Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chocolate. Show all posts
Bourbon Chocolate Truffles

Bourbon Chocolate Truffles

Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and to me Valentine's Day goes hand-in-hand with chocolate! My husband is not a huge sweets fan (I know, just his luck to end up married to a dessert obsessed food blogger). But I do know he loves bourbon! So these truffles are for him. Just a hint of sweet in the dark chocolate paired with delicious bourbon flavor. Perfect!

Homemade chocolate truffles are actually really easy to make, and I love that they're done in multiple steps, and the majority of time the truffles are setting in the fridge. That means no extended time in the kitchen! I also love that these truffles don't have preservatives that most store-bought truffles do, so I can rationalize having a second one, right? This recipe makes about 25 truffles, so enjoy them all yourselves or package some up for friends!


1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup Brown Sugar Bourbon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (for the coating)
1 Tbs butter (for the coating)


Add the semi-sweet chocolate chips and heavy cream to a large heat proof mixing bowl, and microwave on high for one minute. Stir well, until the mixture is smooth. You can microwave in additional 15 second increments as needed.

Once chocolate is completely melted, stir in the salt, Brown Sugar Bourbon and vanilla extract.

Put the chocolate mixture in the fridge and let set for 1.5-2 hours. Spread a piece of wax or parchment paper on a baking sheet. I like to store my baking sheet in the fridge ahead of time, so it's cold for the next step. Take the chocolate mixture out of the fridge, and roll balls (approximately 2 tsp per ball) with your hands.

If you notice that your chocolate is melting and hard to form, you can always put the mixture back into the fridge and let it re-set.

Place each truffle ball on the lined backing sheet. When you've formed all of the truffles (I usually get around 25), place them back in the fridge on the baking sheet.

Melt the bittersweet chocolate and butter together, in the microwave (using increments again so the chocolate doesn't burn). Stir until chocolate and butter mixture is blended and smooth.

Dip each truffle ball into the bittersweet chocolate mixture. You can use a fork for this, and they also sell special chocolate dipping tools.

Put the truffles back in the fridge again until the chocolate sets - about 30 minutes. These can be served cold or room temperature, but should be stored in the fridge and eaten within a week. 

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Kirsten Bell
Easy Red Wine Brownies

Easy Red Wine Brownies

Easy, delicious and fudgy red wine brownies. The perfect Valentine's Day dessert idea, girl's night treat, or mid-week pick me up! You are going to love how seriously quick and simple this recipe is. Serve with ice cream and my red wine chocolate sauce for the ultimate wine-lovers dessert!

Whenever I do a poll on Instagram asking what recipes you'd like to see, recipes with red wine always make the list! And especially red wine and chocolate. So here we are! Deep, rich, delicious chocolate? Check! Full, deep and fruity wine flavor? Check!

I definitely wanted this red wine brownie recipe to have a noticeable red wine flavor. I mean otherwise, what's the point? So I have two great options for you:

1) Use port! Port is a naturally sweet, red fortified wine. If you love red wine, I'm going to guess that you'll also love port. Because it has a stronger flavor, more of that deliciousness comes through in the brownies. You can find port at your local grocery store in the wine section, and it is usually not expensive. I used this port from Maryhill Winery, since it's my current favorite!

2) Make a red wine reduction! If you'd rather use your favorite red wine, you can easily reduce it on the stove. This will help concentrate the flavors so that you really taste them in your brownies. It's super simple to do, and you can read about how I reduced red wine in this recipe for Merlot Chocolate Truffles. I'd recommend using any wine that usually pairs well with dark chocolate, such as Merlot, Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Brownie Ingredients:

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cups cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup port (or red wine reduction - see note above)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Brownie Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 baking dish, and line with parchment paper. I like to create an overhang of parchment paper for super easy removal.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, flour through salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, port, vanilla and eggs. Add the dry ingredients in two batches, stirring with a spatula until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dish, and bake 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs.

Serve with ice cream and chocolate wine sauce! 

Chocolate Wine Sauce Ingredients: 

2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup port (or red wine reduction)

Chocolate Wine Sauce Directions: 

Combine the heavy cream and chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish, and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until melted and smooth. Stir in port, and serve immediately.

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Kirsten Bell
Earl Grey Truffles

Earl Grey Truffles

earl grey chocolate truffle

I have a new and special treat for tea lovers today - earl grey truffles! The tea flavor in these is subtle, but still identifiable. That's kind of the trick with tea infused truffles. You have to find the perfect middle point between too weak and too strong (and bitter).

Also, a quick note on tea. Most of you have probably heard when cooking with wine to choose one you'd be happy to drink, and the same goes for tea. I tried a few different earl greys for these truffles, and found that this tea yielded the best flavor.

Our good friend Patrick is the winemaker at Merry Cellars Winery (Pullman locals or anyone passing through town, you should definitely stop by!), and he asked me to make these for an event a few months ago. I have to admit that it's not a flavor I would have probably thought to make, which is one reason why I'm so excited about them!

