The original 'extra-old' cognac, first bottled in 1870 by Maurice Hennessy for family and friends. Darker and much more complex than the VSOP, with appealing leather and tobacco notes and a touch of spice - a great cigar cognac.
Cooking Time Prep time 10 mins, cook 5 mins (plus setting)
80 ml (1/3 cup) pouring cream
300 gm Valrhona Guanaja Chocolate (70% cocoa solids, see note), finely chopped
60ml Hennessy XO Cognac (see note)
For dusting: Valrhona cocoa powder (see note)
1. Bring cream to the boil in a small saucepan, remove from heat, stir in chocolate until melted and smooth. Gently whisk in Cognac. Transfer to a metal bowl and leave in a cool area, whisking occasionally until chocolate has almost set (1-1½ hours). Transfer to a small container and refrigerate until just set. (Mixture will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week, bring to room temperature before shaping).
2. Sieve cocoa powder into a bowl. Using a heated dessert spoon, scoop quenelle shapes from the chocolate mixture and dust them in cocoa, turning gently to coat. Keep cool (ideally in a cool pantry) until serving.
Note Valrhona chocolate and cocoa powder are available from Simon Johnson food stores and select delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute with another good-quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids) and Dutch-process cocoa powder.
Drink Suggestion These will only benefit from more cognac. Alternatively, a sweet wine made from grenache.
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