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chocolate

Foodpairing chocolate

Let’s talk chocolate! In this article we’ll take a look at Belcolade’s Noir Origins Grenada 67 and two pralines we‘ve designed to bring out its unique character.

Chocolate is unarguably one of the most complex food products, especially when it comes to its flavours. Belcolade has an Origins series covering almost the whole chocolate flavor spectrum, going from very earthy to flowery fruity. All Origin Chocolates were added to database. So check out the Foodpairing Explorer if you’re looking for a perfect matching chocolate. Based upon the flavor analysis and the Foodpairing results, a variety of pralines and desserts were designed, each emphasizing the particular character of the used chocolate. Find the recipes on our website.

Let’s take a closer look at the Grenada 67 and its recipes.

This chocolate is characterized by fruity and citrus flavor directions. The Grenada 67 also has a big nutty flavor theme, yet these aromas can be found in many chocolates. When searching for good matches with a particular chocolate, it’s best to focus on flavor themes that are characterizing for that chocolate. A first Grenada praline was made playing with the fruity direction, incorporating pear and blackberry

Recipe here.

A second praline is focused on the citrusy character of the Grenada 67 chocolate. Selecting Calamansie and mint.

Recipe here.

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Asparagus desserts

Foodpairing® not only gives you an overview of possible conventional combinations, when browsing through the trees in the Explorer you might find combinations that are new or maybe unheard of in gastronomy. Do not disregard these pairings as mere curiosa. For they often are the spark of innovative and challenging recipes. It might be worth the after-hours experiment, afterall, all pairings in our Explorer are in accordance to the main principal of Foodpairing:

 

“Foods can be combined when they share major flavor components”

 

So no matter how peculiar the pairing might seem, they share major flavor components. But always keep in mind that Foodpairing is just a starting point in new recipe generation, knowledge of the art of gastronomy is needed to design a well-balanced yet challenging recipe. It is like a diamant: the skill of the master is needed to allow it to shine.

 

That being said, let’s make an asparagus dessert!

When investigating the Foodpairing tree of Asparagus, one finds that asparagus pairs well with fruits such as Litchi and Raspberry. When browsing the pastry category, one finds a large host of cocao pairings.

The pairing of asparagus – dark chocolate – raspberry will be core of our recipe.

In order to find more interesting pairings, one might browse the Foodpairing tree of Raspberry. Nice matches can be found with rhubarb, lemon balm and pepper mint. These ingredients will bring freshness to the dish; each in their own way.

Furthermore, the addition of the raspberry to the recipe allows the combination of asparagus with rhubarb, lemon and lemon balm. No direct pairings can be observed between these ingredients and asparagus. The raspberry forms a “flavour bridge” between the asparagus and the mentioned ingredients.

The recipe

  • 4 asparagus AA
  • lemon juice
  • sugar syrup
  • soft, fruity olive oil
  • 3 raspberries
  • 1 stalk rhubarb
  • 2 dl sugar syrup 50%
  • 40 g melted dark chocolate
  • 20 g kaolin
  • 16 raspberries
  • dark chocolate
  • lemon verbena

Asparagus:
Peel the asparagus. Slice it with a peeler in very thin ribbonns. Add some lemon juice, sugar syrup and olive oil.

Rhubarb:
Peel the rhubarb and cut the stalk into pieces. Add the sugar syrup and 3 raspberries. Bring to a boil. Cover with some tinfoil and put in a preheated oven (90°C). Cook al dente and allow to cool in the syrup.

Mix the molten chocolate with the kaolin

Assembly:
Arrange the asparagus on the plate. Putin the pieces of rhubarb, raspberries and bit of chocolate. Finish with some lemon verbena.

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Cucumber chocolate?

Can you combine cucumber and chocolate in desserts? If you check the Foodpairing tree of cucumber (click on the picture for the dynamic pop-up), you will find in the category of pastry/ chocolate (bottom left) ingredients like milk chocolate (lait) from Vanuatu.

Now, how do you get started?

First of all, select the ingredients looking at the cucumber Foodpairing tree. You will find also hazelnut, honey, almonds, lemon, black and green tea.

Next step is to make different textures with the ingredients;

With the lemon and almond, you can make a crumble;

175 g of flour, 100 g almond powder, 125 g butter, 225 g sugar, 3 lemon zeste, 100 g cocoa butter

Mix the first 4 ingredients till you obtain a sandy dough. Bake at 175°C till it’s golden brown. Let it cool down. Mix the crumble with the melted Belcolade Cocoa Butter. Pour the crumble in a circle of  14cm and freeze

With the honey and hazelnut, you can make a honey hazelnut biscuit;

500 g eggs, 200 g hazelnut powder, 175 almond powder, 175 g honey, 200 g icing sugar, 100 g flour, 330 g egg white, 50 g sugar

Whip everything together, spread out on a baking tray. Bake at 240°C for 5min.

The cucumber is transformed into a Cucumber jelly;

500 g cucumber juice, 80 g sugar, 40 g honey, 10 g gelatin

Make fresh cucumber juice and heat up the juice till 40°C together with the honey. Add the gelatin, pour in a Flexipan mould 14cm and freeze it.

The black tea can be combined with Vanuatu chocolate: Black tea creme;

450 g Cream 35%, milk QS, 20 g black tea, 570 g Vanuatu 44 milk chocolate, 100 g butter

Boil the fresh cream and the black tea and let it infuse for 5 min. Pass through a sieve and add milk till you have your original weight of 450g again. Heat up again till 85°C and pour onto the Belcolade Origins Vanuatu 44. Mix to obtain a homogeneous filling. When the cremeux reaches a temperature of 35°C, add the butter and mix again. Pour the Black Tea Cremeux on top of the Crumble Lemon. Put on top of this a layer of the Hazelnut Honey Biscuit and freeze.

