Chocolate and Wine for Valentine's Day

January 27, 2013 5:31:56 AM PST
Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and chocolate and wine are staple gifts for your sweetheart. But instead of buying a box of truffles, why not make them yourself this year?

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and chocolate and wine are staple gifts for your sweetheart. But instead of buying a box of truffles, why not make them yourself this year? You can learn how to do that at the Morton Arboretum, which is celebrating chocolate all of February. Kevin Roblee, Chocolatier and President of Kokku Distinctive Gourmet, is part of the program, and he came into our ABC7 studio to give us a taste of what you can learn.

Kevin's Three Golden Rules of Chocolate and Wine Pairing:
1. Match the intensity and flavor of the chocolate to the wine.
2. Acid-forward, fruity wines pair best with chocolates.
3. Wine should always be slightly sweeter than your chocolate.

Morton Arboretum Chocolate Events:
Chocolate Expo & Market
February 2-3
10 a.m. ? 4 p.m.
Visitor Center
Free with admission

Free demonstrations include:

10 a.m.: The History, Mystery, and Magic of Chocolate
Kathy Bouchard of Chocolat du Bouchard will present the healthy benefits of chocolate. Enjoy a sample of pure, healthy chocolate.

11 a.m.: Chocolate Bean to Bar
Chef Kevin Roblee of Kokku Gourmet will make chocolate from the bean for you to taste.

12:30 p.m.: Do You Know Your Candy Bar?
Family fun! Take a blind taste test and identify the chocolate bar.

3 p.m.: Master the Chocolate Martini

Truffle Making Party February 1
5, 6:30 and 8 p.m.
Member: $35, nonmember: $40

Cooking Class: Valentine's Dinner
February 9
5 - 8 p.m
Member: $55, nonmember: $60

Mousse au Chocolat: The Ultimate Decadence
February 10
noon, 1:45 and 3:30 p.m.
Member: $32, nonmember: $37

Kid's Cooking Class: Decorate & Build Your Own Candy House
February 10
noon, 12:45 and 1:30 p.m.
Member: $15, nonmember: $20

Chocolate-themed Brunch: Sweet Candy History, Revisited
February 16
9:30 ? 11 a.m.
Member: $25, nonmember: $30

The Botany of Chocolate
February 16
1 ? 3 p.m.
Member: $22, nonmember: $29

Wine & Chocolate Pairing Class
February 17
5 p.m.
Member: $22, nonmember $27

Kid's Cooking Class: Learn to Make a French Log Cake
February 18
11 a.m., 12:45 and 2:30 p.m.
Member: $22, nonmember: $30

Beer & Chocolate Pairing Class
February 24
5 p.m.
Member: $35, nonmember $40

The 2013 rates are:
Adult: $12 ($8 on Wednesday), ages 18-64
Senior: $11 ($7 on Wednesday), ages 65 and over
Child: $9 ($6 on Wednesday), ages 2-17
Under age 2 is free
Parking is free.

KOKKU Dairy Free Dark Chocolate Truffles
This makes about 25, 1½ teaspoon truffles

Ingredients for Ganache:
1 cup rice milk or coconut water
1.5 cups of rough chopped Dark chocolate (Valrhona) 60-80% cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon coconut oil

For rolling truffles:
Smallest Melon Baller or just a teaspoon
Rolling items for the truffles such as ground Oreos, Toasted Coconut, Cocoa powder, crushed pistachio or peanut, placed in a small bowl.
Wax paper or small paper baking cups
Cookie sheet

Chop chocolate and place in a medium glass bowl.
In small saucepan, bring liquid to a simmer.
Pour the hot liquid over the chocolate in the bowl and let it rest undisturbed for 5 minutes, then whisk until the chocolate is fully combined.
Whisk in the coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
Note: if you wish, add 4 Tbsp. Liquor, such as Grand Marnier, or bourbon for flavor.
Set aside for a few minutes.
Stir gently until smooth and then refrigerate covered for 1 hour or until set.

For rolling truffles:
Count out/ place 25 small paper baking cups onto the cookie sheet (or use wax paper).
Using a melon baller, carve out a round truffle ball of ganache from the bowl, using a single quick rotating wrist motion (this gets easier with practice).
Work the truffle out of the scoop, letting it drop directly into the small bowl filled with your rolling item.
Roll the truffle around to coat your ball evenly.
Place the finished truffle in a baking cup or on wax paper and refrigerate until serving.