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ASK THE WEBCHEF
Q: Beverly writes: "While on a winery tour in Napa Valley,
CA we visited a winery that had chocolate balls filled with burgundy
wine. They were SUPERB. I've found recipes for cream filled
chocolates but this was filled with wine. Not anything thick.
I purchased a syringe from a pharmacy thinking if I can just find a
recipe for Hard HOLLOW chocolate balls or at least some kind of
instructions on how to go about making them I could inject them with
the wine. But how do you make hollow balls? Any advice would be
A: In response to Ms. Moore's question regarding burgundy
wine-filled chocolate balls, I regret to report that it is not all
that easy to make hollow chocolate balls, nor can they be filled with
most liquids, including wine.
Humidity is the enemy of chocolate and prevents chocolate from
hardening and setting. Even once it is set, chocolate will break
apart if it comes into contact with liquid - unless the liquid has a
sufficient fat or sugar content. Therefore, the wine would need to be
mixed with sugar (70% wine : 30% sugar by weight - don't use your
best Domaine de la Romanee Conti!) and reduced until the mixture
thickens slightly. (Professionally mass-produced liqueur filled
chocolates are made through a complicated process that involves
dropping the liqueur mixture into a specially dried and sifted
cornstarch-like powder that then forms a protective shell around the
liqueur. The blobs are then dipped in tempered chocolate and must be
allowed to set and then rest for at least 3 days before consumption
to allow the filling to reliquify.)
If Ms. Moore wanted to make her own chocolate balls, she would need
to find plastic hemisphere molds and coat them with tempered
chocolate. (Tempering, a precise process of melting and warming
chocolate to a specific temperature, cooling it to another and then
warming it slightly to a third temperature, ensures that chocolate
hardens properly.) Once set, the would have to be unmolded, glued
together with tempered chocolate, filled, sealed closed with more
tempered chocolate and probably dipped in tempered chocolate to make
an even outside coating. The chocolates would also need to be
consumed within a couple of days to prevent the chocolate from
I don't want to discourage Ms. Moore, but I do not recommend
undertaking such an especially difficult molded chocolate project at
home. Hollow chocolate balls are sold by mail order companies such as
SOS Chef, Chocolates à la Carte or even Williams Sonoma, I
believe. However, sealing them will not be terribly easy and there is
no guarantee that the wine glaze will not manage to seep out of the
sealed chocolate ball. While it is always wonderful to attempt to
recreate a culinary feat at home, there are some cases where it is
perhaps even more pleasurable to sit back and enjoy it without the
Chef Daniel Boulud http://www.danielnyc.com/
Practical Kitchen would like to thank Chef Boulud for taking the time
to answer our question!
Ask your question!
Let's Get Cooking!
While there are many reasons for teaching kids to cook -- less expensive than eating out, preserves family heritage, etc, the most important
reason is that by teaching your child to cook, you're giving him a better chance to be a healthy grown-up. Enabling your child with the ability
to appreciate freshness and to transform ingredients into tasty foods opens their eyes to making wiser choices about what to eat...