What Exactly Are Bonbons? How Do They Differ From Truffles? (Pictures)

Rate this post

When we enter into a chocolate store, we hear a variety of phrases such as bonbon, praline, truffle, ganache, and so on, but they all have one thing in common: chocolate. All of these treats include some kind of chocolate, whether white, milk, dark, or ruby. When I was a youngster, I thought they were all called truffles since it was the phrase my mother used for everything chocolate and round!

So, what exactly are bonbons? Are bonbons and truffles the same thing?

So how can you tell what kind of chocolate you’re looking at merely by looking? This page will define the most generally misunderstood phrases in chocolate stores throughout the globe, from what a bonbon is to the many fillings found in chocolate pralines.

What Exactly Are Bonbons? (Terminology of Chocolate)

A bonbon is a chocolate shell filled with anything, most often flavored ganache, caramel, or jelly. In certain regions of the globe, however, bon bon refers to any form of little candy.

A truffle, like a bonbon, is chocolate-based, although a typical truffle is just a ganache coated in cocoa powder. The first chocolate truffles were named after a fungus that resembled the truffle mushrooms famously foraged from Italian and French woods, and they were given the distinguishing moniker chocolate truffle.

For those seeking for a definition of ganache, here it is: ganache is essentially an emulsion of cream and chocolate. There may be flavoring, such as vanilla, citrus, or mint, and you can use a nondairy cream, but a ganache must be chocolate-based. The cream makes the chocolate more flexible, allowing it to be shaped into balls and rolled with cocoa powder or another ingredient.

Pav au chocolat is another somewhat common variation of ganache. It’s essentially a box of cocoa powder-dusted ganache squares that are typically eaten with a little fork. While the Japanese chocolate manufacturer Royce has made pavs famous in Asia, the bonbon and praline continue to reign supreme in Europe.

A bonbon is a chocolate-based confection, while a praline is just a chocolate shell filled with something delicious.

They’re similar ideas, but a praline may be filled with sweet cream or berry jam, and a bonbon might be filled with a chocolate-based flavoring or a tiered core sliced and dipped in chocolate. Nonetheless, the minute variances between some of these confections may be significant.

If you travel to Belgium and call a bonbon a truffle, you will very certainly be corrected on the spot. In France, bonbons must also include at least 25% chocolate by weight, differentiating them from pralines.

So let me use a common example to demonstrate the distinctions: caramel. A caramel ganache would be smooth, sweet, and chocolatey, prepared with chocolate, liquid caramel, and milk. A caramel truffle is a caramel ganache ball that has been rolled in cocoa powder.

Caramel pralines are simply chocolate shells that have been filled with caramel. A caramel bonbon, on the other hand, is often a very thick chocolate shell filled with a caramel ganache or a plain ganache with a coating of caramel.

What Is the Difference Between a Chocolatier and a Chocolate Maker?

Simply said, the distinction between a chocolatier and a chocolate maker is that one creates chocolate while the other makes chocolates. A chocolate maker, in particular, takes fermented and dried cacao beans and cleans, roasts, peels, grinds, and refines them into chocolate. This method (commonly referred to as “bean to bar”) gives the creator greater control over the raw material’s procurement, however it takes days to finish each batch.

Most chocolate manufacturers still solely produce plain chocolate bars, however this is changing. A chocolatier, on the other hand, utilizes chocolate prepared by a chocolate maker or a major factory, which sometimes employs pre-ground cacao beans to create its chocolate, to make a range of chocolates. The bonbons, truffles, and pralines mentioned above are examples of such chocolates; some of these masterpieces are extraordinarily elaborate and take hours to produce.

Several contemporary bean to bar chocolate producers have started manufacturing their own confections and even flavored chocolate bars, but very few chocolatiers step into the domain of chocolate production. The fact that more bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturers haven’t begun manufacturing bonbons and truffles speaks to the high degree of talent required, as well as the sort of chocolate required.

A chocolatier will use couverture chocolate to build their masterpieces since it is less viscous and simpler to handle than single origin bean to bar chocolate.

Several Varieties of Bonbons

There are many other sorts of bonbons and pralines outside white, milk, and dark; I’m talking about going beyond the concept of origin chocolate or artisan chocolate. The range of fillings has also grown in recent years, with chocolatiers opening in every region across the globe, experimenting with local tastes.

Nonetheless, the procedure of producing bonbons remains the same: produce chocolate shells, prepare the filling and add it to each shell, and then seal each bonbon with another layer of chocolate. Some of the most prevalent varieties of bonbons are as follows:


A ganache, as stated above, is an emulsion of chocolate and cream; it’s the smooth and creamy chocolate core that most of us remember from our first bonbons. This is still the most common bonbon filling. Although basic ganaches are frequent, flavored ganaches are much more prevalent, prepared by infusing the cream with something or adding the item in directly. Flavour ganaches may be as basic as lavender or peppermint to more complex combinations that add texture, such as roasted green tea with candied sesame seeds.


Although chocolate blended with fruit purees is more prevalent, you may come across a basic fruit-filled chocolate with a touch of chocolate added merely to hold it all together. Liquor and fruit are often combined so that the whole fruit may be kept, such as in brandied cherries, since when they are soaked in liquor, the alcohol replaces the water content over time. Rum-soaked mango, wine-infused pears, and whiskey cherries are a few examples.


Caramel centers varies in consistency from highly liquid to a thick toffee-like material, but they are all delicious sugar and cream mixtures. Fudge and fondant are two variations of caramel fillings that I think of more as pralines than bonbons. The creams used to produce caramels, like ganaches, may be infused with a variety of tastes (see above).


Typically, nut fillings take the shape of pastes, which are often combined with chocolate. Since nuts are such a popular filling for bonbons, most of them have their own names, such as gianduja, marzipan, and praline, which are all popular in their own right.

Stackable Bonbons

This category is best defined as a mash-up of all of the above, albeit sliced bonbons tend to have more of those (see below).

A good bonbon has a thin chocolate shell, a little thicker bottom, and well-balanced tastes with no air pockets. Cut bonbons, in which the chocolatier produces a giant slab of something, usually a nut butter, jelly, or ganache, and then slices the slab into squares and coats each piece in chocolate, are less prevalent. Look for pieces with no leaks or air bubbles on the outside shell, regardless of the kind of bonbon.

Remember to constantly ask questions. The tasty dessert you’re admiring has been made with a lot of love and care. Furthermore, regardless of where you are, if the chocolatier refuses to answer inquiries about where their supplies originate from or their inspirations, their chocolates are generally not worth your money. Spend exclusively on high-quality chocolate (and chocolates), not only because it is healthier for the environment, but also because we all know how fast a box of bonbons can go.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *