Yes, it's totally possible to enjoy a square of chocolate all on its own — but why do that when there are so many crazy-delectable food combinations that complement your favorite sweet perfectly?
This handy guide will teach you exactly how to pair your favorite treats with the right chocolate.
Pairing white chocolate can be challenging because of its delicate flavors, but that just means it creates some of the most unique and versatile combinations.
There's always good old-fashioned white chocolate and strawberries, but to get a little fancy, whip up a white chocolate soufflé and add some caviar. We're talking almost as much caviar as you have white chocolate. This scientifically proven (yes, we're serious) flavor combo powerhouse may sound strange, but it's a darling of molecular gastronomists.
Here are some other foods that pair amazingly with white chocolate:
For milk chocolate, it really is better to seek out those deep, European-style milk chocolates.
To get on the bacon bandwagon, thread some raw bacon onto wooden skewers and bake them up until they're nice and crispy. Temper some milk chocolate (with a glob of shortening if desired) in a double boiler and use a pastry brush to coat the bacon with the chocolate. Sprinkle it with crushed peanuts or walnuts, crystallized ginger, grated Gruyère or chopped goji berries and place them on a wax paper-lined sheet to refrigerate until they're set.
Or if you're looking for something a little simpler, chop up some quality milk chocolate and sprinkle it over a big scoop of orange sorbet as a refresher after dinner.
Some other things that pair super-well with milk chocolate are:
Dark chocolate — like semisweet and bittersweet — is often considered the most versatile of the chocolates because it's less sweet. This translates into an amazing contrast with sweet or tangy foods and bolder flavors — like balsamic — serve to bring out the richness of the confection.
This is a no-brainer, but serving dark chocolate up with a berry-streaked whipped cream and a glass of pinot noir makes for a jaw-dropping flavor profile. Or to get a little crazy with dark chocolate, sprinkle in a bit of black pepper to add a heat and complexity the next time you make brownies or chocolate cake.
Even more taste bud-blasting pairings for dark chocolate:
Originally published December 2013. Updated October 2016.
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