Category Archives: Desserts

Diva Tequila Truffles Recipe

Tequila Test Kitchen

diva tequila truffles, recipeAfter judging some stupendous Suerte Tequila Truffles by Piece, Love & Chocolate for the 2014 Brands of Promise Awards, I decided to take truffles to the Tequila Test Kitchen.  Since the folks at Diva Tequila were kind enough to provide us with a sample for experimenting, I decided to create Diva Tequila Truffles.  Here’s how it went:

Diva Tequila Truffle Ingredients

diva1/4 Cup Butter (Don’t skimp on this, folks.  It must be real butter.)

1 Mandarin Orange

2 Tablespoons Heavy Cream

3 Tablespoons Diva Tequila

8 Ounces White Chocolate

8 Ounces Milk Chocolate (Dark Chocolate is highly recommended)

Some Assembly Required

Place the butter in a small pot and cook on high to melt.

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While the butter is melting, zest the skin of the mandarin orange into the pot with the butter.  Then slice the orange and squeeze the juice into the pot as well.

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Place your white chocolate in a bowl, preferably ceramic to hold the temperature, and microwave for about 30 seconds to start the softening.

Once the butter has melted and the contents of the pot are bubbling, add the heavy cream and scald.

2014-11-29 16.33.38Pour the hot contents of the pot over the chocolate in the ceramic bowl.  Allow this to sit for 5-10 minutes to soften the chocolate then whisk the contents so the chocolate is completely melted and all the contents are mixed thoroughly.

Add Diva Tequila to the contents of the bowl and whisk again.2014-11-29 16.41.12

 

 

Set the bowl in the refrigerator to begin the setting process.  Every 15 minutes, whisk the contents together again as they may separate as they cool.  After about an hour of cooling, this should have the consistency of fudge.  This is the truffle filling.

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Remove the filling from the refrigerator and prepare to work quickly.  Scooping one tablespoon of filling at a time, roll it into a ball and place it on a freezer-safe plate.  Do this with all the filling.  When you’ve finished, cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid (about an hour).

 

When the filling is frozen,  place your 8 ounces of milk or dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring well each time, until it is melted.  Be sure not to microwave it too long as it will burn.

2014-11-29 19.09.10Remove the balls of filling from the freezer and, using two forks, roll each ball through the melted chocolate to cover it completely.  (This can get messy if you don’t work quickly.)  Let the excess chocolate drip off and then place on a freezer-safe plastic plate or a plate covered with wax paper.

Before the chocolate shell has set, you may choose to garnish with a sprinkle of colored salt, a twist of orange, a dusting of cocoa or confectioner’s sugar.  Once the chocolate shell has set, you might also garnish with a bit of melted white chocolate, piped through a pastry bag.

diva tequila trufflesWhen all the truffles have been coated, place the plate in the freezer again for about 10 minutes or just until the chocolate coating has set completely.

Remove your truffles from the freezer and store at room temperature in an airtight container.  Serve/eat within a few days for best flavor.

Salud!

 

 

 

Quinceaneras are for Divas: Diva Tequila Cupcakes

diva tequila, silver, blanco, citrus, penasco

We’re expecting the gentlemen from Del Bravo for a visit on Monday so I’m doing a little preparation in the kitchen today.

Whenever we’re contacted by brand owners who will be coming through San Antonio, we like to invite them to the Tequila Aficionado Headquarters for drinks and a chat.  We like to film a great deal of the chatting part which you’ll soon see in several articles coming up from Mike Morales.  Since I love to pair and prepare foods with tequilas and mezcals, I usually make a little something so we don’t send our guests off into the night hungry.  I’m particularly excited about meeting the gentlemen from Del Bravo Tequila, the makers of Penasco and Diva Tequilas. diva

I’ll admit, I’m not a big fan of infused tequilas for the sole reason that nine times out of ten, they are overdone, poorly done, or are just a company’s way of putting sub-par products on a shelf to sell to those women who still think tequila is for shooting.  (Yes, I’ve become a bit of a tequila snob.)  Diva Tequila is one of the very few infusions to pass the sip test here at Tequila Aficionado.

My first reaction upon seeing Diva’s presentation was a very girly “Ooh, what a pretty bottle!”

Let’s face it, the tall, faceted bottle topped with the brilliant-cut diamond style stopper is just plain gorgeous.

The question that followed was a practical one “But how’s the juice?”

Truth be told, I was afraid of being disappointed yet again with the promise of a pretty bottle with no substance to back it up.  So I gave Diva a day and tried the Penasco blanco instead.  After enjoying Penasco, I was prepared to give the Diva my undivided attention the next evening.

diva cupcakesI wasn’t disappointed.

