The Many Flavors of Chocolate
PreGel Corporate Pastry Chef & US ITC Manager, Sean Pera, is exploring the delicious spectrum of a never-ending trend: chocolate. Take note of how Chef Pera recommends some uses of chocolate in all its splendorous forms.
With the world of chocolate ever-expanding in its vast choices of flavors and sommelier-esque descriptions, it can sometimes feel as if there’s no limit to the amount of micro and macro flavor trends that chocolate can associate to itself. So let’s ask ourselves what the perfect balance of familiarity and exotic is.
There’s absolutely no doubt that a pink trend is in. Mostly due to the creation of the infamous Ruby chocolate made with unfermented cocoa beans, there seems to have been a jolt in pink-inspired flavors. So, naturally, florals and botanicals are in this year. Everything from rose, rhubarb, berries, hibiscus, cherries and pink spices.
We all grew up with doctors telling us to eat our fruits and veggies, and technically, they never said combine them with chocolate. But, why not? I mean, cocoa beans are in fact a vegetable according to the FDA. So feel free to make fruit and vegetable-inspired ganache for your chocolate bonbons, or mélange some beet powder into your dark chocolate.
And maybe this is my favorite trend for 2019: smoked and fermented chocolate flavors. Chocolate is already made with fermented cocoa beans and gets slight smoky notes from roasting, and if it didn’t, well, it just wouldn’t taste like chocolate. So as natural as fermentation is already to the chocolate world, I’m thinking of different ways to bring fermented flavors into a ganache. Did someone say kombucha?
Smoke is on the rise, quite literally, and smoked chocolate is definitely a good thing. In fact, pretty much anything you smoke is bound to be delicious, but maybe that’s just the Texan in me. It’s fair to say that 2019, so far, has boasted smoke and ‘smokeless’ flavors as highlighted in applications such as Cherrywood infused into cream for ganache, and smoked chocolate tequila sorbet.
It’s true that chocolate is a flavor that never goes out of style, and depending on how you manipulate it, chocolate is an ingredient that is proving to get better with time.