While most of the common tried-and-tested pairings for chocolate lean more toward the sweeter spectrum, chocolate pairs equally well with earthier and savoury ingredients, too, such as root vegetables, red meat, and cheese.
Before jumping into the kitchen to start playing with chocolate in your favourite recipes, take a minute to taste the chocolate you intend to use first. Each individual chocolate offers its own distinctive flavours, textures, and aromas. Crafting the perfect chocolate pairing is like composing a song: it’s important to know how each instrument’s notes will complement and contrast the other.
Good quality chocolate can also be a bit temperamental in its demands for storing and handling to avoid spoiling. Chocolate should always be stored in a cool, dry, and odour-free environment, but not in the refrigerator. On its own, chocolate’s best flavour is always achieved at room temperature.
Read on to discover some recipes with unique chocolate pairings that are sure to thrill and delight, whether you’re looking for something impressive to serve this Valentine’s Day or just to spice up your routine on a Tuesday night.
In the world of food pairings, cheese with chocolate probably isn’t the first one that comes to mind. These fancy-looking lollipops have maximum wow factor for very little effort. One of the cornerstones of this recipe is the best-available ingredients to ensure the tastiest results. Try these lollipops as a fun hors d’oeuvre with a glass of full-bodied red wine or as a dessert.
The cornerstone of Mexican cuisine and famously complex, mole sauce typically takes days to prepare. This recipe cuts down on the prep and cooking time significantly, yet still yields a deeply flavourful, chocolate-kissed sauce that perfectly complements roasted butternut squash, earthy black beans, and zesty pickled onion.
Having a healthy and balanced relationship with chocolate, dark chocolate in particular, may be beneficial to both your mind and your body. Choosing quality over quantity is key.
Chocolate, specifically chocolate that contains at least 70 percent cacao content, has been shown to have high levels of antioxidants, which, in turn, can contribute to a number of health benefits. These benefits include increased heart health, strengthened immune system, sharpened brain function, and reduced stress.
So rejoice (and maybe enjoy a nibble) in the fact that there are many ways to enjoy chocolate within a healthy diet.
There’s nothing like a roast to feed a crowd. These lean pork tenderloins will reign at the buffet table and will be equally enjoyed hot or cold. Simply prepared with a rub scented with the flavours of your favourite apple pie, the meat is roasted and rested to retain its juices before being laid out on peppery arugula leaves simply dressed in a classic vinaigrette. When is pork done? Has your pork ever come out dry? It could be all down to a number. In 2020, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) updated its recommended internal temperature from the previously published 160 F (70 C) to 145 F (63 C) to allow for rest time. The new standard reflects a clearer distinction between temperature taken prior to rest time and after. During rest time, the internal temperature continues to rise, reaching the desired 160 F (70 C).
With citrus season upon us, what could be better than a classic fennel and orange salad? It’s light and refreshing, a perfect balance to heavier holiday meals, with a boost of vitamin C to boot. This version adds delicious crunchy cabbage and the bright juiciness of pomegranate. Perfect for sharing, this salad comes together quickly, and the flavour combination is sure to wow at any party you bring it to. Orange supreme To segment or “supreme” the orange, slice top and bottom off the orange so you have a flat surface to work with. With the flat edge on the cutting board, run your knife around the orange, removing skin in sections from top to bottom. Once all the skin is removed, hold the orange in your hand and carefully insert your knife along each section, cutting through to centre to remove each piece, avoiding the pithy sheath. When all the segments have been removed, squeeze what remains of the orange over bowl to extract all of the juice. If you’re not using segments immediately, keep them in the juice so they stay fresh and moist.
Rich, tasty crab, sweet apple, licorice-scented tarragon, and a touch of lemon make these stuffed endives a classy crowd pleaser. The filling is easily prepared in advance and can be chilled until ready to serve, but this dish also comes together quickly enough to be done right before stuffing into leaves. Keeping your boats upright If you want the endive boats to sit neatly on the dish or platter without tipping, you can make a small slice at the bottom of each leaf before filling to give it a flat surface to rest on. Just make sure not to penetrate too deeply into the wall of the leaf.
Many of us have discovered the magic of roasting Brussels sprouts to completely transform them, imparting rich, nutty flavour. Skewered on toothpicks, they’re perfect for a party appetizer. When drizzled with pomegranate molasses and paired with a smoky red pepper hummus dip assembled from cupboard ingredients, they’re next level—all while being an absolute cinch to put together. Prepping the sprouts If you’ve spent hours in the past peeling and trimming sprouts, you’ll love this simple tip to make things go faster. Simply trim the bottom end and then make a slice straight down the middle of each sprout. Any excess outer leaves will fall off, saving you the fiddly job of peeling them.