Chocolate + caraway and other pairings

I have been pondering on the chocolate sauerkraut cake I wrote about, and considering the fact that caraway is a spice used in sauerkraut I did some googling… And voilá – I found a page on different chocolate and cognac pairings! In October 2006 a tasting sessions was held for sommeliers – it was hosted by John Campbell (author of “Formulas for flavour”) and sponsored by Hennesy. Here are the chocolate and cognac pairings that were offered:

  • Sage & Carraway Chocolate with Hennessy XO. (Ingredients used: Double cream, Sage, Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate, Isomalt sugar, Glucose syrup, Fondant sugar, Carraway seeds)
  • Peanut & Merlot Vinegar Chocolate with Hennessy Paradis Extra (Ingredients used: Raspberry vinegar, Merlot vinegar, Double cream, Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate, Peanuts, Salt, Cocoa powder)
  • “Another interesting flavour to arise was the peanut and Merlot vinegar chocolates. Whilst trialing the combination of a merlot vinegar flavoured chocolate and the Hennessy Paradis Extra Cognac we noticed an unexpected third flavour element, present only when the two were combined: peanut. We underscored this unusual taste discovery by adding salted and roasted peanuts. The result is amazing”

  • Tobacco Infused Chocolate Ganache with Richard Hennessy (Ingredients used: Whipping cream, Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate, White chocolate, Butter, Tobacco, Cocoa powder)
  • “The long tradition of savouring cognac together with a suitably matched, high-quality cigar led us to the logical conclusion that both of these products must contain taste elements that matched or complemented each other. Once we blended various tobaccos and oak it resulted in a smooth underscore of the tobacco taste that is present when smoking a fine cigar. This coupled with Richard Hennessey makes the experience unique. On further experimentation the Ganache itself delivers the aromas slowly, you therefore savour the chocolate as you would a fine cigar.”

    Any cooks out there who can come up with recipe suggestions for the different chocolate dishes? I have added theses pairings to the list of other known pairings.

    caraway seeds
    Caraway seeds (photo by Joyous! at flickr)


    1. Exceptional timing on your latest post. Bo and I were just discussing chocolate flavour pairings during service tonight. He makes a wicked cheesy mashed potato (raclette, smoked buffalo mozza & buffalo mozza), which we are thinking of combining with chocolate for the next menu. Could be very nice….???

      BTW Martin, thanks for putting my other chocolate combo up and the mention. She is my new baby and I’m looking forward to many happy posts 🙂

    2. I did a lot of baking with caraway (or Kümmel as it is called in German). There is a huge difference in whole seeds and finely ground caraway. íŽf you buy the later prepacked you can basically use sawdust as a substitute. To know about this volatility of ground caraway is very important, especially if your food processing involves high temperatures and/or long heating times. For bread a 50/50 (seeds vs ground) distribution worked best for me, in more richer (i.e. fatter) mixtures I use more ground caraway than whole seeds.

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