What are bonbons?

There are a couple of types of bonbons, the delicious chewy traditional sweets that you’ll find in big tubs in sweet shops and the chocolate confection from France.

If you think back to childhood, walking home from school, with your friends and stopping en route home at the local sweet shop for 50g of bonbons, those chewy sugar dusted sweets, some dweebs candies and maybe a pack of nerds sweets too!

a close up of bonbons sweets

Chocolate bonbons and their history

We all love bite-sized chocolates, it’s almost like it’s human nature to enjoy sweet treats, especially when they’re nutty truffles or ganache coated in another layer of chocolate.

Bon is a French word that means ‘good’ and it was first used as ‘bonbon’ in the seventeenth century. Good-goods, sort of like ‘goodies’ isn’t it?

These treats were served in little containers somewhere around the middle of the 18th century and were often given as gifts on special occasions, holidays and festivals.

They were being made as balls of chocolate and put in a wrapper in the mid 18th century, by a London-based confectioner called ‘Tom Smith. This turned into the modern day cracker that we have at Christmas time, even now, almost 200 years later.

How are they made?

This type of chocolate candy is similar to the classic truffle in some ways but the outer layer of chocolate is a lot thinner, more like a shell than a thick coating. They’re often confused with truffles but who doesn’t refer to balls of chocolate as that?

I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone in the UK refer to them as bonbons because it just doesn’t make sense to us and our culture but if you do to France, they may not understand ours in return.

It’s a mystery how we ended up with such different variations but both are masterpieces in their own right.

They usually contain ganache, which is a mixture of cream and tempered chocolate, sometimes nuts and other flavourings. After that, they’re rolled in chocolate and another topping to finish them off.

Old fashioned bonbon sweets

You know the ones. Lemon, strawberry, cherry, apple, toffee and even Vimto flavoured sweet balls that would look very much out of place in a box of chocolates but perfectly placed in childhoods memories, in little paper bags.


These are usually made from toffee. Traditionally, this is a combination of caster sugar, dark brown sugar, double cream, butter and usually vanilla extract too.

The sweets are then rolled into sugar or dusted with flavourings, strawberry etc which is why they come in so many

Are bonbons vegetarian?

In general, chocolates aren’t vegan because of the milk content so unless they use alternatives, these are not vegan friendly treats. They are, however, vegetarian as they don’t contain meat or gelatine.

The old-fashioned sweet shop sweets are vegetarian as they’re free of gelatine but high quality, vegan versions are very rare because of the sugars and dairy content.

What are bonbons?

They are the classic, chewy toffee sweet, dusted with magic and packed into little paper bags or tubs to keep them fresh. Our favourite are the toffee kind, when they’re not too soft but not hard either, we need our teeth to stay in our mouths.

When you place an order with our online sweet shop, if you order before 3PM, we’ll despatch your candy the same day and if you’re one of the extremely lucky folk to live local to us, we might even be able to deliver it the same day so long as you meet the cut-off point and all of the products are in stock.

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