The Food of Love and Valentines Day

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Shipwrecks, mistaken identity, cakes and ale: it's got it all

If music be the food of love, play on,Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,The appetite may sicken, and so die.

Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

Orsini was one frustrated dude. He was in love with the idea of being in love, and called for music to push away his depression. To modern sensibilities that seems pretty dramatic, but only because we take Shakespeare way too seriously. It's really a wacky Rom-Com with gender confusion, twins, and a character named Toby Belch.

Besides, music isn't the food of love. That's chocolate. If Orsini had gotten himself a nice bottle of red wine and a box of good chocolates comfort would have been at hand. Better yet, if he'd made a batch of red wine chocolate truffles for his desired inamorata, the play would have been much shorter, because that's as romantic as it gets. 

This Valentines day you can be a hero and whip up a batch of truffles for the one you've got your eye on, or the one who has your eye from way back--and let's face it, nothing says 'I love you' like chocolate, and that goes double when you make it yourself. 

Sounds hard? Not at all! Anyone can make truffles. All it takes is five ingredients and a little patience while the truffles set. 


Yields 20 truffles 

  • 1⁄2 cup whipping cream 
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (Ghirardelli, Callebaut, Valrhona, etc.  60% cacao is good) 
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1⁄2 cup bold dry red wine (Cabernet is good, but any rich red will do)
  • Can of cocoa powder

About like this


  1. Coarsely chop chocolate and place into a medium sized bowl.
  2. Bring cream to a simmer in a heavy pot. Add butter and stir until melted.
  3. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is melted.
  4. Slowly add red wine and stir until incorporated and the mixture is completely smooth.
  5. Refrigerate bowl for at least 4 hours (overnight is fine).
  6. Pour a cup of cocoa powder onto a baking sheet. Be careful, it's messy. 
  7. Use a melon baller or a tablespoon to scoop out enough chocolate for a truffle. 
  8. Coat your hands in cocoa powder and gently roll the chocolate until it forms a ball. Roll in cocoa to coat. 
  9. Place into a container and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.

The only tricky bit is that the truffles will want to melt as soon as they touch your hands. Don't worry, just handle them quickly and get them into the fridge to harden up. Keep them there until you're ready to serve them, and take them out for a few minutes before serving. If they absorb the cocoa powder or get sticky, just roll them in more powder until they look lovely and fluffy. 

Is that one serving . . . ?

Serve the truffles with the same wine you made them with--red wine and chocolate is a match made in heaven, and you'll definitely be a Valentine's hero! 

Copyright © 2018 Master Vintner™