Que Syrah (Petit) Sirah: Apart, Together and…BACON.

Posted on March 3, 2015

Here at The Grape Girls, we love asking questions and getting answers. Like, which came first, the wine or the grape? Is the dress  in the photo RED or WHITE? And what’s the deal with SYRAH and SIRAH, namely, PETIT SIRAH?

And why is it sometimes called SHIRAZ????

You can see how the world of wine might get a little tricky, what with all the variations of names and nicknames and misleading names and so on. But fear not, The Grape Girls to the rescue.

In this video, we discuss all things California Syrah and California Petit Syrah (SPOILER ALERT: They’re two different grapes): where they come from (Syrah has daddy issues BIG TIME), how they got here (hi, Rhone Rangers!) and what happens when you blend them together (Fifty Shades of Grey…it’s not just a movie, it’s a wine).

And, because we believe you ALWAYS say yes to bacon, we leave you with a recipe for Bacon Chocolate Syrah Balls.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

Tally ho, wine seekers!

xo, Lo & Tee

The Grape Girls

PS – BakeryByDesign.com used Boom Boom Syrah for their Bacon Balls. The Grape Girls chose to use Ryder Estate Syrah. The result was still a fabulous ball of yummy goodness in our mouths. His blog was too interesting and pretty not to include in our own post, so, enjoy below. And choose your own adventure! What Syrah will you use? Can you let us know in the comments below?

Que syrah sirah!

 

From BakeryByDesign.com – Bacon Syrah Dark Chocolate Truffles

From the moment I took my first sip of Boom Boom Syrah, my eyes widened, the corners of my mouth lifted up and my heart jumped with joy because I knew, in that moment, in that sip, that I had just taken a drink of what would be my favorite wine. Smoky, fruity and a bit of a bacon accent. Perfection. Genius. Screw top!!!

Amazingly, I hadn’t really worked with it in cooking before. Well, maybe not THAT amazingly since I’d prefer to drink it than to cook it down into something (although a pasta sauce would definitely benefit from it). It wasn’t until recently that it an idea came to me. I wanted to make a bacon truffle. But it needed an edge, something to make it stand out other than just the bacon part. That very first sip of Boom Boom came flying back into my mind and I knew what had to be created.

A few things about truffles. First, they’re incredibly easy to make. You make a ganache, then you shape it, then you cover it. I’d recommend tempering the chocolate for dipping…of course, I’ll be honest, I didn’t (shhh.) Mainly because to temper you either need a LOT of chocolate and a marble table or you could get away with a microwave. I had neither and I didn’t feel like spending a ton of money on chocolate. But if you’ve got a microwave, go for it! Temper! It will make a nice crisp shell. If you don’t. Don’t fret. The chocolate gets covered in the end, so you’ll only miss the crispness when you bite into it. (And seriously, there’s wine, bacon and chocolate in these.)

Now, as stated above, you can probably deduce that I used Boom Boom Syrah to make this. You could most likely substitute any Syrah…but taste it first. You want a nice and smoky Syrah (or any smoky wine would do). It’s added to the truffles in two ways: 1) a splash at the end and 2) reduced to a syrup and added in while melting the chocolate. Two other items of note in the recipe are Smoked Sea Salt and Liquid Smoke. I have found both of these at Williams-Sonoma…and not just catalog or online.

Like all recipes on this blog (as of this posting) this is a first attempt. Are there things I might change? Yes. Maybe add a bit more of the Syrah syrup to the chocolate. Maybe even add some to the dipping chocolate. Instead of rolling the truffles in the crumbled and crispy bacon, perhaps there’s some added to the ganache. The possibilities are endless and I could go on testing for months.

One final note…dark chocolate truffles are one of the messiest things you can make. Chocolate gets EVERYWHERE. So don’t make these whilst wearing your nicest clothes. And expect to wash your hands a number of times. On a related note, you could easily have some fun on April Fools Day. I won’t go into detail…but a picture does exist out there.

16 oz Syrah + 1 tbsp Syrah (divided)

4 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate
4.5 oz Dark Chocolate (85%)
8 oz Heavy Cream
1.5 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
2 lbs smoked bacon
smoked sea salt (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
4-5 drops liquid smoke
24 oz dark chocolate

Make the Ganache
• Add 16oz of the Syrah to a saucepan and turn heat to medium. Reduce till it becomes a thick syrup—about 2 tbsp. Set aside.

• In a food processor, add the chocolate and pulse until finely chopped (not a powder). Dump into a heatproof bowl.

•In a small saucepan, add the heavy cream. Heat over medium heat until it is scalded (small bubbles form around the edges of the pot).

• Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Add the Syrah syrup. Let it sit for a few minutes. Stir with a spatula until all the chocolate is melted and combined with the cream.

• Add the butter. Stir until smooth.

• Add the tablespoon of Syrah and stir until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.

Prepare the Bacon
• In a large dutch oven, use kitchen scissors to cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces. Turn the heat on and up to medium.

• Add a pinch of the smoked sea salt, black pepper and the liquid smoke. Stir occasionally, until the bacon is crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and let it dry on a paper towel lined plate.

• Once dry, add the bacon to a food processor and pulse until it’s finely chopped (almost like large breadcrumbs). Pour into a large, shallow dish (I used a casserole pan).

Form the Truffles

• Remove the ganache from the fridge.

• Prepare a pastry bag with a large plain tip (you could also use a tablespoon or a small cookie scoop). Fill the bag with the ganache and pipe 1-inch spirals onto a SilPat or parchment lined sheet pan. Place back in fridge to harden slightly, about 15 minutes.

• Remove truffles from fridge and form spirals into balls. Place back in the fridge again for at least 15 minutes.

Finishing the Truffles

• Find a large heatproof bowl that fits over a small saucepan. Fill the saucepan with about an inch of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off. Place the bowl over the pot and fill with 24oz of chopped chocolate. Let it sit for a few minutes (I waited for about 10) and then stir with a spatula until smooth.

• Take the COLD truffles out of the fridge (or freezer). One at a time, drop a truffle into the chocolate, with a fork, lift and spread chocolate over the entire truffle. Lift it out using the tines of the fork (it should sit on them, not be stabbed) and then tap the fork on the side of the bowl so that the chocolate drips back into the bowl and slide the tines of the fork over the side of the bowl. Place covered truffle back onto SilPat. Repeat with remaining truffles. Once completed, put the truffles back in the fridge for a few minutes to solidify.

• Like before, dip the chocolates in the melted chocolate. But after dipping, roll in the crumbled bacon. Place onto a baking rack set over a sheet pan. Repeat for all.

 


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