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Our Blog: Chocolate Talk

Mint Julep Chocolate Truffle

Mint JulepPosted by Ken:

I’ve been looking forward to developing a mint julep truffle since I started apprenticing with Hedonist, and with the Kentucky Derby now less than a week away, I can wait no longer.

If you’ve never had a julep before, you might be surprised by it’s unusual complexity for a drink so simple, and by how subtly the mint is actually featured. A proper julep is prepared in a frigid silver cup filled to the brim with finely crushed ice. Typically, the drink is mostly bourbon, sweetened with a splash of simple syrup once the cup is almost full, and sometimes a dusting of powdered sugar. That’s it, but once the beverage is made, a fragrant sprig of mint is thrown in for its aroma. The straws used to drink juleps are cropped very short so that as you drink the sweetened bourbon, you smell the mint right up close.

Our family throws an annual Kentucky Derby Party, and since we love that fresh mint, we infuse our simple syrup with several sprigs a day in advance. Consistent with our family recipe, I want to feature that fresh mint prominently in my interpretation, and am using the same bourbon people will get on the grounds at Churchill Downs.

I’ve been working on this one for awhile. In my first batch I used a dried mint, which ultimately gave off a kind of chewing gum vibe that I wanted to abandon quickly. My second batch had the mint right, but I found the bourbon to be far too subtle, so it wasn’t until my third try that I was satisfied with the truffle I imagined representing this traditional drink.

It’s been a tricky truffle to make, but I’m very happy with the results. First, I steeped heavy cream with finely chopped mint leaves. After the mixture was sufficiently fragrant, I poured it over white chocolate, which I’ve learned requires more tenderness to work with than its darker counterparts. Once that ganache was smooth, I let it cool just below body temperature and added the bourbon, careful not to stir too much, which can cause it to break. Finally I poured the final mixture onto a sheet to set overnight. The next day, I hand rolled each ball, dipped them in dark chocolate, coated them with powdered sugar and waited for each to set.

THEN I got to eat some!

Awesome.

These truffles are a special offering, available only from the kitchen while they last, or until the horses run at the Kentucky Derby (6:24pm, May 1). Best part: you can get them FREE with any purchase! I’ll make a version this truffle that will use mint from my own garden when my final collection debuts on July 9, though I’m afraid that the powdered sugar coating may not be feasible on a tighter schedule. You’ve got one week, you need to try it. I promise you, this batch is the real deal.

(Of course if you want to special order a batch for your own Derby Party, give us a shout, we can do special orders from the kitchen).

 
Pleasure, handcrafted. Hedonist Artisan Chocolates are handmade with fresh ingredients to give as gifts or indulge yourself.
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