Today I mixed up a 500g batch of plain dark chocolate ganache base and had a ball of a time mixing it up with various alcoholic brews:
- Marie Dussau Hors d’Age Armagnac
- Dartigalongue Hors d’Age Armagnac
- Cles des Ducs VSOP Armagnac
- Kelt VSOP Cognac
- Grande Champagne Reserve Cognac
- Bailey’s Irish Creme
- Graham’s “Six Grapes” Reserve Port
- the same port, mixed with muscat grape syrup
- the same port, mixed with port-soaked Zante currants
- the same port, mixed with port-soaked golden raisins
All of these are good drinking quality – I may not be able to drink alcohol (anything more than half a glass of wine makes me physically ill), but I do have taste buds! and I wouldn’t use anything in chocolate that isn’t worth appreciating on its own. (Mike, my other half, loves it because he can drink, and he knows I don’t mind if he consumes some of the leftover booze, once truffle season is over. So he gets good booze (not to mention chocolate) for free, just for being around me. Lucky guy!)
I have not yet tasted these except in passing (the Chambord ganache is particularly tasty; I’d forgotten how much I love Chambord, and how well it goes in chocolate). Alcohol + chocolate + cream always takes a day or two to settle, so it will taste very different tomorrow than it does now. I’ve found that to be especially true with liquors (whisky, cognac, armagnac), which have much more complex, subtle flavors than liqueurs like Chambord or Bailey’s.
Tomorrow or Wednesday a friend is coming by with 7-8 whiskies for me to taste-test, and sometime this week I’ll meet up with my chocolatier partner-in-crime and go take a look at that commercial kitchen. This time of year is so much FUN! and so exciting, too.