Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: by far my favourite HP book and definitely my favourite in the film franchise. I remember that first visit to Hogsmeade, like it was me taking those steps into that magical place.
“Do you know much about Hogsmeade?” asked Hermione keenly. “I’ve read it’s the only entirely non-Muggle settlement in Britain-”
“Yeah, I think it is,” said Ron in an offhand sort of way, “but that’s not why I want to go. I just want to get inside Honeydukes!”
“What’s that?” said Hermione.
“It’s the sweetshop,” said Ron, a dreamy look coming over his face…
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Ron’s face wasn’t the only one that was dreamy: in my head, I was there – in Honeydukes… with the Fizzing Whizbees and Sugar Quills and Ice Mice and Pepper Imps and EXPLODING BONBONS. It was a no-brainer then, to try and recreate some of the magic. That’s where the idea for these Exploding Bonbons came from… Okay, okay – they don’t actually explode… That would be CRAZY. But they do crackle and fizzle a bit. Add to that a wee dash of imagination, and well, if nothing less – it’ll put a smile on your face.
RECIPE: Honeydukes’ Exploding Bonbons
FLAVOUR PROFILE: Popping and zinging truffles that are gingery and spicy with rich smooth chocolate.
GOES GREAT WITH: Just eat these on their own. But eat ALL OF THEM. And don’t feel guilty about it. Because I didn’t. And look at me: I turned out just fine.
NOTES: You need to be very VERY careful when forming the mixture into a ball around the Popping Candy. DO NOT SQUEEZE TOO HARD or the candy will pop and it will kill the fizz before you’ve eaten them. This is why I don’t chill the mixture beforehand – as you want it to be malleable. Similarly, these truffles are best eaten immediately – as again, the fizz from the candy starts to die after a while. The flavour is still fantastic, but if you’re looking for full-impact, then definitely eat them on the same day.
MAKES: 12 truffles
- 170g GINGER NUTS / CRUNCH BISCUITS, blitzed to crumbs
- 70g CREAM CHEESE
- 2 tbsp. POWDERED SUGAR
- ½ tsp. CAYENNE PEPPER
- ¼ tsp. GROUND GINGER
- 100g DARK CHOCOLATE, melted
- 10g packet POPPING CANDY, your favourite flavour – I chose Cherry.
- 200g WHITE CHOCOLATE, for coating the truffles
- Put the melted DARK CHOCOLATE into a mixing bowl and stir in the CREAM CHEESE until smooth. Add the POWDERED SUGAR, the blitzed GINGER BISCUITS and both the SPICES (CAYENNE PEPPER and GROUND GINGER). Give it a good mix, so that all the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Scoop out a teaspoon of the mixture and press into your palm, making a thumb-print in the centre. Carefully fill the indent with POPPING CANDY (I used the handle of a teaspoon to do this bit). Now, take another chunk of the mixture and gently (See Notes) place it on top, smoothing the edges to make a ball.
- Place them onto a tray covered with greaseproof / baking paper and chill the balls for at least 30 minutes.
- Dip the chilled balls into the melted WHITE CHOCOLATE and make sure they’re evenly covered. I did this by resting a truffle on a fork, submerging it in the chocolate, spooning some more chocolate over the top with a teaspoon and then tapping the fork on the edge of the bowl to get rid of the excess.
- After each one has been covered, carefully slide them back onto the baking sheet.
- Put in the fridge to set, which takes about an hour and then enjoy!