Mint Julep Truffles Take the Cake
The classic Derby Day drink becomes a cool dessert.
More than 750 miles away from Churchill Downs, Dominic Rice, executive chef of The Vault at Pfaff's in New York City, is putting on a Kentucky Derby party of his own. Southerners usually don't take kindly to Yankees who horn in on their territory, but Rice is putting out a Derby Day spread that would make anyone whistle "Dixie."
His special menu includes a Hot Brown wrap with bourbon-buttered turkey and Bibb lettuce and a creamed spinach puree with smoked ricotta, dehydrated cucumber salad and dill crostini on the side. But it's the mint julep truffles we're craving—the classic Derby drink transformed into dessert. Use your fresh mint from your garden to infuse the heavy cream, then flash fry a few leaves and dust them with sugar for a crispy topping.
Mint Julep Truffle
Base for centers:
- 1 cup pecans
- 1/4 cup Heaven Hill bourbon
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter (softened)
- 1 pound 10x confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
In a food processor, take pecans and bourbon and pulse till a light paste (30 seconds). In one bowl mix softened butter with salt, bourbon nut mixture, and confectioners sugar. Put in refrigerator for 30 minutes, so mixture can harden. Take mixture and form into 3/4-inch balls, put on parchment paper and freeze for a minimum of three hours.
For the coating:
- 15 ounces dark chocolate
- 5 ounces milk chocolate
- 2 ounces heavy cream
- 2 ounces fresh mint
- 2 ounces crème fraiche
- 1 teaspoon salt
Steep 1.5 ounces of mint in heavy cream. Let rest for five minutes. Strain mint from cream. Over a double boiler, slowly melt the dark and milk chocolate. Once chocolate has started to loosen add steeped cream and salt. Continually stir chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula till smooth and warmed through. Remove from heat, let set for 3 minutes, then fold in crème fraiche.
Take truffles out of the freezer in small batches, so that they don’t soften while rolling in melted chocolate. Place truffles back on parchment once rolled in chocolate and then put in the refrigerator until 30 minutes before use.
Garnish each truffle with a piece of the leftover .5 ounces of mint.