Someone I hold near and dear recently commented that I talk about some, well, strange food combinations on this blog, and I know he’s sitting out there somewhere looking at the title of this recipe and shaking his head. Because it is not every day that you run into a combination of chocolate and merlot in the same truffle, not to mention the tarragon. I’ll get to the tarragon in a sec, but this gives me yet another opportunity to mention my favorite merlot…Red Bicyclette.
It’s a little hard to track down, but if you ever spot it and you are a merlot-lover like me, give it a try. Yum. Meanwhile, back at the tarragon…I know you might be thinking, why on earth would I toss some herbs into a mixture of perfectly good chocolate? Merlot maybe, but tarragon? But be brave and do it…tarragon gives these babies just a teeny hint of that anise flavor that cuts the sweetness just the right amount. That and rolling the truffles in a nice coating of unsweetened cocoa powder.
I’m pretty much in love with this recipe, and I think it has all kinds of possibilities. Next time (and there WILL be a next time) I might swap out the tarragon for a little bit of cayenne pepper to get a sweet and spicy thing going on.
Fun fact: this recipe was created by Giada de Laurentiis, who made them for Prince William and his new bride when they visited the States. I’m guessing that once they had a bite of these, they started planning their return trip. :)
From Giada de Laurentiis
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- 3 tablespoons Merlot wine
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Place the cream and chocolate in a medium bowl and place over a panof barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted and themixture is smooth, which takes about six minutes.
- Stir in the tarragon, wine and salt until smooth.
- Refrigerate for two hours until firm. Let the mixture stand at room temperature until moldable, which takes about 45 minutes.
- Using a melon scoop, scoop level amounts of the truffle mixture on to the prepared baking sheet. Roll into 1/2-inch balls.
- Place the cocoa powder in a small bowl. Roll the truffles in the cocoa powder until coated.
- Arrange on a platter and serve or refrigerate in an airtight container.