We went to Bouchon Bakery to learn from Pastry Chef Nick Bonamico how to make the bakery’s iconic “Franken-Bouch” cakelets in honor of Halloween. Here’s the step-by-step recipe, along with Nick’s tips, on how to make the festive Halloween treat.
To color the white chocolate coating, you’ll need to use green cocoa butter color, since liquid or gel food coloring will cause your white chocolate to seize, or turn lumpy. You can find it online and at many shops specializing in tools for making cakes and candy. For the best results when making the bouchons, use a European-style butter with at least 83% butterfat that has been left at room temperature until it is very soft.
For the Bouchons:
2 large eggs
1 package Bouchon Bakery Bouchon mix
16 Tbs. (2 sticks/250 g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
For the White Chocolate Coating:
5 1/4 oz. (150 g) cocoa butter, chopped
12 1/2 oz. (350 g) white chocolate, chopped
Green cocoa butter color as desired
For the Royal Icing:
2 3/4 cups (11 1/4 oz./320 g) confectioners’ sugar
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 oz. (60 g) egg whites (from about 2 eggs)
Black gel food coloring as needed
1. To make the bouchons, have all the ingredients at room temperature.
2. Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly spray a bouchon mold with nonstick cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the eggs on medium speed for 15 seconds. Add the sugar packet (included) and continue beating until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, stopping the mixer once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
4. Reduce the speed to low and add one-third of the cake mix packet, then one-third of the butter. Repeat two more times to add the remaining mix and then the butter. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the ingredients are combined, about 10 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips (included).
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared wells, using about 2 1/2 Tbs. per well and filling each one to within 1/4 inch (6 mm) of the top. (Let the remaining batter stand at room temperature.) Transfer the mold, still on the baking sheet, to the oven and bake until the tops of the bouchons are dry and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean but not dry, 18 to 19 minutes.
6. Transfer the mold to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Unmold the bouchons onto the rack and turn them right side up on the rack. Wash and thoroughly dry the mold, spray with nonstick cooking spray and repeat to bake the remaining batter. Let the bouchons cool completely before decorating.
7. To make the white chocolate coating, put the cocoa butter in the top pan of a double boiler. Set the pan over but not touching barely simmering water in the bottom pan and heat, stirring often, until the cocoa butter melts. Add the white chocolate and heat, stirring frequently, until the white chocolate is melted and the mixture is blended. Stir in the green cocoa butter color until the mixture reaches the desired color. Remove the mixture from the heat and let cool to 80° to 82°F (27° to 28°C).
8. While the white chocolate mixture is cooling, make the royal icing. Sift the confectioners’ sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Add the lemon juice and mix on low speed. With the mixer running, slowly add just over half of the egg whites and mix until smooth. Add the remaining egg whites and mix again until smooth. Divide the icing evenly between two small bowls. Add black food coloring to one of the bowls as needed to turn the icing black and stir until thoroughly combined.
9. To coat the bouchons with the melted chocolate mixture, place a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Working with one bouchon at a time, dip a bouchon about three-quarters of the way into the melted chocolate mixture to coat, letting any excess drip back into the pan. Place the bouchon on the wire rack to allow the coating to firm up slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat the dipping process two or three more times, until the green coating is opaque. Let the bouchons sit on the wire rack until the coating is firm and dry.
10. To decorate the bouchons, transfer the white and black royal icing to 2 separate piping bags, each fitted with a size 0 plain tip. Using the white icing, pipe two eyes near the top of the green coating on each bouchon. Let dry for several minutes, or preferably 1 hour. Using the black icing, pipe a dot in the middle of each eye and pipe a mouth, stitches, and any other features you desire. Set aside until the icing is firm before serving. Serves 16.
Recipe courtesy of Bouchon Bakery.