Monthly Archives: May 2014

How to Make Chocolate Truffles and Pair Them with Wine

If you love chocolate truffles like I do and would like to know how to make them yourself, check out this post I wrote for the Anuva Wines Blog!

Chocolate and wine, a match made in heaven.  If any of you have been to one of our Buenos Aires Wine Tastings, you’ve tried our truffles.  Not to toot our own horn or anything, but they are delicious. And they make the perfect pairing to a bold glass of red wine. You might have been wondering how we make such tasty treats, so I’ve taken the liberty of writing out the steps for you all with some photos to go alongside.  Can you think of a better way to show your love to someone than with an excellent bottle of boutique Argentine wine and some homemade truffles to go with it??

So, put your apron on, this truffle making can get messy!  You’ll only need two ingredients to get started:

  • 400 grams dark chocolate (we use 70% cocoa)
  • 200 grams of cream

First step! Chop up your 400 grams of dark chocolate into small pieces:

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Up-close view of my own chocolate chopping technique:

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Ta-da! Chocolate chopped.

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Now, pour your cream into a pot and heat it up on the stove.

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Wait a few minutes until the cream is hot (but not boiling) and then pour in your chocolate bits.

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Then stir it all up! Now is a good time to have a little taste, you know, to make sure the proportions are right…

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Keep stirring until it looks all smooth and tasty like this:

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Then cover it up with some saran wrap and let it cool in the fridge for at least a few hours.  The longer you can leave it the better because the truffles roll much more easily if they are cold.

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Now it’s time to start molding! I like to use an ice cream scooper to scoop out some chocolate and then use my hands to make a little ball.  Some might wear gloves but I prefer to go au naturel.

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Now for the toppings! Here at Anuva we like to use chopped almonds, but you can use sprinkles, coconut shavings or whatever your creative mind can come up with.

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I made some with chocolate shavings as well:

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Now for the wine pairing you’ve all been waiting for…it was a tough decision, but I chose to go with a Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve by Las Perdices.

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The chocolate is obviously a hit, let’s see about the combo…

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Ahh!! Magical! If I hadn’t been at work I would have helped myself to the entire bottle and all the truffles!

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So, besides the Las Perdices Cab Sav Reserve, what else goes nicely with some homemade truffles? Here are my recommendations:

  • Amauta Corte III by El Porvenir de Cafayate
  • Gran Reserve Malbec by CarinaE
  • Caluna Blend by Caluna

All of these wine are full-bodied with robust aromas that pair divinely with the rich dark chocolate.  The toasty notes in the wine compliment the toasty flavors of the chocolate, and the cocoa butter counteracts the drying sensation from the tannins. All of these wines can be found at our wine store, so go ahead and taste the divine combination for yourself! Just make sure you look in the mirror before leaving the house…

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A Murder in La Munich

Last weekend I saw the play “Crimen en La Munich” in the beautiful old beer hall (or cervecería) “La Munich” in Puerto Madero.  Nowadays La Munich is a museum (the humor museum to be more exact) but in its glory days of the 1930’s, Buenos Aires’s high society used to go to the Munich to sip on a Quilmes and look out to the Rio de La Plata.

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(Some old photos of La Munich)

In these times the Ecological Reserve hadn’t been constructed yet, and the water began right along the Costanera, which is now inhabited by food vendors selling choripan. The water has always been a murky brown color due to the sediments that come from upstream, but it was much less contaminated than it is today.  The Porteños used to flock to the main bathing spot across from La Munich called the Balneario Municipal to take a dip on the warm summer days.

balneario

The play “Crimen en la Munich” takes the audience back to the year 1937 to celebrate a night of Carnival in the old beer hall.  It’s an interactive comedy in which a murder occurs and all actors are in some way involved, including the audience. The actors, dressed in their 1930’s attire, move freely among the audience making the whole experience feel very life-like.  It was funny and entertaining and a great activity for a Saturday night.  Plus you’ll receive a Quilmes and some snacks upon entering!

The murder mystery takes place every Saturday at 9pm until October.  Tickets are on sale in the Humor Museum Mondays-Fridays from 11am- 5pm and Saturdays-Sundays and holidays from 11 to 7pm.  The museum is located in Puerto Madero, Av. de los Italianos 851

What is the longest word in the Spanish dictionary? GOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!

If you’ve spent some time in Argentina, you’ve probably discovered that Argentinians are very passionate people.  Whether it’s yelling at each other in the street (or making out with each other in the street) or dancing tango or watching football, Argentineans are not ashamed to show their emotions.  In my opinion this passion comes out in its most pure and intense form through football. The first game I ever went to was between two very important teams, Independiente and Boca.  It was outside the Buenos Aires city limits in the Independiente stadium.  I remember being shocked by many of the things that I saw.  These include:

  1. EVERYONE (men, women and children) standing up the entire game, shouting and singing the fight songs. The “popular” section with all the insanely passionate fans played their drums and sang nonstop.  After only 30 minutes I felt exhausted and overwhelmed but everyone else seemed to feed off the energy of the crowd
  2. The huge fences separating the fans from the field
  3. The policemen lining the stadium with full-on SWAT uniforms
  4. Waiting for every single person on the visiting side to exit the stadium (dancing their way out, since they won) before we could leave.

