I love ice cream, and I have been holding on to a BonBons recipe from Food & Wine for some time. I finally got around to making them, and it about drove me to the nut house – not because they were all that complicated or impossible, but because the recipe was terrible! (A surprise, as Food & Wine generally publishes pretty accurate instructions.)
The recipe more-or-less instructed me to scoop out some ice cream into balls, dip into melted chocolate, and freeze. Sounds easy. Not. First of all, once ice cream is soft enough to scoop, forming it into a lovely little ball much less dropping it into a bowl of hot melted chocolate isn’t happening. I mean really. So, at this point I had blobs of starting-to-melt ice cream on a cold cookie tray. (A tray that, incidentally, I forgot to line with waxed paper. Do NOT forget to line it with waxed paper – this omission will send you into another level of insanity.) I threw them back into the freezer for an hour (a step not included in the original recipe, of course, and I added so that not only would the ice cream firm up, but so that my nerves could calm down) and pondered my failure. Eventually I realized that once they were re-frozen I could probably re-form them. So, once they were hard (and I pried them off the cookie sheet that I neglected to line with waxed paper), I shoved my hand into a sandwich baggie and was able to turn my blobs into fairly nice looking balls. I then froze them again (briefly, as they weren’t melting at this point) and then did the chocolate dipping.
All in all, these are not hard to make now that I have figured out a reasonable process. As an alternate method, if you desire more perfect looking bonbons, you could make dome-shaped bonbons with a silicone tray – just thaw out the ice cream to soft serve consistency, fill the tray, and freeze several hours or overnight. Pop them out and dip, and you have perfect looking bonbons. Personally, though, I don’t mind the handmade look.
A note on the chocolate as well – the Food & Wine recipe probably (well, maybe) works, but I recently attended an event where a confectioner was singing the praises of homemade magic shell. By adding coconut oil (or food grade paraffin) to melted chocolate, it’ll harden almost immediately. I opted to use this method. I recommend coconut oil – I know it’s not cheap, but more and more recipes nowadays are calling for it thanks to its health benefits, and it has a more pleasant taste that the wax. You do not have to use a combination of white and dark chocolate, and the proportions of each can be adjusted to your tastes, or milk chocolate could be used as well.
Ice Cream BonBons
heavily adapted from: Food & Wine
10 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
heaping tablespoon of coconut oil (may have to add more)
1 c finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies
1 pint ice cream (your choice of flavor, I used caramel swirl)
flaky sea salt
- Line baking sheet with waxed paper and place in freezer for 20 minutes (or more).
- Combine chopped chocolates and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium heat at 30-second intervals until melted. It should be smooth and fairly thin, to easily coat ice cream. If it is not thin enough to create a delicate layer over the ice cream, add more coconut oil.
- Place crushed cookies on a plate. Set aside.
- Scoop ice cream into round-ish balls and place on cold tray. At this point, worry more about having relatively even amounts of ice cream per ball, rather than shape. Return tray to freezer for an hour.
- Remove tray from freezer, and with your hand inside a sandwich bag (or use rubber gloves), form the blobs into attractive balls. If the ice cream is not hard enough to do this without making a mess, put them back into the freezer until firm.
- If the molding process has softened the ice cream considerably, re-freeze briefly. Otherwise, move on to the dipping stage.
- Using a toothpick or similar, dip the bonbons into the prepared chocolate. Immediately dip the bottom of them into the crushed cookies, return to the cookie sheet, and sprinkle sea salt on top (optional, of course).
- Return to the freezer for a few minutes and then enjoy!