Friday, January 27, 2017

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bonbons


Most people prefer to enjoy frozen treats when the weather is hot and the sun is shining.  Since I can devour a bowl of ice cream just as happily in a snowstorm as I do in the height of summer, I am not one of these people.  Frozen desserts are delicious year round and shouldn’t be limited to a few warm weeks a year.

One of my favorite types of frosty treats is chocolate-shelled ice cream, and bite-sized morsels provide the perfect ratio of creamy filling and sweet, rich coating.  And chocolate-covered ice cream is only one combination; custard, mousse and fruit purees are also excellent centers and can be coated in various kinds of melted chocolate, crushed cookies or candies.


This recipe is the result of dozens of trials with various flavors, textures and shapes.  Most of them worked well but will need some tweaking before I can present them, but this combination of cream cheese and raspberries coated in dark chocolate  is firm yet creamy and the perfect balance of sweet and tangy.

Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bonbons

Filling

  • 8 oz raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 c granulated sugar
  • 1 t vanilla

Shell

  • 1 C dark chocolate wafers

Equipment

  • mixing bowls (1 microwave safe)
  • saucepan
  • hand or stand mixer
  • whisk
  • spatulas (silicone and offset)
  • spoons
  • sieve/strainer
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • candy molds (cube or similar shaped)


In a saucepan, combine raspberries and sugar over high heat.  After the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring intermittently and scraping down the sides.  When the raspberries have thickened remove them from the heat and allow to cool.

In a mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese until lighter and fluffier (about 5 minutes).  Slowly incorporate the cooled raspberry mixture and blend until most combined, then add the vanilla and whip until fully mixed (4-5 minutes).


Place the chocolate wafers in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until melted.  Do this in small bursts, 15-20 seconds maximum at a time and stir between each burst.  Once the wafers are melted, spoon a small amount into each cavity of the candy mold.  Tilt and turn the mold so that the chocolate coats the entire inside of each mold; this can be messy so I recommend doing it over the sink.  When the molds are coated, hold them upside down over the chocolate bowl to allow any excess to drip out.  Use a paper towel to wipe off any excess that may still be sitting on the top of the mold, then place the mold in the freezer to set.


If you are using a silicone mold, place it on a cookie sheet so it stays level – plastic candy mold usually hold their shape.

Remove the candy molds from the freezer and spoon the raspberry cream cheese mixture into each cavity.  Do not fill the whole way; leave 1/8-1/4” at the top of each mold for the chocolate that will form the bottom of each bon bon.  When each one is filled, spoon in the remaining melted chocolate (it may need to be reheated) to cap each cavity.  Use an offset spatula to smooth the top (bottom, really) of each bon bon and scrap away any excess chocolate.  Return the mold to the freezer and allow to set at least 4 hours.


After they are fully frozen, these chocolate raspberry cheesecake bonbons can be popped out of the molds and placed in a container or bag and kept for up to 3 months – but good luck keeping them that long!  This recipe will make approximately 4 dozen 1/2-ounce bonbons.