Instead of the usual overdone, sugary sweet concoctions marketed to the female drinker, I found the same crisp, clear blanco that Penasco delivered only this time it had a delightful twist of pink grapefruit.  Not too tart, not too sweet, and still a wonderful sipper!  (Like Goldilocks only with tequila instead of porridge!)
The Del Bravo folks know what they’re doing.  From the Diva Tequila bottle design (which would look lovely placed in a box of long-stemmed roses for Valentine’s Day *hint*) to the juice inside, they’ve done this right.

2014-05-14 13.20.43After a few sips, I knew I had to take this lovely lady into the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen.  I could see pairing her with brunch items, desserts, salads and so much more.  Yes, this is the guest you must invite to your girls’ night in or ladies’ brunch.

My first project was to tweak a Strawberry Margarita Cupcake recipe I’d found on Pinterest.  It was a hit!

Here’s the original recipe:

Strawberry Margarita Cupcakes
  • 1 box dry white cake mix
  • 2 .30 oz dry sugar free strawberry jello mix
  • ¾ cup bottled strawberry margarita mix
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup tequila
  • 3 eggs

2014-05-14 13.33.432014-05-14 13.34.45Here’s my version:

Diva Margarita Cupcakes

  • 1 box Pillsbury Sugar Free Yellow cake mix
  • 2 .30 oz dry sugar free orango jello mix
  • ¾ cup JLP (Ready to Drink) Golden Lime Margarita
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup Diva Tequila
  • 3 eggs

I prefer to cook sugar free since I have sugar issues and, nobody trusts a cook who doesn’t eat her own creations!

The orange jello was the perfect complement to the pink grapefruit in Diva.

The JLP Golden Lime Margarita was a no-brainer.  I absolutely love these margaritas and knew it would be excellent in this citrus dream.

I thought coconut oil might give the cupcakes just a pinch of tropical flavor to set off all the citrus and I was right.

2014-05-14 14.54.17This recipe yielded 18 cupcakes. 

When it came time to top off little darlings, I wished I had created tiny white chocolate crowns.  As it turns out, they didn’t need anything so glamorous as all that.  Instead of the Tequila Cream Cheese Frosting, I used the Pillsbury Sugar Free frosting and added a tablespoon of Diva.  It worked out great!  Then I topped each cupcake with a single chocolate pearl.

We enjoyed them for a very long time!

2014-05-14 21.25.38Tequila Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp Tequila
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • zest from 1 lime
  • optional-white sparkling sugar

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Of course, if you don’t feel like going through the hassle of baking, Diva Tequila pairs just as well with dark chocolate covered strawberries!

No matter how you enjoy Diva Tequila, you WILL enjoy it.

Salud!

 

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Tequila Test Kitchen: Avion Espresso Cake

avion espresso, Avion Espresso Cake, tequila test kitchenTequila Test Kitchen

You may have heard about the Tequila Aficionado Test Kitchen.  I’d like to share one of our projects with you today.

When Ken Austin was kind enough to send us a bottle of Avion’s brand new Avion Espresso, I fell so deeply in love with this rich nectar that combined my two favorite things, coffee and tequila, that I knew I had to cook with it.  Here’s how the Avion Espresso Cake panned out.

Making Avion Espresso Cake

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I have personal issues with sugar so I started with the Pillsbury Sugar-Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix.  You may want to use your favorite Devil’s Food Cake mix or mix yours from scratch.

I added the eggs, water and oil (I use extra light olive oil) according to the instructions on the box.  Then I took a left turn and added the awesome.  This wasn’t just going to be some chocolate cake with a tequila liqueur splashed on it.

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I was determined that this should be one of these most magnificent mocha desserts ever!

So based on that logic, I added 2 heaping tablespoons of Hershey’s Extra Dark Cocoa Powder.  I didn’t just want an everyday chocolate cake.  This had to be intense enough to stand up to espresso.

 

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I also wanted the cake to have some mocha punch to it, so I added 2 heaping tablespoons of instant coffee crystals.  Enough to let you know it was in there but not so much it would be overpowering.  Since this was going to be an adult dessert, I didn’t worry much about the level of sweetness in the cake.  There would be frosting to balance out the strong coffee and dark chocolate.

 

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I whisked everything together to form a smooth batter.  You may prefer to use an electric mixer.

Then I poured it all into a 9×11″ baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray and baked the now mocha cake (or “double-moo-cow-chunk-chunk” as Mike likes to call it) according to the directions on the box.  (Please don’t judge the oven.  We’re working on a budget here and it does the job.)

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When the cake had finished baking for the amount of time recommended on the box and tested done, we had a beautiful, dark mocha cake with a bit of a curve in the middle.  The center part was cut off for aesthetics (and to allow the testers to be sure the cake was good).

Avion-Espresso-bottle

 

 

 

It was important to do that while the cake was still hot because the next steps required the heat to complete.

