Thursday, October 11, 2012

An Intense Chocolate Experience with Ghirardelli®

“Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world's perfect food. ”
― Michael Levine

Imagine, if you will, a time when you just need to escape for a few minutes to unwind from your hectic day. You choose a quiet, pleasant room. Perhaps the lights are dimmed and some soothing music is playing. There is a soft, comfortable chair to sink into, and within reach, is a cup filled with some warm, soothing tea and a selection of the world’s most comforting food….dark, rich chocolate!

Now, imagine that you're celebrating an important event in your life by having a few friends over for a relaxing evening. The conversation is pleasant and the atmosphere is joyous.  Glasses are filled with the best wine, and there are small plates of pleasing appetizers.  The food is as cohesive as the camaraderie—everything pairs well together. The main attraction? A selection of fine, flavor -infused, dark, rich chocolate!

The great thing about these different scenarios is that they aren't far-fetched. There are few who won't admit to the comforting effects of chocolate—especially if the chocolate is smooth, and full of flavor. Now, pair this beautiful chocolate with some other favorite foods and you have for yourself a chocolate experience….

Recently, I was invited to participate in the DailyBuzz Food Tastemaker Program with Ghirardelli Intense Dark™.  No less than seven different Ghirardelli Intense Dark™ flavors showed up at my door, each one ready to be paired with whatever food or beverage I saw fit. This is the most fun I have had with food in a long time.

Savoring chocolate is a much about the texture as it is about the taste, wouldn't you agree? I had a lot of chocolate to taste, but one thing that each flavor had in common was the smooth, silky feel of the chocolate as it melted in my mouth. Since my favorite flavors always include nuts, the Hazelnut Heaven™ and the Toffee Interlude™ (which includes caramelized almonds), gave me some satisfying crunch, too. My vote for the best taste went to the Sea Salt Soiree™-- with coarse salt and slow roasted almonds, it gave a nice contrast of sweet and salty.

So, what kind of pairing did I do? Not nearly enough! I paired the Hazelnut Heaven™ with soft cheese, a fresh baguette, and some Merlot. The Toffee Interlude™ went well with sour apple slices and some Brie. I tried the Sea Salt Soiree™ with a few crispy spice cookies and a cup of green tea. Finally, I cooked up a few slices of bacon (!) and paired it with the Twilight Delight™ (72% Cacao). Can we say chocolate for breakfast?

Yes, I went there. That is bacon in the picture.

There's no shortage of nuts in the Hazelnut Dream (the bottom two pieces) or toffee and caramelized almonds in the Toffee Interlude.

So, I didn't have a chance to make all of the pairings that I thought about. Don't you think a little orange liqueur would go nicely with some of the darker chocolate, like the Midnight Reverie™ (86% Cacao)? And I didn't even touch the different coffees that would be so delicious with chocolate. Or fresh berries. The list goes on...I may have to have a tasting party.

What would YOU pair with chocolate?

This post is brought to you by Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate.


  1. Wow on all you have tried!! I think I'd like to try the Sea Salt Soiree with a Kir Royale, a few raspberries & maybe a Idiazabal cheese??

    1. Oh my gosh, Laurie, that sounds so good! The possibilities are endless! :)

  2. Mmmnnn! I want some chocolate. I like it with coffee.

    1. Yes! I was speaking to some co-workers and we decided that a nice piece of chocolate is a good sub for fattening desserts...just pair it with some great coffee. One gal even dips the chocolate in her coffee to get it all melty.