Whenever I want to give a loved one a gift of food, I try to think of recipes that mean something to me. I believe that makes the gesture more meaningful. It is also a chance to share a little bit of myself with that person.
These strawberry bonbons are one of my favorite foods for sharing. They are served at the majority of parties in my home country of Brazil. From kid birthdays to wedding receptions, they are usually the highlight of the occasion! I grew up eating them, and I still get excited whenever I make them.
Biting into a bonbon is something special. First you taste the crunchy dark chocolate, then a sweet, smooth and chewy layer and finally you have the juicy, refreshing strawberry. All the flavors and textures are a wondeful match. So good and so addicting!
Here is how you make them:
Put sweetened condensed milk, unsalted butter and coconut in a nonstick saucepan.
Bring to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Turn the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture is thick, shiny and starts to pull away from the bottom and sides of the pan. You will know the mixture is ready when you tilt the pan and the mixture slides down easily.
Transfer the mixture to a plate greased with unsalted butter; set aside to cool completely. Put the plate in the refrigerator or freezer until very cold.
Meanwhile, rinse the strawberries and cut off their tops. Make sure to dry the strawberries very well. They must be completely dry before you start making the bonbons.
Grease your hands with unsalted butter. Scoop 1generous tablespoon or so of the cold coconut mixture and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Place a strawberry over it; wrap the coconut mixture around it to conform to the shape of the strawberry. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
Repeat until you run out of the coconut mixture. Place the covered strawberries in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate.
With a dipping fork, drop the covered strawberries, one at a time, in the melted dark chocolate. Tap the fork a few times against the bowl to remove excess chocolate.
Transfer the bonbons to the lined cookie sheet, flat side down; refrigerate until the chocolate is set.
Melt white chocolate; transfer to a freezer bag or squeeze bottle and drizzle over the bonbons. Refrigerate until set.
The bonbons should be kept in the refrigerator and eaten within 24 hours
If giving as a gift, I place the bonbons in food gift boxes. But they are so delicious you might not want to share!