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!

 

 

 

Flasking.com for Great Holiday Gifts

Have you been to Flasking.com?

Flasking.com is a new website offering hundreds of unique and limited-edition flasks, handcrafted by artists nationwide—with a style to suit every taste imaginable.  Flasks are priced from $18-$28. For Limited/Signed Editions, most are between $34-$54.

FlaskingGroup2

L.A. entrepreneur Brad Copeland and his Flasking Krew are thoroughly reimagining the humble flask—an everyday object that hasn’t had an upgrade since Carry Nation was smashing it with her hatchet.

Now Copeland has put the plain flask on trial (really!) and found it guilty of aggravated assault (on drinkers’ refined senses), of unlawful impersonation (of a proper libation-storage device), and of human rights violations too numerous to name.

Flasking.com Puts a New Twist on the Old Flask

DNA_005-front Flasking.com offers hundreds of gorgeous handcrafted flasks in a range of sizes, designed by artists nationwide in a boundless array of styles.

Campy? Elegant? Madcap? Even a bit… bawdy? Yes, yes, yes, and goodness gracious, yes! Flasking.com flasks aren’t just for storage or cocktail delivery, they’re portable works of art—truly a product for the ages.

DNA_013-frontFlasking.com is where the good times never stop. They’re always happy to spread some cheer on their social media (see links below) channels. Exploring Flasking.com, you’ll find a brash, fun-filled flask-centric universe to enjoy—from useful tips and recipes like their signature “Pocket Cocktails” (crafted with a flask in mind) to “Flaskified Facts”—their madcap alt-universe exploration of Flasking history through the ages!

The plain silver flask is now an object of the past: nowhere but Flasking.com can you find signed and numbered flasks handcrafted by artists nationwide.

DNA_034-frontEach one in their limited-edition line is the result of individual craftsmanship; these collectibles are therefore in extremely high demand.  They’re perfect for experienced flaskers and novices alike: anyone who wants to make a statement with a durable, beautifully designed piece of art that goes wherever they do. Break it out on Father’s Day, Fourth of July, the autumnal equinox, or anniversary of your first tipple. Or, you know, on Tequila Tuesday. (Tequila Tuesday being a very special day here at Tequila Aficionado.) Whenever the mood strikes, your flask will be there.

Brad Copeland, Founder & CEO of Flasking.com

foam“It was deceptively simple,” says the Los Angeles-based Brad Copeland. “It started with a plain flask and an unformed idea, then became something much bigger.” With Flasking.com, Copeland’s vision is nothing less than the reinvention of camaraderie itself. Partnering with a large, eclectic group of artists, writers, and other creative types, Copeland has reimagined the basic drinking flask as art object, conversation piece, and—lest we forget—still the most practical, portable conveyance for beverages of all kinds. Copeland’s keen understanding of online marketing and commerce make Flasking.com the culmination of his business experience and a reflection of his celebratory outlook on life.

Brad’s Flask: Foam Sweet Foam. In Brad’s Flask: The “Pocket Paloma”: fine reposado tequila, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and soda water.

Connect For more information:

www.flasking.com

Twitter: @flasking

www.facebook.com/flasking

www.flasking.tumblr.com

How to Taste Tequila Like a Catador…

…Or, at least, how to act like one

Color, legs and tears, taste tequila

Color, legs and tears.

There are two official schools in Mexico that train people to be certified catadores (tequila tasters).  One is actually a faction of the original school established in 2000 and known as the Academia Mexicana del Tequila (Mexican Tequila Academy).

After a bitter falling out between the founders, another school was initiated in 2006 known as the Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Vino y Mezcal.

Below are the official guidelines of tequila tasting as set forth by the Mexican Tequila Academy and translated from their website here.

1.)  Durante todo el proceso de cata, no debe haber communicación entre los catadores.

(During the entire tasting, there should be no communication among the tasters

Covered tequila samples, taste tequila

Covered tequila samples.

[judges]).

2)  Recuerde que un gesto o cualquier otra actitud de aprobación o desaprobación, puede influir en la opinión de los otros participantes. Su opinión, sea cual fuere, debe ser reflejada en la cédula de cata, y si tuviera opiniones o comentarios extra-calificación, es importante que utilice el reverso de la cédula correspondiente a la muestra que está evaluando.

(Keep in mind that any gesture of approval or disapproval can influence the opinion of the other judges.  Whatever your opinion, it should be reflected on the scoring sheet and if you have opinions or extra comments (ratings), it’s important to use the reverse side of the scoring sheet of the sample you are evaluating.)

3.)  Antes y durante el transcurrir de la cata no es conveniente fumar, ya que el tabaco disminuye la capacidad de percepción sensorial y sus apreciaciones podrían estar afectadas y el humo afectará a los otros catadores.

(Before and during the course of the tasting, it is not convenient to smoke since tobacco diminishes one’s sensorial capacities and perceptions.  Your assessments may be affected and the smoke will affect the other tasters [judges].)

