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Jim D.

Including Cookies in Bonbons

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On 4/5/2018 at 7:31 PM, pastrygirl said:

have you tried Valrhona Orelys?  It's made with muscovado sugar, so more of a brown sugar flavor compared to the dulce de leche flavor of Dulcey.

 

"very sensual" https://www.valrhona-chocolate.com/orelys-35-blond-chocolate

 

 

Thanks for the Orelys suggestion. I just got a kilo bag and tried it. I'm not sure I am feeling "very sensual," but I do like it (maybe a little sensual). And, of course, you are right, a strong brown sugar flavor. I think it will be perfect for my chocolate chip cookie truffle. And, speaking of that recipe, since Tri2Cook let me know that molasses powder exists, I am going to experiment with making the filling as a gianduja rather than a ganache:  Orelys, pecan paste, chunks of dark chocolate, chopped pecans, molasses powder, and the shortbread bits (no longer at risk from softening from liquid). 


Edited by Jim D. (log)
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On 4/5/2018 at 7:31 PM, pastrygirl said:

for tiny cutters, at least of the round variety, a metal piping tip works

 

have you tried Valrhona Orelys?  It's made with muscovado sugar, so more of a brown sugar flavor compared to the dulce de leche flavor of Dulcey.

 

"very sensual" https://www.valrhona-chocolate.com/orelys-35-blond-chocolate

 

 

@pastrygirl, just wanted to provide an update on my quest for a truffle that tastes like a chocolate chip cookie. So I made a gianduja with toasted pecans and Orelys, plus a little molasses powder (to emphasize the muscovado flavor of Orelys) and some coconut oil (to keep the final gianduja from being too firm). I made shortbread bits, cutting the dough into approximately 1/4" squares (it's easy to cut them with a long knife). They did stick together when they were being transferred to the baking sheet, but a little dusting of flour solved that problem. I baked them until they were beginning to brown. Then I mixed them, plus chopped pecans and dark chocolate bits, into the gianduja and rolled the mixture into truffles, which I later dipped in dark chocolate. I must say I was very pleased with the taste--and the texture. By using a gianduja rather than a ganache, there is no loss of crunch. And, as might be expected from the ingredients, the Aw reading is quite decent (0.62). So thanks again for the Orelys idea, which was perfect.

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On 2/12/2018 at 6:42 PM, pastrygirl said:

 

Oh, we can make it harder ... :ph34r:

 

How about this:  make shortbread with dark brown sugar and bake well.  Process to a paste and add melted white or blond chocolate, 1/3 to 50% of the weight of the baked cookies.  Temper and pour into a ganache frame to set.  Cut 15mm cubes of cookie butter gianduja.  Carefully smear dark chocolate ganache onto all sides of the cube then roll spherical and dredge in a mix of finely chopped pecans and cocoa nibs.

 

One restaurant I worked at had these cheese and grape "truffles" - you'd have to carefully smear soft cheese (blue or goat, I don't recall) in a thin layer to cover individual grapes, then roll in sliced almonds.  Tasty little bites, but tedious.

I'm looking to make a speculoos bonbon (moulded). Does anyone know if  it would work if I made a crumbly speculoos paste and then added praline paste only, maybe around 1/4 to 1/3 of the weight of the baked cookies? I don't want dilute the speculoos flavor and I actually quite like sandy textures...  

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1 hour ago, chanjying said:

I'm looking to make a speculoos bonbon (moulded). Does anyone know if  it would work if I made a crumbly speculoos paste and then added praline paste only, maybe around 1/4 to 1/3 of the weight of the baked cookies? I don't want dilute the speculoos flavor and I actually quite like sandy textures...  

 

If you mean praline paste from hazelnuts, I would guess that the paste would overwhelm the speculoos flavor. I think you need to add some chocolate, or the mixture will never firm up. One time I made my own "cookie butter," grinding up speculoos cookies and adding coconut oil. It was not pleasant tasting, and I had to keep adding more cookies. Now I have discovered jars of cookie butter (from the makers of speculoos cookies). I add milk chocolate in a 50-50 ratio, and it's delicious. I prefer the crunchy version of cookie butter for this.

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On 3/26/2020 at 8:36 PM, chanjying said:

I'm looking to make a speculoos bonbon (moulded). Does anyone know if  it would work if I made a crumbly speculoos paste and then added praline paste only, maybe around 1/4 to 1/3 of the weight of the baked cookies? I don't want dilute the speculoos flavor and I actually quite like sandy textures...  

