Valentine’s Day was just another normal day for me, but with some truffles that boast the classic combination of chocolate and red wine. After a day of essay writing and poetry about how I’m going to live alone with 17 pets for the rest of my life (it was a homework assignment, I swear!), I left the house just once to represent the take out bag toting population of February 14th. Rest assured, I returned to the comfort of my couch to indulge in some Pad Thai, watch Veronica Mars season 2, and listen to my upstairs neighbor sing badly. So badly. Hold the red wine though. I was a little disillusioned because the previous night I learned that I’m ace at cleaning Cabernet out of carpet. It was really just all the magic of Googling “how to clean red wine out of carpet” (also does wonders for coffee). I’m avoiding wine for a while though because the glass in the photo below decided to slip out of my hand and shatter in the kitchen sink as I was cleaning up after this shoot. Sticking to neutral colored beverages seems to be a better plan from now on.
Because red wine truffles are the breakfast of champions, I brought some to my 8am class today to share and a whole host of ball jokes ensued. I finished rolling the rest tonight and set them up on a cute little cherry plate with some pink and red hearts I cut out of paper and a glass of wine I will later accidentally shatter in the sink. Ta-da!
The chocolate flavor is balanced by just the right amount of wine flavor and creaminess from the margarine.
I’m leaving you guys with the recipe because this is what you need to make when you want some Merlot chocolatey balls ASAP. It gets a little messy, but rolling truffles in cocoa is WAY easier than making the chocolate dipped-variety. Cocoa is a very smooth complement to the filling and cuts the sweetness of the chocolate a bit, for when chocolate on chocolate sounds like a bit too much. The recipe directions are quite long, but they’re just thorough! The most time consuming part of the truffle making process is rolling them into balls.
Red Wine Chocolate Truffles
Makes 15-20, depending on size
2 cups chocolate chips
½ cup wine
2 tablespoons soy milk
¼ cup margarine
2 bowls: one for the ingredients and one for a water and ice bath
Cocoa powder for rolling
Melt the chocolate, wine, and soy milk together, then pour into the first bowl. Stir until completely smooth then set aside to cool off. It doesn’t need to be cool, as it needs to be whipped up when still liquid-y, but too warm will melt the ice and make the process take longer than necessary, with unnecessary breaks and refilling the ice bath.
Fill the other bowl up with ice and water. 7-8 cubes will do. As for the water, you don’t want so much that it spills over the side when you place the other bowl in the water, but too little will not cover the entire surface of the bowl where the chocolate is and it will whip unevenly. Try putting the other bowl in the bath and adjust the water level as necessary.
Place the bowl filled with the melted chocolate into the ice bath. Using electric beaters on high speed (but not the highest. slightly less than the most powerful setting is perfect), start whipping up the chocolate evenly around the bowl. Add the margarine and continue whipping. You will see bubbles forming everywhere and the chocolate mixture will start to thicken up to the consistency of heavy cream after a few minutes. Continue whipping until the consistency becomes very thick. Now STOP. Over whipping could cause the filling to become soft and collapse, or become grainy.
Place the bowl in the refrigerator and let chill and thicken. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment or a silicon mat and pour some cocoa powder into a shallow bowl. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and begin rolling. Using a small cookie scoop, make balls that are about an inch in diameter, then roll in the cocoa powder and place on the baking sheet. If the truffles are coming out a wonky shape or you don’t have a cookie scoop and you must use your palms, make sure they are a little wet so that your hands won’t be covered in chocolate-y goo when the balls make contact with the heat of your palms. Place the tray of rolled truffles in the refrigerator for at least one hour, then eat! Keep stored in refrigerator in an airtight container. They will last at least a few weeks before they start to taste funky.