Dessert with hay and other Foodpairing combinations

Based on the Foodpairing tree of hay, we find combinations with strawberry and cucumber. What about a (pre)dessert?


  • hay
  • 525 g milk
  • 150 g cream
  • 125 g sugar
  • 40 g milk powder
  • 6 strawberries
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • strawberry jam
  • tarragon

Bring the milk to the boil and add some hay. Cover and let infuse for 30′. Sieve, add the sugar and the milk powder. Bring to the boil. Cool, add the cream and turn into ice cream.

Cut the strawberries in pieces

Cut long slices of the cucumber (without the seeds). Cut thick slices of the ovary of the cucumber. Cut into circles

  Armstrong Blink-182 Coldplay

How to remix whiskey sour?

Foodpairing® is not exclusively for chefs. Foodpairing® lends itself perfectly for the creation of new cocktail recipes. Many award-winning cocktails have been designed with the aid of Foodpairing®.

Let’s take a look at the potential of Foodpairing® in cocktails, revisiting the classic Whiskey Sour.

As mentioned in the Asperges Maltaise Remix article, adding small twists to classic recipes can be as fun and challenging as designing completely new experiences. This article picks up on the notion of the twists.

When looking at the Foodpairing tree of any whiskey, one can find a whole bunch of matching ingredients. When focusing on herbs, spices or fruits (if you want even more challenging, go for vegetables, if you’re crazy, go for the meats. One can easily find inspiration for a twist on the basic theme of the whiskey sour.

Here are some nice simple examples:

Licorice Whiskey Sour by Tony Conigliaro

recipe: Tony Conigliaro Make a classic whiskey sour with egg white. Finsih the cocktail with some freshly grated liquorice.

Morroco mint Whiskey Sour


  • 30 ml Whiskey (The Famous Grouse)
  • 10 ml tea syrup
  • 10 ml lemon juice

Add each ingredient in a shaker. Shake with ice.

Strain in a glass


Tea syrup:
For the preparation of our tea syrup, we used a herbal tea from the Lipton Brand, called Morocco. It’s a tea flavoured with cinnamon and mint.

  • 100 ml water
  • 2 tea bags
  • sugar

Bring the water to the boil. Add the tea bags and steep for at least 20 minutes. Sieve. Add the same amount of sugar to the tea. Bring to a boil for complete dissolution.

Bacon Whiskey Sour


  • 30 ml bacon flavoured whiskey
  • 10 ml sugar syrup
  • 10 ml lemon juice

Add each ingredient in a shaker. Shake with ice.

Strain in a glass


Flavoured whiskey:

  • 30 g bacon
  • 100 ml whiskey (The Famous Grouse)

Fry the bacon with a dash of olive oil. Add  whiskey and let cool. Sieve off the bacon when the bacon flavour is strong enough in the whiskey (time depends on the bacon). Put the whiskey in the fridge to harden the fat. Sieve.

This bacon recipe might be more challenging; stretching the original theme of the whiskey sour. Yet these 3 recipes stay pretty close to the original one, adding extra ingredients as twists rather than substituting the original ingredients. True substitution is ofcourse also possible. Keeping our distance from “the best whiskey for a whiskey sour” discussion just for now, let’s turn our heads to alternatives for the lemon.

Lemon alternatives can readily be found in the Foodpairing® Explorer if you want to stay in the same flavour theme. Start a new search in the Foodpairing® Explorer. Search for lemon, add it to your combo box, then check out the best matches in the List view. Agreed, this is a bit of a cheat, forgetting about combining for a sec in our search for lemon alternatives. Nonetheless the obtained list will definitly spark your creativity… Nice ideas might be raspberry juice, sour pomegranate juice or passion fruit juice.

Here’s our favorite lemon replacement for the Whiskey Sour:

Sudashi Whiskey Sour


  • 30 ml whiskey (The Famous Grouse)
  • 10 ml sudachi
  • a dash of lemon juice
  • 10 ml sugar syrup

Add each ingredient in a shaker. Shake with ice. Strain in a glass

Sudachi is less sour than lemon juice. To balance the cocktail we added a dash of lemon juice.

