Chocolate is a product of the cacao bean. A cacao bean is an unassuming piece of fruit that grows in the tropical countries. In order to arrive at the typical final product, the cacao bean must become very ripe, cut into half and deseeded. The seeds are the gems of the cacao bean because it is where the chocolate flavor comes from. The seeds are dried then fermented. Once the beans are fermented, they’re roasted, cracked, winnowed and then grinded.
Grinding is when chocolate is formed. Essential ingredients to make chocolate occurs. This is the process wherein the chocolatier decides if she will make milk or dark chocolate. The amount of sugar is decided in this crucial step. The decision on whether or not the chocolatier will add vanilla is all part of this step. It takes up to 72 hours to grind and then you temper then pour your chocolate into molds – then it becomes the chocolate candy bar.
If you read everything before grinding, you can say that there’s not much significance in the chocolate candy bar process. However, it is in these steps that chocolate is in its most raw form. Before adding sugar, you can do so much with chocolate. It can be a drink, a bitter snack, butter or even a savory ingredient.
This recipe is very special because it showcases chocolate in a different form.
What wine should I choose?
Chocolate and wine have powerful flavors. The process in making each is almost the same and the flavors reached by these processes create bold, and dry flavors. In order to have a well-balanced bond between the two, you should choose a kind of wine that is more subtle than the chocolate itself.
Red wine is the best choice of wine to pair with chocolate because both have bold flavors that complement each other. It’s best to use Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot with chocolate because these kinds of wine have a fruity flavor that supplements the chocolate.
Whether or not you’re having the wine with a chocolate dessert or cooking the wine with chocolate to make something savory, these two options are your best options to create balanced and intriguing senses.
How to make red wine chocolate sauce
Red wine chocolate sauce is one special sauce. When I first tried it, I was in awe that chocolate could be something more than a dessert or sweet snacking. Don’t worry, these flavors actually do work together and it tastes delicious with the most premium meals you can think of.
When choosing chocolate for making a savory chocolate dish, it’s always best to use dark chocolate. Dark chocolate’s bitterness and nutty notes make a great base for savory dishes.
In a saucepan, combine your beef stock and red wine. Let the mixture simmer and then reduce. It is important to reduce the wine because you don’t want the wine to be in your face when you’re eating it. It’s not a drink to be eaten but we’re running after the essence of it. After the mixture has reduced, add bay leaf, cinnamon, black pepper and chili so all of these flavors mature all at the same time. Taste and see if it’s good. If it’s not balanced, this is the time you can add more quantities.
When the flavors have matured, add the chocolate and stir constantly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Taste and see if you need to add salt and maple syrup. If you’re using beef bullion for as your beef stock, chances are, your stock is already slightly salted. Add salt to the sauce if needed. Maple syrup is added to balance the strong flavors. It’s not used as a sweetener.
Add water to the sauce if you want a thinner consistency or add cornflour slurry if you want a thicker consistency. Strain the sauce and then it’s ready to serve!
Poached pears in red wine chocolate sauce
A pear is a good fruit that can absorb delicious liquid. Its composition is similar to an apple. It is more liquid than it is solid. When you bite into a pear, the flavor is a subtle sweetness that’s perfect to pair with other flavors.
A red wine poached pear is a common yet sophisticated recipe. It’s great for special occasions such as Valentines, Christmas or anniversaries! The pear is usually poached in red wine with water and sugar. The pear absorbs these flavors and then ends up with a beautiful deep burgundy color. The red wine poached pear is perfect with chocolate sauce because chocolate in sauce form counterparts the now solid wine.
If you wish to have this but already made your red wine chocolate sauce, don’t fret! You can easily poach your pears in water and sugar and then drizzle the red wine chocolate sauce over the pear.
A pear can easily be paired with sweet or savory dishes because of its subtle flavor. It’s pretty amazing that a totally different fruit can serve as a vessel to engage chocolate and red wine.
Venison with red wine chocolate sauce
Now for the best part – red wine chocolate sauce with savory food. Red wine sauce is very common to eat with red meat such as beef. Venison is a type of game meat that has a similar flavor and texture with beef. Venison is often said to taste rich and earthy. These two factors are why venison is best eaten with a red wine sauce. But let’s up our game, shall we? And have venison with red wine chocolate sauce.
Earlier, we mentioned that wine and chocolate are processed the same way and create similar flavors that flatter each other. These two ingredients were made to go with venison. The bold flavors of the red wine chocolate sauce groove with the earthy flavor of the venison. This kind of dish would impress your guests!
Easy Red Wine Chocolate Sauce
- 6 cubes dark chocolate
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 pcs bayleaf
- 1 pinch cinnamon
- 1 tsp chili powder or one deseeded chili, optional
- 1 tsp ground black pepper optional
- 1-2 tsp maple syrup optional
- 1 pinch salt
Bring the red wine and beef stock to boil and let it simmer and reduce.
When it has reduced a bit add the bay leaf, cinnamon, black pepper and chili so the flavors have some time to mature. Taste and see if it tastes good.
Now add the chocolate and stir so it doesn't stick. Taste again and see if you need to add the salt and maple syrup.
Add water if you want a thinner consistency/add cornflour if you want a thicker consistency.
Strain the sauce and pour it into a container.
Serve with roast beef, steak or lamb.