April 5, 2012 6 Comments
If you know me, or are a long-time reader of this blog, you know that I am definitely NOT a fan of the dry red wine-chocolate food pairing combo. However, that doesn’t mean that I am against putting the wine in the chocolate and cooking them up together! It’s a whole different world of flavor when cooking with wine, as opposed to the dynamics of pairing. (Sounds like a good idea for another blog post!)
This is a recipe that I use in all of my wine and chocolate pairing classes. While I still hold true to my (against) stance for dry wine and sweet chocolate pairings, this recipe puts the wine in the chocolate where the flavors can work wonders together.
Truth be told, this is one of my all-time favorite recipes. Take a bottle of Merlot, pour yourself a glass, and use the rest to make these irresistable truffles.
Blackberry Merlot Milk Chocolate Truffles
First Step: Prepare to get your hands (and your kitchen floor) covered with chocolate!
- 6 oz. Heavy Cream
- 1 Pound Milk Chocolate (Any good brand chocolate disks or batons)
- 1 Bottle of Merlot (the bigger and richer the better…I use Blackstone Winery)
- 1 cup Blackberry Preserves, pressed through a sieve to remove seeds
- ½ Pound of Chocolate, any type (for dipping)
- Ganache, frosting, or fondant for decorating (optional)
- Pour yourself one (4-ounce) glass of merlot; enjoy.
- Pour the remainder of the merlot in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the wine is reduced to about a half a cup. Set aside to cool.
- While the wine is simmering, chop the milk chocolate into small pieces. Set aside in a large bowl.
- Heat the cream to a simmer. Whisk in the preserves and carefully heat back to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in the syrup you made from the red wine.
- Pour the still-hot cream mixture over the chopped milk chocolate pieces. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and blended in. Cool the mixture until it is just slightly warm to the touch. (Place bowl over a double boiler if you need more fire power to melt the chocolate, although milk chocolate usually melts fairly easily.)
- Put the mixture in the freezer for at least one hour to firm.
- Use a spoon or small scoop to divide the mixture into walnut-sized pieces. I find it easiest use a small scoop, and to dip the scoop into hot water every few scoops. When they are finished; drop the pieces onto a baking sheet.
- Freeze for about an hour, or overnight.
- To form the truffles, roll the scoops one by one between the palms of your hands to round them out. Place them back onto the baking sheet. At this point the soon-to-be truffles can be frozen until you have the energy dip them.
- Melt your dipping chocolate over a double boiler.
- Drop the cold truffles, one at a time, into your bowl of dipping chocolate. Remove them with a fork, and allow the excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Note: the better the quality of chocolate you use, the easier it will be to “dip” with.
- Place the dipped truffles on a parchment-lined tray. If you are feeling creative, decorate the tops with a little drizzle of chocolate or nice purple fondant. Let stand until the chocolate and decorations are completely set.
- Enjoy immediately, or hold the truffles in the fridge for up to a week. You can keep the truffles in the freezer for as long as you like, and that way you can have a red wine chocolate fix any time you need one!
If you just must have a wine and chocolate pairing, I would recommend a slightly sweet to very sweet red wine. Some good examples are late-harvest Zinfandel, Ruby Port, Brachetto d’Acqui, sweet wines made from Black Muscat, and sweeter versions of Sparkling Shiraz.
My all-time favorite late harvest zin is “Zinnie de Potelle” out of Napa. Graham’s Six Grapes Ruby Porto would also be a great pairing.
The Bubbly Professor is…”Miss Jane” Nickles of Austin, Texas. email@example.com