If you're a chocoholic (and what red-blooded American woman isn't?), you know the only thing better than chocolate is chocolate with your favorite flavors. This handy guide will show you how to pair your favorite treats with the right chocolate.
Pairing white chocolate can be challenging because of its delicate flavors, but it ultimately creates some of the most unique and versatile combinations.
For breakfast, we like a small chunk or two of white chocolate on the side or melted into complementary coffees. Savor the aroma of medium-roasted beans with a touch of caramel. Or indulge in a cup of easy drinking lighter-roasted beans with a generous kick of silky smooth vanilla. The right roast with the right flavor makes all the difference. Look for these and other Starbucks® K-Cup® packs where you buy groceries.
For a fancy treat for you and your beau, whip up a white chocolate soufflé and add some caviar (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.
For milk chocolate, look for deep European-style milk chocolates. While chocolates from different manufacturers may have different characteristics (nuttiness, fruitiness, etc.), in general, most people prefer milk chocolates that are full-flavored, creamy and not too sweet.
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 pastry brushes to coat the bacon with the chocolate. Sprinkle it with 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.
Chop up some quality milk chocolate and sprinkle it over a big scoop of orange sorbet. Serve it after a hearty meal with a cup of Sumatran coffee.
Dark chocolate is often considered the most versatile of the chocolates. This includes semisweet and bittersweet chocolate. Because it's less sweet than other chocolates, it contrasts well with sweet or tangy foods, while richer flavors, like offer and balsamic, serve to bring out the richness of the confection.
The next time you make brownies or chocolate cake, sprinkle in a little black pepper to add a little heat and complexity. Serve dessert up with a berry-streaked whipped cream and a glass of pinot noir.
At your next dinner party, whip up some chocolate-covered espresso beans, almonds and grasshoppers. Serve them up with your guests' choices of a dark-roasted coffee or Belgian quad.
If you start with the beer, they'll be more adventurous about the chocolate-covered grasshoppers.
Which flavor combo are you most eager to try?
a. White chocolate and caviar
More on chocolate