Do you know? Before a chocolate dessert is presented to you, a lot of thought processes are put into the crafting of the recipes. During this stage, the chef needs to choose the right chocolate for its creation and the difference can be drastic depending on his final choice.
So how do you go about choosing the right chocolate for your dessert? For part one of this series: I will share with you some tips on how to select the best chocolate for your chocolate creations. Trust me, it isn’t rocket science; all of it boils down to experience, creativity and a little magic.
1. Type of Chocolate
It’s down to the basic, which chocolate are you using, Dark, Milk or White? Dark chocolates are more complex as it has many different variations with distinctive taste profiles. Whereas milk and white chocolate are more comforting and creamy.
2. Cocoa Percentage
The percentage of chocolate refers to how much cocoa solids that is present in the chocolate and it mainly applies to only dark chocolate, and some milk chocolates. Chocolates with higher percentage of cocoa content usually are less sweet with more intense taste profile.
3. Taste Profile
The taste profile depends on the cocoa composition in the chocolate and it varies depending on the origin of the cocoa mass.
For example, cocoa mass from Ivory Coast has an intense cocoa flavour found in most chocolate while cocoa mass from Dominican Republic has a distinctive fruity note.
4. Chocolate Pairing
The suitability of chocolate with other ingredients in your dessert and the flavour that you ultimately want to achieve are the most important factors when pairing chocolate.
Usually, chocolates with a stronger cocoa note matches strong bold flavours such as coffee whereas a creamy white chocolate which has no cocoa flavours matches well with subtle flavours such as Jasmine Tea.
5. Types of Dessert
What kind of dessert you are creating, Plated Dessert, Verrines, Cakes? Different kind of dessert requires different chocolates, for example in small portion plated dessert, chocolate with intense flavours are chosen to bring out the flavours.
In summary, you have to bear in mind that it is not simply choosing a chocolate that you like but the chocolate used should be able to complement and harmonise with the other ingredients, making sure that it does not overpower the paired flavours.
Next week, we will look in depth to the different type of chocolate for different dessert.
Chef Jacques Poulain