I have been asked by a local winery to develop chocolates with some of their wines. I have developed some recipes I like using a ganache of chocolate, butter and wine (unreduced), however the Liquor Commision has told me the finished product has to have an alcohol by volume of less than 6%. Is there a way to determine what ABV is without sending the chocolates off for analytical testing?
well, sure.... your vintner should be able to tell you the alcohol content of the wine they want you to use - let's say it's 12%.
Put together an excel spreadsheet, and list your ingredients for your truffle. Weigh your centers both before and after dipping (shell moulding, whatever) 10x to get an average of the amount of chocolate shell. If the wine in your finished chocolate works out to be, say 10% (that's awfully high, but the math is easier), and the alcohol of the wine is 12% - your ABV of the chocolate = 1.2% - and that's going to be on the high end, assuming no alcohol boiled off during the ganache preparation (better to estimate high with the liquor control board involved).
I wasn't sure if a simple calculation of percentage by weight would work. I am making these using a "water ganache" where the only liquid is the wine with only enough butter (about 10%) to hold it together. The result is a little over 25% wine by weight, so in theory that would give me about 3%ABV, well within the limits of the Liquor commision.
Thanks for your help.