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How To | Make Chocolate + Coffee Truffles

Food, CoffeeLesley PocklingtonComment
This Calls for Chocolate Card | A collaboration by Swell Made Co. + Ecole Chocolat

This Calls for Chocolate Card | A collaboration by Swell Made Co. + Ecole Chocolat

This Valentine’s Day + Galentine’s Day we’re celebrating with two of our favourite things. Coffee + chocolate. Thanks to Ecole Chocolat, we have the perfect recipe that combines these two intense flavours in an easy-to-make truffle, and we tell you how to use coffee instead of cream to make a dreamy sweet that's dairy-free. It’s the perfect way to kick off our sweet collaborative card. This Calls for Chocolate!

Chocolate truffles. Photo by Sheri Silver.

Chocolate truffles. Photo by Sheri Silver.

RECIPE FOR CHOCOLATE + COFFEE TRUFFLES

Cook's Notes
We tried this recipe with both 60 percent dark and good-quality milk chocolate. The dark chocolate produced an intensely flavoured bonbon that is dairy-free and is guaranteed to be a black-coffee and dark-chocolate addict's dream. Those who prefer their coffee with cream and their chocolate with less bite would like the milk chocolate version better. Reduce the amount of coffee by one third if using milk chocolate.

Yield
About 14 1-inch truffles

Ingredients

  • 7 oz. (200g) dark chocolate (chopped fine)

  • 1/3 cup (75ml) coffee or espresso, depending on how strong you want the coffee flavor (or 1 tbsp. and 2 tsps. if using milk chocolate)

  • 1/2 tbsp. salted or unsalted butter (optional)

  • 1/2 cup (125ml) unsweetened cocoa for rolling the truffles

Method
Place finely chopped chocolate into a high-sided bowl or the bowl of a blender. Place coffee in a saucepan over medium heat until hot but not simmering; remove the pan from the heat. Or microwave coffee in a cup for 30 seconds.

Pour hot coffee over chocolate and blend in blender or in bowl with hand-held immersion blender. Or stir with a sturdy whisk, spatula or wooden spoon until you achieve a smooth consistency.

Add butter, if desired, and stir into the mixture until very smooth consistency is reached. Make sure all chocolate lumps are melted. Let stand at room temperature for one to two hours until ganache has set and is firm.

Scrape spoon or melon-ball cutter across surface of mixture. Dust hands with cocoa and quickly press truffle with fingertips into 1-inch (2.5cm) balls. Drop the balls into the cocoa and roll until well coated. Place on Silpat, waxed paper or parchment paper to set for several hours. Store truffles in the refrigerator in and air-tight plastic container or bag for 1 week or freeze, triple wrapped, in freezer bags for 1-2 months.

Recipe from Ecole Chocolat. All rights reserved.

Netflix & Wine | Polar Vortex 2019

Wine, Round Up, FoodLesley Pocklington3 Comments
Netflix & Wine | Polar Vortex 2019

Netflix & Wine | Polar Vortex 2019

Wait? What? We haven’t posted a Netflix & Wine round up in almost a year. I guess that’s the sign of a good year. We’ve been working away on all things swell, traveling, getting outside, reading. You know? Just living life. That said, we’re in the depths of winter here in Canada. Actually, a polar vortex to be precise. What does that mean? It means it’s really f*cking cold unless you happen to live in Vancouver. In that case, enjoy the cherry blossoms! So, in true Canadian fashion, we’re in hygge mode snuggling up with Netflix and wine for the next couple of months. Here are some of our favourite pairings to keep you entertained this winter.

  1. Fyre the Documentary - Borne of Fire Cabernet Sauvignon 2016

    Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve heard of the viral fraudulent debacle that was Fyre Festival. Now, thanks to Netflix (and Hulu), you can grab a bottle of “Borne of Fire” to help you swallow your rage as you watch how “the greatest party that never happened” unfolds at the helm of equally incompetent partners - Ja Rule and Billy McFarland (plus a whole cast of other characters).