4.)  Se recomienda que el día del catado se evite el uso de lociones o perfumes.

Agave, up close, taste tequila

Agave, up close.

(It is recommended that on the day of the tasting that you avoid the use of lotions or perfumes.)

5.)  De preferencia el día de la cata se debe tomar un desayuno ligero, entre las 8:00 y las 9:00 hrs. si la cata se inicia a las 11:00.

(It is preferred that on the day of the tasting that you have a light breakfast at 8 or 9 AM if the tasting is to start at 11AM.)

6.)  Antes de iniciar el catado, ponga en su boca un pequeño sorbo de un destilado neutro (se recomienda vodka simple) páselo por toda la boca y finalmente elimínelo, este ejercicio hará que su boca quede limpia de sabores extraños o anteriores y la preparará para una mejor percepción.

(Before the inception of the tasting, place a small sip of a neutral [grain] spirit (plain vodka is recommended), swish it around in your mouth and spit it out.  This practice cleanses your mouth of strange or previous flavors and prepares

Vodka, soda crackers, water and scoring sheets.

Vodka, soda crackers, water and scoring sheets.

you for a better perception [evaluation]).

7.)  Antes de calificar el sabor de la primera muestra, se recomienda poner en la boca un primer sorbo y moverlo por toda ella, eliminarlo y con un segundo sorbo emitir su calificación sobre el sabor.

(Before scoring the first sample on its flavor, it is recommended to take the first sip and swish it inside your entire mouth and spit it out.  With the second sip, express (record) your score on the flavor.)

8.)  Tómese el tiempo necesario para evaluar cada muestra, no lo haga apresuradamente, y sobre todo concéntrese en la muestra en turno. ¡CONCENTRACIÓN ES EL NOMBRE DEL JUEGO!

(Take the time necessary to evaluate each sample.  Don’t be in a hurry, and above all, concentrate on the current sample.  CONCENTRATION IS THE NAME OF THE GAME!)

9.)  Recuerde que es su percepción y opinión, sobre la muestra en turno, la que vale y no el qué o cómo pudiere parecerle a otra persona.

(Remember that it’s your perception and opinion over the current sample that counts and not how someone else might perceive it.)

10.)  No intente hacer comparaciones; no tiene que conectar la muestra en turno con alguna marca en particular; realice su evaluación como si cada una de las muestras fuera única. Cada una de las muestras tendrá sus propias características, positivas o negativas, sus cualidades, atributos y esos son los que deben contar para usted, de acuerdo con los parámetros de la categoría y clase de la muestra, ya que esto es finalmente lo que se busca.

(Do not attempt to make comparisons.  Do not connect the current sample to a particular brand.  Carry out your evaluations as if each sample were unique.  Each one of the samples will have its own characteristics, positive or negative, its own qualities and attributes, and those are what you should depend (rely) upon in accordance with the parameters of the category and type of the

Scoring tequila samples.

Scoring tequila samples.

sample as that is ultimately what is looked for.)

11.)  Es importante que al pasar de una a otra muestra, elimine el sabor de la anterior con un poco de galleta sin sal y agua.

(It is important that after each sample, you cleanse its flavor [from your palate] with a bit of plain soda cracker and water.)

12.)  Elimine el sorbo de cada muestra evaluada, al final de la cata podrá beber de las muestras que prefiera.

(Eliminate the sip of each sample evaluated.  At the end of the cata (tasting) you’ll be able to drink from the samples you preferred.)

13.)  Es de vital importancia que para evaluar cada categoría y clase de tequila, tome en consideración el parámetro o perfil correspondiente, esas deben ser sus referencias al calificar la categoría y clase.  Al reverso de la ficha, encontrará perfiles generales para la categoría 100% de agave y cada clase.  Al reverso de la cédula encontrará estos perfiles generals.

(It is vitally important that to evaluate each category and type of tequila that you take into consideration the corresponding parameter or profile.  Those should be your references to score the category and type.  On the reverse side of the scoring card you’ll find general descriptions for the category of 100% de agave [tequila] and each type.  On the reverse side of your identification card, you will [also] find these general descriptions.)

14.)  Es indispensable que antes de iniciar el catado, anote en todas sus cédulas su nombre. Y una vez que emita sus calificaciones para cada muestra, realice la suma de puntos total, anotando este resultado en el lugar destinado para ello y que registre esta calificación en su hoja personal de control.

(It is indispensable that before the tasting, you write your names on all of the scoring sheets.  Once you’ve graded each sample, total up the points and write the sum in the space provided and register this evaluation on your personal control sheet.)

15.)  Circule la calificación para cada concepto de evaluación (visual, olfativo, sabor), no palomee, no cruce ni tache los números de la calificación.

(Circle the grade for each component of evaluation (visual, olfaction, flavor).  Do not deliberately “fudge,” cross out or eliminate numbers from the score.)