When tasting Sudachi you will notice some peppery notes. Why not finish the cocktail with some fresh grounded white pepper. Let the Foodpairing trees of whiskey inspire you…

Coffee appetizers

Coffee is most often associated with the after-dinner, served alongside the dessert or even used in them. Such a fine and versatile product should not but limited to this narrow use moment. Let’s explore how you can surprise your guests by using coffee in your appetizers.

Changing the use moment of products or putting them out of their traditional context often evokes strong reactions, yet when done properly you can count on a grand applause. Foodpairing can help you in the process of finding the right balance.

Start by navigating to the Foodpairing of coffee in the Foodpairing Explorer.

It’s our objective to combine coffee in an appetizer, so we specifically searched for fresh and not too sweet ingredients, i.e. ingredients that are suitable for appetizing. We also took care to incorporate fun texture contrasts which are highly desirable in an appetizer as they stimulate the eater’s curiosity for what’s to come.

Fried bacon with deep fried onions and coffee


  • 2 slices bacon
  • 10 g fried onions
  • 1 g ground coffee
  • 4 teaspoons brined mustard seeds


Mustard seeds:
Mix 200 g mustard seed with 355 ml water, 355 ml rice vinegar, 100 g sugar and 12 g salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 ‘. If the seeds are not cooked, add some extra water and simmer a little longer. Allow to cool

Fry the bacon in some butter

Mix the onions with the grounded coffee

more recipes here

How to remix the classic Asperge Maltaise

This is the recipe we’ve created to illustrate the listview approach in the Foodpairing® Explorer. It is a “remix” of the classic Asperge Maltaise.


Asparagus is a vegetable that offers a lot of possible pairings. Foodpairing® opens your mind and stimulates your creativity, but it is always wise to control your enthusiasm when tapping into it’s power. Take a step back and always remember your gastronomic heritage, establishments and knowledge. In our experience quite a lot of dishes draw their strength from their simplicity. Complicated combinations with a lot of flavors tend to get difficult to grasp, losing their elegance and beauty.
Breaking traditional boundaries with challenging dishes is great fun and should be encouraged, but always make sure not to over-do it. Adding small twists to established dishes or themes can have more disarming effect than the next crazy concoction.


With this philosophy in mind, we decided to design a recipe with the classic Asperge Maltaise as a starting point. In case you forgot (shame on you!), that’s asparagus in a Mousseline sauce of orange juice.


As can be observed in the Foodpairing tree of Asparagus, Asperges Maltaise makes complete sense in terms of the Foodpairing® theory, all ingredients share aroma compounds with asparagus and thus can be found in the Foodpairing tree of Asparagus.
This again illustrates the power of Foodpairing. Not only can Foodpairing® be utilised to create innovative  recipes, but it also explains the success of some classic hits. Other examples are hidden everywhere in the Foodpairing Explorer, find them all…

We overhauled the classic recipe and searched for that surprising yet contributing twist on the classic theme, but still keeping the essence of it.

Asparagus contains some floral notes that can also be found in coffee and smoked salmon. So we decide to add these ingredients. The orange was made into a gel to preserve its freshness, providing a nice contrast with the fattiness of the smoked salmon.

The Recipe


  • 8 white asparagus AA
  • 4 slices of cold smoked salmon
  • 200 g orange juice
  • 1,5 g agar
  • ground coffee
  • lamb lettuce
  • some herbs
  • butter
  • pepper and salt


Peel the asparagus and make diagonal slices. Braise in some butter, then add some water, season with salt and pepper. Braise until al dente.

Gel of orange:
Mix the orange juice with the agar (if the juice is to sour, add some sugar. Bring this mixture to a boil. Pour in a recipient and allow to gel. Blend the gel and transfer into a piping bag.

Place the asparagus on a plate. Put in the slice of smoked salmon. Pipe some gel in between. Sprinkle some ground coffee on the asparagus and finish with some leafs of lettuce and other herbs of your choice.


Go easy on the coffee, you don’t want to overpower your dish with its strong flavor.


Foodpairing white asparagus recipes

It’s spring! Yet you wouldn’t say from the weather we’re getting. Nevertheless, the asparagus are showing their heads. It’s that special time of the year again we can enjoy these royal vegetables. Let’s make some Foodpairing white asparagus recipes, but before take a closer look at their flavour profile and Foodpairing potential.

The white asparagus is very popular in Western Europe, it is less bitter and much more tender than their green brothers. Here is its Foodpairing tree.

