As chocolate addicts well know, there is no reason that chocolate needs to be confined to the desert menu. Fine restaurants around the world are integrating chocolate into multitudes of dishes to create delicate flavour contrasts. Here are a few delicious taste combinations to keep your eye out for next time you are in a fine dining establishment.
Chocolate and gamey meat
Chocolate is a great accompaniment to gamey meat such as venison or rabbit, or game birds. The texture of the meat complements a slightly bitter chocolate sauce and rounds out the tannins in a wine or tea based drink. It's a great way to provide a really "full mouth" meal that isn't overly spicy or rich.
If you want to try this at home, try slow cooking rabbit with 70% chocolate and red wine for 6 hours, and serve with slow roasted potatoes for a massive wow factor. At a restaurant, this will be more often served in winter or autumn to work with the rich flavours and textures.
Chocolate and breakfast staples
Chocolate for breakfast often brings to mind children's breakfast cereals, but chocolate for breakfast doesn't need to childlike. Look for combinations of dark chocolate with dried cranberries or raspberries to provide a complex angle to your French toast or pain au chocolate. Dark chocolate oatmeal is also delicious and goes well with a milky cappuccino to provide a long-lasting chocolate energy hit belying the fact it tastes much like a chocolate pudding.
Mid afternoon delight
If you fancy a chocolate treat mid afternoon, and find yourself slumping without that chocolate fix, don't despair. Adding some raw cacao powder to an afternoon smoothie, with some avocado and banana, can turn the chocolate craving into a healthy, well balanced nutritional boost that can keep you going all the way to dinner. A cacao-based smoothie is also wonderful after an intense gym workout; it helps to replace some of the fluid and minerals lost during your intense workout.
If you need a more intense energy hit, the traditional mocha coffee (with a combination of hot chocolate and coffee) can give you some energy without quite as much caffeine as a standard coffee. It's a great alternative for coffee and chocolate fans that are sensitive to caffeine.
As you can see chocolate is starting to sneak it's way onto all sections of the restaurant menu, which is good news for choco-oholics everywhere! For more information or questions about chocolate options on menus, contact a business such as Empire Grill.