I used a fork with long tines to poke holes through the whole cake from top to bottom.  I didn’t want to destroy the structural integrity of the cake so I kept the holes about 1/2 inch apart.

Then I carefully measured 1/4 cup of Avion Espresso and poured it (as evenly as possible) over the warm mocha cake.  I may have also had a nip or two while the bottle was uncorked.  I welcome you to try this method as you may find this makes cooking more enjoyable.

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After adding the Avion Espresso and while the cake was still hot out of the oven, I microwaved a jar of Pillsbury Sugar-Free Chocolate Frosting for 30 seconds (just enough to soften it) and then slathered half the jar over the still hot cake.  (What you do with the rest of the frosting is your business.  I don’t judge.)

 

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With the cake properly doused with Avion Espresso and the tequila goodness sealed in with a generous layer of melted chocolate frosting, it was time to take a break.  The cake went into the refrigerator (uncovered) for several hours in order for it to cool and allow the frosting to set into a dark ganache (like fudge).

 

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Four hours later, we pulled the cake out of the refrigerator and it had set beautifully.  We cut it into 12 pieces and served it up.

Notice the dark line near the bottom of the cake – that’s where the Avion Espresso Tequila Liqueur settled after filtering through from the top of the cake.  (We also found the corners to be rich with the liqueur.)

It was delicious!

We’ll share our thoughts during the actual tasting of this cake, as well as a comparison with a chocolate cake made commercially with Patron XO Cafe, in our Tequila Test Kitchen tasting session coming soon.

Check out our Recipes Page to stay up to date on what’s going on in the Tequila Test Kitchen.

The opinions expressed here are those of Lisa Pietsch and not necessarily those of Mike Morales, Alex Perez, or any other contributors at Tequila Aficionado Media.  Tequila Aficionado and its representatives never accept payment for Test Kitchen features.  If we like your juice, we’ll play with it.  If we make something great, we’ll share it, and we welcome you to share it as well.  The Avion Espresso used in this recipe was received as a free sample courtesy of Avion Tequila.  Thanks, Ken!

 

 

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Victorian Truffles & Tequila: A Heavenly Pair

victorian truffles, tequila, red chile, tequila aficionado

The Trouble with Truffles

victorian truffles victorian trufflesWe recently made the acquaintance of the Head Chocolatier, John Alexander, at Victorian Truffles and, after much pleading on Twitter, he was kind enough to send us samples of two of their specialty confections, the Tequila & Lime Truffles and the Limited Edition Tequila & Lime Red Chile Truffles.

Unfortunately, the USPS being what it is and Christmas just around the corner, the Priority Mail package wasn’t as much a priority to the USPS as one might think.  Ever the consummate professional with a singular focus on customer service and satisfaction, John asked us not to eat those truffles when they arrived (which they did, a week later) because he would prefer to overnight a fresh batch.  Here at Tequila Aficionado, we understand small batch production and pride in quality products so we did as he asked.  He made a fresh batch on Monday and we received them today (Wednesday).  They were well worth the wait!

victorian trufflesWhen we received the box, the presentation was impressive.  Rich, dark, wrapping paper bound with golden ribbon greeted us.  Upon removing the cover, golden tissue paper sealed with a red wax seal told us this was no ordinary treat.  Pulling the tissue away released a wonder for the nose.  The scents of fresh lime, tequila, hints of other citrus, and cream danced as we breathed deeply.  The visual treat was no less lovely with bite sized morsels rolled in coconut, lime zest and red chile that seemed perfectly attired for the holiday season.

tequila, lime, victorian trufflesTequila & Lime Victorian Truffles

Retail $29 for 12 Pieces

The Tequila and Lime truffles are handmade and rolled in organic shredded coconut and fresh lime zest.  Mixed with Avion Silver Tequila, fresh lime juice and White Chocolate in the center, this Truffle is refreshing and makes for a year-round treat.

This is not your usual chocolate truffle.  We were expecting sweet chocolate but instead experienced delectable tidbits of joy.  Yes, there is white chocolate in it, but this is more like a light and rich ganache with far more to its substance than sugar.  This is old-school confection, not candy.  We were thrilled to discover that Victorian Truffles uses Avion Silver Tequila in their recipe.  It seems Mr. Alexander is a fan of sipping tequilas and has tried many but feels Avion Silver is the best choice for this truffle.  We agree!

This truffle is soft on entry with the light texture of finely shredded coconut and a sweet finish.  It coats your palate deliciously without all the heaviness of a syrupy blend.  This is not a shooter.  You’ll want to take 2-3 bites or more to savor each one.  The strong lime presence would make this the perfect accompaniment when sipping a highlands tequila.