After my first football game I quickly found that Independiete and Boca were not for me, and that my loyalties were to reside instead with the San Lorenzo team.  My boyfriend is a devout “cuervo” along with other famous figures such as the Pope and Viggo Mortenson.  As a San Lorenzo fan, here is a list of a few things I witnessed in my many visits to the cancha (stadium).

  1. Once San Lorenzo scored a goal.  I repeat: a goal. They didn’t win this game in particular or anything, but they did score a goal.  Immediately after the goal I looked around the stands and saw that almost every single person had tears in their eyes.  My boyfriend included! I was shocked! I had no idea how to react so I turned away to give him some space and proceeded to watch the other grown men cry like babies.
  2. There is a San Lorenzo fan that represents the ideal passionate football spirit and he is known as “El Gordo Ventilador” or “The Fat Fan.” It’s technically “fan” like a ceiling fan, but I didn’t realize the pun in English until now!  The Fat Fan is a large man that climbs up the fence without a shirt on and remains perched in what looks like an extremely uncomfortable position for the entirety of the game.  Be it rain or shine the Gordo Venitlador is a loyal fan, waving his blue and red San Lorenzo shirt around in the air in a fan-like motion.
  3. The most intense experience I ever had at a football game was a couple years ago.  To be honest I don’t really know what happened, but the referee made some call that really pissed off all the San Lorenzo fans.  Everyone started yelling and ripping of their seats and throwing it over the fence onto the field.  The referee had to be escorted out of the stadium and people tried to climb down the wall to catch him before he got into a car. Then, to get the fans out as fast as possible the SWAT- like policeman started tear-gassing the stands and shooting rubber bullets.  We were on the other side away from the “popular” section so we didn’t get a direct hit of the tear gas, but I did experience an awful feeling in my eyes and throat.  We ran out covering our eyes with our shirt.  I was terrified and couldn’t believe how quickly everything had escalated. My boyfriend had always told me to wear running shoes whenever we go to a game, and I finally understood why.

Despite that one bad experience that I had at an Argentine football game, I love them.  The energy and excitement at the games is invigorating.  Experiencing a football game in Argentina is an essential part to understanding its culture and the passionate souls that inhabit it.

Finding Your Park in Buenos Aires

One of my favorite things about living in Argentina is that it is 100% A-OK to spend the day in a park, doing nothing.  In the USA I rarely ever do this.  It’s not to say that I don’t go to parks, it’s just that when I’m at one I’m usually there to hike or swim or camp or play frisbee. I would never just go to a park and drink tea with a funny straw and eat pastries.  But while being in Buenos Aires I’ve come to realize that this is one of my favorite things to do.  I could sit in a park with friends for hours, drinking mate and eating medialunas.  I love watching all the people and I love that the entire city seems to be outside on any weekend when the weather is nice.  Sometimes in the states I have the feeling that I always need to be doing something.  Even if I’m just enjoying my Saturday outside, I still need to be active.  In Argentina “doing something” could purely just be drinking mate.

I also love the parks in Buenos Aires because it is a way to get away from the city without actually having to leave it.  It’s overwhelming to be surrounded by so many people and so much concrete all the time. Just spending a couple hours in the park is a great way to release and relax.  Mother nature is our natural Prozac! Since there are so many parks to explore in Buenos Aires, I’ll list some of my personal favorites here:

Parque Centenario: If you asked an Argentine about Parque Centenario a couple years ago, they would have told you never to go there.  But over the past centenariocouple years the city has done a great job cleaning up the park and making it safer by locking it down at night.  For me, this park has it all- trees, ponds, outdoor amphitheater, big space but small vibe, plenty of people watching opportunities, and it’s located at the intersection of some wonderful neighborhoods- Almagro, Caballito and Villa Crespo.  These neighborhoods have a much less touristy vibe than the other neighborhoods of Palermo and Recoleta.

Plaza Francia: The best part of Recoleta! A park on a hill right next to the Recoleta cemetery and the Recoleta cultural center.  The hill provides excellent back support and a prime people-watching position.  On weekends you can check out the artisanal fair that happens around the park as well as listen to some local music.  I’m actually convinced that there is only one man that plays, but hey it’s nice to have some background music while doing absolutely nothing.

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Parque Las Heras: The hippie haven! This park is where acrobats of all kind flock to show off their stuff.  You can watch people do aerial acrobatics with faparquelasherasbric hanging from the trees, or walk from tree to tree while balancing on a slackline, or do magical hand tricks with crystal balls.  It was right around this park where a psychic started a conversation with me about two years ago and said some things I still can’t forget!! So be open when you enter this park, interesting things could happen to you…

Bosques de Palermo: This is the park of all parks.  The biggest and the baddest.  It’s huge, it has a running trail, rollerblading paths, multiple ponds, a beautiful rose garden and tons of places to sit.  It might be difficult to find someone in this park, but it’s a great place to get some exercise.  My only issue is the concrete.  I just need to have it completely out of my vision sometimes and this park doesn’t quite fulfill the 100% green quota.

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Parque Lezama: A great park for those who stay on the other slezamaide of the city.  This park is located in San Telmo/La Boca.  I like this park because it is more dimensional.  You have to walk around it quite a few times to really understand it’s shape, and it’s located on a slope which gives it some cool viewing spots.  I’m also partial to this park because it has drum circles and is right next to my favorite vegetarian restaurant: La Hierba Buena.

I hope this list was diverse enough for everyone’s interests.  The truth is there is a park for everyone in Buenos Aires.  Go out there and find the one that fits your fancy!