    This is the first year made of this wine with wonderful blackberries, rose leaves and blueberries. Wildly floral. Stems. Full body and round and fine tannins. Juicy and intense. Shows an eccentric style. All large oak. A new nature and personality.


  2. Russian Doll - Seven Deadly Red 2015 (Red Blend)

    Premiering today (February 1, 2019), Russian Doll is a comedy created by Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Lesley Headland. Nadia keeps dying and reliving her 36th birthday party. She's trapped in a surreal time loop — and staring down the barrel of her own mortality. Kick back for some serious Deja Vu with a bottle of Seven Deadly Red from California, because there’s no wine from Russia and we’re not going to subject you to Vodka for this edition of Netflix & Wine.

    Powerful oaky elements meet very ripe and concentrated fruit flavors in this deeply colored, bold and full-bodied wine. Charcoal, wood smoke and clove aromas are followed by blackberry jam and black-cherry flavors, while light, smoky and peppery nuances weave through them. While the first whiff is oaky, everything comes together well on the palate and finish.

  3. Friends from College - Tollo Colle Secco Montepulciano D'Abruzzo DOC

    This hilarious series about a dysfunctional group of friends from college is back for a second season and it’s even better than the first. If you’re all caught up on season 1, grab your friends, some pasta and/or pizza, and this very CHEAP and cheerful bottle of Italian wine that’s perfect for sharing. Gather ‘round just like our favourite group of friends and be prepared to laugh.

    A wine that drinks like it could be twice the price. There's a balanced acidity here that makes it very food friendly. Ruby red colour; intense, complex nose of cherry, & chocolate; full flavour of fruit & spice, balanced acidity, soft tannin, long finish, good quality.


  4. Chef’s Table Season 6 - La Rioja Alta Viña Ardanza Reserva 2008 (Tempranillo Blend)

    This series just gets better and better. Back for a 6th season, Chef’s Table will be released on February 22, 2019. Find this classic bottle of Spanish wine directly from the menu of The Grey in Savannah, Georgia and curl up for a delicious evening. The 6th season will feature Mashama Bailey, the chef of The Grey in Savannah, Georgia; Sean Brock, the creator of Husk and other restaurants in the Southern US; Asma Khan, the chef/proprietor of London’s acclaimed Darjeeling Express; and famed butcher and slow food champion Dario Cecchini, of Panzano Italy. 

    Cedar, tea and tobacco notes frame the dried cherry, vanilla and orange peel flavours in this traditional red. Offers good depth and lively acidity, with an alluring, spicy finish. An old-school style, compact and balanced. Drink now through 2023.



  5. Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain - Ungava Premium Gin

    Like the rest of the world, we’re missing Anthony Bourdain HARD. With and raw lust for life, he truly is a legend. Honour him by binging seasons 1-8 (you can catch all 12 seasons on CNNgo) of Parts Unknown. Better yet! Add some some adventure to your couch session by toasting with Anthony’s favourite drink — Negroni. A concoction of gin, Vermouth and Campari (or Aperol). With a slice of orange. We’re all about Netflix & Wine sessions, but if you truly want to honour Mr. Bourdain, we suggest getting off the couch and seeing the world. Maybe you’ll discover your new favourite drink.

    “A Negroni is a perfect drink as far as I’m concerned," says Bourdain, adding, “ It's three liquors that I’m not particularly interested in... But put them together with a slice of orange. It works... That first sip is confusing and not particularly pleasant. But man it grows on you.” - Anthony Bourdain.

    To perfect your drink we’ve selected a premium and local (Bourdain was all about drinking local) gin — Ungava. For a recipe for Negroni, try this one. Even though the ingredients are sourced from the Canadian Arctic, this gin will definitely warm you up.

    The unique colour of this spirit comes from the mix of Arctic sourced botanicals that include cloudberry, Labrador tea, rose hip and more. Medium lemon yellow in colour; aromas of juniper, herbal tea, spice and tart fruit; dry and medium-bodied followed by a warm and spicy finish.


You can buy most of these wines (and gin) at the LCBO in Ontario, Canada. Most of them are also available in liquor stores across Canada and the USA. Enjoy responsibly. Cheers!

