When we think of flavours that work well with chocolate we tend to think of soft, sweet flavours: strawberries, caramel, rose. Chilli chocolate is quite well known now, and it’s not unusual to add a square of dark chocolate to your chilli, but here are 5 more unusual combinations that we love.
You’ve probably heard of this before, but have you actually tried it? It’s the savoury saltiness of bacon that makes it work so well with chocolate, both dark and milk.
We serve it as a canapé dipped into melted chocolate, but you can also try sprinkling bacon shards onto an intense, dark brownie. The trick is to make sure the bacon is nice and crispy.
One of our favourite summer chocolates is a lemon, olive oil and basil white chocolate ganache covered in dark chocolate. Olive oil in ganache (particularly milk or white) is incredibly moreish, and you can also use it to make brilliant dairy-free chocolate cakes.
The intense flavour of whole olives is best suited to a dark chocolate with dry, fruity notes, like the 82% grenada bar, which you can make into a great tapenade.
People don’t often think of putting herbs into savoury food, but the aniseed tang of basil gives a savoury, sophisticated taste to our dark bar with basil and lime.
Soft herbs like basil and sage are particularly well-suited to white chocolate, while the musky depth of more woody herbs can cut through sweetness and add a lovely multi-layered dimension to flavours. Our new milk chocolate bar with sea salt, caramelised almonds and rosemary is proving a big hit while the new passion-fruit and rosemary caramel in dark chocolate has already won a number of awards, so we can safely say that rosemary and chocolate is a winner.
To match cheese you need a strong, plain dark chocolate and look for strong, salty cheeses like stilton and parmesan.
Think of it as a savoury rather than a sweet treat and you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Think of eating a wedge of lemon together with a piece of chocolate and it just doesn’t work. Much like in cream sauces though, if the lemon flavour in chocolate is soft and tangy rather than sharp and aggressive, it lifts the other flavours.
Chocolate covered lemon peel sticks are the little-known but delicious sister to orange batons, and sharper citruses like lemons and the Kalamansi lime work well in caramels or combined with white chocolate, where they cut through the sweetness. In fact, one of Chantal’s favourite recipes is fennel with a white chocolate citrus sauce.