I've done it a couple different ways.  The easiest way is to use Biscoff or Trader Joe's cookie butter mixed with chocolate (i usually do a 60/40 ratio).    If you want a crunchy texture, you can use a crunchy cookie butter if available or add crumbled speculoos cookies.  The other way is to make a basic chocolate ganache and add a speculoos spice mixture (I don't have the recipe at the moment but I believe it's cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove and cardamom).  You have to be careful though because it can get grainy using dry spices.  

I wouldn't do it with a speculoos paste and praline paste because you'll get a nutty flavor from the praline. Could be good if that's what you're going for, but If you're starting with speculoos cookies, I would experiment with processing them with chocolate and possibly a neutral oil.  

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Thanks all! Everyone is always so helpful here 😄 I will try without the praline paste and go hunting for some cookie butter. If I can't find cookie butter, I'll probably make some cookies myself since I'm inside anyways... 

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My latest project is to make a "tiramisu" bonbon, and I am seeking help with the inclusion part. For the whipped cream and mascarpone layer in a traditional tiramisu, I will probably use Susanna Yoon's cheesecake ganache, substituting all mascarpone for the various cheeses she uses (it has white chocolate to firm it up a bit). It is the ladyfinger (savoiardi) and coffee part that concerns me.  Most recipes call for the firmer savoiardi (rather than just-baked soft ladyfingers), which are then dipped in coffee (sometimes Kahlúa). I know that it is undoubtedly safe to use cooked eggs in bonbons, but I prefer not to do so and have located several recipes for eggless ladyfingers. The rise comes from baking powder and whipping the butter and sugar. So one question (not my main one):  The best-looking recipe calls for a tablespoon of vinegar, and it's the only recipe I found that has this ingredient. I assume it has something to do with activating the baking powder. Can anyone explain this?

 

The main issue is how to get the ladyfinger-dipped-in-coffee taste, maybe texture. One option is to grind up the ladyfingers (which I think would need to be baked a bit longer than traditional ladyfingers), then mix them with a coffee ganache (this is done in several tiramisu truffle recipes I found). Another method would be to cut the ladyfingers into rounds, then add them to the cavities after a thin layer of coffee ganache. In both cases the ladyfingers would soften, but of course that is what happens when you dip them in coffee in a traditional tiramisu. So the question is whether this would become a disgusting mush over time. Encasing the ladyfingers (ground up or left whole) in a gianduja would be an ideal solution, but I can't think of any way to get coffee flavor into a gianduja. I did see one suggestion for mixing powdered instant coffee into chocolate, but avoiding grittiness would be tricky. Yet another idea is spraying the "ladyfinger cookies" with cocoa butter to protect them from moisture, and if this technique didn't keep them firm forever, it would probably slow down the softening.

 

Finished tiramisu is usually sprinkled with cocoa power, and I have some delicious Valrhona cocoa powder, but I can't think of any way to incorporate that without grittiness. So I'm planning to use dark chocolate for the shell to add the chocolate flavor.

 

Any suggestions would be welcome.

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Honestly by the time they're soaked in coffee and covered in cream, I'm not convinced they add much beyond texture - but that said, what's your end goal for the chocolate? Like, what kind of texture would you prefer if you had all the flavours you want? Do you want there to be any kind of bite or crunch at all?

 

I think the dark chocolate shell is the way to go; i'm not convinced the cocoa would be gritty, but I think it would be superfluous against the more elegant solution of the dark shell.

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32 minutes ago, jimb0 said:

Honestly by the time they're soaked in coffee and covered in cream, I'm not convinced they add much beyond texture - but that said, what's your end goal for the chocolate? Like, what kind of texture would you prefer if you had all the flavours you want? Do you want there to be any kind of bite or crunch at all?

 

I think the dark chocolate shell is the way to go; i'm not convinced the cocoa would be gritty, but I think it would be superfluous against the more elegant solution of the dark shell.

 

I would like to have a discernible cakey texture (perhaps like a somewhat overbaked ladyfinger, or a soft cookie), but not a crunch. I agree about the cocoa powder; it probably would be lost in all the other ingredients.

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You could add the coffee flavor to the ladyfingers themselves and bake out any liquid. 

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5 hours ago, Jim D. said:

Encasing the ladyfingers (ground up or left whole) in a gianduja would be an ideal solution, but I can't think of any way to get coffee flavor into a gianduja.


