I'm slowly making my way through my list of things to bake this holiday season. I had a massive baking session last night which resulted in a butter and sugar smeared counter, a sugar high, and some epic baking fails. I like to think that I'm a fairly decent baker and usually, I can bake up some pretty delicious gluten-free cookies but last night I was proven wrong. The cookies I baked all tasted really good but nothing turned out quite right. Gluten-free baking is more science experiment than art so there are bound to be some fails every once and awhile. I used to get really frustrated when this happened but I've come to realize, there really isn't much you can do except to take note and try again.
The one thing that I made last night that did turn out to be amazing? These port wine chocolate truffles. I've never made truffles before because I have always been intimidated by the process. Chocolate is incredibly fickle but these truffles are really quite easy. I originally set out to make some classic chocolate truffles but wanted to give them a bit more oomph. Nothing goes better with chocolate than wine and I happened to have an excellent port wine from the vineyard we got married at.
This port wine, Othello, is heavenly. It's silky smooth, strong but not too strong, and tastes just sweet enough to be a full-fledged dessert. Needless to say, chocolate and Othello are soulmates and they should really never be apart. If you can, I would encourage you to order some off the vineyard's website or if you're in Virginia, take a day trip to visit the vineyard. Even though I had some baking fails last night, these truffles were a sure win. Then again, anything with chocolate and wine is pretty much a win in my book.
Port Wine Truffles Yields: approx. 3 dozen truffles, depending on size
8 oz. bittersweet good quality chocolate (either bar or good chocolate chips) 1/2 cup heavy cream 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter 1/4 cup medium bodied red wine 1/4 cup red port wine 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract sugar for coating
1. Coarsely chop chocolate (if using bar) or simply place chocolate chips in a large bowl. 2. Pour heavy cream into a small sauce pot and bring to a simmer over low heat. Stir often. 3. Add butter to simmering cream and stir until melted. Add vanilla extract, stir, and remove from heat. 4. Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until chocolate is completely melted. 5. Add red wine and port wine to chocolate and stir to combine. 6. Pour chocolate ganache into a 8x8 baking dish and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours. 7. Once ganache is firm, use two spoons to form into medium sized balls. Don't worry about them being perfectly round, you will roll them later. Refrigerate chocolates again until firm, another hour or so. 8. Once firm, use hands to roll into balls. Roll truffles in sugar to coat and place in fridge until ready to serve. 9. About 15 minutes before serving, remove from fridge and roll in another coating of sugar.