Love it or hate it, there are two things Americans can’t seem to live without on Valentine’s Day: chocolate and wine. Consumer reports show Americans spent over $707 million on sweets and $23 million on wine for the heart shaped holiday last year. That amounts to a whopping 127 million pounds of candy, 2 million bottles of wine and an undisclosed number of cavities.
This year, why not skip the Russell Stovers in favor of something with a little more love…and alcohol. Try our recipe for homemade chocolate truffles dipped in wine syrup and earn extra bonus points from your boo.
Whether you’ve planned a romantic evening with your loved one or pre-purchased tickets to 50 Shades of Grey with your nearest and dearest Galentines, our taste-tested recipe will put a chocolate covered smile on the wine lover in your life.
Chocolate Truffles with Pinot Noir & Sauternes Syrup
Cook time: 2 hours
Yields: About a dozen truffles depending on size
For the truffle:
1lb of dark, semi or bittersweet baking chocolate
1 cup of heavy cream
2 Tablespoons of red wine
For the toppings:
½ cup of chopped almonds
½ cup of coconut flakes
¼ cup of Pinot Noir
¼ cup of Sauternes
½ cup of light brown sugar
In a small sauce pan, heat the heavy cream and red wine, stirring frequently. Once the liquid comes to a boil, remove from heat. Pour the hot liquid onto the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is fully melted. Place the bowl of melted chocolate into a larger bowl filled with just enough water and ice that it does not spill into the smaller bowl. Set aside or put in the refrigerator until the truffle batter hardens. At first, you’ll want to stir the batter occasionally to make sure the mixture hardens at an even pace.
This hardening process will take about 1.5 to 2 hours giving you ample time to prepare the toppings.
For the toppings, you’ll start by preparing a wine syrup. Wine syrup is simply a 1 to 1 combination of wine and sugar. While most bakers prefer a dry red wine like Cabernet to bake with, we decided on a fruit forward red wine, Pinot Noir, for more distinct flavor. We also experimented with Sauternes, a sweet white wine from Bordeaux, with positive results.
To create the wine syrup, simply bring equal parts wine and sugar to a boil, then simmer until the sugar is fully dissolved. Pour the red wine syrup over the chopped almonds and the white wine syrup over the coconut flakes. Allow the toppings to sit in the syrup for about 10 minutes to soak up flavor. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Once the toppings have had a chance to soak, drain the syrup through a fine sieve. Spread out the toppings out onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place in oven to dry for about 10 minutes. Check frequently so as not to burn. Once the toppings are adequately dried out, remove from the oven. You may need to break up the toppings if they have candied.
When the truffle batter has hardened, use a melon baller or small ice cream scoop to create little balls. Roll them in your hands to shape. Pro-tip: You might want to use powder free latex gloves. Also, keep the truffle bowl in the ice water as this will prevent the chocolate from softening.
Generously roll the truffles in the topping bath.
Clara Kim & Jeff Weiner make food, drink wine and write about it on their food blog, Make A Story