Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Ten Spot - Mad Housewife Merlot and Ruby Truffles

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a Ten Spot about the Mad Housewife Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a decent little wine. I will admit, it didn’t excite me, but for under $6 a bottle, it didn’t need to, I was just happy to have a decent bottle to drink that night.

Wasn’t I surprised when a member of the Mad Housewife staff commented on my post! (Hmmm haven’t heard anything about that t-shirt he wanted to send me tho...)

Well, I am all about getting feedback from my fellow bloggers and readers, and it gave me the push I needed to go check out their website, which is not something I normally do when I pick a wine. Lo and behold! They have a FOOD section. Wine and food, two of my favorite diversions in life. I greedily browsed the recipes available there and it didn’t take me long to pick a recipe to try. Why, one that calls for WINE, of course!

I have cooked with wine on numerous occasions, but I am always interested in a dessert recipe that lists wine as an ingredient. And, I found that in their “Ruby Truffles”.

A simple enough recipe, I added the necessary ingredients to my shopping list and headed to the store (oh, darn, I have to buy a bottle of wine...shucks.)

It was a shame that the recipe only called for a half a cup of wine...that left me with almost a whole bottle to do something with. I couldn’t think of anything else, so I rallied my resolve and drank it. It was a real struggle. Italian wine....yeah, I was devastated. (you really should know how sarcastic I can be by now.)(as you can see, the bottle didn't last long)

And, I have to say, pleasantly surprised! I usually can’t drink Merlot. It’s just too tannic for me and I end up with a raging headache after just a glass or two and a case of the ol’ “black tongue” the next morning. Seriously, after a glass of Merlot, I usually wake up, go to brush my teeth and my tongue looks like it belongs to a victim of the plague. Its nasty.

Doesn’t stop me from trying though.

After my only “average” experience with the Cabernet, I honestly wasn’t expecting more than that from the Merlot, but I am happy to say I underestimated it. Very light on the tannins, and full bodied, I had no trouble at all putting away the rest of the bottle (no, I don’t mean in the fridge, and yes, I’m fully aware that I’m a wino, thankyouverymuch.). There were a lot of great fruit undertones in this bottle and no case of the black tongue the next morning! (yay!) This bottle is in the lineup for my next pasta dish. I think it will lend great flavor to the meat sauce I’ll be making next week.

**DISCLAIMER – no, I am not just saying this to get Mad Housewife to send me a shirt. You all know by now that I am enthusiastic when I like something, and a real bitch when I don’t, so you can be sure I’m nothing if I’m not honest. I was not paid or otherwise compensated for this endorsement. And yes, I really do have another bottle of Merlot on my shopping list. Now...let’s see if I can brave the Chardonnay.

Now! On to the truffles!Let me start by saying, there are very few recipes that are this easy. It’s one of my favorite kinds, much like pesto, where you dump everything into a food processor and give it a whirl. The only spot where I ran into trouble was in forming the balls. The recipe indicated that the dough would be stiff, and it did appear that way in the bowl, but in reality it was too soft to handle. I ended up freezing the dough until it was firmer to form the balls and roll them in sugar. The recipe also says to bring these to room temperature before serving, but honestly, once they start to warm up, they tend to go soft again, so I am serving mine to my co-workers today straight out of the fridge. Maybe I did something wrong, maybe it was just a variation in the brand of vanilla wafers, I don’t know. They were still tasty though! They actually remind me a lot of a recipe from my friend Tara’s mom back in Ohio that she called Pomanders. We always had them at the holidays and they had a base of vanilla wafers as well. So, for me, this recipe was a bit nostalgic and made for quite a sweet afternoon! They are not as rich as a standard truffle, so don’t be expecting that. They do not have the typical chocolate base that you are familiar with, but have a nice dense texture and give off just a hint of the wine.

After making the first batch, I think next time I will try doubling the amount of wine and then reducing it to about half the volume for a more powerful taste. We’ll see how that goes!

Thanks, Mad Housewife, for a nice bottle of wine and a great recipe idea!

“Ruby” Truffles
1 box Nilla Wafers
¾ C powdered sugar
¼ C cocoa powder
3 T light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
½ C Mad Housewife Wine – Merlot
1 C red decorative sugar
In food processor, process wafers to the consistency of coffee grounds; add powdered sugar, cocoa powder, corn syrup, Merlot and vanilla. Process until dough becomes evenly mixed with all ingredients (dough will be stiff). Shape into 1 inch balls and roll in decorative sugar.
Store in covered container in refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.


Keenan said...

We just need your address to get you that shirt! Email me at and let me know you color and size preference! You can find color options on our website. Shirts are fitted and run a little small. Glad you enjoyed the merlot and can't wait to heat what you think of the other varietals! Cheers!

Keenan Sanders
Mad Housewife Cellars

Krista said...

I'm a big fan of Merlot....but you're right about the issue of the black tongue. I'm convinced that between my coffee and Merlot habits that I'm going to have to start saving up for a teeth whitening session with my dentist.

Those truffles looks and sound great! I love the red sugar coating. Very pretty. These would be great for Christmas or a 40th anniversary party.