*Some tasting notes and images from LCBO.com. Content is not sponsored. 

Netflix & Wine | Winter 2017

Wine, FoodLesley Pocklington2 Comments
Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

It's time for a winter warm up with Netflix and wine. Cold temperatures mean snuggling up, and watching some of your favourite TV shows and movies. Now, just add some of these wines for a perfect night in. What are you favourites on Netflix right now?

  1. Stranger Things - Eleven Eleven Laki's Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Napa Valley California

    This science-fiction thriller has developed quite a following as it pays homage to 1980s pop-culture. When 12-year-old Will Byers vanishes mysteriously, a group of friends, a frantic mother and a police chief investigate and try to uncover the truth. If you haven't tuned in already, pair this series with a fine wine chosen for its name.

    95 Points - Wine Advocate, December 2015
    “An absolutely brilliant Cabernet Sauvignon from southern Napa Valley. It has a dense purple color, a gorgeous nose of crème de cassis, graphite, blackberry and a touch of oak and a full-bodied, opulent, voluptuous texture, great purity and a stunning finish. This is sensational stuff and a terrific 2013.” - Robert Parker
     
  2. The Crown - Dubbonet Rouge, France

    This biographical drama series follows the early reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Although a bit dry, the performances and historical accuracy are outstanding. Pair this series with the Queen's favourite drink, Dubonnet. She drinks this aperitif wine with gin on the rocks, daily.

    Ruby/garnet red with orange tint in colour; sweet dried apricot, plum and herbal aroma and flavour with a citrus finish.
     
  3. Lemony Snicket - Southbrook Small Lot Natural Vidal Orange Wine 2015, Niagara Ontario

    Based on the popular series of books from the late 1990s/2000s, this dramatic series is sure to please all ages. Capturing the first four books in the first season, the performances are extraordinary and humourous. The set design is mesmerizing. Pair these unfortunate events with the delightful (and somewhat unusual) Small Lot Vidal Orange Wine.

    Bright amber in colour, with some cloudiness from lees in the bottle. Expressive nose with notes of wildflowers, tangerine, marmalade and bergamot. While the aromas suggest sweetness, the wine is bone-dry, with herbal replays.
     
  4. Lovesick - Mojo Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Australia

    A follow up to the comedy series, Scrotal Recall, Lovesick is a witty British comedy that follows Dylan through his love life; past and present. Pair this lighthearted series with Mojo Cabernet Sauvignon. The tasting notes alone ooze mojo.

    Fleshy, vibrant up front notes of blackcurrant pastille and cassis, immersed in lighter dashes of cranberry and crabapple. fruit which seamlessly merge with secondary wisps of chocolate, almond, fresh mint and a lick of stalky high notes. Balanced ubiquitous acid imparts structural support and along with the cedary oak bestows bountiful texture by silkily meshing the palate together.
     
  5. The OA - Vineland Estates Game Changer Red 2014, Niagara Peninsula

    If you liked Stranger Things, you'll love this mystery drama series with science fiction, supernatural and fantasy elements. Pair this series with the Game Changer, an easy to drink red blend. After all, this show is may be a game changer for you!

    Ruby red colour; fruit forward aromas of plum, raspberry and cherry; the palate is extra-dry, medium-bodied showing flavours of strawberry, red plum, spice and a slight herbaceous character on the smooth finish.

 

Love It | Pizza

Food, Love It, GiftsLesley PocklingtonComment
SwellMadeCo-Love-It-Pizza.jpg

This love it list is a fun one. A love for all things pizza which is a love that runs deep (dish). February 9, 2016 is National Pizza Day. Dial up your local pizza place, or roll up your sleeves and be one with the dough. It's time to choose your favourite toppings and celebrate with a pizza pie!

Here is a quick list of fun things for yourself, fellow pizza lovers and your home that profess your eternal love for pizza, whether it's deep-dish or thin crust.

