Cherry Bourbon Bon Bons – NEW and vegan, too!
Just as good as they sound, cherry bourbon bon bons are both classic and completely contemporary. And, we’re happy to say, vegan, too. Combining dark chocolate, all natural maraschino cherries, and just the right amount of bourbon, these three luscious yet simple ingredients merge in all the right proportions. We’ve wanted to put this confection together for several years, and we’re so glad we waited till the circumstances were just right.
The Best Kind of Side Trip
When traveling last summer in Belgium – yes, work-related travel can be so demanding – we made a side trip to Chocolate World in Antwerp. Chocolate World sounds like a theme park, but there are no roller coasters or Ferris wheels there. It’s a mecca for boutique chocolate makers like us. Chocolate World is the largest retailer of chocolate moulds not only in Belgium, but anywhere on the planet. They sell over 1,800 different chocolate shapes and sizes, from Valentine hearts to Easter bunnies, race cars to cruise ships.
At Chocolate World, we came across the cutest little mould, similar in size to our hand-dipped truffles. At the time, we didn’t know what we wanted to do with this particular mould, but we knew it was going to be special, whatever it was. When we got home, we asked our amazing team to brainstorm some options. We wanted something we’d never done before. We wanted something so singular that it would warrant taking the form these special moulds would provide. That’s when the cherry bourbon bon bons were born.
Yes, Vegan, too!
It’s great when the opportunity arises naturally to create a luscious vegan chocolate. This was wonderful serendipity that with these ingredients combined, we could avoid all dairy. With the choice of 70% dark chocolate for these bon bons, it sealed the deal. They are vegan and all the better for it!
More about All-Natural Maraschino Cherries
I was shocked when I first heard what regular, usual, run-of-the-mill maraschino cherries had as ingredients. The two harshest additives are Red No. 4 Dye and bleach. Yep, bleach. First, big industrial maraschino cherry makers take the fruit and pull out the natural color using calcium chloride and sulfur dioxide. This turns the cherries a yellowish color. After that, they are soaked in high-fructose corn syrup for several weeks. Then the color is added back in via Red No. 4 Dye. Horrible, right?
Let’s say right now, the maraschino cherries in the cherry bourbon bon bons do NOT contain these dyes and additives. We use Tillen Farms cherries from Washington state (owned by Stonewall Kitchen). Tillen Farms uses no red dye, no bleach, no high-fructose corn syrup. These cherries are all natural and so flavorful. Add a little bourbon and chocolate, and boom, done!
We will eventually also make this confection in milk chocolate (which won’t be vegan). Check back for that soon. Whichever you prefer, we hope you’ll try them and agree – these new cherry bourbon bon bons are just as good as they sound!