Tag Archives: champagne

OMG Champagne Truffles

Grace Magazine Truffles

I’ve been learning to make candy. Actually, I’ve been teaching myself. I bought a few books on the subject. One in particular concentrates on chocolate truffles. I dove into the deep end and made bittersweet chocolate champagne truffles.

It was a lot easier than I thought. I’d like to share the recipe with you.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • another 10 oz. of chocolate for melting later
  • 3 tablespoons of champagne or sparkling wine

Instructions and Tips:

Day 1

  • Chop the chocolate as finely as possible. Some people use a knife. I’m impatient and I used my food processor. Put into a mixing bowl.
  • Heat the cream over a medium flame until it just simmers.
  • Remove from heat and pour over the ground chocolate. Be sure all of the chocolate is covered by the cream.
  • Cover the bowl and leave sit for 5 minutes.
  • Remove cover and stir the mixture until you’re sure all of the chocolate is melted. It should look lovely and glossy. This is ganache.
  • Add the champagne and stir again until well blended.
  • Let cool to room temperature. It will probably be pretty cool now anyway after all of the stirring.
  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Wait about 4 hours.
  • Prepare a cookie sheet or flat pan by covering it with foil, making sure it is smooth.
  • Scoop out ganache and roll into 3/4 inch balls. Coat your hands in cocoa powder so they don’t stick. I used a melon baller to scoop out consistent-sized balls. Line them up on the baking sheet.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Day 2

  • You need to temper the remaining 10 oz. of chocolate. I used a double boiler but you can also do this in the microwave. But be careful not to overheat the chocolate.
  • Bring a small amount of water to boil. Remove from heat. Put about 6-8 oz. of the chocolate in a metal bowl and sit on top of the hot water. I didn’t bother chopping this chocolate. I broke it into small pieces. It will slowly melt.
  • Prepare another cookie sheet with foil.
  • Remove from the double boiler. Put it the remaining chocolate. It will melt in the hot chocolate.
  • Stir until it cools slightly.
  • Heat the water again. Remove from the stove. And place the metal bowl on top again.
  • Remove the ganache balls from the fridge. Dip each one in the melted chocolate to coat.
  • You can use a fork but it’s easier if you have a plastic chocolate dipping spoon. You can get them at any craft store.
  • Tap off the excess chocolate. Try to coat them as thinly as possible. Line them up on the tray and let the chocolate harden.
  • Remove from the tray and put into little foil or paper cups.
  • At the candy department at my local craft store, I bought gold dust to decorate the tops. It’s make of corn starch and is edible. It adds a nice rich touch.

Be careful when you eat them as you may faint from sheer pleasure.

Note: The outcome depends on the quality of chocolate you use in the recipe. I used 70% dark chocolate from Scharffen Berger. It’s an American company based in Northern California. It’s the finest chocolate I’ve ever tasted.

Mumm’s the Word

Mumm\'s Carte Classique ChampagneLooking for a light, sparkling taste for afternoons in the backyard?

Well, today I enjoyed a bottle of Mumm’s Carte Classique champagne.

Accessibly priced, Mumm’s Carte Classique is a refreshing sippy for the summer months.

Description:

This Champagne was a favourite of the courts of Europe from its birth in 1879, and is still the champagne of connoisseurs of extra-dry in the 21st century. For more than 120 years, Mumm Carte Classique has been the epitome of balance: perfect balance between suppleness and acidulous freshness, between lightness and fruitiness, strength and roundness.

Carte Classique is one of the champagnes that comes closest to how champagnes originally tasted.

Fresh, generous and well- balanced with harmonious nuances, rounded and supple, Mumm Carte Classique is the perfect ambassador of the rich qualities of the House vineyards.

Try some today. You won’t be disappointed.

Champagne and Other Bubbly

Champagne Flutes

Get ready to toast the New Year with a nice bottle of champagne or sparkling wine.

Real champagne only comes from Champagne, France. Here are some favorites:

Dom Perignon
Dom Perignon 1999 Vintage – $149

The commitment of Dom Perignon is a commitment to creation. It’s a quest for excellence; it is about taking risk, taking a challenge from the vintage, making it to the style of Dom Perignon. Every single vintage of Dom Perignon is an exclusive wine; it is the harmonious dialogue of style and vintage. Dom Perignon Vintage 1999 goes straight to the heart of Dom Perignon. This wine is radiant, pure and vibrant. It is a story of seduction and sensuality.

Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame
Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 1998 Vintage – $155

La Grande Dame 1998 has a pale gold color with jade glints. The wine is crystal clear, with unbelievably fine bubbles. The aromatic, impressively complex bouquet is confirmed in the mouth. On the palate, the wine is clear-cut and pure, perfectly balanced with a delightful silky smoothness. La Grande Dame 1998, with its lace-like construction, has a long, lively, and structured finish.

But there are some other great bubbly choices from around the world. Here are a variety in a more affordable price range:

Cava
Cristalino Non-Vintage Brut Cava From Spain – $7.99

Straw color, smooth and fresh aromas; fine and fruity palate with a dry aftertaste. Clean, dry and crisp with citrus and apple flavors.

Sparkling Wine
Roederer Estate Non-Vintage Brut from North Coast, California – $19.99

Roederer Estate Brut, the first California sparkling wine produced by Champagne Louis Roederer, builds upon a 200-year tradition of fine winemaking that has made Roederer champagne among the most sought-after in the world. The Roederer Estate Brut debuted in October 1988, and has since established its reputation as one of California’s premier sparklers, remaining true to the heritage of excellence and style of its French forebears.

Prosecco
Canella Non-Vintage Prosecco di Conegliano from Veneto, Italy – $14.79

Brilliant straw yellow with fine, persistent perlage, fruity aromas of peach, apple, pear and citrus fruit, the palate gracefully balances zingy acidity and a subtle hint of sweetness, richness and silky-smooth texture.

All notes and prices from wine.com

Champagne Cocktails and Kir Royale

champagne cocktail
‘Tis the season to make merry. The most elegant drinks are made with champagne or sparkling wine. Here are two of our favorite recipes:

Champagne Cocktail
Place a sugar cube in the bottom of a champagne flute. Pour in a few drops of Angostura bitters. Fill the glass with champagne. It’s a classic. Simple and quite tasty.

Kir Royale
Pour a half ounce of cassis, raspberry or strawberry liqueur into a champagne flute and fill the rest of the glass with champagne. Adjust liqueur to taste. Makes a lovely rose-colored cocktail.

Looking for an inexpensive substitute? Try Prosecco. It’s a sparkling wine from Italy that generally runs from $10-16 a bottle. Most already have subtle hints of pear or apple flavoring. But they also work well as a base for a Kir Royale.