Culinary Arts

Bonbon Base: Tempered Chocolate Shell

Dominique Ansel

Lesson time 18:57 min

Chef Dominique demystifies tempered chocolate by demonstrating two techniques that result in chocolate bonbon shells with a magnificently glossy finish.

Dominique Ansel
Teaches French Pastry Fundamentals
James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Dominique Ansel teaches his essential techniques for making delicious pastries and desserts in his first-ever online class.
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What's fabulous about chocolate, that you can build something beautiful, melt it, and give it a new life? I'm going to show you how to temper chocolate. And I'll show you a few tricks on how to do so the right way. Tempering chocolate is very important for the quality and the look of the chocolate, but, also, for the flavor of it. Smooth, beautiful, shiny, that's the perfect texture of chocolate. So tempering is a simple process which consists into first melting the chocolate. The chocolate always contains cocoa butter and the chocolate itself, so we want to melt everything down, all the molecules of cocoa butter and, essentially, remulsify them in the chocolate. This process is very important when you do a chocolate Beaumont. It will give you this beautiful little snap and have a nice texture as well. If the chocolate is not tempered, the color would be dull, and the texture will be not very pleasant to eat. There's two main techniques when it comes to tempering chocolate. The first way is sitting, which consists into adding chopped chocolate into melted chocolate. And the second one is tabling, which consists into taking melted chocolate, pouring into a countertop, and moving it around until it cools down the right way. So we're going to start right here in a double boiler. So we're just place some water in the pot. We're going to place our mixing bowl. So always use a metal bowl, so it doesn't melt. We're going to add the chocolate. I always prefer high end quality chocolate as high cocoa content. So this one is 70% chocolate. A very important things to know about chocolate is that it seizes with water. Just a few drops of water inside the chocolate, and it will be all over. The most important here is to make sure you scrape all the sides and all the bottom with a rubber spatula so the chocolate doesn't burn on the bottom. A very important step into tempering chocolate is actually your countertop. The best is always to have a marble countertop that is flat, so you can properly move the chocolate around. I will not suggest to do it against stainless steel or any wood. It wouldn't work at all. It would be very porous and the chocolate will go inside. On the tabling of the chocolate, what's very important before you even start is to make sure that you have a cool countertop. Always start here with some ice in a sheet pan because it's so hot in New York right now. I also do that in my kitchen sometimes when the AC is not working as well. I always put some sheet tray with some ice inside it too cool down the counter. So we're going to remove this. And very important, as we talked about earlier, not a single drop of water on the counter. So we might have some condensation and a little bit of water on the counter, so we're going to dry it very well. Very important to keep all of your tools dry. So we always melt the chocolate to begin at 50 degrees Celsius. 50 degrees is the temperature which the cocoa butter molecules ...

The Art of French Pastry

Celebrated for his innovative twists on classic desserts, Cronut® creator and James Beard Award-winner Dominique Ansel has been called the “world’s best pastry chef.” In his MasterClass, Dominique teaches his essential techniques for perfect pastries. Learn baking and more with his precise methods, add classic recipes to your repertoire, and explore texture and flavor inspirations to delight friends and family with your own decadent desserts.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Thank you Chef Ansel. Thank you Masterclass. I learnt a lot and enjoyed the specific advice about what we should be looking for visually and otherwise.

I really felt this class was a heavy hitter so to speak. I really enjoyed the lessons and the teacher. I had never heard of Dominique before and enjoyed him very much. He's seriously going to push me in the kitchen in baking pastries and I like that.

This course was not quite what I was expecting. I enjoyed learning how to recreate Dom's wonderful creations in my own home. But, I would have enjoyed the course more if he had also covered some of the classics like eclairs.

I do not like cooking but this class really inspired me to give it a try! Great instructor! I am looking forward to visit his bakery in Manhattan.


A fellow student

The obvious pleasure he gets both from baking and eating his creations is amazing. I’m the same way with my desserts/food 😂😂

Amandine C.

My kitchen does not have a marble countertop. What are my alternatives? Thank you!


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Chris M.

Word to the wise- The recipe calls for 4.5 pounds of chocolate. Thankfully we halved the recipe since 4.5 pounds will make enough bon-bon's to feed an army. We also only had on mold tray, The 2.25 pounds we used lasted for 5 full trays and obviously you have to wait 45 mins to an hour between batches and took us about half a day. But, they are super delightful, we are highly impressed.

Zuze W.

If I have a large amount of tempered chocolate left, can I pour it in a pan and let it solidify, store it in a plastic bag, save it for next time and retemper it?


And the third way to temper and the easiest and most reliable is Sous Vide (using a water bath and an immersion circulator.)

john R.

Thank you for sacrificing a bit of the chocolate with the water to illustrate what can go wrong. In the past perhaps a bit of water from my steamer pot got in my chocolate and I couldn't understand why my texture had failed. So now I really understand the technique of tempering so much better. Bravo chef.

Kathie E.

This is one of my favorite classes so far. Dominique's classes are so precise and detailed. I added this class not expecting too much but just love these lessons.


What a beautiful lesson! A delight to watch chef Dominique work the chocolate.

Margaret E.

recipe only says Premium Grade Dark Chocolate. Which brands are better to use?