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Our Blog: Chocolate Talk

Tricks of the Trade: How to Infuse Flavor

As we roll out our Afternoon Tea and Wildflower collections to welcome the (hopefully) warmer weather, we’re getting a lot of questions about how exactly we create these flavors. Are there tea leaves in the chocolate? Are there real violets in the violet truffle?

The answer is both yes and no. Yes, the flavor you’re tasting comes from real tea leaves and real flowers. But don’t expect to come across bits of leaf or petal in your truffles - those ingredients aren’t added to the chocolate directly. Rather, we impart flavor through a process called infusion.

Though it might sound complicated, infusion is something you’re probably already doing without even realizing it. If you’ve ever steeped a teabag in hot water, then you know how to infuse. Infusion is simply the process of extracting flavor by soaking an ingredient in liquid. Maybe you’ve had olive oil infused with herbs, or water infused with cucumber or orange. We use a similar process to transfer flavor into our chocolate truffles.

We begin almost all of our truffles by preparing a ganache, a velvety filling made by gently mixing hot cream with chopped chocolate. To infuse the ganache with our chosen flavor, we simply simmer the cream with that ingredient, let the mixture sit for a few minutes, strain out the bits and pieces, and then mix the now-infused cream with chocolate.

Infusion Rose Petals in Cream - Hedonist Chocolates Hot cream getting an infusion of dried rose petals

For example, to make the White Mint truffle in our Classic Collection, we heat the cream with dried spearmint, then run the mixture through a sieve, pressing on the leaves to make sure we extract all of the flavor. The mint is then discarded and the infused cream (now a light yellow-greenish color) is mixed with white chocolate. The finished truffle will have all of that cool minty flavor, but no grainy particles.

We use the same process for many of our other flavors of truffles. The entire Afternoon Tea collection is made with tea infusions - just imagine making a really big cup of tea, but with hot cream instead of water. For our Wildflower collection it’s much the same, except we use dried flower petals rather than tea leaves. Simply simmer, steep, strain, and voila - you’ve infused!

After our chocolate ganaches have been infused and mixed, they’re spread out in a frame to set up, cut into squares, and then dipped in chocolate. You won’t be able to tell just by looking at it, but the truffle below is infused with flavor!

If you want to taste infusion in action, browse our Afternoon Tea and Wildflower collections.

Infusion Ganache Enrobing A square of chocolate ganache goes swimming in melted 72% bittersweet chocolate
Pleasure, handcrafted. Hedonist Artisan Chocolates are handmade with fresh ingredients to give as gifts or indulge yourself.
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