The best aphrodisiacs stimulate the senses, soften the heart, increase circulation, and inspire passion. Aphrodisiacs are herbs and foods that support calm in the body and awaken our senses. They quiet mind chatter, support the nerves, and soothe tension in the body. Named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sensuality, these plants are often found in our medicine cabinets because, in fact, some of the best aphrodisiacs are also our best nervines.
Enter Joy Tonic. A blend of aromatic plants such as motherwort, lemon balm, and linden contain volatile constituents that help rebalance our internal state of tension, offering relief from occasional stress and anxiety.*
You’ll be tempted to devour the dark chocolate delectables in one quick bite–but trust us, they’re best savored slowly while you take the time to notice and enjoy the way they unlock each of your senses. While they are certainly fun for sharing with a lover, these truffles are equally fit for savoring on one’s own or amongst friends. After all, who doesn’t benefit from coming home to the sweetness of their heart and the liveliness of their senses?
The recipe may sound complicated, but rest assured it’s actually quite straightforward. The most challenging part is finding the right consistency for the ganache filling before you roll it into balls.
Damiana, Ginger, Rose and Pink Peppercorn Aphrodisiac Truffles
- 20 oz Dark Chocolate (65-75%) (this can come in any form–if using bars, chop finely)
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 4 Tbsp Urban Moonshine Joy Tonic
- 2 Tsp Pink Peppercorns (set aside ¼ tsp to be used for decorating finished truffles)
- 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 1Tsp Vanilla paste or extract
- ½ oz Damiana
- ½ oz Red Rose Petals, dried (set aside 1 Tbsp to be used in decorating finished truffles)
In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, combine the cream with all of the herbs. Cover, and then turn the pan on medium high, watching closely waiting for it to come to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove from heat and allow the herbs to steep, covered, for 15 minutes.
While the herb and cream mixture is steeping, weigh out 8 oz of chocolate in a bowl–either as chocolate chips or finely chopped chocolate from a bar. You will add the cream to this bowl, too, so be sure it’s big enough!
Next, strain the herbs from the cream using a metal sieve. Press the herbs with the back of a spoon to extract as much of the liquid as possible from the herbs. Immediately, pour the cream over the chocolate and stir with a small metal spoon until the chocolate is entirely melted to create the ganache filling. Add the Joy Tonic.
Place the bowl, with spoon, into the freezer. Check and stir every 15 minutes until the mixture is hard enough to roll into little, round balls no wider than an inch in diameter. Once it is close, you will need to check every few minutes. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you like getting your hands dirty!), the next part gets a little messy. The warmth from your hands will inevitably melt the chocolate a little bit. Work quickly and wash your hands (finish with cold water) a few times if need be.
Place these little chocolate balls on a lined baking sheet, and return them to the freezer for another 20 minutes. (There’s no reason they can’t stay in for longer once they’ve reached this stage, so feel free to finish the recipe on your own schedule). In the meantime, melt the remaining chocolate in a small double-boiler. If you don’t have a double-boiler, place a ceramic or metal bowl over a saucepan with an inch of water in it. On medium heat, melt the chocolate completely while stirring occasionally. Once melted, turn the heat off.
You can also take this time to crumble the remaining tablespoon of rose petals between your hands until they reach a somewhat fine consistency. Chop them if need be. Add the ¼ tsp of pink pepper corn to the rose powder. This will eventually be used to decorate the truffles.
Upon removing the balls from the freezer, quickly give them one last roll between your hands to smooth any ridges. Using a toothpick, dunk the balls one by one into the melted chocolate until completely immersed. Remove and hold over the chocolate bowl until the truffle stops dripping. Then, place it back on the sheet by gently twirling the toothpick back and forth as you set it down. Use another toothpick to help nudge it off if need be. Immediately, before the chocolate coating sets, take a small pinch of the rose/pink peppercorn dusting and carefully drop it onto the truffle in the place the toothpick was.
Once all truffles have been enrobed, place the sheet pan in the fridge for at least one hour while the truffles set-up. They are ready when you can touch them without the dark chocolate coating melting.