Yka Leaves and Champagne Gel with Strawberry and Black Vanilla Ganache Bon Bons

Beautifully balanced Xoco Gourmet 62% dark chocolate encases layers of a Yka leaves enhanced Champagne gel and delicate strawberry ganache, infused with ripe Planifolia Black Vanilla.

Ingredients and method


Ingredients for mould preparation 

  • 600g Xoco Gourmet 62% Mayan Red dark chocolate 

Ingredients for Champagne Gel 

  • 30g Bramley/cooking apple puree  
  • 70g Champagne 
  • 2 punnets Yka Leaves – chopped  
  • 50g caster sugar for the apple/champagne 
  • 2g NH fruit pectin (Sosa Ingredients) (mixed in with the 10g sugar)  
  • 10g sugar for the pectin (mixed in with the pectin) 
  • 8g glucose syrup 

Ingredients for Strawberry and Black Vanilla Ganache  

  • 28g strawberry puree 
  • 2g glucose syrup 
  • seeds from half vanilla pod Planifolia Black
  • 0.5g beetroot powder 
  • 63g Xoco Gourmet 40% white chocolate  
  • 10g Xoco Gourmet 62% Mayan Red dark chocolate  
  • few drops strawberry essential oil 
  • Tempered Xoco Gourmet 62% Mayan red dark chocolate to cap the mould 
  • Lustre dust (optional and according to your country colour regulations)


Method for casting mould 

  • Temper the 600g Xoco Gourmet 62% Mayan Red dark chocolate and cast your chosen polycarbonate mould. 
  • Let crystallise and set aside. 

Method for Champagne Gel 

  • Bring the Champagne to the boil with the Yka Leaves, whisk until it becomes a bright purple colour. Cover, leave to infuse and cool for 30 minutes. Pass into a fresh pan squeezing out all the flavour and colour. 
  • Mix pectin and 10g sugar together. 
  • Bring puree, infused Champagne, glucose and 50g sugar to approx 60C. Rain in pectin and sugar stirring well.  
  • Bring to boil and cook to 102C.  
  • Remove pan from heat, pour infused gel into a container and leave to cool to around 30-35C. Use a hand blender to blend until smooth (it will become more opaque). 
  • Check temperature (adjust as necessary) and when at 25-28C pipe into the base of each cavity until just under half full. 
  • Set aside while making the ganache. 

Method for ganache 

  • Place the white and dark chocolate into a bowl. 
  • Bring to boil strawberry puree, vanilla, beetroot powder and glucose. 
  • Pour over the chocolates, stir to emulsify, add strawberry oil to taste.  
  • Place in a piping bag and when at 25-28C pipe into the chocolate cavities on top of the Champagne gel to 2mm from the top of each cavity. 
  • Leave to crystallise overnight at cool room temperature or in a chocolate fridge for a few hours or overnight. 
  • Cap the mould with tempered dark chocolate to seal. Let crystallise and demould. If using, dust chocolates with lustre dust.
  • Best before 2 weeks from making, if stored at cool room temperature or in a chocolate fridge. 

Recipe: Shona Sutherland

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