You'll see below, or if you've looked at any of my other truffle recipes, that truffles take a few steps. I know that can look a little daunting, but I actually love that about these. It means that I can break the recipe into multiple stages, and I don't need to be in the kitchen all day if I don't want to be!


3/4 cup heavy cream
4 tbs earl grey tea (you can also use tea bags - just cut open and pour out the leaves.)
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips


Add heavy cream to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the tea leaves. Continue stirring the cream regularly so it doesn't scald on the bottom. You will know it's ready when the cream turns a light brown color (see photo below for reference), and it has reached a low boil.

 earl grey chocolate truffle

Pour the cream and tea mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a measuring cup, and strain out the tea leaves. I like to use a small spoon or spatula to press extra liquid out of the leaves before discarding them.

Note on the cream: You actually need 1/2 cup of hot heavy cream, but the tea leaves soak up a decent amount of it. After removing the tea leaves I'm left with usually just slightly more than a 1/2 cup of cream. Truffles have a little wiggle room, so a little more than 1/2 cup is just fine - waste not!

Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips, in a heat safe bowl. Wait a few minutes, and then stir together. If the chocolate chips haven't completely melted, heat in the microwave in 10 second increments until the chocolate is smooth. Stir in the sugar and salt until all combined.

Chill the chocolate mixture in the fridge for 1.5-2 hours. It's ready when you can easily roll the chocolate into balls without it becoming a gloppy disaster, but it hasn't hardened so much that the chocolate can't be formed.

Roll 1/2 Tbs balls of the chocolate ganache - I usually get about 30.

Melt the bittersweet chocolate chips in the microwave (again, in increments) until smooth.

Dip the ganache balls in the melted bittersweet chocolate. Chocolate dipping tools are actually super handy for this step! The first time I made truffles I didn't have them, and they still tasted great, but didn't look super fancy.

After dipping the truffles, put them back into the fridge until the chocolate has hardened.

Truffles are wonderful because they seem fancy, but they're actually really easy. They're also a fun way to play with new flavors, like I did with these.

I hope you enjoy!

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Kirsten Bell
Triple Chocolate Stout Brownies with Baileys Ganache

Triple Chocolate Stout Brownies with Baileys Ganache

guinness brownies

Well you can tell from the title - these boozy brownies are not for the faint of heart! The brownies themselves are made with reduced stout (I used Guinness), and the ganache is made with Baileys, so while they make a perfect St. Patrick's day dessert, you can bet I'll be making these all year round.

If you're not a fan of beer, don't worry. Neither am I. You actually can't taste the Guinness at all in these! The beer just acts as a chocolate flavor enhancer, similar to coffee, and makes for a dense brownie.

I took a note from one of my previous recipes, my merlot chocolate truffles, and reduced the Guinness before adding it to the batter. That just helped give my brownies a more intense, less watery flavor. Ain't nobody got time for watered down anything, but especially not brownies.

So now for the chocolate. In the brownies themselves there is your usual suspect, cocoa powder, and there are also chocolate chips stirred in to take these up a scrumptious notch. Then instead of frosting, I opted for a Baileys dark chocolate ganache. I know a lot of people like frosting on their brownies, and you can go that route too. I wanted these brownies to be an intense chocolate experience, so that's why I used a ganache instead.
These brownies are ooey, gooey and packed to the brim with chocolate. What more could you ask for?

Brownies Ingredients

12 oz Guinness, reduced to 1/2 cup (see instructions below)
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder (regular is good too, I just went intense)
1/4 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Ganache Ingredients

1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Baileys
2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Brownies Directions

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper (parchment paper isn't necessary, it just makes it easier to get the brownies out).

Pour one bottle of Guinness (or other stout beer) into a small pot, and heat over medium heat until it almost reaches a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and let simmer for about 20-25 minutes - or until it has reduced to between 1/2 and 3/4 cups. Let cool.

Whisk together the cooled Guinness reduction, butter and sugar. Add the vanilla, followed by the eggs.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and cocoa powder.

Add to the Guinness mixture in two batches, stirring until just combined each time. Add the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into the greased pan, and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs. Start checking to see if they're done after 30 minutes, and then check every 2 minutes after that. There's nothing worse than an over-baked brownie! Mine were done at 34 minutes, for reference.

Let cool almost completely before covering in ganache.

Ganache Directions 

Measure chocolate chips into a heatproof bowl and set aside. 

In a small saucepan, combine heavy cream and Baileys. Bring to a simmer.

Pour the heavy cream mixture over the chocolate chips, and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

Pour over the cooled brownies, and let set for at least five minutes before serving.

Serve with milk or red wine, and enjoy!

Want more celebration in your inbox? Be sure to subscribe so you don't miss another post!

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you follow a link and purchase the item, I may receive a small commission. I promise that any money earned will be used to produce future posts! 

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Kirsten Bell