Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Panna Cotta, Macoun Apples, Bourbon Liquor Candies, and Candied Pine Nuts

Adapted by
February 2011
Yield: 30 Servings


Bourbon Liquor Candies
Corn starch
250 grams water
750 grams sugar
150 grams bourbon
Cocoa butter
Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Panna Cotta
5 quarts cream
1 kilogram sugar
20 grams salt
3 kilograms bourbon barrel wood
3 gelatin sheets, bloomed : 1 quart infused cream
Macoun Apples
500 grams sugar
100 grams water
250 grams water
20 grams salt
Macoun apples
Candied Pine Nuts
Fryer oil
1 liter simple syrup
2 pints pine nuts
To Assemble and Serve
Micro sorrel
BLiS maple syrup


For the Bourbon Liquor Candies:

Sift enough corn starch to fill a sheet tray. Put the tray of cornstarch in a deck oven with no fan to dehydrate. Whisk the corn starch occasionally to assure there is no moisture left in the starch. Once the corn starch is warm and dry, with a scraping spatula, pack the starch into the sheet tray with a slanted chopping motion. Once the starch has a denser consistency, level off the starch so it is flat and level with the rim of the tray. With a pearl-shaped stencil, make pearl imprints in the cornstarch.

Combine the water and sugar in a pot and cook the mixture to 106ºC over a high heat. Pour the syrup into a clean bowl, and add the bourbon. Do not disturb or agitate the mixture. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for 10 minutes. Now transfer the syrup carefully back and forth between 2 bowls 6 times to assure the mixture is homogenous. Now you are ready to cast your syrup into the pearl-shaped cavities you created earlier. Once the cavities are full, gently sift more dehydrated starch on top, sealing the cavities. Let the candies sit in an area with a temperature of 70ºF to 80ºF for 12 hours. Carefully remove the candies from the molds, brushing off the excess starch. Warm the cocoa butter to 30ºC. Dip the finished candies in the cocoa butter and put them on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Separate the candies from one another so they do not stick as they solidify.

For the Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Panna Cotta:

Combine the cream, sugar, and salt in a pot over a medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the heat. Set the bourbon barrel wood over a burner so it ignites. Let it burn for 30 seconds, and immerse it in the cream mixture while it’s still on fire. Cover the cream mixture with plastic and let the wood steep in it for 6 hours. Strain the panna cotta base through a chinois. Once infused, the cream can be frozen to make some at another time. Whisk in the bloomed gelatin. Cast the mixture and let it cool in the refrigerator.

For the Macoun Apples:

Make a caramel with the sugar and 100 grams of the water. Once the caramel has turned amber, add 250 grams of the water, and all the salt. Let the mixture cool. Slice some of the Macoun apples into wedges, and for the rest, use a melon baller to scoop apple balls. Cryovac all the apples pieces with just enough caramel water to cover them. Store the apples in the bag until ready to use.

For the Candied Pine Nuts:

Heat the fryer oil to 350ºF in a deep fryer. Heat the simple syrup until it reaches 120ºC. Add the pine nuts to the syrup and cook for 20 seconds. Strain the mixture and immediately put all the pine nuts in the hot fryer oil at the same time. Cook the pine nuts until they turn golden brown. Take the pine nuts out of the oil, and cool them on a silicone baking mat, or granite slab, keeping them separate so they don't touch each other. Cool the pine nuts and store them in an airtight container.

To Assemble and Serve:

Plate the Panna Cotta. Top it with the Macoun Apples, Candied Pine Nuts, Bourbon Liquor Candies, micro sorrel, and BLiS maple syrup.