Most candy lovers can agree that their favorite form of confection contains some form of chocolate. Chocolate it ‘self is made from the dried and fermented seeds of the cacao tree. There are two components that are extracted from cacao nibs that go into making every single piece of chocolate you’ve ever eaten, cocoa solids, and cocoa butter.
While these two ingredients, along with sugar and milk, may not seem like much, the ratios of their implementation in the chocolate making process make all of the difference. Milk chocolate, for instance, normally contains 10-20% cocoa solids, while dark chocolate contains greater than 35% cocoa solids, and in some cases even up to 95%! Certain foods or drinks can pair with specific chocolates and enhance their flavor profiles.
3 unusual pairings –
- The first of our pairings include a very dark chocolate (at least 80%) and raspberry lambic.
The dark chocolate has intense earthy flavors with an almost woody undertone and hints of fruit that are enhancedwith the sweet and fruity nature of the raspberry lambic. When paired the lambic mellows the bitterness and uncovers the floral nature of the intensely dark chocolate making the pairing taste somewhat like a chocolate raspberry pastry.
- Our second pairing is a light milk chocolate with a barrel-aged bourbon whiskey.
Milk chocolate has a light and milky flavor with hints of spices and vanilla. The barrel-aged bourbon whiskey has an intense smoke flavor that is woody and has subtle undertones of caramel and vanilla. When combined the milk chocolate neutralizes the medicine-like taste of the alcohol in the whiskey allowing you to experience the full flavor profile that the barrel ageing process instills in the whiskey.
- Our third and final pairing is white chocolate with moscato.
Because white chocolate contains no cocoa solids it is technically not a chocolate, although it is considered to be by many people. White chocolate is also a great alternative for those with a chocolate allergy because it contains none of the allergens of traditional chocolate. White chocolate its ‘self has a very mellow and buttery flavor due to its high cocoa butter content, while moscato has a very sweet and light flavor with an intense fruity and citrusy finish. When paired the fruity moscato enhances the buttery taste of the white chocolate making it taste like an orange creamsicle.
I encourage you to find your own pairings for chocolate as the way each of us experience flavor profiles is unique and you may discover great combination that have not been tried before. So, the next time you are browsing the candy display cases or wandering the isles at your local liquor store keep these 3 pairings in mind.
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Tony is an accomplished chef that has expierience working at some of the most up-scale establishments on the east coast.