North Northamptonshire based food blogger who is obsessed with good food and proper cooking. I'm part of the Midlands Blogging team for the BBC Good Food Shows. This is where I share my own recipes and carry out recipe development and product reviews for brands, including food and wines. Please contact me using the link below.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Mastering the Art of Matching Chocolate & Coffee

Two things every girl loves; good quality chocolate and fresh, wonderful coffee. I was invited to an event to learn the art of pairing chocolate and fresh coffee in one of the private dining rooms of Kettners in Soho, London where we were guided by Master Chocolatier Stefan Bruderer of Lindt & Sprüngli Chocolate and Expert Barrister Robert Henry along with the De'Longhi Primadonna S range of coffee machines

We were given tips on how to properly 'taste' the coffee which included slurping(!) from the cup, tasting the chocolate, allowing it to melt onto the tongue, then to take another drink from your cup. It's amazing how different the coffees taste when infused with the warm, melted chocolate. The flavours of both just come to life in your mouth! I admit that I'm not a lover of Espresso; in fact I'm more of a creamy latte kind of girl. However Robert tried his best to convert me and taught me when to drink it and how to taste the coffee. I will openly admit that my view of it has now changed, but it's still a bit too strong for me.

Stefan didn't have to convince me of my love for Lindt & Sprüngli chocolate however, as I'm already a very big fan. From their Excellence range of Extra Creamy milk and their White Vanilla, through their flavours of blueberry, strawberry, orange, chilli or sea salt to the rich darkness of their 70, 85 or even 90% Cocoa.

We were introduced to several types and varieties of coffee from different parts of the world, from Cambodia to Bolivia and from Brazil to Ethiopia. We were taught how the caffeine was removed from coffee to become decaf which is so popular today. Surprisingly the Espresso coffees we were introduced to were all decaf, but they were rich in taste and left nothing out.

It's amazing how the different types of coffee, with their distinct flavours pair differently (and perfectly) with the different types and flavours of chocolate. For example, the White Vanilla paired beautifully with an Ethiopian Long Black, whilst a Brazilian Cerrado Decaf Espresso matched the Excellence dark chocolate with a hint of sea salt incredibly well.

The De'Longhi Primadonna S coffee machine is an amazing piece of equipment which grinds the beans and produces your different coffees, and includes a 'personal' preference setting to remember just how you love your coffee. Sadly though, however much I would absolutely love one of these machines (which incidentally are available exclusively at Harrods or in John Lewis), at £1195.00, it's a little out of my budget.

With thanks to Stefan, Robert, Lindt & Sprüngli, De'Longhi and the teams at Kettners & Clarion Communications for a very lovely & informative evening. With thanks to all the coffee & caffeine for a sleep free night too!


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