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Posted by on Jun 25, 2012 in Dessert, Recipes | 8 comments

Secret Recipe Club: Bokbunjaju Frosting Shots

Secret Recipe Club: Bokbunjaju Frosting Shots

Ian Sample, the Guardian UK’s science correspondent, said a few years ago, “Astronomers searching for the building blocks of life in a giant dust cloud at the heart of the Milky Way have concluded that it tastes vaguely of raspberries.”

It is not the job of a food blogger to discover the hidden mysteries of the cosmos, but if the Milky Way really tastes like raspberries, I don’t have a problem with that. Thanks to Sample’s spacy culinary observation, I felt drawn to innovate another 복분자주 bokbunjaju (Korean black raspberry wine) recipe.

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to interpret a recipe from the blog Chocolate and Dreams.

When I found the recipe for Whiskey Balls, I knew I had found the best recipe to bring a small piece of the raspberry flavored cosmos into my kitchen.

I ran into a problem towards the end of the mixing process though. After adding the powdered sugar, it still wasn’t stiff enough to form into balls.

I added another half-cup of ground pine nuts and the batter was still too wet to form into balls. Instead the balls flattened into wafers. Refrigerating them for over half an hour didn’t stiffen them up permanently either.

I decided I would still try to perform the next step and dip them in the chocolate. Certainly the chocolate would help them hold a good shape. So, I melted the chocolate slowly. It seized up on me and was rendered useless for coating the bokbunja batter.

I considered turning the recipe on its head and rolling the seized up chocolate into balls and coating them in the bokbunja batter, but decided against that too.  

I tried a different direction by dusting the wafers with 1 cup of ground pecans to try to help them keep their integrity. It didn’t work that well, but they are so tasty, I don’t think anyone would notice that they turned out differently than they were meant to be. 

The recipe makes around 30 to 35 balls (unless your husband sneaks into the kitchen and starts eating the raw batter by the spoonful). This stuff is really finger-licking good.

I was originally going to just leave it at that, but hubby said something that lead me in a totally different direction. He said that this wetter version of the batter would serve much better as a cake or cupcake frosting than a chocolate-covered truffle. 

Hubby’s inspiration gave me an idea to salvage my version of this recipe.

If you feel inclined to visit Sift Cupcake and Desserts in Santa Rosa, Calif., the next time you are visiting Northern California’s wine country, you will find creative interpretations of the classic cupcake, as well as macaroons. You will also find something for those who crave frosting more than cake: frosting shots.

My memory of Sift’s cute and yummy frosting shots took my culinary disaster (it was my fault, not anyone else’s) and make it into something fun and new.

Bokbunja Frosting Shots


¼ cup butter, softened
½ teaspoon salt
½ can condensed milk
½ cup pecans, finely chopped
½ cup pine nuts 
½ cup golden raisins
½ tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ cup bokbunjaju
12-16 ounces  powdered sugar


  1. Beat the butter and salt till light and fluffy. Then add in the condensed milk and beat well.
  2. Add in all the nuts, vanilla and bokbunjaju and stir to mix.
  3. Start adding the sugar little by little until it’s thick enough to shape into balls.
  4. Lay the balls to rest on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or Silpat silicone baking sheet.
  5. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to one hour.
  6. Once the bokbunja wafers have chilled, coat them with the chopped pecans and return to the refrigerator to set further.
  7. Pour into individual shot glasses. Serve chilled.


  1. these sound great! and i love the adaptations that you + your husband came up with to best work with the results that you got.<br /><br />by the way, i had such a hard time narrowing down which of your recipes to make for this month&#39;s SRC! in addition to the pasta dish i made, i considered your yuja scones, green tea syrup, saeng cream cake, + (seriously) about 10 more things. i&#39;ll have

  2. A new interpretation of a dish always adds more meaning to it. Delicious!

  3. What a delicious sounding way to repurpose a recipe! I&#39;ve never heard of bokbunjaju before, but I love black raspberry flavoring so if I ever see it, I will be sure to pick it up, now that I know what it is! Thanks for sharing, and thanks for teaching me something new!! 🙂

  4. my previous experiences with whiskey balls didn&#39;t turn out so well… something tells me your version – which has nothing to do with what i first thought it might – would be much better ;)<br /><br />happy src reveal, friend!

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