Help Keep the Winemaking Home Page a Free Website , a self-serving plea for support October 24th, I have not written anything here in a long time. I will not go into all the episodes of Murphy's Law I have encountered, but suffice it to say they were numerous and often severe. Most recently, my health took a turn for the worse and a full diagnosis is still pending. However, I promised someone that I would post my recipe for Black Raspberry Chocolate Port the next time I posted anything, so that is the main event of this entry, followed by a reprint of an earlier piece on Dutched Cocoa Powder, an essential ingredient in the recipe.
Black Raspberry-Chocolate Port Black raspberries and Dutched chocolate make a great combination for a special port wine. I have long kept this recipe a secret-not because I didn't want to share, but because I wanted something that was "just mine" and when I tasted this I knew it was the one.
Over the years I have had so many requests for this recipe after I inadvertently mentioned it in a blog post that I had finally decided to share it in a future TidBitt entry, mainly to entice more people to subscribe to that now defunct enterprise. I suppose the time has come. I have made it several ways, the easiest being using farm squeezed and filtered black raspberry juice.
For me, it is also the most expensive since I have to buy the juice from afar and have it shipped to me. The recipe here is my first attempt using frozen black raspberries purchased as a rare find at a local supermarket. I bought the last five remaining 2-pound bags and made a wine and a port side by side using 5 pounds of berries in each. The frozen berries were tied into fine-mesh nylon straining bags and left to thaw overnight and half of the next day in sealed primaries.
The bags of pulp were also returned to the primaries and the primaries were again sealed. After about 8 hours I untied each bag, sprinkled 1 teaspoon pectic enzyme into the pulp while stirring and turning the pulp with a long-handled spoon. The bags were retied, left in the primaries and again sealed.
The next morning I began making the wine and port. I won't mention the wine again so as not to confuse anyone. But it is at this point that the recipe begins. None of the above will be restated below, so you must include this as prelude to the recipe.
Black Raspberry Chocolate Port 5 lbs black raspberries, pressed, pulp confined 4 oz Dutched cocoa powder While water comes to a boil, place the pressed raspberry pulp in a fine-mesh nylon straining bag or one knee-high ladies nylon stocking tied closed and black raspberry juice in primary. Measure the Dutched cocoa powder see item following this entry for background on Dutch cocoa powder in dry ounces and add to one pint of warm water in a blender until thoroughly mixed.
Add tannin, acid blend and yeast nutrient and pulse in blender to ensure all are well mixed and then set aside.
Pour the sugar in the hot water and stir very well to dissolve sugar. Pour over bag of black raspberry pulp. Add the thawed grape concentrate and stir again to integrate.
Finally, add the cocoa water while stirring and continue stirring for a full minute. Cover the primary and set aside to cool to room temperature. When cooled, add activated yeast in starter solution and cover primary with sanitized, high-count muslin.
Punch down the bag of raspberries several times a day, checking their condition after several days. When they start looking thoroughly ravaged by the yeast about days , remove the bag and hang to drip-drain do NOT squeeze to extract readily available liquid I hang the bag from a kitchen cabinet door handle with a bowl underneath for about 20 minutes. Add dripped liquid back to primary and cover primary.
When vigorous fermentation slows, transfer to secondary and attach an airlock without topping up. Allow fermentation to finish and rack. If a slow fermentation lingers rack it anyway. At this point add the fortifying brandy in the amount dictated by the first calculator Blending to Adjust Alcohol at Blending Wines. When you press the Submit button it will tell you how many parts of the base and fortifier are required to achieve Since the answer is in parts, you're going to have to do some math to figure out how many ounces of each to use.
For example, using the input numbers 18, 12 and 40, you get 22 parts base and 6 parts brandy. Use a handheld calculator to divide the number of ounces of base by For example, if you have 13 ounces of black raspberry base, dividing by 22 will give you 0.
To that base, you will add 6 x 0. I once added a blackberry flavored brandy couldn't find black raspberry and the result was good but not outstanding.
