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« Gingerbread Cookies | Main | Almond Cardamom Rolls »
Wednesday
Dec122012

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles

When the weather takes a frosty turn with falling snow and Christmas lights brighten the night sky, the sweep of holiday festivities begin to descend. Living in a cold climate, it just doesn't feel like the holidays until the ground is covered in a thick sheet of white. In the last few days, Old Man Winter has come to visit and with him has come the sudden pressure to get ready for the upcoming holidays. I'm still sorting out the matter of gift giving, waiting until the last minute to get my affairs in order. With homemade gifts currently strewn about my apartment in various levels of disarray, I wonder whether it would have been a better decision to purchase them instead.

Even so, each year I just can't bring myself to do it, mess or otherwise. I love to bring a personal touch, however small it may be.

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles Red Wine Chocolate Truffles

There is, however, one gift I present each year that I can never seem to keep a surprise. Since I was a young girl, it has become a tradition to make a box of chocolates for my father on Christmas. When a small package appears beneath the tree addressed to my father—wrapped with twine and a note warning Fragile!—everyone knows what is hidden within.

He has a deep love for chocolate that only a handful of truffles can cure; a hopeless craving that he has passed down to me. When I was young, I would wrap a bundle of Hershey's chocolate bars in paper, taking care to keep them away from the roaring flames in the fireplace. Now that I've grown older (and developed a few candy making skills of my own), his chocolate boxes have gradually grown in sophistication. The last box held an array of bonbons, with caramel and fondant filled treats, and enough milk chocolate truffles to last him into the New Year.

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles

When summer rolled around this year, the idea to combine chocolate and red wine into a delicate truffle rushed through me like a sweet burst of wind. Overcome with inspiration, I tried to make these truffles in a ninety degree apartment in the middle of July. Needless to say, it didn't work out as planned. I've kept the idea brewing since, a low level current of decadence flowing thought the back of my mind. Now that the air is cool and the season is right, it was the perfect time to try my hand at these truffles again.

My father's chocolate box certainly won't go empty this year. With any luck, I hope you will find yours filled with goodies, too.

Note: The winners of the homemade holiday cookie giveaway have been chosen. A big congratulations to Jenny Hartin, Edith, and Monika Stout for winning a box of cookies delivered to your doorstep. Expect to hear from me very soon!

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles combine the aromatic strength of a dry, red wine and the dark tones of a quality bar of chocolate. The truffles themselves are simple to make, but have such a complex flavor you may guess otherwise. The truffles are rolled in cocoa powder before serving, lending a clean appearance to a rustic sweet. These truffles would make for a lovely addition to serve at a party with family and friends or enjoyed in front of a fireplace with a good book all by yourself.

Note: These truffles do contain alcohol and should be kept out of the hands of little ones.

One Year Ago: Christmas Sugar Cookies
Two Years Ago: Candy Striped Meringues

Red Wine Chocolate Truffles

Yields 30-40 truffles

8 ounces (225 grams) high quality semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 (120 ml) cup dry, red wine (I used a Merlot)
2 tablespoons (30 grams) butter, melted
1/2 cup (40 grams) cocoa powder

Place the finely chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring the wine to a boil over medium-high. Remove from heat and pour wine over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes to fully melt the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has completely melted and is silky smooth. Stir in the melted butter.

Allow the chocolate to rest until it begins to firm up, about 30 to 45 minutes. Stir every 5 to 10 minutes. If the chocolate gets too hard, melt over a double boiler and repeat the cooling process. (Do not refrigerate or freeze the chocolate to shorten the cooling time. This will only result in truffles with an uneven texture.)

Place the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Using a spoon, pick up anywhere from a teaspoon to a tablespoon of chocolate (the amount will depend on how large you want your truffles) and roll it between your palms until it forms a sphere. Roll the truffle in the cocoa powder until it is completely covered. Place the truffle in a fine mesh strainer and shake to remove the excess cocoa powder. Set on a baking sheet to firm up.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 week (or in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks). Bring the truffles back up to room temperature before serving. If the truffles have absorbed the cocoa powder, you can re-roll them before serving to give a more polished appearance (in fact, I suggest this for the best results).

Reader Comments (33)

Recently discovered your blog and I must say your work is pretty amazing! Such wonderful recipes and photos.
12.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterUrška
I love making chocolate truffles at home - friends and family always seem to appreciate them so much and they taste so much better than anything you can buy. The combination of dark chocolate and red wine in these sounds totally stellar - there's a beautiful light in your pictures too.
12.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn
I think you have a mistake in the recipe. I assume that you pour the warmed wine (not cream) over the chocolate. (I had to read it a few times to figure out where the wine went into the recipe.) And this sounds delicious!
12.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKim
I think I should make these for my dad for Christmas too! There is nothing he loves more than red wine & chocolate--too perfect. As long as it is a dry red wine, does the quality matter? For example, can I use like a 5 dollar bottle of wine? Haha :)
What a gorgeous, thoughtful present to make for your Dad. Mine's on a pretty much permanent diet so isn't really allowed chocolate, but I might make exception with a couple of these beauties as he loves both dark chocolate and red wine.
12.13.2012 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf
Looks incredible... I think you are missing an ingredient though. You say to pour the cream over the chocolate but not how much cream to use.
12.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRose
I have been looking for something to make for my coworkers as an xmas treat, and this is it! Just a quick question though, cream is mentioned in the directions but not in the ingredients... the wine takes the place of the cream, right?
12.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
I know what it's like trying to work with chocolate in a 90-degree (and humid as hell!) apartment in the summer. It's withering! And then winter comes along, and it becomes the perfect time to make candy. I just made caramels for the first time, and it was such a gratifying experience. And they will be given out, because I too believe that presents made with love are the best.

