A conversation with my boss (we'll call her "Yulie" to protect her identity) about holiday treats made me realize that I would like to try to create red wine-flavored truffles (I already enjoy both ingredients, this just skips a step..) I set out on an Internet quest, looking for a such a recipe. The results were mostly about infusing red wine with truffle mushrooms (does that even sound good...?) or about BUYING chocolate truffles. Tasting each wine and chocolate before creating a finished product shall require strength and perseverance, but I suspect I'm up for the task. I'm posting below the only recipe found thus far. (I cannot eat hazelnuts thus my test-run will omit them). I'll post as to how these turned out, and then create a new, personalized version.
Merlot Hazelnut Cocoa Truffles
Makes approximately 40 bite-sized truffles with an enticing interplay of flavors.
2 cups bittersweet chocolate (1 12-oz. bag of chips or 3 4-oz. bars chopped into small pieces)
3/4 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup red wine, such as Merlot
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
½-1 cup cocoa, such as Scharffen Berger or Hershey's Dark
Place chocolate chips or pieces in a medium-sized bowl. In a sauce pan, bring heavy cream and butter to a boil. Immediately pour over chocolate. Stir with a whisk until chocolate has melted and ingredients are fully combined. Whisk in wine, and then hazelnuts.
Let mixture cool at room temperature for 3-4 hours or overnight, covered but not refrigerated. Or chill in the bowl in the refrigerator. Remove it every 5 minutes and stir well. Continue until mixture thickens slightly, 10 to 20 minutes.
Place cocoa in a small shallow pan or dish. Set aside.
Stir mixture well with a spatula. The filling should have a spreadable consistency. Pipe 1-inch ganache rounds with a pastry bag fitted with a 3/4-inch round tip onto waxed paper, or scoop 1-inch rounds onto the paper with a teaspoon.
With gloves on, shape the filling in the palms of your hands to create a rounder appearance. Place into the pan that contains the cocoa and roll it in cocoa until fully covered.
Remove from the pan with a fork, knocking off any excess cocoa. Place onto a clean tray or plate.
They are best served at room temperature.
Truffles may be refrigerated for up to one week, or kept at room
temperature for up to three days. They will keep in the freezer for up to two months.