When I began working on these I had something else in mind altogether. I wanted a simple red wine ganache that could be chilled, balled, frozen, and rolled in cocoa powder. I even found a recipe (on a blog that shall remain nameless) that laid claim to this possibility. Sounds simple right?
Well, it wasn't simple. Not with the recipes I had, and with the information I had collected.
Ganache recipes are quick to put together, so this afforded me enough time to try out a few recipes and variations. One thing seemed certain time and time again. This ganache would have to be molded. The more red wine added, the more flavorful the ganache became and unfortunately, the more loose it became.
I'm not going to lie, tempering sounds a little above my aptitude. I'm not a Chocolatier, so for now I'll be using dark chocolate meltable candy wafers. They make a pretty truffle, and they don't take away from the main attraction: The Ganache. I didn't use a standard candy mold either, I used the Wilton mini hearts silicone pan and it worked beautifully!
When preparing to make these, you'll want to put together the ganache first. (Scroll down for printable recipe.) I think a dry red wine imparts the best flavor. A Chianti would work very well.
You'll need 2 to 3-1 lb. bags of dark chocolate meltable candy wafers. Melt them in batches as you need them. I found that I used about 1/2 bag at a time. You'll need a clean (preferably new) small craft brush with sturdy bristles.
Fill the molds about 1/4 of the way up with melted chocolate, and begin brushing the chocolate up the sides of the molds, coating the mold completely. When finished, put the mold in the freezer for about two minutes. After taking it out, check for thin spots in the hardened chocolate by holding the candy mold up to a light source. Paint on more chocolate until the chocolate cups are no longer transparent. Return to freezer. Repeat these steps until chocolate is completely opaque. (I think mine took about 3 times.)
Fill chocolate painted molds with the red wine ganache. DO NOT fill completely to the top. Transfer to the freezer for a couple of minutes. Remove, and top ganache with additional melted chocolate candy to enclose. Be sure it comes to the top of the mold and makes a flat surface. You want your truffle to seal properly and have an even surface to rest on when unmolded. Return to the freezer until set. Gently unmold truffles by pressing from the bottom of the mold upwards. Embellish as desired.
My truffles have a little lustre dust applied with a damp soft-bristled brush. I think it makes them look extra special. I also decided to button them up with a little bit of red melted candy coating (applied with disposable pastry bag). I think these turned out beautiful and best of all...
...rich and delicious!
Here's the (very easy) recipe for the red wine ganache, if you'd like to make them too!
This ganache sets up better than any I've tried, and gives a mild boozy aftertaste. I didn't include this tidbit in the recipe, but you can add up to 1/4 cup of red wine in place of the 5 Tbsp. The ganache will be loose, and you have to be VERY careful when sealing your truffles or you'll have a big leaky truffle mess. The version I've posted seemed to seal the best and still retain the red wine flavor. I think my next experiment will be adding a red wine reduction to a basic chocolate ganache.
Rainy days make the best baking and candy making days, but I'd really like some sunshine! I think Biscuit would too. The weather has been so dreary and unfortunately the forecast includes possible snow flurries tomorrow! So, I'm predicting a 100% chance of baking with accumulation of cookies and an increased chance of a little Pug being underfoot.
He doesn't go outside in inclement weather. (Spoiled!)