One of the most famous classic asparagus combinations is Asparages à la Flamande, boiled asparagus with a butter sauce thickened with soft-boiled eggs. All ingredients contain high levels of buttery and vanilla notes, explaining the strong Foodpairing matches in this dish. Interestingly, this type or aroma is amplified when the asparagus are boiled. Raw asparagus are more complex and crisp, which make them suitable for appetizers, yet they can even find their way into desserts.

Here is a recipe we designed that is purposely focused on the vanilla-like flavours of asparagus, all accompanying ingredients match in this vanilla theme and highlight it accordingly.

Smoke the cooked asparagus shortly. Serve with a tarragon/cream cheese sauce as dip. This sauce is special as it doesn’t contain any egg yolk to stabilize the emulsion, but egg white and a pinch of xanthan gum.

Recipe tarragon/ cream cheese dipping sauce

35 g cooked spinach (water squeezed out)

20 g cream cheese

20 g egg white

pinch of xanthan gum

50 g olive oil

5 g tarragon

Mix the spinach with the cheese and egg white. Add a pinch of xanthan gum and mix. Add slowly the olive oil while mixing. When a mayonnaise texture is obtained, add the tarragon leaves and mix.

This snack may be served with a spicy tripel type beer such as Kasteelbier Tripel, this beer also exhibits a subtle vanilla flavor.

Less obvious flavor themes in asparagus are nutty/popcorn-like and piney. The nutty aroma allows for combinations with bacon, bread, coffee, chocolate, peanut, pumpkin seeds and macademia nuts. The example below denotes this nutty theme perfectly.

Prepare your favorite asparagus soup according to art and best practices, garnish with lightly cooked mussels and finish with freshly ground coffee.

The Asperge Maltaise is another well known classic with interesting Foodpairing links (asparagus with hollandaise sauce finished with the juice of blood orange). Buttery components link the asparagus to the hollandaise sauce, a piney aroma makes the match with the blood orange.

An fun approach to Foodpairing would be to remix the classic Asperge Maltaise. The juice of blood orange may be replaced by another piney-themed fruit (aka citrus type fruits as they contain a lot of piney aromas). Inspire yourself with the array of likely candidates that can be found in the Foodpairing tree of asparagus. Yuzu, sudachi, grapefruit, mandarin, kumquat are just a few of the possible matches.

Following recipe was generated utilizing the same simple remixing approach;

Cook the asparagus al dente; if available, add some young pine shoots to the cooking liquid for extra pine-theme enforcement. Place the asparagus in a deep plate. Season the cooking liquid and pour it over the asparagus. Spoon a few drops chorizo oil over this and finish with Tahoon ® Cress and toasted pine nuts.

Savory smoothie recipes

Fruits are the traditional first choice for smoothies, but let’s take a look beyond convention and start experimenting with the veggies and herbs in savory smoothie recipes

When investigating the Foodpairing® tree of milk and turning our heads towards the vegetable category, you’ll spot cucumber –use the category filter in the listview to get a list of best matching vegetables. Cucumber consists of more than 90% of water, so instead of adding crushed ice to get the smoothie cold, just refrigerate the blended cucumber before use. Next we add olive oil for the body, cilantro and chives for some kick and sherry vinegar to brighten the flavours. All ingredients were found with the help of the Foodpairing® Explorer.


  • 335 g cucumber
  • 3 g of cilantro
  • 18 g chives
  • 175 g milk
  • 10 g sherry vinegar
  • 75 g olive oil
  • pepper and salt

Dice the cucumber. Chop the chives and cilantro. Blend all ingredients. Add the olive oil in a continuous trickle. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.

Serve with garnishes like shrimp or mussels.

Next recipe was also made staring from the Foodpairing tree of milk, it’s a savory smoothie with tomato and basil:


  • 255 g canned tomatoes*
  • 3 g basil
  • 100 g milk
  • 20 g mozzarella water
  • 25 g mozzarella
  • pepper and salt

Blend all ingredients. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.

* canned tomatoes give more taste to the smoothie than fresh one.

