The Shops to Check Out for Excellent Chocolate Bonbons + Pralines in Manila
Treat your friends... or yourself.
(SPOT.ph) You know what they say about life being like a box of chocolates, alluding to its unpredictability—but we prefer to say life is always made better with a box of chocolates. While chocolate, as its core, should be able to wow even in its plain bar or block state, there’s also something truly special about receiving a box of chocolate bonbons or pralines.
Bonbons and pralines (we’re talking praline in the Belgian sense here) essentially refer to molded chocolate with chocolate confections that have some sort of filling enrobed in chocolate. Trust us, we can’t say “chocolate” enough times to fully explain how much chocolate is in this. They’re not only a great vehicle for different flavor combos—you can stuff them with everything from basic or flavored chocolate ganache to fruit preserves, caramel, nuts, even liquor—they also make for serious eye candy as they’re often decorated or molded into different shapes that make them almost too pretty to eat. But take a bite, and you’ll be rewarded with a swoon-worthy experience, where the relatively firmer chocolate exterior melts in the mouth and unveils a symphony of flavors and textures of whatever filling lies inside.
Whether you’re looking to give a box to show your appreciation to someone special in your life or just treat yourself after a long week (you deserve it!), there’s a box of chocolates for you—and we’ve rounded up shops that make excellent versions in this list.
Get your chocolate bonbons and pralines from these shops:
Gruppo Dolci hails from the same group that brought us local bean-to-bar brand Auro Chocolate—so you could say their chocolate game is every bit as solid. Their Chocolate Bonbons (P1,200) are definite proof of that. They’re made with Auro chocolate and resemble little planets or galaxies with their totally rad celestial print. You also get a wide range of flavors—some familiar, like the Salted Caramel with Regalo Milk Chocolate in Milk Chocolate Shell; and some more contemporary, like Calamansi Milk Chocolate Ganache with Madagascar Pink Peppercorn in Milk Chocolate Shell that melds tart and zesty-peppery worlds. You can order a box from Gruppo Dolci’s website.
CMV Txokolat’s Chocolate Pralines (P420/box of six, P800/box of six) are pretty much edible works of art, coming in a variety of shapes and striking colors that stand out beautifully against their sleek black box. Their flavor range is a wonderful display of their creativity, too, featuring combinations that are relatively unconventional but totally ingenious—think Santol, Chamomile and Juniper Berry, and even Gingered Cervesa Negra. Just visit their website to place an order.
From the owner of Machiavelli Chocolatier (who topped our Top 10 Local Gourmet Chocolates list in 2013) comes Manila Chocolatier, who employs chocolate made from cacao beans from Davao and stamps their pralines with distinctly Filipino emblems. Filipino flavors are the star here, as they make Pralines (P650/box of eight, P1,200/box of 15) in varieties that hit close to home: think Lambanog, Panotcha Caramel, and Kalamansi! You can get their products at stores like Kultura and Gourdo’s, but you can also send them a message on Facebook to order online and get your chocolate via courier.
Here’s a sweet alternative to Bizu’s famous macarons: Their Truffle Pyramids (P1,340/rectangular box of 12, P1,455/heart-shaped box of 13)! They’ll remind you of gemstones with their truncated-pyramid form and metallic finish, and they take chocolate into even more indulgent territory as the truffle interior comes in flavors like the nutty Macadamia Honey, sultry Caramella, and festive-aromatic Rose Champagne. Go ahead and order a box or two via Bizu’s website.
Kevin Ong Patissier (a.k.a. KO Patissier)’s social-media feed showcases the most stunning pastries and entremets we’ve seen. Their Chocolate Bonbons (P1,000/box of nine, P1,500/box of 16) are yet another treat that exemplify their amazing hand at confectionery. They’ll draw you in with their glossy exterior and make you stay with their swoon-worthy flavors which include the Orange Cointreau, Halo-Halo, and even Buko Pie. You can reach out to their contact number or send them an e-mail for orders.
For orders, contact 0917-591-2400 or send an e-mail to KOPatissier@gmail.com. You can also check out their Facebook page.
Owner Rachel Rosario admits she got into the art of bonbon-making by accident, but you’d be hard-pressed to believe that when you take a bite of Robin’s Chocolates’ Bonbons (P150/box of four, P275/box of nine, 350/box of 12). They employ Belgian couverture chocolate (which is known for its flawless melt and well-rounded flavor) for these colorful confections that hold fillings in flavors like Coffee Caramel, Macadamia, and Ube. You can send Robin's Chocolates a message on Facebook or Instagram to get your fix.
Filipino tree-to-bar brand Lerio Chocolate’s Assorted Bonbons and Truffles in a Box (P650) uses single-estate cacao from Agusan del Sur, which carries an earthier, more robust profile chocolate enthusiasts will appreciate. Lerio successfully showcases the cacao’s versatility, too, as they craft up their bonbons and truffles in flavors like the Caramelised Milk Chocolate Bonbon, Durian Bonbon, and Peanut Praline. Just fill out their order form to get your own.
This small BGC-based dessert shop is one of the few places in Manila that you can get medovik (Russian honey cake); aside from that, they also make must-try handmade Chocolate Bonbons (P200/box of six). Though relatively simple in appearance compared to others in this list, they let the quality of their chocolate shine as they turn to premium brand Callebaut in crafting up these treats. Filling flavors include the fruity Calamansi Ganache, lush Salted Caramel, and robust-tasting Espresso Ganache, and you can send them a message on social media to order.
Patisserie Bebe Rouge
Beyond their famous strawberry shortcake, this Japanese-French patisserie also makes Assorted Bonbon Chocolates that just about sparkle against the light and—like their other signatures—fuse European and Japanese elements. You can go for the non-alcoholic assortment (P432/five pieces, P1,056/10 pieces) that includes flavors like the Matcha Yuzu and Feuilletine Crispy Crepe, or an assortment with liquor (P432/five pieces) with that include Yamazaki 12-Year Japanese Whiskey and Caramel & Poire Williams filled chocolates. Bebe Rouge is on GrabFood, but the chocolates aren’t always available, so you’ll want to call them directly in case you’re looking to secure a box for a certain date.
For orders, find Bebe Rouge Patisserie on GrabFood or contact 0917-851-9636. You can also check out Patisserie Bebe Rouge’s Facebook page.
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