A coffee lover’s dream, these dark chocolate nespresso-like pods are filled with a luxurious white chocolate espresso caramelized cacao nib ganache.
Happy February!! It’s the month of all things, pink and red, but more importantly, chocolate! It’s fitting then to kick things off with some seriously intense chocolate love. These Caramelized Cacao Nibs Bonbons are a coffee and chocolate lover’s dream!
These Caramelized Cacao Nibs Bonbons are dark chocolate cast in a nespresso-pod-shaped mold, filled with a rich, dreamy caramelized cacao nib and espresso white chocolate ganache. I am feeling ALL THE FEELS for this one, guys!
Oddly, I was never much of a coffee drinker – I made it through school and life on matcha and chai – but, these days I find myself indulging in the occasional latte, thanks to our Nespresso machine. Although I don’t fancy myself much of a coffee drinker, I do love to add it to baking and desserts. It complements and enhances chocolate beautifully.
For these bonbons, I wanted to recreate the latte I’ve been enjoying in ganache form. I decided on Livanto Nespresso pods. It’s an Arabica from South and Central America with distinct caramelized notes. Its aromatic profile is described as ‘a combination of cereal, malted and caramelized notes, as well as fine fruity notes’.
To temper the sweetness of the white chocolate in the ganache and intensify the chocolate/coffee flavours and for added texture, I added cacao nibs. They are the unprocessed bits of the cacao bean that are eventually ground to make chocolate. They do not have any added sugar, which may be off-putting for some. I happen to love the natural bitterness of cacao nibs, but far be it from me to pass up a chance to sugar-coat them. 😉
I first learned of the idea of caramelizing cacao nibs from a Michael Recchiuti recipe. He sprinkled them onto white chocolate bark, which was YUM, but I thought they would be just as amazing in ganache.
I made a batch of caramelized cacao nibs and snacked my way through that in record time. To avoid a repeat, the second batch quickly went into the ganache, then into my Caramelized Cacao Nibs Bonbons and finally into a few eagerly waiting mouths and tummies.
I know I am not alone in being totally consumed and at times appalled with all the goings on of late. It’s partly why blogging hasn’t been top of mind. It’s been difficult to come here to sweet talk, while being force-fed intolerance and alternate truths on the daily.
What better way to get rid of some of that bad taste than with chocolate…times 3! With V-DAY not too far off, these Caramelized Cacao Nibs Bonbons might be just the thing to whip up to help sweeten our mood.
Caramelized Cacao Nibs Bonbons
Chocolate for Molding
- 200 grams dark couverture, 70% (i used Valrhona Guanaja)
- 170 grams cacao nibs
- 96 grams granulated sugar
- 5 grams unsalted butter, high fat (i use Stirling Creamery 84)
- 100 grams cream 35%
- 12 grams espresso or coffee
- 210 grams white chocolate, 33% (i used Valrhona Ivoire)
- 30 grams caramelized cacao nibs
Mold the chocolate:
Temper the chocolate per the manufacturer's instructions, and cast using a mold of your preferred shape.
Caramelize the cacao nibs:
Prepare a sheet pan with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Add the nibs and sugar to a saucepan and heat the mixture over high heat, stirring vigorously and continually with a wooden spoon until sugar is mostly melted.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the butter.
Spread the nibs onto the prepared sheet pan and allow to cool to room temperature.
Make the ganache:
Melt the chocolate in a medium size bowl and set aside.
Add the cream and coffee to a small saucepan and bring to a light boil. Cover and set aside to steep for 5-10 minutes.
Strain the cream and coffee mixture onto the melted chocolate, while stirring. Continue to stir until fully incorporated and smooth.
Crush some the caramelized cacao nibs into smaller bits and fold into the ganache. Allow to cool, preferably overnight for a more intense flavour.
Assemble the bonbons:
Pipe the cooled ganache into the molded chocolate and allow to set, preferable overnight.
Use the remaining tempered dark chocolate to cap the bonbons. Allow to set, then turn the bonbons out.