Photo and Text by Cynthia Presser.
Strawberry Bonbon (or Bombom de Morango, in Portuguese) is the Brazilian “improved” version of a simple chocolate dipped strawberry. In Brazil, especially in the southern part of Brazil, where strawberries can be more easily found than in the North, we have these bonbons commonly sold at bakeries and pastry shops (called confeitarias, in Portuguese).
So, our “improved” version, receives an extra coat of sweetened condensed milk-based cream around the strawberry, before getting dipped in the chocolate bath. That extra layer adds richness and creaminess to the dessert, which makes it taste sweeter and even more decadent. Therefore, it does get improved!
I love this so much! I grew up eating this bonbon at birthday parties (but they would be served only at fancy parties, due to the price of the fruit that could get expensive), and at pastry shops. It was a widely available treat. Well, not in the US… And, once again, I was craving something that I had never tried to make. I looked over several recipes, and the method is simple. The only tricky part was to find out the best way to do the chocolate covering. If I used real chocolate, which would have the best taste, I would have to temper the chocolate… I was not quite sure if I was willing to endure such a fussy method. So, I skipped that. After doing some tests, I chose Baker’s dark chocolate dipping as the winning method – it was easy to use, it tasted great, and the bonbons looked smooth and glossy!
This Brazilian strawberry dessert proves that the extra sweet cream coat takes this traditional treat to the next level!
Yields 15 to 20 units
2 cans sweetened condensed milk
4 tablespoons butter, plus more for hands
1-pound strawberries, washed and carefully dried (medium size strawberries work best)
2 to 3 tubs (7 ounces each) of Baker’s dipping dark chocolate; or 2 bags (11.5 ounces each) dark chocolate morsels; or 1 bag (12 ounces) dark chocolate candy coating (See Cook’s Notes)
In a medium sauce pan set over medium heat, place sweetened condensed milk and 4 tablespoons butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a light boil; about 5 to 7 minutes. Then, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens up (while stirring, you should be able to see quite a bit of the bottom of the pan at this point); about an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a sealable container. Refrigerate for one hour (see Cook’s Notes).
Remove the stem and leaves from the strawberries by carefully twisting off.
Butter both hands generously (see Cook’s Notes). Spread about 1 ½ tablespoons of the sweetened condensed mixture on the palm of your left hand (or on the palm of your right hand, if you are left handed). Place one strawberry on the center, and carefully enclose it, rolling in between the palm of both hands, and trying to make it smooth the best you can. Transfer to a large platter, previously greased or covered with wax paper. Repeat the process until finished with all the strawberries. Transfer platter to fridge for one hour, before coating.