Adding liquor to a ganache, as I did in yesterday’s post, is one way to add a specific flavor to chocolates. Another is to infuse the cream by heating it with herbs, tea, citrus rinds, or the like. This results in a much subtler flavor, and doesn’t result in that alcohol bite that can come along with the liquor approach.
Since I settled on using the white chocolate for the liquor-based ganache for this project, milk chocolate was the obvious choice for the mint-infused ganache. This made the shopping list simple.
15-20 mint leaves, torn from stems
½ cup heavy cream
12 ounces chopped milk chocolate (Callebaut 31% cocoa milk chocolate)
Notice the backdrop. Vote on 9/14! But before you vote, learn how to make mint-infused ganache. Start out by letting the mint sit in the cream for about half an hour.
Take the whole mixture, and heat it over low heat until the cream begins to simmer. As the cream heats, the essential oil from the mint leaves will be drawn into the cream, giving it a subtle flavor. Let the cream simmer for about five minutes, then turn the heat off and let the cream sit for 30 minutes. Heat to a simmer for five minutes again, and remove the cream from the heat for another 30 minutes. Finally, remove the mint leaves.
You can see that the cream has taken on a slightly different texture from absorbing the essential oils from the mint leaves. Heat the cream to a simmer one last time, remove from heat, and stir in the chocolate until smooth. Cool in the refrigerator, stirring every five minutes to keep well-mixed, until ganache has a dough-like consistency.
The result is a creamy ganache that will leave those who eat it saying, “there’s some mint in there, isn’t there?”