Chocolate (your gianduja in this case) and coffee beans vac bagged and tossed in the sous vide tank at ~45 C for a few hours or so, depending how strong you want it. Strain out the beans and use as desired.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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32 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

discernible cakey texture

 

What about making a coffee buttercream ladyfinger cake ball sort of creation? You could roll it out and cut out discs to put in the chocolates, or small bits that you then pipe the gianduja around. That would give you a stable cakey texture but the flavours you're after without the excessive wetness of the coffee.

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36 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:

Chocolate (your gianduja in this case) and coffee beans vac bagged and tossed in the sous vide tank at ~45 C for a few hours or so, depending how strong you want it. Strain out the beans and use as desired.

 

An interesting idea. Alas, I don't have a sous vide setup. I don't know what difference SV would make, but I could probably melt some chocolate (in a "normal" way) with coffee beans, strain out the beans, mix in some ground ladyfingers. This is akin to making a cookie butter "gianduja." Not sure what would happen to the ladyfinger taste. If I left the ladyfinger cookies whole, I could surround them with the coffee-infused chocolate, but would have to add something (e.g., coconut oil) to soften the chocolate somewhat.

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49 minutes ago, pastrygirl said:

You could add the coffee flavor to the ladyfingers themselves and bake out any liquid. 

 

Good idea. I've seen a recipe for chocolate ladyfingers, so coffee should be easy to do.

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31 minutes ago, jimb0 said:

 

What about making a coffee buttercream ladyfinger cake ball sort of creation? You could roll it out and cut out discs to put in the chocolates, or small bits that you then pipe the gianduja around. That would give you a stable cakey texture but the flavours you're after without the excessive wetness of the coffee.

 

Not sure what the gianduja would be made of. Chocolate plus ... ? I think any kind of nut paste is going to add its own flavor.

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32 minutes ago, Jim D. said:

 

Not sure what the gianduja would be made of. Chocolate plus ... ? I think any kind of nut paste is going to add its own flavor.


sorry, I misunderstood your original post, I think; I thought the plan was for gianduja the whole time. the classic bourbon ball (which is usually just a dipped truffle) uses dry cake or cookies soaked in bourbon, and something similar would work well here, with a dried ladyfinger or eggy cake and some coffee, forked into a workable dough. I think that this plus your mascarpone ganache would work fine, tbh.

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20 hours ago, jimb0 said:

 

What about making a coffee buttercream ladyfinger cake ball sort of creation? You could roll it out and cut out discs to put in the chocolates, or small bits that you then pipe the gianduja around. That would give you a stable cakey texture but the flavours you're after without the excessive wetness of the coffee.

 

Upon further reading about tiramisu truffles, I think you are onto something--and I was overthinking the whole concept. Given that most people eat a bonbon in a single bite (maybe two), keeping the flavors distinct may not matter, so I could add (liquid) coffee (plus perhaps some Kahlua) to the cheese ganache. Since my adaptation of Susanna Yoon's recipe already includes 50g of lemon juice, I could simply substitute coffee for the lemon, and the proportion of liquefier to chocolate would be unchanged (always need to keep the water activity in mind).  Once I see if that works tastewise, I can try (1) adding the ladyfingers as crumbs or (2) adding them as cookies, perhaps surrounded by white or dark chocolate to preserve their texture.

 

I will report back. We all know there are many unforeseen twists between developing a new recipe and executing it.

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23 hours ago, Jim D. said:

An interesting idea. Alas, I don't have a sous vide setup. I don't know what difference SV would make, but I could probably melt some chocolate (in a "normal" way) with coffee beans


Works that way too. You can melt chocolate, mix in the coffee beans, dump it in a container and let it sit overnight or so, then melt the chocolate and strain out the beans as well. There are several ways to skin this particular cat. :D


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Posted (edited)

I have completed my experiment with creating a tiramisu bonbon. First I baked eggless "ladyfingers." I use quotes because although these looked similar to ladyfingers, they certainly did not have the light, airy texture or the taste. When baked for the time specified by the recipe, they tasted mostly of raw flour. Only after being baked for a half-hour or more until they browned a bit did they have any taste at all. I ended up throwing the leftover ones in the trash.

 

The mascarpone coffee ganache went well. I used instant espresso powder to obtain the coffee flavor, and it was successful. When the ganache was complete, I divided it into halves. Into one half I added pulverized ladyfingers, and with the other, topped the ganache with little cookies I had baked from the same batter.