Furaneol is one of the molecules tomato and strawberry share. The same goes for raspberry and tomato, applying this neat little combo in a veggie smoothie is just magic. For the base we selected mozzarella but cottage cheese would also be great, added some fresh basil to give it a nice twist. When you get the proportions right one can enhance the fruitiness of tomato by adding strawberries or raspberries without losing the characteristic tomato flavor.


  • 255 g canned tomatoes
  • 3 g basil
  • 150 g milk
  • 40 g raspberries
  • 10 g ketchup
  • pepper and salt

Blend all ingredients. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.

Let’s talk milk. Milk is easy to infuse, this is because of its colloidal  (fat + water) properties. Infused milk allows for new aroma incorporation in a smoothie without using the actual flavoring ingredients; which could otherwise present textural, taste or other technical difficulties. Traditional examples are vanilla, cinnamon or anise infused milk. But please do go wild with the infusions, our favorites are shrimp, bacon, chicken skin and smoke infused milk. In our previous article about smoothies there is a smoothie with oat infused milk. Here is a more challenging recipe with bacon flavored milk.


Bacon flavoured milk

  • 5 dl milk
  • 150 g smoked bacon

Bring the milk to the boil. Dice the smoked bacon and add to the hot milk. Cover with plastic clingfilm. Let infuse for at least 1 hour. Sieve



  • 150 g bacon flavoured milk
  • 100 g cooked peas
  • 1 g mint
  • pepper and salt

Blend all ingredients. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.


Instead of using plain olive oil in the cucumber smoothie, we can create more depth by using an infused oil. Here’s an example with red bell pepper and tomato.



Chorizo oil

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 40 g chopped onion
  • 100 g diced chorizo
  • 200 g olive oil

Fry the garlic with the onion and chorizo in some oil. Add the remaining amount of oil. Let simmer for 5′ minutes. Cover with plastic clingpaper and let infuse for at least 1 hour. Sieve.



  • 100 g red bell pepper
  • 140 g milk
  • 20 g canned tomato
  • 5 g chorizo oil
  • pepper and salt

Blend all ingredients. Season to taste, pass through a fine mesh and refrigerate.

Ketel One cocktails

When looking at the aroma profile of the Ketel One Vodka, 3 major flavor themes can be observed:

  • Coconutty
  • Green-citrussy
  • Tropical

This knowledge sparked us to search for more exotic ingredients in the Foodpairing Explorer in order to create some new cocktails. Here is the Foodpairing tree of Ketel One Vodka, click to browse it in the Foodpairing Explorer.

We initially chose peach puree to match the tropical accents in the Vodka. Next we selected vanilla to make a syrup out of. Interestingly vanilla amplifies sweetness, so when making a vanilla syrup, one does not need to add as much sugar as you would do normally. Instead of using lemon or lime juice to counter balance with acidity, we used the more tropical tamarind. A lemon replacer quite popular in African cuisine.

Find the recipe here.


The Ketel One Citroen is laced with 6 different citrus fruits, which results in a very obvious yet complex citrusy theme. Instead of following the apparent citrusy direction when designing our next cocktail, we chose to focus on some rather concealed themes, like spicyness, greeny and flowery.For starters we selected avocado, playing the green match in full. This we acidified with lime and yoghurt. Lime might be a close relative to lemon, but it surprisingly has a lot of green notes to it, combining well with the avocado. We further polished the cocktail by adding milk.

Find the recipe here.

Make sure to check out our other recipes with these Ketel One Vodka and Ketel One Citroen in Foodpairing Recipes.


Fascinating applications of the products of Koppert Cress

Most of us who know the wonderful products of Koppert Cress use them as garnishes, to finish a dish that is actually already finished. Even though they work perfectly so, there is much more potential in these tiny plants and cresses. They can be a functional part of a course, in this article we’ll prove it.

Let’s take a look at Sakura® cress.
Sakura® cress is characterized by Maillard aromas, compounds that are readily found in fried meats, coffee, chocolate etc. Furthermore this cress has a quite pungent taste reminiscent to radicchio or rammenas. Combine this product with a nice acid and you’re half way towards a pre-dessert that tantalizes your taste buds and leaves you ready for more.

The core in our designed recipe is the Sakura® cress – dark chocolate combination. Searching for ingredients matching this combo led us to yoghurt, paprika and cayenne pepper. These ingredients were made into a spicy yet mild acidic cream which we used to fill a chocolate cannelloni. The
Sakura® cress really adds to this pre-dessert, it brings all ingredients together in a delicate
symphony of flavours.