The blackberry flavoring they used did not compliment the black raspberry. I recommend using plain brandy. Once the port is blended, set aside in a dark place for 90 days. Personally, I let it bulk age 6 months, but if you are in a hurry 3 months will work. Some cocoa powder will almost certainly precipitate out as a fine dusting on the bottom. You can carefully rack the port off the dusting and then bottle it or you can very carefully bottle without racking.
Age an additional months in the bottle before tasting. To retain color, this port is best bottled in dark glass and cellared in darkness or very low light.
I have never oaked this port as I feel it doesn't need it. If you wish to do so, you're on your own. I will offer no advicve on that. Dutched Cocoa Powder The following is a reprint of a February 5, entry. I have not attempted to update it. If you have shopped for cocoa powder in any sizeable supermarket, you probably know there are choices.
But if your choices are between Baker's, Hershey's and Nestle's, you might consider looking for a larger supermarket.
Even then, your choices may be limited but could open up a couple more brands. Why is this important? Because all cocoa powder is not the same, and if you are making a base-chocolate wine, you want the right kind. At the most basic level, there are essentially two kinds of cocoa -- natural and "Dutched. Natural cocoa powder is made from cocoa beans that are simply roasted, pressed to extract at least half the cocoa butter and then pulverized into a fine powder.
Natural cocoa powder has a richer, more acrid aroma, but accordingly has a more acidic and bitter taste. Contrary to intuition, natural cocoa powder is lighter in color and more difficult to dissolve in water. Dutch-processed cocoa has less acidity, a smoother flavor and darker, redder color, and it is also more soluble, which is really important when making wine.
So, which kind is best for integrating into wine. If you are used to making base-chocolate wines from natural cocoa powder and know how to adjust the amount to balance the acidity, then natural cocoa is probably your best choice except with more delicately flavored base ingredients like strawberry, kiwi, mint, nectarine, and peach.
These bases can easily be overwhelmed by a rich, natural cocoa flavor and leave you wondering what the base actually was.
Only the aroma hinted at what was under the chocolate. Still, the aroma was so intense that everyone "tasted" strawberries when in reality they didn't. This was proven when we all pinched closed our noses while drinking the wine and all but one admitted not being able to discern the strawberries.
When it comes to baking with cocoa powder, the type you use is dependent on the recipe. If it calls for natural cocoa powder, you must use it or risk having a flat or dry product.
Natural cocoa, you'll remember, is more acidic. As a result it reacts with baking soda and causes a leavening rising action within the batter and finished baked goods. If the recipe isn't clear on which type to use but calls for baking soda, use natural unsweetened cocoa powder. If the recipe leaves out baking soda but includes baking powder, use a Dutch-processed cocoa powder. It's all in understanding what various ingredients do for a recipe.
The same applies to winemaking recipes. The following are some of the Dutch-processed cocoa powders I've identified, although most will never cross your path in a supermarket. I have only found the Hershey's, Ghiridelli, Lindt, and Penzeys. I am told the U. However, you can buy any of them and a lot more online.
As I said, these are some: Most notable of these are Pier 1 Imports, Trader Joes and nuts. But they also sell natural cocoa powders, so read the descriptors carefully or ask before you buy. Absolutely every authority I've read rates it as the very best But I know I am mortal and would like to taste the very best once before I check out. One last thing, most of the online recipes for base-chocolate wines were ripped from my site or adapted from my recipes.
I don't really care about that except if you copy you are supposed to attribute the source. My greater concern is that most copiers and adapters see "4 oz Hershey's Cocoa Powder" in the ingredients but fail to notice or understand the following: There is a huge difference between a half cup and 4 ounces by weight. Four ounces -- that's grams -- of cocoa powder is a lot more than a half cup, in which case you may very well want to use Dutch processed cocoa powder.
Help Keep the Winemaking Home Page a Free Website , a self-serving plea for support July 3rd, In response to many emails and personal inquiries, I must explain that these long interludes between blog entries means life is consuming my time, not that I am experiencing any heavy depression or health problems.
No need for details, as I'm sure they would bore most of you. Filing my taxes and then filing an amended form was nerve-wracking enough. Other complexities, mini-emergencies, technical difficulties, personal demands, and writing projects ate up my time.