Tuesday, March 23, 2010
6:17 AM | Posted by Peter Behringer | | Edit Post
My sister Brooke and her husband own the Atlantic Beach Peterbrooke. Though the store is tiny, it has a huge following. The store enjoys support from locals who often have special requests for custom pieces.
This past week, I was working in my sister’s store when she heard from a customer who had one of the most interesting and fun special requests ever. The customer’s daughter is getting married and the groom is from Kentucky. For wedding favors, they have decided to give each guest a chocolate seashell representing the beach and a bourbon ball representing Kentucky. The customer sent us a basic recipe along with some general information on bourbon balls or “Kentucky Colonels.” She asked if we could make some samples for the groom before they order. After all, Kentuckians are serious about their bourbon and balls.
The bourbon balls were made using all fresh, natural ingredients such as butter, confectioner’s sugar, chopped pecans, dark chocolate, and my favorite ingredient: Wild Turkey 101. We soaked the pecans in Wild Turkey overnight, allowing them to soak up the bourbon. The next morning, we thoroughly mixed the nuts, sugar and butter. The mixture went into the freezer to firm up. Due to the bourbon, the mixture never became completely firm. We then used a small scooper to make approximately ½ inch balls. We then dipped the balls into semi sweet dark chocolate. After coating in chocolate, some of the balls were left plain; some were coated in chopped pecans, while others received a half pecan decorating the top of the candy.
The result of our efforts was a flavorful chocolate piece that packed a serious punch. Eat a few of these and you will have more than a sugar buzz. When the groom came in to sample, he said they were the best bourbon balls he ever tasted. He decided to order the bourbon ball coated in chopped pecans.
Over the weekend, I decided to experiment with the recipe. The basic formula could be altered in a number of interesting ways by using other types of spirits, liquors, etc. In this case, I added more bourbon and used a bittersweet coating made by Barry Callebaut. I took the finished pieces to a party where they were a hit.
Turkey Ball Recipe:
12 oz. pecans
½ cup Wild Turkey
1 lb confectioners sugar
1 stick butter
Dark chocolate to coat
Chop 8 oz of nuts and soak overnight in Wild Turkey.
Mix together butter, confectioners sugar and soaked nuts. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
Using a melon ball scoop out the mixture and form round balls. Place the balls on a sheet of waxed paper.
Dip in tempered chocolate & either place a whole nut on top or coat the entire ball in chopped nuts.
Presentation: Place all of the balls on a platter. The platter looks best when some balls have no nuts, some are entirely coated and some have only a single nut on the top.
Enjoy and do not serve to children!
- Peter Behringer
- I have worked in the confectionary industry since the age of 14 when my mother founded Peterbrooke Chocolatier. She named the business after my sister Brooke and me. I have long had a passion for making confections. Over the last year, I have enjoyed creating a wide variety of hard candies at home. These included pulled sugar candy canes and cast sugar lollipops. In addition to the hard candies, I also experimented with marshmallow, and jellies. When I purchased marshmallow, lollipops, and other candy, I noticed that they were filled with artificial flavors and colors. Many confections contained high fructose corn syrup and other unnatural ingredients. Increasingly, candy was manufactured in Mexico or China. I believed that consumers deserved better. I believed that consumers deserved pure, simple, sweets made the traditional way with real cane sugar while using natural flavors and colors. It became clear to me that there would be a need for my sweet services! A good friend and now business partner approached me about a neat old house in Springfield –a quaint up and coming Jacksonville neighborhood. Everything just clicked and Sweet Pete’s was born!