Next in line is Kikuna cress, which has much fresher notes than Sakura® cress. Here you can browse its Foodpairing tree:

Kikuna contains aromas that are also present in peaches, apricots and coconut; this last attribute made us design avariation of the classic Thai coconut soup, an interesting concoction where freshness provided by lime and lemon grass is combined with a healthy dose of pungency from chili and ginger. The soup is traditionally toned down with soothing coconut cream.

Kikuna has a piney bouquet to it which can also be found in mango, this tropical fruit was also incorporated in our dish. As in the previous example, the Kikuna cress functions as a binder, linking all ingredients together.


Another interesting recipe with Kikuna cress is Carrot – Peach – yogurt – Kikuna Cress – hazelnut.

Because of Kikuna’s citrusy components we can make the link towards carrot, orange, lemon and peach. Peach by itself has aroma components in common with yoghurt, which provides some acidity that brightens up the flavours of this dish.

Shiso® Green contains mushroom-like aromas which can also be found in dry cured beef. This is basically the idea behind the Toast – mushrooms – dried entrecôte – soy sauce recipe. We made the shiso into a toast to provide textural contrast.

Trappist Westmalle Foodpairing

Check out this article for more information about their flavour profile and Foodpairing potential of  the world famous Belgian Trappist Westmalle Tripel and Westmalle Dubbel.

The Westmalle Trapist beers are brewed in the Trappist abbey of Westmalle since 1836. The recipes have remained virtually unchanged since then. When looking at the flavour profile, a typical Westmalle signature can be observed in both Tripel and Dubbel variants: very fruity, with floral and caramellic undertones.

Here is the Foodpairing tree of the Westmalle Dubbel. Click on it to browse it in the Foodpairing Explorer.

The Dubbel is brewed with darker malts, therefor it is furthermore characterized by vanilla, smoked and Maillard flavors. These typifying notes favor combinations of the Dubbel with chocolate, coffee, fried meat and so on, find more matches in the Foodpairing Explorer.
Here are our home-made recipes:

By adding fruity ingredients to these combos, the Foodpairing links are further reinforced.


In contrast to the Dubbel, the Westmalle Tripel is much fruitier and floral and is therefore an ideal companion with fruity desserts. Check out our recipes.

The Westmalle abbaye also produces an abbaye cheese. Check out recipes with this cheese in our recipe section.

Surprising macaron flavors

Chefs & pastry chefs are always on the lookout for thoughtful treats to serve with coffee. Be inspired by Foodpairing to design the perfect macaron match to your favorite coffee. We’ve designed some macaron recipes around Café del Cauca, a Colombian coffee.

Macaron fillings come in every color and flavor, but are flavourwise generally limited to fruits, herbs and spices. Use Foodpairing to break with this convention; a cucumber or cheese filling are actually not so farfetched and only a few clicks away in the Foodpairing Explorer. The famous macaron of Pierre Hermé with rose, raspberry and lychee is in fact a very strong Foodpairing combination.

Not only the filling may be subjected to Foodpairing®. The macaron itself has ample space for flavor innovation. Why not replace the almond powder with hazelnut or pistachio? Another trick would be to produce your own flavoured egg white by combining egg white powder and any flavoured liquid (again, use Foodpairing to pick the right flavour). This is really a great way to incorporate new flavours in the macaron without compromising its delicate structure. For our Cucumber macaron, we used coffee to make our flavoured egg white.

Check out our recipes!

Hazelnut macaron with  yoghurt ganache, raspberry and tarragon

  • 250 g white chocolate 33%
  • 125 g yoghurt
  • 80 g butter
  • 25 sugar

Heat the yoghurt and sugar to 60 °C, then pour on the chocolate while stirring. Mix thoroughly. Cool to 35 °C and mix in the butter. Let crystallize.

Coffee macaron with cucumber-apple ganache and cilantro

  • 75 g cucumber-apple-cilantro juice
  • 5 g of sugar
  • 200 g white chocolate 33%
  • 65 g butter

Heat the juice with the sugar to 60 °C. Pour on the chocolate while stirring. Mix thoroughly. Cool to 35 ° C and mix in the butter. Let crystallize.