Senin, 07 Maret 2011
Try Pairing Chocolate and Beer
There is a buzz about pairing chocolate with wine. Well, what about pairing chocolate and beer? Beer has flavor complexities that pair well with chocolates without the tannins and acidity that wine often brings into the equation.
One of the things that makes the combination of chocolate and beer great is that it is rather unusual, yet the pairings can work well! From a social perspective, people who don't like beer often do like chocolate so everyone can participate at some level.
Just as a quick experiment to see how this can work, don't just drink your next beer. Taste it, and see if you can find toasty, caramel, toffee, roasted, chocolate, coffee, and/or fruity notes in your beer. All these same flavor notes can be found in chocolate.
Through much experimentation, beer drinkers have discovered that a number of different beer styles pair well with the both the unique flavors of, and sweetness of, chocolate.
Dark beers, such as porters and stouts, are made using a good deal of roasted or burnt barley malt. The flavors imparted tend to pair well with chocolate.
Strong stouts, especially Imperial stouts, can match quite well with chocolate desserts. The reason is that, like coffee, it offers your mouth a break from the sweetness of the dessert. With that said, Cream Stouts don't pair well because the sweetness of lactose tends to conflict with the sweetness of the dessert. Classic dry Irish Stouts such as Guinness do not have the proper intensity so they are also not a good match.
Belgian-style ales, typically amber to brown in color, have higher alcohol content yet are typically flavorful and smooth. The yeast used in these ales has a lot of underlying fruit tones, especially among the Trappist-style dubbels (doubles). As a result you might notice caramel, layers of banana, apple, apricot and peach, with cinnamon, nutmeg, or clove spices.
Fruit-flavored Belgian Lambic beers pair well with dark chocolate, especially with cacao percentages at 60% or higher. The tartness of these fruity beers pairs nicely with the semi-sweet chocolate. For a special treat, try a berry-flavored truffle with dried berries and amber ale.
India Pale Ale has higher alcohol and hops content that regular beers. The extra hops makes this beer more bitter. Such beers tend to pair well with malt-flavor truffles, gourmet malt balls, and even a variety of chocolate and nut combinations. The malty flavors pair well together even though the bitterness of the beer and sweetness of the malt are opposites.
Now you have no more excuses. Grab a beer and some chocolate, and experiment to find a combination that you enjoy. Then share with a friend. Chocolate is meant to be shared.