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Perfect match: chocolate pots with Pedro Ximénez

It’s a hard ask for a wine to withstand the sweet assault of chocolatey things, but Spain’s Pedro Ximénez fits the bill.

By Adelaide Lucas
  • Serves 6
Chocolate pots with Pedro Ximénez -spiced sour cherries
Chocolate pots with Pedro Ximénez -spiced sour cherries

Matching wine with chocolate is fraught with difficulty. Sweet, milky chocolate tends to make most wines taste lean and hard - unless the wine is much sweeter than the chocolate; and dark, high cocoa-content chocolate can be bitter and clash with any astringency and/or acid in wine. This is why the very best wine for chocolate and choc-based dessert tends to be very sweet, soft and rich fortifieds. Muscat can be good, tokay excellent, but the chocolate wine par excellence is Spain's 'black sherry' - or other fortified wines - made from extremely ripe, raisined Pedro Ximénez grapes. Adding some citrussy, fruity, spicy flavours into the mix, as in this dessert, makes the match even more fabulous. - Max Allen

It’s a hard ask for a wine to withstand the sweet assault of chocolatey things, but Spain’s Pedro Ximénez fits the bill.

Ingredients

Chocolate pots
  • 200 gm dark chocolate (64.5% cocoa solids), melted
  • 300 ml pouring cream, whisked to soft peaks
  • 2 tbsp Pedro Ximénez
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 55 gm caster sugar (¼ cup)
Pedro Ximénez-spiced sour cherries
  • 125 ml Pedro Ximénez (½ cup)
  • 1 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 1 piece of orange peel, removed with a peeler
  • 100 gm dried sour cherries (see note) (½ cup)

Method

Main
  • 1
    For cherries, combine Pedro Ximénez, caster sugar, star anise and orange peel in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Add cherries, increase heat to medium, return to the boil, then remove from heat and cool.
  • 2
    Heat chocolate, cream and Pedro Ximénez in a heatproof bowl placed over gently boiling water, stirring occasionally, until chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth.
  • 3
    Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a separate heatproof bowl placed over gently simmering water for 5 minutes or until thick and pale. Combine chocolate and egg yolk mixture
    in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high for 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and cool.
  • 4
    Divide half the cherries between six ½ cup-capacity ramekins, spoon over chocolate mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. Serve chocolate pots topped with remaining cherries and a glass of Pedro Ximénez.

Notes

Note Dried sour cherries are available from The Essential Ingredient and health food stores. Drink suggestion by Max Allen