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We've got the hook up on unexpected — yet yummy — chocolate flavor combos

Heather Barnett is a freelance writer and foodie whose work has been featured in blogs, websites, magazines, and TV and radio ads. She spends her free time relaxing with her soulmate, Keith; her dog, Mosby "The Fly Slayer;" and Felix th...

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match! Of chocolate and fruit, of course

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.

White chocolate

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match! Of chocolate and fruit, of course
Image: Giphy

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.

More: Chocolate: A guide to using your favorite baking ingredient

Here are some other foods that pair amazingly with white chocolate:

  • Sea salt caramel
  • Agave nectar
  • Maple syrup
  • Lemongrass
  • Pink peppercorn
  • Cardamom
  • Saffron
  • Sea salt
  • Wasabi
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Cranberry
  • Blueberries
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Cashews
  • Hazelnuts
  • Brie
  • Wisconsin mixed-milk cheese
  • Dragon well tea
  • Matcha tea
  • Colombian coffee
  • Costa Rican coffee
  • Yemeni coffee
  • Bourbon barrel-aged tripel (beer)
  • Orange muscat
  • Vintage port
  • Chocolate stout

Milk chocolate

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match! Of chocolate and fruit, of course
Image: Giphy

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.

More: Luscious low-carb chocolates that will truly fill your choco cravings

Some other things that pair super-well with milk chocolate are:

  • Caramel
  • Honey
  • Coconut
  • Lavender
  • Pink Himalayan salt
  • Curry powder
  • Orange
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Asiago
  • Chai tea
  • Darjeeling tea
  • Smoked black tea
  • Colombian coffee
  • Kenyan coffee
  • Sumatran coffee
  • Yemeni coffee
  • Ethiopian coffee
  • Kona coffee
  • Raspberry beers

Dark chocolate

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match! Of chocolate and fruit, of course
Image: Giphy

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.

More: We found all the good dark chocolate Halloween candies for you

Even more taste bud-blasting pairings for dark chocolate:

  • Sea salt caramel
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Cardamom
  • Wasabi
  • Chipotle
  • Jalapeño
  • Cinnamon
  • Fennel
  • Black sesame seeds
  • Banana
  • Lime
  • Figs
  • Grapes
  • Dried currants
  • Pine nuts
  • Hazelnuts
  • Almonds
  • Goat cheese
  • Aged gouda
  • Parmesan
  • Chèvre
  • Monterey Jack
  • Blue cheese
  • Grasshoppers — yes the insect!
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Assam tea
  • Earl Grey tea
  • Indonesian coffee
  • Guatemalan coffee
  • Brazilian coffee
  • Ethiopian coffee
  • Dark-roast coffee
  • Espresso beans
  • Belgian quad (beer)
  • Red zinfandel

What's your favorite food/chocolate combo?

Originally published December 2013. Updated October 2016.

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