We Are Bonbon Bombardier

Words & Photos By Jenny Bazzetta, owner of Bonbon Bombardier

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We are Bonbon Bombardier, and we make candy.  We are a pair of confectioners (Jenny Bazzetta & Sean Price) who also happen to be married.  Sean and I met when we were both 16 and have gone through a lot of life changes together, including living in Japan for a number of years in our mid-twenties and undergoing a few interesting career transitions along the way.  After our return to the States, we both made our way into the food industry, I in confectionery and pastry, and Sean focusing on regional Southeast Asian and Japanese cuisine.  During the last decade, we both have worked for a number of small businesses that have grown into some of the movers and shakers of the St. Louis food scene. 

Last year, we started Bonbon Bombardier, hoping to add to the progressive movement of artisan producers within the evolving food industry in Colorado Springs.  We were eager to start our business with the ambition in mind to work and create in an environment uninhibited by timidity or consensus-thinking, to always try something new, and to stay true to the highest quality, simple and real ingredients that we use to create confections that are bold, fresh, and fun to eat.  We have found that our customers appreciate the care and work that goes into the traditional and more innovative confectionery and eclectic flavors that we embrace, and they match our excitement.  The best part of what we do is the surprise we get when customers are jazzed about the confections that we are excited about.  Some of our mainstay flavors were not expected to be so.  People just happened to really like them.

We maintain an ever-evolving seasonal menu at Bonbon Bombardier and are a little obsessed with highlighting the unique and exceptional ingredients found in Colorado.  In late summer thru early fall, we crave perfectly ripe Palisade peaches and love making our peach chews as long as we can maintain our supply. 

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Fresh peach paired with a simple vanilla bean ice cream is so perfect, but when grilled, the flavors intensify and take on a subtle smokiness that is absolutely divine.  For this season, we created a from-scratch Grilled Palisade Peach & Pueblo Green Chile ice cream and made a refreshing parfait that is topped with fresh whipped cream and more seared peaches.  But to take it over the edge, we added a confectionery classic—honeycomb toffee.  Also known as sponge toffee, cinder toffee, and sea foam, this candy-turned-ice-cream-topping is straight from another planet with its light and crunchy, aerated texture.  While it is quick and easy to make, you will feel like you are back in chemistry class. 

Besides light corn syrup or glucose, you likely already have everything you need in your cupboard: sugar, honey, and baking soda.  In this recipe, we use raw and unfiltered Colorado honey from Lockhart Honey Farms.  You can play with the overall flavor of the honeycomb by replacing the honey with molasses, substituting some brown sugar for the granulated sugar or adding a little vanilla extract.  But, for this seasonal dessert, we keep things simple and prefer a delicate flavor that perfectly enhances, rather than detracts from, the seasonal fruit. 

The following batch size might produce a little more honeycomb than you may need, but you will definitely want to keep a little extra on hand.  Dip it in your favorite dark chocolate or fold small pieces into homemade vanilla ice cream (after it is fully churned) to make one of New Zealand’s favorite flavors—Hokey Pokey. 

 
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Honeycomb Toffee

mise en place

●      large 8 quart pot

●      spatula

●      heat-proof spatula

●      candy thermometer (digital preferred) 

●      small bowl

●      sheet tray (half sheet sized—13” x 18”—with rimmed edge so the candy doesn’t flow off of it)

●      parchment OR a non-stick silicone baking mat that fits the sheet tray

●      pastry brush and small bowl with tap water OR 8 quart pot lid

●      meat tenderizer tool or chef’s knife (to break up the toffee)

ingredients

●      4 cups Granulated Sugar

●      ¾ cup Glucose OR Light Corn Syrup

●      ¼ cup Local Honey

●      4 tbsp Baking Soda

●      Any neutral oil (to lightly grease the parchment)

  1. Line the sheet tray with lightly greased parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. In the pot, measure out the sugar, glucose (or light corn syrup), and honey.  Using a spatula, stir to combine.  In a separate, small bowl, scale out the baking soda.
  3. On medium-low heat, heat the sugar-honey mixture without stirring.  As the sugar starts to melt, make sure to wash down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush and a little water to remove any stray sugar crystals.  If you don’t have a pastry brush, put the lid on the pot until steam starts to form.  The steam will wash down the sides. 
  4. Once the sugar is melted, add the candy thermometer and take mixture to 285°F.
  5. Take the pot off the heat, pour in the baking soda all at once and working quickly, fully incorporate it into the mixture using the heat-proof spatula.  Once the mixture starts to expand and increase in volume (this happens very fast!), stop stirring.
  6. Carefully and quickly pour the honeycomb onto the prepared sheet tray.  PRO TIP: Don’t attempt to smooth the mixture with the spatula as this will deflate the candy.
  7. Let cool completely.
  8. To make ice cream topping, break the slab of honeycomb into large shards.  Using the smooth side of a meat tenderizer, crush shards into smaller pieces.  Keep any extra toffee in an airtight container or ziplock to protect from moisture.