Our experts have shared their favourite chocolate pairings, from old classics to delightful surprises
Full of flavour, ridiculously moreish, and surprisingly versatile: chocolate is a natural pairing with other foods and drinks. Whilst we all know – and love – classics such as chocolate biscuits (our Biscuits of the Gods combine the crunch of biscuit with smooth, thick layers of chocolate), chocolate pairings can be a little more exciting than that.
We’ve put together a list of our favourite chocolate pairings so that you can experience cocoa in a new light. Be prepared to have an open mind – although some of our chocolate pairings might seem a little unconventional, we promise you they work!
What food is good to pair with chocolate?
Foods such as cheese and wine are commonly thought of when you think of classic food and pairings. However, have you ever considered indulging in cheese and chocolate pairings?
OK – we know this might sound like a chalk and cheese type of flavour combination, but we promise you it can work, with the right cheese and chocolate. Pairings such as parmesan and dark chocolate have proven to be a hit – the saltiness of parmesan goes wonderfully with a 70% dark, deep in cocoa and with a subtle sweetness to add a mellow taste.
How to choose your cheese
This might seem a little bizarre, but cheese and chocolate pairings make more sense than you may think. Cheeses which are milder have a creamy backdrop and work well with sweeter chocolates. In contrast, a cheese with a bit of a punch goes well with a savoury high cocoa dark.
Mild goat cheese, brie, parmesan, ricotta and Philadelphia tend to pair well with slightly sweeter chocolates. The salty tang of goat cheese is elevated by the light sweetness of melted 36% white chocolate drizzled over it, and the subtle fragrance of ricotta goes beautifully with the depth of 40% milk chocolate.
Alternatively, for a more savoury option, why not try pairing a high cocoa dark chocolate with a stronger cheese. Our 100% dark chocolate has a distinctive rich flavour with notes of red fruits, similar to a bottle of burgundy. Stronger cheeses, such as camembert, work surprisingly well with the depth of this dark.
One of the many wonders about chocolate is that you can enjoy it in different ways. We recommend melting our dark chocolates to fully release all the nuanced cocoa notes, perfect for drizzling over cheeses, or even dunking into!
Don’t worry if the idea of a cheese and chocolate pairing is a bit daunting – grating flakes of chocolate over your cheese is a great way to see if this chocolate pairing is for you. Start off with a light dusting of chocolate, but we warn you, once you get a taste you might decide dunking your cheese in a chocolate fondue is the best way to enjoy this gloriously unique pairing.
What drinks pair well with chocolate?
It’s easy to forget how important the accompanying drink is when it comes to chocolate tasting. We think chocolate deserves a pairing which is on the same level of luxury. Just as a good dinner cries out for a quality glass of wine, high-cocoa chocolate deserves a drink pairing which complements it beautifully.
Chocolate and wine
A chocolate and wine pairing makes complete sense to us: the fruiter notes of the cocoa bean can often be lifted further with the right glass of wine by its side. The four types of wine – white, red, rose and sparkling – means you have a staggeringly wide variety of flavour combinations to try.
Red wine lovers should opt for a chocolate and wine pairing which brings out the dark fruits flavour of both the red and the cocoa. Dark chocolates with a high cocoa percentage pair wonderfully with a full-bodied red. We like our red wine to have a rich and spicy flavour profile, making it the obvious pairing for our smoky Saint Lucia 84% Dark Chocolate
For a slightly sweeter option, we love sipping on a glass of prosecco whilst biting into our mellow 40% milk chocolate. The subtle fragrance of our high-cocoa butter white means it goes beautifully with a floral and fresh glass of fizz. Finding the right chocolate and wine pairing for you might take a few attempts, but once you discover the perfect flavour combination, we promise you won’t be able to look back.
Chocolate and beer
Some people might think that beer and chocolate pairings are not meant to be. However, we have to disagree with this notion: the malty notes of a beer work surprisingly well with the mellow notes of cocoa.
The Beer and Chocolate Hamper is a great introduction to the world of beer and chocolate pairings: we’ve put together a hamper of our favourite chocolates to pair with our very own Cocoa Beer, including a chocolate beer truffle. It shouldn’t work, but it does.
Tea and chocolate
Chocolate and tea pairing anyone? Whilst coffee or hot chocolate might be the first thought that comes to mind when thinking of a hot beverage to pair with cocoa, we think a chocolate and tea pairing is a beautiful thing. But, too often, many people overlook this flavour combination.
The subtle fragrance of a good old fashioned English breakfast tea goes beautifully with caramel milk chocolate. The natural sweetness of tea marries perfectly with the butterscotch notes and creates a comforting duo to curl up on the sofa with. Alternatively, lovers of herbal teas might want to try a mint tea with our mint chocolate, or a red berry tea alongside our fragrant Blueberry and White Chocolate truffles.
Best flavours to pair with chocolate
Lovers of adventure may have already seen a selection of some more unusual chocolate flavours (pizza flavoured chocolate, anyone?). However, if these are a little too outlandish for your tastebuds, there are plenty of other chocolate pairings which taste delicious, and don’t make your stomach flip at the thought of eating them!
The creamy sweetness of white chocolate means it’s the perfect canvas for a flavour which packs a bit of a punch. Citrus notes tend to add a desirable tartness, although white chocolate can withstand bolder flavours, such as chilli, ginger, and even wasabi!
Milk chocolate pairings are potentially endless. Mellow in flavour, but with a deep cocoa edge, milk chocolate goes beautifully with both savoury and sweet chocolate pairings: salty foods, such as crisps or bacon, add a depth of flavour, whilst berries bring out the fruity notes of the cocoa bean.
Dark chocolate is a dominant flavour on its own – and with good reason. The complexity of dark chocolate stems from how we make it and the ingredients we add, which we’ve explored in a bit more depth here. Working with both sweet and savoury foods (sprinkle some in your chilli con carne for a burst of extra depth), dark chocolate lends itself to the tartness of red fruits, the gentle heat of chilli and chocolate, or the roasted notes of coffee.
Try new things
When it comes to chocolate pairings, we advise you to be bold. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, and discover an entirely new flavour combination. Whether you’re hosting a chocolate tasting evening for friends and family, or treating yourself to something different, be bold with your choices. You can thank us later.