Thursday, December 1, 2011

Chocolate and wine are never a bad thing.

Recently, I needed a big favor from my sweet friend Melanie.  This was one of those favors that involved babysitting a vomiting, feverish baby for a couple of hours in her office... definitely not fun. 
I thought and thought about what I could do to thank Melanie for helping me out, and there are two things in life that I know she loves probably more than anything... wine and chocolate.  Girl after my own heart.

These red wine chocolate truffles are decadent, pretty, creamy, and package up beautifully for gifting.  The ganache is simple but effective, and the Ghiradelli baking chocolate bar sets well and is perfect for the purpose. My truffles didn't turn out nearly as pretty as the original but the taste makes up for it monumentally.

Ingredients (adapted from Sprinkle Bakes)

Dark chocolate melting wafers
8 ounces Ghiradelli 60% cacao (2 baking bars)
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 Tbs red wine

Prepare ganache first.
Chop baking bars into a glass bowl.  Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan until small bubbles form around edges.  Pour cream over bars and stir until melted.  Stir in red wine, one tablespoon at a time, until completely incorporated.  Refrigerate until ready.

In a double boiler or a glass bowl sitting atop a small saucepan simmering water, melt the wafers, stirring until smooth.  Spoon about 1/2 tsp of melted chocolate into the bottom of each section of a silicone candy mold.  Use a 1/2 inch wide paintbrush to brush chocolate up the sides of each mold until the mold is completely coated.  Pop it into the freezer for a minute or two and then repeat until there are no thin spots in the coating.  You can hold the molds up to the sunlight to see if there are any translucent spots.  Freeze an additional minute or two when you're sure it's well coated.  Using a piping bag, pipe the ganache into each mold to just below edge of coated chocolate.  Stick it back in the freezer for a couple of minutes.  Pipe more melted chocolate to cover and give it a little shimmy to set the chocolate to help ensure a flat bottom.
Put the whole finished product back into the freezer for about five minutes to make sure they're set.  To free the truffles from the mold, just loosen from the silicone carefully and press gently upward in the bottom center of each mold until the truffle pops out.  My edges weren't all clean, so I used a knife to shave the uneven edges of the bottom of each truffle so they would sit evenly.

These are a simple way to impress even the most critical holiday guest and made a perfect thank you for Melanie.  I packed four of them up in a square box, tied with raffia, and it made a nice little mid-day treat when Brooklyn and I dropped them off at her office.

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