Bourbon Stratospheres


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:



Appears in

Chocolates and Confections

By Peter Greweling

Published 2007

  • About


Bourbon Cordials

Sugar 740 g 26 oz 57%
Water 260 g 9 oz 20%
Bourbon, warm 300 g 11 oz 23%
Batch Size 1300 g 46 oz 100%

Pecan Gianduja Ganache

Pecans, toasted 350 g 12 oz 28%
Confectioners’ sugar 170 g 6 oz 14%
Dark chocolate, melted, tempered 350 g 12 oz 28%
Heavy cream 290 g 10 oz 23%
Glucose syrup 90 g 3 oz 7%
Batch Size 1250 g 43 oz 100%
Dark chocolate, melted, tempered, thinned slightly with cocoa butter, for precoating and enrobing (see Note) as needed
Dark chocolate, untempered, for adhering as needed


To Make the Bourbon Cordials

  1. Prepare starch molds using a 25-mm/1-in hemispherical imprinter. Take care that the starch is very well dried. (See Starch-Molding Technique and Theory.)
  2. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and cook to 119°C/246°F. Clean the sides of the saucepan while cooking. Remove any impurities from the surface of the syrup.
  3. Remove the syrup from the heat. Gently blend in the warm bourbon. Take care that it is well mixed in, but do not overagitate.
  4. Funnel the warm syrup into the prepared starch molds. Sift a layer of dry starch on top of the molds to completely cover them.
  5. Allow to set undisturbed for 4 to 5 hours. Turn the pieces over to ensure even crystallization. (This step is optional but recommended.)
  6. Leave the cordials overnight to crystallize in the starch.
  7. Remove the cordials from the starch. Use a clean, dry pastry brush to remove excess starch.

To Make the Pecan Gianduja Ganache

  1. Grind the toasted pecans with a small amount of the confectioners’ sugar in a food processor until liquefied.
  2. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar and melted dark chocolate. Mix just until homogeneous.
  3. Temper the gianduja by tabling, bringing it to 29°C/85°F.
  4. Combine the cream and glucose syrup in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to 40°C/105°F.
  5. Pour the cream mixture over the tempered gianduja. Using a spoon or spatula, stir in vigorous small circles outward to emulsify.
  6. Stir outward in larger circles to spread the emulsion throughout the bowl, checking to see that all of the chocolate has melted. If necessary, heat the ganache over a hot water bath to melt the chocolate. The temperature of the ganache should not exceed 34°C/93°F.
  7. Spread into a frame 12 × 24 × ¼ in set on a heavy plastic sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to crystallize overnight.

To Complete the Bourbon Stratospheres

  1. Remove the frame from the ganache and peel the plastic from the slab.
  2. Precoat one side of the slab with the tempered, thinned dark chocolate.
  3. Cut into strips, using the 30-mm strings on a guitar. Cut the strips into 83-mm/3-in bars.
  4. Adhere 3 bourbon cordials to each bar with dots of the melted untempered dark chocolate.
  5. Enrobe each bar in the tempered, thinned dark chocolate.