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Mint Julep Panna Cotta · GF (serves 10)

This is my little tribute to the Kentucky Derby classic, Mint Julep. It’s one of the only desserts known to man that can bear a sprig of (candied) mint garnish without incurring my wrath.

I like to serve it in the tulip snifters we use at the restaurant (because this allows me to say “Julep Tulip” ten times fast), but any glass will work. This panna cotta has a particularly soft set, so don’t try to unmold it.

Fresh Mint Panna Cotta
20 ounces cream
14 ounces milk
2 ounces fresh Spearmint leaves, washed and roughly chopped
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped, seeds reserved
8 ounces sugar
¾ tsp kosher salt

1/3 ounce gelatin
4 ounces milk

Mint Syrup
5 ounces sugar
3 ounces water
2 ounces fresh mint, chopped
optional: green gel paste or food coloring

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Chantilly
3 oz brown sugar
3 oz bourbon, or to taste
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
12 ounces cream

10 candied mint leaves

10 bourbon pecan macarons

In a medium sauce pan, combine the cream, milk, mint and vanilla and bring the mixture to a simmer. Shut off the heat and allow the mixture to steep for an hour. (Alternately, you can combine all of those ingredients and refrigerate for 36-48 hours. The cold steep extracts an especially clean mint flavor, but is rarely time effective.)

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the milk and gelatin, whisking to make sure no dry lumps of gelatin remain. Let the mixture stand until needed. Also put the reserved vanilla seeds into this bowl.

After the steep time has elapsed, add in the sugar and salt, then turn the heat back on and bring the mixture to a simmer. Set a sieve over the bowl of gelatin and pour the mint mixture through, pressing hard on the leaves to release every drop of minty goodness. Whisk to melt the gelatin and incorporate the vanilla seeds.

If you’d like to eat dessert sooner than later, cool the hot panna cotta base in an ice bath. If you’re in no particular hurry, simply divide the mixture between serving glasses, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 6 or 7 hours before serving. (Cooling the mixture in an ice bath will shave the refrigerating time down to 3 hours.)

Mint Syrup

Combine all of the ingredients together in a small pan. Heat on low, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Shut off the heat and steep for an hour or until the syrup has a strong mint flavor. Tint with a touch of green food coloring, if you like, to enhance the color. Strain out the mint leaves and refrigerate until cold. Spoon a little syrup over each panna cotta before serving.

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Chantilly

This couldn’t be easier. Combine all of the Chantilly ingredients in a bowl and whisk (with a hand or stand mixer) until stiff. Use a piping bag fitted with a star tip to pipe a swirl onto each panna cotta.

Garnish each Chantilly swirl with a candied mint leaf and serve the panna cotta along side a bourbon pecan macaron.

Fork!

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