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Cherry Pistachio chocolate bonbon by Elle Lei

March 13, 2023
Cherry Pistachio chocolate bonbon by Elle Lei
Cherry compote, cherry ganache, pistachio gianduja


At SUGOi Sweets in Chicago, acclaimed chocolatier Elle Lei crafts and hand-paints treats that make people go ‘Oh wow!’. This is due to the fact that during the invention phase, she spends approximately the same amount of time “designing” bonbons as she does creating her recipes. “You should see all the illustrations in my draft book, it’s kind of funny to go back and look at their evolution from first mockup to the final bonbon in the box,” she explains.

In this establishment, each bonbon has its own little story. When it comes to flavors, she is mostly inspired by other desserts, for example ice cream, pastries, or even beverages and cocktails. “I try not to really focus too much on the industry trends or what other people do because looking back, I found all my signature designs and stand out flavors are expressions that came from my heart and my own experiences,” she says.

Below we share this recipe where Lei is able to transfer the successful combination of cherry and pistachio to the bonbon format. A snack made with cherry compote and ganache, and pistachio gianduja, sealed with tempered Opalys 33% white chocolate.

Cherry Pistachio chocolate bonbon

For approximately 4 molds

Cherry Compote

  • 290 g cherry purée
  • 100 g glucose
  • 67 g sugar (1)
  • 17 g pectin
  • 230 g sugar (2)
  • 2 g citric acid

Mix sugar (1) and pectin. In a pot, warm cherry purée and glucose to 40°C. Stir in sugar and pectin mixture and bring to a boil. Stir in sugar (2) in batches, cook to 105°C. Remove from heat, stir in citric acid. Pipe at room temperature.

Cherry GanacheCherry Pistachio chocolate bonbon by Elle Lei

  • 125 g cherry purée
  • 110 g cream
  • 37 g inverted sugar
  • 10 g dextrose powder
  • 2 g citric acid
  • 410 g Opalys 33% Chocolate

In a pot, warm cherry purée, cream, inverted sugar, dextrose and citric acid to 37°C. Make an emulsion with melted and tempered chocolate and pipe at 31°C.

Pistachio Gianduja

  • 310 g Opalys 33% white chocolate
  • 370 g pistachio paste

Mix the pistachio paste with tempered white chocolate. Pipe at 31°C.


Clean and polish chocolate mold. Decor the mold with tempered colored cocoa butter by using a paint brush and then airbrush. Shell with tempered Valrhona Opalys white chocolate 33%. Pipe the cherry compote into the shelled cavity. Pipe the cherry ganache on top of the compote and allow to set overnight. Pipe the pistachio gianduja on top of the ganache and set for a few minutes until it firms up. Seal with tempered Valrhona Opalys white chocolate 33%.

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