The Queen of Hearts

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today, you may find yourself a box of chocolates. For a seamless and sumptuous chocolate box pairing, look no further than the regal Queen herself, Rosa Regale. She’s  flirty, she’s sexy, she’s luscious. This made me want to eat the $3 bargain box, the Whitman’s classic, the Lindt, the Ghirardelli, the patisserie opera. And I did for this post.

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One chocolate in particular was a memorable one. Ghirardelli Strawberry Bark was made for this wine.

If you can only get one bottle for your romantic dessert, Rosa Regale should be it.

Chocolates tested:

Lindor Red Velvet Chocolate White Chocolate Truffles

Ghirardelli Chocolate Squares in Strawberry Bark and Creme Brulee

$3 Heart box from Wal-Mart

Whitman’s Sampler

Ferarro Rocher Hazelnut Truffles

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The Whitman’s Sampler Breakdown

Tomorrow I will introduce the wine that goes with everything. But if you are hosting a Sampler sample party, this can be a guide for a variety of varietals.

sampler

Coconut – tricky, but a velvety Malbec would be sufficient

Chocolate whip – Gewertztraminer, Sparkling Moscato, Banyuls

Pecan & English Walnut Chew – Pinot Noir, Reisling

Molasses Chew  – Gewertztraminer

Fruit Nut Caramel – Pinot Noir

Maple Fudge – Reisling

Toffee – Malbec

Cherry Cordial – Sparkling Moscato

Nuts – Merlot, Noir and tomorrow’s pick

 

Check back tomorrow for the wine that pairs with all of the above!!

Well that simplifies things!

I was at Whole Foods picking up a cupcake to pair because their bakery is amazing. I also wanted to see what they had for wine and throughout the wine section, they had tags on certain wines that said “Great with Chocolate”! How cool! So I had to give it a go!

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A Merlot! This actually went really well! It paired wonderfully and was also refreshing. I paired this with 70% dark Lindt Chocolate. The velvety chocolate lingers in your mouth while you sip and it’s just heaven. You can find this wine at Whole Foods for about $12 and many other wines that had the pairing tag on them as well.

I tried it…

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I haven’t been brave enough to try this until this post series. My reaction? Why did I wait so long!? I was thinking chocolate wine would taste like a red wine with artificial chocolate flavors injected into it. This, however, is none of that. If you like Bailey’s or Godiva liqueurs,  you will enjoy this.

I tried it chilled and straight up but this would be fine on the rocks or even in a cocktail that would call for a creamy chocolaty liqueur. Maybe in a minty chocolate concoction… a spiked Shamrock Shake perhaps? I’ll test some recipes out.

If you’re still skeptical, don’t think of it as a wine. Think of it as a cream based liqueur and you’ll be fine. Now shall I taste Chocolate Box wine??

 

The Cat Box

Or any other themed Russel Stover box, this classic pairs nicely with an assortment of wines. Since there wasn’t a chocolate map in this one, I had to guess what the filling was.

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If you’re in the market for just one bottle to pair with an assortment, pick up a bottle of Banyuls or Barefoot Bubbly Moscato. Come back on the 14th to see the wine that wins Valentine’s Day pairings!

Boozey Instant Hot Chocolate

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Made with instant hot chocolate if you don’t want to make it from scratch.

1 packet of hot chocolate mix
1/2 cup hot water
1 ounce Godiva Liqueur
1/2 ounce Bailey’s Irish Cream
1 tsp Frangelico

Oreo Balls – Christmas Baking

I don’t bake often. It takes us a long time to go through any sweets in the house and if I bring it to work, I’ll eat the treats there. So the one time a year I do bake, I find it beyond frustrating. With many attempts and many of these balls from hell squished and thrown out, I found an easy technique that makes this whole ball thing a lot easier.

Ingredients:

  • Oreo Cookies (double stuffed is best)
  • Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • Ghirardelli White Chocolate Wafers (They’re new!)
  • Decoration of choice

First, I de-creamed the cookies. These are much easier to do with double stuffed since they come off as a whole cream pad. If you have regular minimally stuffed, a spoon works great. No worries about breaking the cookies. They are headed to the processor.

After they’ve been de-creamed, put the cream in a bowl along with a brick of Philadelphia cream cheese.

Put the cookie parts in a food processor. I used my juicer (I have the Omega 8006) which has an attachment that makes an amazing fine grain.

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Add the powder to cream and cream cheese blend and knead into dough. Rubber gloves are handy during this process. It takes some kneading!

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Now roll into tiny balls. The first round, I made them way too big. The second time, I made them about the size of a quarter. Way easier to deal with and these are so rich they are overwhelming if too big. Place on a cookie sheet lined with non-stick paper. These were placed on parchment paper.

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Freeze these for a bit. I read some that froze overnight but made the chocolate shell crack. So I froze for about an hour while melting the chocolate in a double boiler. You can melt in a bowl at 30 second intervals too. Paper bowls work great for this stuff!

Set up another cookie sheet with non stick paper for post dipped hell balls if you aren’t using mini paper cups.

Get your station ready and take the balls out. I tried everything to dip. Skewers, forks, toothpicks, fingers, chopsticks, everything I had. These tiny little things worked great with a sturdier toothpick that I stuck into the bottom, dipped quickly in chocolate (enough to submerge the whole ball) and stuck in a foam board covered in foil.

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If you’re making a lot of balls, take them out in sections. You don’t want to get the ball too warm to dip or they will slide down the toothpick. It’s a small hole and easy to cover if this happens. My house was about 75 degrees and the last 2 balls (of 40) slid down.

The chocolate will harden quickly and you can remove to decorate or keep them on the foam to display.

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Hell ball success. And it’s been requested I make more….I’ll post anything else I learn along the way! Enjoy!