 

The result:  In the first batch, the crushed ladyfingers basically dissolved into the ganache with no discernible taste and not much texture. The second was more successful: after one day, the ladyfinger cookies maintained their texture; by the second day, they had some crispness but were noticeably softer. I feel sure the softening will continue (inevitable movement of moisture from wet item to dry). At least there was some pleasing contrast between the coffee ganache and the cookie (see below for alternative bonbon idea). The mascarpone was, however, the biggest disappointment. I think any taste it contributed was in my imagination. It is simply too mild a cheese to be tasted in proximity to the dark chocolate shell. In my version of Susanna Yoon's cheesecake ganache, I use cream cheese and sour cream, and although they also are mild, still they have some tang contrasted with mascarpone.

 

My conclusion is that I will probably not be adding tiramisu bonbons to my repertory of chocolates. If I made actual ladyfingers, they would dissolve in mush if added in pulverized form and probably do the same if added in cookie form because they are so porous (which is why they soak up the coffee in an actual tiramisu). As I ate this filling, I kept thinking that I would rather have had a bonbon with a layer of coffee ganache, topped with a small layer of hazelnut praline gianduja enclosing a shortbread cookie.


Edited by Jim D. (log)
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I made a tiramisu bonbon a while back.  I molded it in milk chocolate because I felt the dark shell would overwhelm the filling.  I add grated dark chocolate to the filling, instead of cocoa powder. 

My filling consisted of white chocolate, mascarpone, glucose and a mix of marsala, espresso powder and a small amount of amaretto.  I added the amaretto because I had made tiramisu for a function, and the recipe the chef gave me had it in it.  Really good.  

I never tried adding a ladyfinger or cookie component because of the mushy issue, or that tiramisu doesn't have a crunch.  Mine tasted like tiramisu, so I didn't really miss a ladyfinger type layer.  With the soft texture it normally has, I'm thinking that type of component isn't needed, for me anyway :). 

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19 hours ago, RWood said:

I add grated dark chocolate to the filling, instead of cocoa powder.


That's what I do on the rare occasions when I make actual tiramisu, cover the top in very finely grated chocolate instead of cocoa powder. Been doing it that way for many years and never had a single person complain because I didn't use cocoa. 
 

19 hours ago, RWood said:

or that tiramisu doesn't have a crunch


I've never done a tiramisu bonbon but that would be my line of thinking as well. Unless you eat it pretty much right away, the ladyfinger texture in tiramisu basically is mush. Not entirely, but pretty close. And it isn't really all that long until it's entirely mush-ish. The problem, I'm thinking, (with no actual experience to back it with) in the bonbon setting is there's just not enough of it for that semi-mush to be it's own definable textural component.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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47 minutes ago, Tri2Cook said:


That's what I do on the rare occasions when I make actual tiramisu, cover the top in very finely grated chocolate instead of cocoa powder. Been doing it that way for many years and never had a single person complain because I didn't use cocoa. 

 

Yeah, so do I.  I prefer the grated chocolate because it's not so bitter, and the texture as well. 
 

I've never done a tiramisu bonbon but that would be my line of thinking as well. Unless you eat it pretty much right away, the ladyfinger texture in tiramisu basically is mush. Not entirely, but pretty close. And it isn't really all that long until it's entirely mush-ish. The problem, I'm thinking, (with no actual experience to back it with) in the bonbon setting is there's just not enough of it for that semi-mush to be it's own definable textural component.

And then adding something that would be mush kinda adds to the shelf life issue I would think. Since the soft texture in an actual tiramisu is ladyfingers soaked in liquid.  

I worried about that anyway, adding mascarpone, but I kept a few and just checked them every couple of days to see how they were holding up.  After two weeks, they were still fine.  I wouldn't have sold them at that point, but it was good to know I didn't have to worry that they would go bad that quickly.  

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1 hour ago, RWood said:

And then adding something that would be mush kinda adds to the shelf life issue I would think. Since the soft texture in an actual tiramisu is ladyfingers soaked in liquid.  

I worried about that anyway, adding mascarpone, but I kept a few and just checked them every couple of days to see how they were holding up.  After two weeks, they were still fine.  I wouldn't have sold them at that point, but it was good to know I didn't have to worry that they would go bad that quickly.  


I checked the Aw of the fillings I made: one with crushed ladyfingers mixed in, the other with the separate cookie. Both were remarkably low:  0.66 and 0.69. I too had qualms about adding cheese to ganache, but everyone seemed to think that if the water activity level is low enough, there is no issue. The tipping point for me was to find Peter Greweling's crème fraîche ganache. If he does not find a problem with that, then mascarpone is not that different.

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