As 2013 approaches it's final descent, we look to the start of a new year. It always helps to kick the new year off right with a touch of liquor and a whole lot of chocolate.
We have a wide variety of liquor filled truffles for your big end of the year bash, or even for a quiet romantic evening for two.
Some say the history of liquor filled chocolates began in 1920s Germany, where it had become unladylike for women to drink alcohol. Hugo Asbach stepped up to fill the niche with delicious chocolates filled with brandy liquor. The concept was so popular that it soon spread across all of Europe.
Filling a mini chocolate bottle with liquor proves to be a lot more difficult than one would imagine. Liquors have a very volatile nature and evaporate very quickly. Chocolate, delicious as it is, is porous enough that liquor can evaporate right through it. The result is a dried out chocolate with little taste.
The way chocolate makers have fixed this problem is actually quite clever. The liquor is poured into freshly made cornstarch moulds of the desired shape.The cornstarch tries to pull water out of the liquor. Liquors actually have a high percentage of complex sugars, so that when water is pulled from it the sugar is left on the surface. The result is an incredibly thin crystal structure impervious to evaporation. The shell is incredibly delicate, only a few molecules thin. The resulting bottles are then dipped in chocolate, which is now completely safe from the vapors. There have been some alternative processes where chocolate ganache or syrup fillers are added to the liquor to lower the evaporation rate of the liquid center. The sugar crust method is still very prevalent and has the longest shelf life.
Nearly every type of liquor has been paired with chocolate, but the most successful combinations have tended towards milk chocolates with a sweet or warm liquor. Brandy is the favorite of the company that formed around Hugo Asbach. Gran Mariner is another favorite, it's natural sweet and decadent flavor profile matching the chocolate very well.
So eat, drink, and have chocolate as we count down the end of the new year, and with all things, please enjoy responsibly.