We recommend pairing the Tequila & Lime Victorian Truffles with double distilled blancos like Acumbaro, Siembra Azul, Arte Nom, Tapatio, Viva Mexico, and 4 Canones.  A triple distilled tequila might be lost in the pairing.

tequila, lime, red chile, victorian trufflesTequila & Lime Red Chile Victorian Truffles (Limited Edition)

Retail $30 for 12 Pieces

These Tequila & Lime Red Chile Truffles make for a true Limited Edition offering, bringing together sweet and savory flavors accented with the heat from the chiles.

These too are handmade and rolled in organic shredded coconut, dried red chile & fresh lime zest.  (Medium Heat)

Mixed with Avion Silver and another premium reposado, fresh lime juice and white chocolate in the center, then rolled in lime zest, shredded coconut and red chile, this truffle will go over well at any party, event, or gift exchange.

“So pretty with the white coconut, lime zest and red pepper flakes”, I thought as I lifted one to sniff.  It smelled as delicious as all the others.  I took a leisurely bite and was surprised at the peppery pop as it hit my tongue.

Mike commented that this combination was perfectly balanced on the tongue and left him with a spicy peppery finish.  The finish was long and had just enough heat to remind us of the really amazing confection we’d had.  An anejo would go very well with this truffle.  We also discussed how this would be nicely paired with a sweet cocktail like a Margarita or Paloma.  Mike recommends a dark reposado to an anejo to pair with this.  Something like an aged Montejima or a 4 Canones anejo is a perfect pairing for the Tequila & Lime Red Chile Limited Edition Truffles.  Personally, I felt the aged Montejima complemented the pepper perfectly.  Be prepared when pairing these because any tequila you choose will reactivate the pepper and leave you with that zing, which is not at all a bad thing!

Both of these truffles are a worthy gift for anybody who enjoys tequila or pairing.  If you’re planning a dinner party with tequila pairings, these would be a perfect light dessert.  Though they are the size of the average truffle, they are rich and delicious, leaving you satisfied that you’ve had something special without leaving you feeling heavy.  (Tip: Try the Tequila Lime Truffles with cocktails before dinner and save the Red Chile Truffles for the after dinner treat with a sipping reposado or anejo tequila.)

Serve Victorian Truffles immediately at room temperature.  Don’t give your refrigerator the opportunity to dry these treasures out and do not keep them lying around.  These hand-made joys are a must share with a short shelf life due to all the fresh ingredients so don’t try to hoard them either.

Tequila isn’t the only spirit Victorian Truffles are made with.  They have a huge selection of truffle varieties made with vodka, champagne, beer, rum, brandy, scotch, whiskey, bourbon, Irish whiskey, Irish cream, amaretto and hazelnut liqueur as well as their original chocolate truffles.  Click on any of the images in this article to see for yourself.  We’re looking forward to sampling Bourbon Pecan, Amaretto, Hazelnut and Raspberry Truffles with more of our favorite tequilas!  

victorian truffles

 Victorian Truffles onFacebook

Victorian Truffles on Pinterest

Victorian Truffles on Instagram

 

 

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Avion Espresso Mochamisu

  mochamisu, avion espresso, coffee liqueurAvion Espresso Mochamisu

This was a ridiculously quick and easy dessert to put together but it turned out to be quite rich and delicious.

 

mochamisu, avion espresso, coffee liqueur, tiramisuIngredients:

 

Sugar-Free Chocolate Pudding (prepared)

Vanilla Cool Whip

6 Ladyfingers Cookies

Avion Espresso

 

mochamisu, avion espresso, coffee liqueur, tiramisuOnce you’ve assembled your ingredients, pour yourself a glass of Avion Espresso and enjoy.

When you’re ready to start, pour some Avion Espresso in the bottom of a bowl.  Not too much though – I got a little overzealous and really soaked the heck out of those ladyfingers.  (They’re baked sponges!)

Soak (lightly) several of the ladyfingers in the espresso, turning to get both sides.  Not too long – like I said…little sponges.

I used a small glass dish because I was only making a small Mochamisu.  You could easily make a 9”x11” pan of this for 12 servings with the ingredients you have assembled.

mochamisu, avion espresso, coffee liqueur, tiramisuLine the bottom of the pan with the soaked ladyfingers, spacing them about an inch apart.

Once you have the bottom covered, alternate dollops of chocolate pudding and cool whip to cover the ladyfingers, spacing them slightly.  Using a large spoon or spatula, spread the pudding & cream, creating a marbled effect and covering all the gaps.

Repeat with another layer of ladyfingers and pudding/cream.

mochamisu, avion espresso, coffee liqueur, tiramisu

Of course you can also get fancy and build a beauty like this…

 

Once you’ve smoothed the top layer, again creating a slightly marbled effect, cover the pan and refrigerate for an hour to set.

Serve with a glass of coffee or Avion Espresso and enjoy!

Bon appétit!

Read my review of Avion Espresso here.

For more information on Avion Espresso, visit Avion online.

 

 

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