Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Filling Up on Chocolate and Red Wine

Transcending the limits of place and time, food can take us anywhere we want to be, all while sitting stationary at one single table. It can be our roundtrip passport to all of the countries and places in the world, or the time machine back to our great-grandmother’s kitchens; and sometimes, food can even be our spaceship, shooting us far beyond the surface of this earth like an express ticket to the heavens. Such is the case with red wine and dark chocolate.

Props to Koci at the blog, La Kocinera, and her lovely strawberry paté de fruits. I had never heard of the sugar-dusted jellies before seeing them on her blog, but I was instantly drawn to them. The idea of homemade gel candy really spoke to me because it reminded me of something I love to eat very much: chocolate covered raspberry jelly rings.

If you’ve never had them before, think chocolate covered gummy bear. And if you’ve never had a chocolate covered gummy bear, you need to get on that ASAP. We have a slight obsession with jelly rings in my family—like a go through two boxes in two days kind of slight obsession. And they are usually waiting right at the grocery store counter, so there is no avoiding them. Oh well!

As soon as I saw those lovely paté de fruits I pretty much immediately envisioned them being dipped in chocolate. I thought to myself, “I could make my own jelly rings!” Then, I had a gastronomical flashback of eating a Jacques Torres Grand Cru fine red wine and dark chocolate truffle, and suddenly, I remembered the jar full of coarse pink Himalayan sea salt in my cabinet. Can you tell where this is going, yet? Yep, dark chocolate covered red wine and raspberry jelly candies—with sea salt.

They start out like this: Sugar coated gummies

And end up like this:

What I made was not exactly paté de fruits, but something similar: a variation of Lemon Gumdrops as found in The Essential New York Time Cook Book: Classic Recipes for a New Century, by Amanda Hesser. The red wine and dark chocolate combination is so deeply indulgent and the few grains of sea salt on top make it even more so. A tablespoon of seedless raspberry preserves adds a touch of sweetness, but if you prefer a deeper red wine flavor, use two tablespoons of red wine in the gelatin mixture and eliminate the raspberry all together.

The inner gummy texture contrasts with the outer chocolate coating for a fun candy, that is a lot lighter than a truffle would be. Beware, these can be consumed in dangerous amounts—but they are definitively a trip to heaven every single time!

Chocolate Covered Red Wine & Raspberry Jelly Candies:
Yield: about 40 pieces
- 4 packets powdered gelatin
- 1 cup water
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon red wine
- 1 tablespoon seedless raspberry preserves
- 10 ounces dark chocolate
- Coarse sea salt
• Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Dissolve the gelatin in ½ cup water and let stand for 5 minutes.
• Combine 2 cups sugar and the remaining ½ cup water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly and washing down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent crystallization. Add the gelatin and continue boiling and stirring until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes.
• Add the red wine and raspberry preserves and boil for 5 more minutes. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and let set up for about 1 hour. Once set, run a knife around the rim of the gelatin to help release the entire mold from the dish; place on a cutting board dusted with sugar.
• Put the remaining ½ cup sugar in a shallow bowl. Butter a large chef’s knife and cut the gel into squares; coat the pieces with sugar to prevent them from sticking as you would flour on dough.
• Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a pot with only a ½-inch of water (double boiler). Once the water comes up to a boil, remove the pot from the heat and stir the chocolate until smooth.
• Place the gelatin square on a fork and dip into the chocolate until evenly coated; tap the fork to let any excess chocolate fall through. Line the chocolates on a baking sheet and sprinkle each with a few grains of coarse sea salt. Refrigerate to set the chocolate.


raquel erecipe said...

wow you give a great idea...I am gathering some chocolate idea that I will prepare this coming holiday season and this one for me is perfect!

Faith said...

I made paté de fruit once but I really wasn't happy with the result (they ended up weeping quite a bit when they were cut and sugared). I would love to try my hand at them again and this recipe looks wonderful! Love the combination of flavors you used here.

RavieNomNoms said...

Wow! These are really interesting. I bet they taste amazing. I love fruit and chocolate together

lostpastremembered said...

I know those dark chocolates you speak of.. I love everything Jacques Torres does.

I am particularly fond of port and dark chocolate truffles... oh, let's be honest I don't think I've met many truffles I don't like... even wasabi tasted great with dark chocolate.
I have never heard of those rings you showed but love your recipe... great idea to make it with red wine.
Thanks for the wonderful addition to the makeover!

Linda Harding said...

Ok, here's what we're going to do... I'm going to send you my address in South Africa, and you're going to courier me a MASSIVE order of these! They look amazing! Love the sea salt addition... oh my, these delicious sweeties call to me!

Trix said...

I am so in love with chocolate and salt ... so the addition of red wine is inspired!

Karen said...

These are jelly candies I could get into! I'm not normally a huge fan, but cover them in chocolate, add wine and salt??? Yes, I think I could do that. Really great idea!

Priscilla - She's Cookin' said...

Dark chocolate and red wine - a match made in heaven! These would make a lovely holiday (or any day) gift. I've never heard of chocolate jellied rings, but I'm glad they provided inspiration. Sweet addition to the makeover :)

Magic of Spice said...

Possibly my favorite combination of all time...these are so delightful!

Juanita said...

Fantastically inventive!

Healthy Mamma said...

Oh my goodness! This is my sort of treat. I bet they would make a wonderful gift as well, so pretty.

Vicki Bensinger said...

Ooh I love this and very creative. I'm sure I could eat the entire batch in one sitting!

What a fun event you all are doing.

Daily Spud said...

I tried making apple jellies once and they didn't really work out but having seen these, I don't think I could resist having another go at jellied candy - especially with a combination as divine as red wine, chocolate and sea salt - gorgeous!

Bren @ Flanboyant Eats™ said...

yes, yes and more yes! what a great gift to give especially now during the holidays. lovely recipe! love me some jellies! :) never too old for them!

Tanantha said...

chocolate covered gummy bear? YES please! This will make me have happy dance right about now. Great idea, Marisa! Thanks for bringing a dessert into the group :D

Erin @ EKat's Kitchen said...

You had me at hello! These look amazing! Yummmmmmmy. PINNED!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Wow that is so brilliant and certainly excellent to taste. Chocolate covered booze fruit paté

Lori Lynn said...

Great contribution to the cooking group. Your recipe sounds fantastic, love the addition of salt. Brava!