To finish chocolate mousse;

250 g milk, 250 g cream, 100 g egg yolk, 550 g milk chocolate Vanuatu 44, 6 g gelatin, 450 g cream

Boil the milk with the cream and pour this onto the egg yolks. Add the Belcolade Origin Vanuatu 44 and mix. Add the gelatin and mix again. Add the semi whipped fresh cream. Fill 1/3 of a circle with mousse. Take the insert and the Cucumber Jelly from the freezer. Place the Cucumber Jelly on top of the insert and put it in the circle upside down in the mousse. Freeze it.

You can compose all these layers into a pie like this Astroid by Michel Eyckerman

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Chocolate jerky Foodpairing

Dried meat or bacon with chocolate is not that far-fetched. You can find several chocolate companies in US who offer this combination. But this one is upgraded and to be consumed with whisky.

Apero praline by Michel Eyckerman of Puratos (other chocolate recipes)


Recipe:
Praliné 50: 375 g
Hazelnut paste 110 g
Ebony cocoamass: 90 g
salt: 2 g
Jerky cuttered into powder: 100 g
dried onion: 50 g

Melt and temper the Ebony cocoamass, mix with the praliné and hazelnutpaste. Add salt, powdered jerky and dried onion. Add the filling to dark chocolate cups. Leave to cristallise. Close the cups with tempered dark chocolate

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Sakura Foodpairing dessert with asparagus

Last month a crew of the Japanese television NHK visited our office in Bruges and one of the research lab we cooperate with. Yesterday it was broadcasted.
YouTube Preview Image
Our chef Peter made a dessert based on the Foodpairing of a typical Japanese ingredient; Sakura (pickled cherry blossoms)

Sakura was turned into an ice-cream. Asparagus is used raw in thin slices. Raw asparagus has some sweet and spicy notes, which makes it applicable in a dessert. The floral notes from the sakura match fruits like raspberry. The almond aroma in the sakura combines with chocolate. Resulting in following dessert; Sakura icecream, raw asparagus, raspberry, chocolate spongecake.

 

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MORE THAN 40 FOODPAIRING CHOCOLATE RECIPES BY PASTRY CHEFS FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

A range of new Foodpairing recipes with Belcolade chocolate was included in our website. The recipes were developed by pastry chefs from around the globe. Participating pastry chefs are Jacques Torres, Dominique Persoone, Marco Ropke, Joris Vanhee , Milton Aguilar, Stéphane Leroux, Philippe Rhéau, Gilles Doumengeux,…
Find the chocolate Foodpairing recipes on Foodpairing.com site (select Baked goods on the right + an origine) or click on the link below for a few examples. On the website is each picture alternated with the Foodpairing tree so you know what the Foodpairing links are.

 Recipe Pomme Oranges

 Recipe Blanc Passion

 recipe Pisco

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AVOCADO PAIRING

As the end of the year is approaching, sites like Food&Wine start to launch ‘lists’ like the Top 10 restaurants dishes of 2011
One of the dishes is this salmon-sea beans-buckwheat-avocado by Salt of the Earth, Pittsburgh.

(source: Food&Wine – Laura Petrilla)

With avocado you can indeed do much more than making guacamole. Have a look at the Foodpairing tree of avocado;

So why not trying avocado, chicken and coconut sausage, yoghurt, white chocolate, mint (experiment by Peter Coucquyt)

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MORE POULTRY: PIGEON

Browsing through Thanksgiving turkey recipes the last few days, I got into a ‘poultry’ mood. That reminded me of an earlier post from 2007, the year we launched our Foodpairing tool, where Flavor scientist Jane Parker of Nothingham analyzed the flavor profile of pigeon on request of Midsummer house and Audi.

The movie you can see here.
Pyrazines tell a part of the story why pigeon combines with chocolate, but there is more to it.
Based on our analysis, these are some of the pairings we can propose
Based on the Foodpairing tree of pigeon, you can for example make a combination of Pigeon, quince, chocolate, jerusalem artichokes (by Peter Coucquyt);
Our you could translate it into a pigeon-cherry-chocolate combination, as proposed by new 3 Michelin star restaurant Hertog Jan.

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MANGO PAIRING

Last December, I had to do an talk with Harold McGee on his new book keys to good cooking, and going through the results on different types of mango, it came up my mind again that Harold McGee described an Alphonso mango as one of his most preferred foods.
Well, what to combine with Mango?

 You can translate this tree into a Mango, mackerel, juniper, celery combination like Alinea restaurant (source picture)

Or give a little twist to a classic combination; Mango, lobster, salad + dark chocolate (by the Mangerie, Bruges) Which was the winning dish in a Chocolate Foodpairing competition here in Bruges.

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COINTREAU AND REMY MARTIN ADDED TO FOODPAIRING.COM

Bartenders request us more and more to add specific brands of drinks on Foodpairing.com. As flavor profiles between e.g. different gins change a lot, it is quite important to make a Foodpairing cocktail with the correct drink.
We are happy to see that distillers who care about the flavor of their drinks and really want to support bartenders request more and more Foodpairing analysis.
The newest addition to the database are Cointreau and Rémy Martin cognac.

As the Foodpairing website is also available in French, for the variation I added here a French version of the Cointreau Foodpairing tree explaining one of the pairings they made on their website; the Dita van Teesen cocktail: Cointreau + orange-ginger-violet-chocolate-cake (cocktail and barfood in 1).

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