I hope your dad loves the truffles! They're gorgeous little things.
12.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda
Kim, Rose, & Amanda--Thank you for noticing! There is NO cream in this recipe (only wine) and I've changed the recipe above to reflect this. Thank you!

Laura-- It's isn't so much the price of the wine as it is the flavor. The flavor of the wine you choose will be noticeable in the chocolate so you should choose a wine that you already enjoy (I used an $8 wine).
12.13.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Kristin, your blog speaks to me in so many ways. The photos are works of art and, paired with the recipes, engage all of my senses. Your writing is full of the soul of you. Love the quotes. Thank you for sharing your talent and so much of yourself.
12.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterCarla
Mmmmmmmmm! In a recent workshop that I attended the lady poured the rum in the heated chocolate and the the chocolate had a seizure so did my partner. Unfortunately my partner did not share the right way of making the rum truffles. Thanks this gives me the idea.
12.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterArchana
I'm so excited to make these, I had been looking for friend/coworker gift ideas and this will be perfect! Do you have any other suggestions of something to roll the truffles in besides cocoa? Would love to have a little variety in their appearance, but I'm afraid to experiment and ruin them! Also, if we are going to wrap these to give as a gift, would you suggest parchment paper to line a tin with, and will they stack on top of each other ok or should we do layers with parchment paper?
12.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey
These sound wonderful! I love the concept of no cream in the truffles. I know a bunch of wine-lovers who would absolutely love this recipe. Im wondering about a coffee/espresso version? Fantastic.
Red wine and chocolate is such a winning combination! Love this and these are definitely getting added to my candy gift basket for extended family gifts.
12.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley
Lindsey-- I would suggest putting them in a box in a single layer, placing each truffle in a small candy cup so they don't roll around. You could dip the truffles in melted chocolate or white chocolate instead of rolling them in cocoa to give different appearances.
12.13.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
These truffles look so fabulous! Love the red wine in there :)
You have no idea how much I envy your cold climate for Christmas. I've lived in Australia my entire life, but 102F days and Christmas trees just don't feel right to me! I'll make it to the Northern Hemisphere one of these days, and when I do, I will make the truffles, curl up by the fire and read a book, don't you worry. Until then, I will live vicariously through you.
12.13.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
I just made these with a Roche Carneros Syrah (because I knew it would be lovely and because that is also what I am opening for dinner tonight) and they are WONDERFUL!
I've only discovered you this week, and am excited to try more of your beautiful recipes.
Thank you!
Lorrie
12.13.2012 | Unregistered Commenterlorrie
These truffles look great! I've never seen a combination with red wine and chocolate!
It's about 73ºF where I am and I'm trying these out. Waiting on the chocolate to firm up, so far so good! :D
12.15.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
Hi, I am currently making these and the chocolat won't firm up enough for me to roll them into spheres in order to put them in the coacoa.
should i add anything?
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara
Barbara-- I made a batch just this morning and in my humid kitchen it took 2 hours to firm up properly. It should firm up if given enough time. If for some reason your ratios are off, you can melt down a little more chocolate and repeat the firming up process, but it shouldn't come down to that.
12.21.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I made these for my father for Christmas and he loved them. I had to make them a few days in advance to work around our hideously hot December weather, but they came out wonderfully!
01.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
i took the liberty to reproduce your recipe on my blog. of course it's linked as well. i hope you don't mind! the truffles travelled really well and were much loved by my family.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered Commentermehrunnisa
I've just been scrolling through your "best of 2012." What a delight! Your photography alone is a feast! And I particularly like your Keats quote above....I'm there!
01.15.2013 | Unregistered CommenterResa Dance
love your blog, such beautifull receipes, and your writting is cool
I'm making right now your red wine truffles for my friends and my family
I'll get back to you and let you know how it turned out
05.11.2013 | Unregistered Commentertinchi
My sister loved it. She's a big fun of red wine and dark chocolate. thanks a lot. I'll for sure make them again, and again, and again.....
05.16.2013 | Unregistered Commentertinchi
A-MA-ZING. Made these twice. The type of chocolate & wine definitely matter and it took a wicked long time to firm up the second time. Both were delicious!!!
Any idea how to make the cocoa powder last? They are delicious, but even after rolling it in cocoa powder the next day it absorbed into a semi-sticky chocolate pellet.
07.27.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCelia
The chocolate never firmed -- it has been 8 hours!
12.20.2013 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Made these to the tee and wonderful!! Thanks for the recipe. Going to try White chocolate and white wine next ;)
12.24.2013 | Unregistered CommenterVarada
Hi Kristin! I adore your blog, and have made lots of your recipes with great success! I did a test run of these truffles to make them for my boyfriend for Valentine's Day. I followed the recipe exactly, just cutting in half since it was a test run. The chocolate mixture never hardened! I left it in the fridge all night, then the freezer all morning, to no avail. I boiled it down again and added a bunch more chocolate - still runny after hours. I'm wondering if the wine needed to be boiled for a while to boil out the alcohol, or if adding cream would help, or... Any thoughts? Thanks! x
02.9.2014 | Unregistered CommenterAntonia
These were really great! Followed the recipe exactly.
02.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterJayaymeye
These are decadent! I used my favorite Malbec, and they were delicious. I took a double batch as my contribution to a pot luck, and they were a hit with everyone. I rolled the truffles in chocolate powder and let them sit overnight, then rolled them a second time in chocolate powder. They tasted great after the first "rolling" but they needed a second coating to look as good as they tasted. Yum!
03.25.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLiz, ND

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