Spice up your chocolate consumption

Bombay Bad Boy chocolate cheesecake recipe

Spice is nice in all things. Much like much-maligned salt, there are few foodstuffs that don’t benefit from its judicious  addition. Strewing spice of some sort into any lacklustre culinary creation is a bit like flinging a fistful of glitter at a boring, bland background; turning it technicolour and bringing it, sparklingly, to life.

And if the initial edible is excellent in its own right, introducing a spicy partner to the proceedings can elevate it even further, taking it to tongue-tingling territory. As is the case with these chocolates…

Zotter Saffron and pistachios hand-scooped chocolate bar

Zotter saffron pistachios spiced chocolate bar

 Laying a saffron-spiced ganache atop a pistachio marzipan and double-wrapping the duo in 40% milk chocolate demonstrates why saffron and pistachios are such a popular pairing in both Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines.


Artisan du Chocolate Black cardamom chocolate bar

Artisan du chocolate black cardamom chocolate bar

 Smoky, incense-like, elegant black cardamom is a revelation when paired with a dose of its fresh, citrussy green sibling and the intense South American chocolate in this bar.


Mast Brothers Vanilla & Smoke chocolate bar

Harvey Nichols Smoke and vanilla chocolate dark Mast Brothers bar

Don’t let preconceptions of Brooklyn hipsters put you off this intriguing creation from the American artisans.  Just nab a bar of the 71%, smoky-sweet vanilla treat from the new London store and shut the hell up.


Troffle

Troffle chocolate box

As LMFAO (almost) once sung in Party Rock Anthem, ‘Errrryday I’m Trofflin’. With Cardamom & coriander, Saffron & nutmeg and Turkish coffee & clove ganache chocs in this range, I’d happily dip in on a daily basis.


The Chocolatier Black olive and pink peppercorn chocolate bar

The Chocolatier black oilve pink peppercorn chocolate bar

 Introducing inky, salty-savoury black olives and the fruity, gin-like zing of pink pepper to rich, just-sweet-enough 70% chocolate demonstrates Aneesh Popat to be a man of exemplary taste.


Akesson’s 75% Trinitario & wild voatsiperifery pepper chocolate bar

Akesson's Madagascar Ambolikapiky Plantation 75 Trinitatio and wild vaoatiperifery pepper dark chocolate bar

If you’re planning to pick a pepper to pair with chocolate made with the cocoa grown on your own estate, it stands to reason you should select the spice that shares the same soil. Vibrant, vivacious, v good.


Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé Seasoned hot paprika chocolate bar

rozsavolgyi. csokolade Hot paprika spiced chocolate bar

Paprika in chocolate is none too common; but on the tables of Hungary the spice is an omnipresent seasoning just like salt and pepper. It’s beautiful in this bar from bean-to-bar-istas Rózsavölgyi.


Zotter Aniseed on muscovado nougat hand-scooped chocolate bar

Zotter Aniseed on muscovado nougat chocolate bar

For a liquorice-lover  like me, anything aniseed is guaranteed to please. Particularly when it’s in white chocolate ganache that’s nestled against a nougat layer, fulsome of flavour from brown sugar.


The East India Company Chocolate spice selection

The East India Company Chocolate Spice Selection chocolate bars

 A tippity-top trio indeed: Dark chocolate spiked with breath-freshening fennel; a nutmeg-laced sweet milk chocolate bar that tastes like fresh custard tarts; and a rich, dark bar peppered with sprightly red peppercorns.


Zotter Sacramental wine and frankincense hand-scooped chocolate bar

Zotter Sacramental Wine and Frankincense

Frankicense’s flavour is all incense-y, ancient, and mythical – and works wonderfully in Chocolarder’s ‘Three Kings’ bar. Here, it’s in a white ganache, twinned with a sharp, fruity red wine-and-redcurrant counter-layer.


 Rococo Cardamom white chocolate Bee Bar

Rococo Cardamom white chocolate bee bar

Creamy, rich white chocolate and cool, citrussy cardamom both beguiles and bewitches. It might sound strange, but with its menthol notes, green cardamom is as good a match with chocolate as mint.


 Artisan du Chocolat Mole chocolate bar

Artisan di chocolat mole chilli chocolate bar spiced

 Adding chocolate to a Mexican mole is nothing new, but this bar flips the idea on its head; conching and refining Columbian cocoa beans with just enough mole mixture to add flavour and fire.


The Chocolatier Candied fennel seed chocolate bar

The Chocolatier Candied fennel seed chocolate bar

 You might have chewed candied fennel seeds as a post-prandial palate-freshener at a curryhouse, eaten alongside the chocolate that commonly accompanies the bill. Think that combo, but oh so much better.


Zotter Namaste India hand-scooped chocolate bar

Zotter Namaste India spiced chocolate bar

Quite simply, super-food for The Spice Scribe/Cocoa Nut. A posh-Caramac-kinda coating conceals a coconut nougat layer and a gorgeous ganache that’s generously gingered, chilli-ed and cardamom-ed.


LAKRIDS Chocolate-coated liquorice

Artisan di chocolat mole chilli chocolate bar spiced

I love all sorts of liquorice confections, but these are a bit better than Bertie Bassett’s. The Belgian chocolate balls feature a double liquorice hit; a gourmet nugget at their heart, and a tangy powdered coating.


Zotter Ayurvedic Relaxation Treatment hand-scooped chocolate bar

Zotter handscooped chocolate bar Ayurvedic Relaxation Treatment

It’s inspired by ayurveda so  it’s surely good for you. Well, at the very least, it’s vegan – soy milk chocolate is used for both the coating and the richly-spiced date ganache that sits on sesame nougat.


 The Chocolatier Saffron & hazelnut chocolate bar

The Chocolatier saffron hazelnut chocolate bar

 The lightly-medicinal, earthy-savoury saffron notes are superb with the rich, buttery-nutty sweetness of toasted hazelnuts; and the two terrific in tandem, paired with deep, dark chocolate.

  • To read more about The Chocolatier, Aneesh Popat, click here
  • To read more about The East India Company’s chocolate products, click here
  • To read more about innovative Zotter chocolate, click here
  • To read more about Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé‘s Great Taste Award-winning bean-to-bar chocolate, click here
  • To read a review of Chantal Coady’s ‘Rococo: Mastering the Art of Chocolate’, click here

 

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7 responses to “Spice up your chocolate consumption

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