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Mint Julep Chocolates

February 14, 2011

For most people, Valentine’s Day brings one thing to mind: chocolate. Okay, LOVE is important too, but chocolate is up there in the number 2 spot. Anyway, About 2 years ago when I was unemployed and eager to keep myself busy with new hobbies, I started making my own chocolates. An easy (yet messy) process once you nail down the tempering technique, I had a lot of fun coming up with interesting new fillings (curry salted cashew, lavender caramel) and loved how cute they looked packaged in little white candy boxes. Its been awhile since I last took on this project, but since I still have all the supplies I figured, in the spirit of love and chocolate, I would give it another go! Of course, if you’re not feeling confident or adventurous enough to take on filled chocolates, you can always make solid ones using fun mold shapes and cute packaging, and most likely still win the hearts of your friends, lovers and coworkers when you share the confectionery love!

Scroll down to the photos below for some step-by-step visual aids!

You will Need:

  • Chocolate discs for melting
  • Candy thermometer
  • Double boiler or a large heatproof mixing bowl and small saucepan of water
  • Chocolate molds (make sure the shape has enough depth for filling)
  • Metal bench scraper
  • Mint Julep Ganache (recipe below)
  • Piping bag fitted with a narrow tip

Mint Julep Ganache

  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 4 tsp bourbon

Heat cream and mint in a small saucepan until you reach a slow boil. Pour through a strainer, making sure to squeeze out all the cream-discard mint. Pour cream and chocolate chips into a double boiler and heat until smooth. Stir in the bourbon and let cool in the fridge. You can make this a day ahead, just bring the ganache back to room temperature before using it. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a narrow tip.

To make the chocolates

Bring a pot of water to a slow boil. If not using a double boiler, place chocolate discs in a heatproof bowl over the boiling water, retaining at least 1/3 the amount of chocolate for the cooling process. Keep water simmering or turn off heat – making sure no steam moisture gets in the chocolate. If the heat is too high the chocolate will scorch. Stir slowly and constantly until chocolate is smooth and reaches 110 degrees on thermometer. Immediately remove from heat and dry the bottom of bowl.  Using the reserved chocolate discs, add them to the melted chocolate slowly while stirring until the temperature lowers to 90 degrees. This process – called seeding – is what gives your chocolate a smooth, glossy finish.

Fill molds with chocolate then immediately pour it back out leaving a layer coating the molds. Use a metal scraper to wipe excess of the top of the molds. Allow to set in the freezer for a few minutes. Pipe in a small amount of ganache into each shell, being sure not to fill too close to the top or they won’t seal properly. Fill again with melted chocolate. Use the scraper to clean off excess from the molds leaving the chocolates smooth on top. Allow to set in the freezer again, and then pop your candies carefully out of the molds.

Store in a sealed container or wrapped in candy foils, in a cool and dry place. Do not keep in the fridge or the chocolates will bloom – developing a chalky white finish on top, which is still edible but not pretty!

Enjoy your chocolates and Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2011 9:28 pm

    What exquisite little gems! I only wish for more time at home , just to cook.
    I too, adore pouring over cookbooks, cooking magazines, ! I can hardly wait to get home from work , on many days, just so that I can play in the kitchen!
    Your website is a delight ! Maggie

  2. February 15, 2011 8:07 pm

    O.K. This is what I think about as I read my favorite foodie blogs, where does the TIME fit in? I will and do cook as much as I can. For me it is a priority. And then I look at your beautiful blog, along with fresh and foodie, smitten kitchen, and think , I NEED to retire, that is from my job outside of our home!
    I’m so grateful for my own business, working around our daughters school hours, running back and forth to school, chinese lessons, and off to home to do the family dinner with the support of a fabulous husband and father. I love that they play chess in the kitchen while I am cooking. It’s beyond lovely. HOW do you find the time to do beyond superb food???? would love to hear from you and fellow foodies, how do you do it??????? Warmly, Maggie

    • February 15, 2011 8:27 pm

      Hi Maggie!
      First of all I’d like to tell you how flattered I am to be listed alongside some of my food blogger idols- so thanks for such a lovely compliment!

      As for finding the time to cook- honestly it can sometimes be a challenge. However I look at in the opposite way, in the sense that before I began blogging I found that most of my free time was spent in the kitchen to begin with. Once I met my boyfriend, a fellow foodie, we began cooking elaborate meals every weekend; homemade dumplings, slow-cooked meats, and big breakfasts are some of our favorites. After awhile I just began to feel I could do more, and push myself and my cooking skills by blogging.

      I really feel that knowing so many people look to me as a source for inspiration and advice helps me continue to do what I do. So, even when I feel overwhelmed with other things in my life, I just think to myself “just post at least once this week.” The past few months since I started blogging have really been such a fun and yummy learning experience, that it isn’t always that difficult to keep going.

      I hope I’ve answered your question! And thank you again for such a nice compliment!

      Stay hungry,


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