl (this is what you’ll seed the melted white chocolate with). Melt the white chocolate to 115 degrees F, then immediately remove from heat and throw in the smaller bowl of white chocolate. This is the seeding method. You’ll let the white chocolate cool down to 79-81 degrees F, stirring every few minutes. Once it gets to that temp, you’re going to bring it up to 82-84 degrees F. This is your working temperature. Now get a ladle and cover your mold with the tempered white chocolate. Tap it with an offset spatula and invert the mold upside down to remove all the excess white chocolate. You should have a nice shell at this point. Keep an eye on your temp and make sure it stays within 82-84 degrees F, otherwise you may have to start over and re-temper this white chocolate in order to cap your bon bons. Put your mold in the fridge for a few minutes and then you can start piping in your fillings. 
  • Starting with basil, pipe a small amount in each cavity. Put it back in the fridge and let the first filling set up before you pipe the second.
  • Pipe in the second filling, then back in the fridge before you cap.
  • Once fillings are set (30 min -ish in the fridge), you can cap your bon bon. Pour over tempered white chocolate ontop of the ganache and smooth it out with an offset spatula. I have used a transfer sheet to cover the bottom of my bon bons. You can do that by pouring white chocolate over your set fillings, then placing a transfer sheet right above. Using a scraper or an offset spatula, scrape across over each cavity so the transfer sheet is flush with the mold. Let this set up for 4+ hours before removing the bon bons from the mold.
  • Simply tap the bon bons out of their mold. If it is tempered correctly and the filling is set, they will pop right out!

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