What to do with left over Champagne or even sparkling wine? TRUFFLES! We had a little Champagne left over from a birthday party and decided to make chocolate truffles flavoured with the Champagne that I reduced over a medium heat. I made a very basic heavy ganache and just added the reduced Champagne for flavour and instead of dipping the rolled truffles in melted chocolate, I simply rolled them in cocoa powder. It’s not a trick, I know, but if you’re pressed for time, this method works well and I like the simplistic taste and earthy look of the finished truffles.
Sparkling wine can also be used instead of Champagne, but use a dry sparkling wine – the flavour matches better with that of the chocolate. If you don’t have any left over bubbly sitting in the fridge, don’t panic, use any liqueur you prefer. Something like Frangelico, Amarula or Cointreaupairs beautifully with the chocolate. But only use 10 ml of the liqueur and you don’t have toboil/reduce it. Add it straight in with the cream and chocolate mixture together with the butter.
If you like playing with textures, likeI do, add hazelnut praline or finely chopped pistachio nuts to the ganache before it sets. Some spices like cayenne pepper, cinnamon and even masala spice are also excellent to pair with the chocolate, but you’ll have think about which liqueur you want to pair with other flavours. Cayenne pepper and cinnamon will both go brilliantly with whisky, brandy and orange flavours, while the masala or maybe cardamom will pair well with Malibu or brandy. Play around with flavour combinations and remember to adjust the recipe andmake what you like!