Wow. I didn't realize I haven't posted in so long. I'll get back with an update soon. In the meantime I thought this needed to be posted in honor of the month of February.
Wine and Chocolate Cupcakes
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups Hummingbird Ridge Pordevino, Reserve Red, or Hummingbird Red
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup dark chocolate chips (melted)
1. Preheat oven to 325º F.
2. Line 2 cupcake pans. (Tip: After you line the pans, spray the liners with some non-stick spray. It will keep the cupcakes from sticking to the paper.
3. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder. Mix everything so that it is evenly distributed.
4. Make a “well” in the center of the dry ingredients.
5. Into the well, pour in the wine, vanilla, oil and eggs.
6. Mix on low speed until combined and lump free.
7. Pour in the melted chocolate chips and mix until thoroughly combined.
8. Fill lined cupcake pan. Fill each liner to the top.
9. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. The cupcakes will puff quite a bit, and when done should be slightly firm to the touch, but be able to spring back.
10. Let cool slightly before dipping in chocolate wine topping.
Chocolate Wine topping
This makes a lot, but the leftovers can be used as a topping for ice cream and other sweet treats.
2 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup red wine (same as used in the cupcakes)
1/2 cup karo syrup
4 tsp balsamic vinegar
1. Microwave everything in a microwave safe bowl for two minutes.
2. Remove from microwave, carefully, and stir until smooth and shiny.
3. Let cool, and dip cupcake tops into the chocolate.
4. Repeat after they have set up a bit
When pairing wine with chocolate, typically the wine should be at least as sweet, if not a touch sweeter, than the chocolate you are serving. Otherwise, the taste may quickly veer towards bitter or sour.
When pairing wines with chocolate, your best bet is to match lighter, more elegant flavored chocolates with lighter-bodied wines; likewise, the stronger the chocolate, the more full-bodied the wine should be.
Similar to a “formal” wine tasting, if you will be experimenting with several varieties of chocolates, work from light to dark. Start with a more subtle white chocolate and end on a dark or bittersweet chocolate.
White chocolate tends to be more sweet, mellow and buttery in flavor and generally pairs well with sweet white wines. Milk Chocolate generally pairs well with semi-dry reds and some whites, and Dark chocolate generally pairs well with Dry reds and Port wines. These are just general suggestions. Dare to be bold and experiment. You will find that the perfect wine and chocolate pairings bring out the best in both the wine and the chocolate!