Therefore I decided to go with the Juniper Berry (although not actually a berry) - so from here I shall refer to is as ‘juniper’.
So what is the Juniper? For those uneducated in the dark arts of alcohol consumption, Juniper is the main flavouring for Gin. Gin is the main ingredient of the Gin and Tonic. A nice cold G and T is just what the Dr ordered on a hot summers evening. . . I digress. . .
Now, I don’t normally like to do this, but in these circumstances I feel that it is the easiest way to get down what I want and describe what a Juniper is. I am going to quote the great font of all knowledge that is Wikipedia (no hard statistics so there is less likelihood it’s terribly wrong).
‘A juniper berry is the female seed cone produced by the various species of junipers.
It is not a true berry but a cone with unusually fleshy and merged scales, which give it a
However, it is worth noting how juniper compliments this, and other strongly flavoured game. It has a fruity flavor with overtones of citrus (hence gin goes well with tonic!) That fruitiness offsets the game flavours helping to cut through the meatiness and fattiness. Juniper is also a predominant ingredient in Sauerkraut (sadly not something I am wholly versed in making.)
Consequently, I thought I would give you my favorite recipe that uses Juniper. This one is definitely not for those averse to sweet things. It is one of those recipes that was the product of a large amount of experimentation with flavours and ideas. We were lucky enough to find a large supply of dried Junipers hanging around in the kitchen one day whilst I was working in the Pastry section. So, I bring to you, the Gin and Tonic White Chocolate Truffle!
1. Mix the Tonic, Gin, Sugar, Lemon Zest and Juniper Berries together and reduce by half.
2. Cool and then add the cream. Leave overnight to infuse
3. The next day, bring the cream mixture to the boil, then remove from the heat.
4. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, then strain the cream mixture through a sieve onto the melted chocolate.
5. Mix together then put to the side and allow to cool.
6. Next, put the butter in a mixing bowl and whisk (using an electric mixer is probably easiest) until it has turned lighter and appears fluffy.
7. When the white chocolate mix has cooled to around 25-30°C, mix thoroughly with the butter and place into a tray lined with cling film to about an inch deep.
8. Place in the fridge and leave overnight.
9. Finally, take out the next day and either eat using a spoon or roll into small balls of about an inch in diameter and toss in cocoa powder and eat. Alternatively, you could melt some chocolate and dip the balls into this using a cocktail stick before chilling in the fridge again and then eating.
If you are not a fan of White Chocolate then you can replace with Dark Chocolate. The only thing to note would be that the resulting truffle mix will be harder and less pliable to roll. You will find that you have to cut it over rolling it. Still tasty though!
Well that brings to an end the letter J. Next week will be K. It was going to be an ‘offally’ obvious choice with Kidney, but decided against that . . .