Thursday, February 7, 2008

Two Great Things That Taste Great Together

No, I'm not talking about Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. Something a bit more interesting...a wine and chocolate tasting party for Valentine's Day. After spending some quality time with your betrothed, open your doors and welcome your favorite couples for a special treat.

I guarantee this party will be lots of fun and super easy to put together. Set up a table with various types of chocolates: white, milk and dark. For an extra special touch, whip up a batch of homemade truffles. Trust me ladies, it's much easier than you think. (I'll put the recipe at the end of the post.)

Now to put a little "spirit" in the evening: the wines. Try pairing the white and milk chocolates with champagne, California sparkling and Prosecco wines. Darker, rich candy can handle more robust flavors. Be sure to partner them with merlots and earthy cabernets.

Now for the decor. Nothing shows off chocolate like deep reds. Start with lots of red roses. I'm sure you'll love showing off the blooms from your favorite valentine. Take stemless wine glasses (Target has some great choices) and trim your roses to about 4-5 inches so the blossom clears the rim of the glass by about an inch or so. Six flowers fill one glass nicely. Next, you'll need lots of votive candles. Arrange the flowers and candles amongst the room as well as the tables holding the chocolates and wines. Be sure to label the your goodies so guests know exactly what they're tasting.

And for my promised truffle recipe:
16 oz of european dark chocolate (at least 60% cacao), finely chopped
3/4 cup of heavy cream
Cocoa powder or confectioner's sugar
Depending on your taste buds, you can add vanilla, chili powder, Cointreau or Grand Marnier by the teaspoon. Just not all together!!

Put the chocolate in a glass bowl. Be sure not to use plastic or metal containers as they could impart a funny taste to the chocolate. Bring the cream to just a boil on the stove. Strain the liquid thru a sieve into the chocolate and stir slowly. The heat from the cream will melt the chocolate. Once it's melted, add your choice of flavoring. Stir thoroughly and chill for at least an hour. Tick, tock, tick, tock...Now that the chocolate has chilled, take a melon baller or small ice cream scoop (dipped into very hot water every now and then) and drop rounded balls onto a parchment or wax paper-lined cookie sheet.

Now, lightly dust your hands with the cocoa powder or sugar to prevent the truffles from sticking. Yes, your hands will get messy, but trust me, it's well worth it. Roll the chocolate in the cocoa or powdered sugar and place on a beautiful tray or bowl. Presto, super easy truffles that will rival Godiva any day.

Light the candles, uncork the wine, start the music (Sade's perfect for a night like this), and your ready for the fun to begin. Be sure to let me know how much fun you had!

1 comment:

Christi Austin Photography said...

hose look like they're to die for

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