16.)  Las copas con las muestras, han sido ordenadas de izquierda a derecha en

Covered samples

Covered samples

dos líneas: de la 1 a la 5 y atrás de la 6 a la 10. En esa misma secuencia deberá realizarse la cata, destapando exclusivamente la copa de la muestra que va a evaluar y volviéndola a tapar al pasar a la siguiente.

(The glasses with the samples are in order from left to right in two lines:  from 1 to 5, and in back from 6 to 10.  The tasting should be done in the same sequence, uncovering only the glass of the sample you are evaluating, and then recovering it before moving on to the next one.)

17.)  En general recuerde la capacitación que sobre catado ha recibido. 

(In general, remember the tequila tasting training you have received.)

Considere que su evaluación de cada muestra es en extremo valiosa y que con sus calificaciones estará afectando positiva o negativamente a esa muestra y por tanto a una marca en particular que se expende en el mercado, por lo que se debe realizar con extrema imparcialidad y absoluta honestidad.

(Consider that your evaluation of each sample is extremely valuable.  Your scores will affect, either positively or negatively, that sample and therefore, a particular brand coming onto the retail market.  It should be carried out with extreme impartiality and absolute honesty.)

Sipping Off The Cuff: Titanium Tequila Blanco

titanium_blancoTequila Aficionado’s Alexander Perez and M.A. “Mike” Morales taste and discuss Titanium Tequila Blanco and nominate it for the 2014 Brands of Promise Awards. See why here.

Visit Titanium Tequila online here.

According to Titanium:

OUR LUXURY TEQUILA’S BEGIN WITH THE WORLD’S FINEST 100% TEQUILANA BLUE WEBER AGAVE GROWN IN THE HIGHLANDS OF JALISCO, MEXICO. EACH OF OUR AGAVE PLANTS ARE HAND SELECTED AT THE PEAK OF THEIR MATURITY FULL OF SWEETNESS AND ROBUST FLAVOR. AFTER HARVESTING THE AGAVE OUR JIMADORS CAREFULLY CUT THE AGAVE DOWN TO THE “PIÑA”, OR HEART, LEAVING ONLY THE PUREST PART OF THE AGAVE PLANT FOR OUR TEQUILA’S. OUR AGAVE IS THE HIGHEST QUALITY AGAVE FOUND IN THE WORLD CREATING A TEQUILA LIKE NO OTHER.

OUR PIÑA IS THEN SLOWLY ROASTED IN A STAINLESS STEEL AUTOCLAVE. THIS COOKING PROCESS IS IMPORTANT IN ALLOWING FOR A CONSISTENT, SWEET, AND RICH PIÑA READY FOR FERMENTING AS WELL AS ENSURING A CLEAN OUTCOME MINIMIZING ANY POSSIBLE BACTERIA BUILD UP. AFTER ROASTING THE PIÑA IS THEN SHREDDED AND JUICES EXTRACTED FOR FERMENTING.

NEXT IS THE FERMENTING WHICH IS DONE IN AN OPEN AIR ENVIRONMENT. THIS PROCESS IS UNRUSHED WITH A SPECIAL STRAND OF YEAST ADDED TO CONTROL AND CREATE A CONSISTENTLY HIGH QUALITY SPIRIT. THE RESULT IS A LUXURIOUS, ROBUST TEQUILA READY FOR DISTILLATION. THE TEQUILA IS THEN TWICE DISTILLED IN POT STILLS CREATING THE FINEST SMALL BATCH TEQUILA AVAILABLE TODAY.

Sipping Off The Cuff: Whispering Eye Reposado

whispering_eye_tequila_reposado_0772fe2ea1c8133469afb48b236f855dTequila Aficionado’s Alexander Perez and M.A. “Mike” Morales taste and discuss Whispering Eye Tequila Reposado and nominate it for the 2014 Brands of Promise Awards.

Find Whispering Eye Tequila online here.

Mexico – 100% blue agave tequila produced by gravity fed distillation and rested in white oak casks for 4 months. The palate is sweet and complex, sure to tantalize the taste buds. The finish is very smooth. Perfect for sipping or creating a class tequila cocktail. Enjoy! ~ Total Wine & More

About Whispering Eye

The blanco and reposado tequila are being marketed as an ultra-premium sipping tequila that has been harvested from blue agave plants in Arandas, Jalisco, the southwestern coastal area of Mexico.

It is being distilled and bottled by Jalisco-based Distileria Morales.

T2LJ Brands co-owners are Scott Lewis andNeal Scarborough.

Interestingly, this is Lewis’ and Scarborough’s first venture into the spirits arena.

Lewis is the president of Century 21 Pinnacle, which is one of the state’s largest real estate companies. His primary area of focus is in the oil and gas industry.

Much of Scarborough’s success has been in the marketing arena — 11 years with Shell Oil Company and the past eight years with one of the world’s largest medical device companies,Stryker Endoscopy. Scarborough also has his own sporting goods store which he operates online.

The two are joined by minority partners Lenore Kaiser, a model, and local business owner; and Scott Hammock, a country & western music artist.

Click here for more information.