  1. Eternal Pizza art print by Swell Made Co
  2. Pizza Keytags by Various Projects. These keytags are perfectly simple in every way. Declare your love for pizza (and so many other things) with a keytag. We'll be offering Swell Made Co. keytags in the online shop soon!
  3. Pizza Cutter by Primal Kitchen Food 52. This beautiful, but heavy-duty wood pizza cutter creates the perfect slice. 
  4. Toothsome Plate by Said the King. Said the King is known for their minimalist, but witty plates. Let's ask them for a pizza plate, yah?
  5. Pizza Stones by SPARQ Home for Food 52. Perfect for baking and cutting your creations, a pizza stone is a must. Plus, they can double as cheese boards.
  6. Pizza iPhone Cover by 2D Pizza for Society 6
  7. Pizza Door Mat from Lulu & Georgia. Your pizza delivery guy will love this door mat. And, so will everyone else who arrives at your door. 

Happy National Pizza Day! Enjoy. 

Netflix and Wine | Winter 2016

Wine, FoodLesley PocklingtonComment
Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

Netflix & Wine - Pairing your favourite shows and movies with delicious wines. By Swell Made Co.

I must admit, a lot of Netflix and wine were consumed over here during the holidays. When winter temperatures drop, it's so nice to snuggle up and sip wine while watching some great TV! You know what I'm talking about. Yah, you do.

Here are my favourite picks on Netflix, paired with some delicious wines. Kick your feet up, and enjoy.

  1. Making a Murderer + 19 Crimes Shiraz Durif, Australia
    You haven't watched this true crime docu-series, yet? Have you been living under a rock? Get on it! You'll binge watch this infuriating and puzzling series wondering if Steven Avery is truly guilty of the crimes he is accused of. If you liked the Podcast Serial, you'll love this series.

    Pair it with the mysterious 19 Crimes Shiraz Durif. "Deep ruby in colour with a purple hue; aromas of black cherry, cassis and pepper; flavours replay on the aromas with an emphasis on black pepper and smoke."
     
  2. Twinsters + Kung Fu Girl Riesling, USA
    Follow sweet and fun twin sisters on an astounding and life-altering adventure as they are reunited for the first time. You'll travel with them to the USA, France and Korea. Not to mention, you'll feel all the feels with this cute pair. 

    Pair it with the equally sweet and fun Kung Fu Girl Riesling. "Clear, pale lemon; delicate aromas of lychee, white peach, floral blossom, lemon and mineral; off-dry, light to medium bodied; vibrant acidity and flavours of white stone fruit, apricots, apple and lime leaves."
     
  3. Narcos + Casillero del Diablo Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile
    Narcos tells the true-life story of the growth and spread of cocaine drug cartels across the globe. It centres around the notorious Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar.

    Pair it with the devilish Casillero del Diablo Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon "Deep ruby colour with purple highlights; aromas of cassis, mint, and roasted coffee; dry, full-bodied, firm tannins, and rich, ripe fruit flavours."
     
  4. SOMM + Bonterra Viognier, USA
    Wine lovers rejoice! This film takes you through the intense journey of what it takes to become a Master Sommelier. Enjoy, and then wait for their next film 'Into the Glass' which will be released soon (2016). 

    Pair with the easy-drinking Bonterra Viognier "Very floral, with a Muscat-like nuance even, it conveys stone fruit character without being heavy and is buttressed by vigorous acidity."
     
  5. Chef's Table + Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico Reserva, Italy
    This series follows the lives of the world's most celebrated chefs in stunning detail. If you loved 'Jiro Dreams of Sushi', this will be sure to please. Prepare to be hungry and delighted. 

    Pair with the classic Barone Ricasoli Chianti Classico Reserva "The highly perfumed bouquet is redolent of earthy notes, cassis and polished river stone. Overall fruity brightness."
     
  6. Master of None + Rolling Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre, Australia
    You'll be rolling on the floor while watching Aziz Ansari's hilarious series, Master of None. Dev, a 30-year-old actor, attempts to make his life in New York City alongside a group of awesomely awkward friends.

    Pair it with the crowd-pleasing Rolling Grenache Shiraz Mourvèdre "Medium ruby in colour; forward aromas of crushed berries and spices; flavours of raspberry, blackberry plum and spice."