When asked what food I would take if banished to a desert island, my answer always includes chocolate - dark chocolate to be exact. I am a sucker for a delicious square that effortlessly melts in your mouth into a rich luxurious puddle of deliciousness. So when I was invited to enjoy a chocolate inspired dinner at Toronto's Auberge du Pommier, I couldn't resist.
While it might not seem like a natural fit to pair chocolate with savoury dishes, the flavour complexity of a good chocolate has the ability to enhance both sweet and savoury alike.
Chef de cuisine Malcom Campbell, was asked to use the exquisite Cacao Barry chocolate to create the evenings menu. Cacao Barry has been a purveyor of the most refined and delicate cocoa and chocolate for more than 170 years. More than just purveyors, they are champions of both cacao farmers and chefs, ensuring consumers get the best chocolate experience possible! As you can imagine, when a top chef uses premium chocolate products to create a meal, the outcome is nothing less than fabulous. Chef Malcolm prepared six courses, all including one of the premium chocolates from Cacao Barry and two secret ingredients - turnip and pumpernickel.
Although most home cooks will never attempt such complex dishes, there are ways to incorporate chocolate into your everyday recipes. Try adding a tablespoon of good quality cocoa to your chili or stew. The bitterness of the cocoa adds a depth of flavour and balances out the sweetness of other ingredients. Another idea is to grind a tablespoon of cacao nibs and add them to your favourite dry rub for ribs or steak.
Chef Malcom Campbell Menu featuring Cacao Barry
First Course: foie gras, bone marrow, Alunga milk chocolate parfait, grue de cacao & pumpernickel brioche, peach and radish compot
Second course: seared scallop, pumpernickel crust, Alto et Sol Plantation dark chocolate, navel agrodolce, artichoke, smoked butter carrot
Third course: cacao butter poached lobster, Zephyr white chocolate & turnip veloute, pumpernickel croutes, crispy ginger, cavier
Fourth course: veal tenderloin, pumpernickel & tongue choux farci. Madeira pickled chantrelles & turnip, pomme risolees
Dessert: La Pomme d'Auberge - elderflower & apple bavarois, pumpernickel streusel, turnip & caramel Zephyr anglaise
Dessert: Chocolat (pictured at the top of the post)La Esmerelda ReRe chocolate mousse, orange cremeux, turnip chips, smoked honey & pumpernickel creme glace