Yields 12~18 servings
Last year, I stumbled upon some chocolate mulled wine recipes but couldn’t work up the courage to try one. It just seemed too daunting. I was new to crafting mulled wine after all, so this year, I resolved to give it a go.
More often than not, I find many mulled wines relying too heavily on either sugar or spices in order to compensate for their shortcomings. Sickly sweet mulled wines are pleasant at first, but you’ll become dehydrated really quickly and suffer a rather nasty sugar crash. Overly spiced mulled wines pack a punch, but the flavour bouquet won’t be balanced in the slightest. You might as well take a swig of warm water just before stuffing a fistful of cloves and a sprig of cinnamon in your mouth. Not a pleasant experience at all.
So how to balance mulled wine and chocolate? This was the challenge I faced. I found two recipes out there on the net, one that I considered too sweet at first glance and the other a little on the thin side. By using those two recipes as my blueprint (and I must confess, I never attempted either of them prior to concocting this rendition), I found a balance that my taste buds were more than happy with. Perhaps in the future, I’ll add a bit more chili and reduce the star anise as chili and chocolate work brilliantly together to accent a nice, sharp wine.
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 3~4 average sized dried red chili peppers
- 4 star anise
- 8 whole cloves
- 1 Tbls pure cocoa powder
- 1 cup of dark brown soft sugar
- 350 ml of full-bodied, sharp red wine
- 200 g 90% dark, cacao in bar form, crumbled
- 2 satsuma oranges, peels on and halved
- What remains of the three bottles of the wine (after light sampling, of course)
- First of all, you’re going to want to make a base syrup to inject into some pre-warmed wine. Reserve 350 ml of your wine to make the syrup and get the remaining wine heating either in a covered pot over a low flame or in a covered crock pot on high. I prefer the crock pot method as it frees up my stove burners (of which, I only have two).
- In a small saucepan, combine the nutmeg, cinnamon, chili peppers, star anise, cloves, cocoa powder, and dark brown soft sugar. Slowly pour the reserved wine over the mixture as you turn on the heat to a medium-low flame. Stir well, ensuring that the cocoa is fully incorporated into the wine. Bring the syrup to a gentle simmer and reduce the flame to low. Continue simmering for at least 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
- One the syrup is done, turn off the flame and carefully combine it with your heated wine. Add the crumbled chocolate and satsuma oranges, stirring the mixture well. Cover and continue mulling it until it is almost at a gentle simmer again. At this point, you can turn off the heat and serve your chilli-chocolate mulled wine, reheating as needed (keeping it covered between serving intervals). If you’ve made it in a crock pot, you can turn it to low and let your guests serve themselves.