A Cheat Sheet To What Pairs Best

When you think of desserts, usually a chocolate or fruit-based dish comes to mind. Both are classic dessert ingredients that transcend the ages. When you combine the two together, they become a powerful force that can make any dish pop. Whether made at home or in the world’s best pastry chef’s kitchen, chocolate and fruits are a harmonious match made in heaven, when paired right.
While the varietals of chocolate are widespread and have many characteristics and flavor notes, milk, dark and white chocolate tend to be the standards to which these pairings are made. White chocolate’s rich, sweet and creamy taste pairs well with fruits that have acidity, such as citrus, and tang, such as berries. It also plays nicely with very sweet fruits such as melons and peaches. Dark chocolate, known for its bitter bite, helps neutralize very sweet fruits such as bananas. However, its properties also create a combo with citrus fruits that pack an edgy punch for true chocolate connoisseurs. Milk chocolate falls in the middle of white and dark chocolate, making it a match for fruits with varying levels of sweetness and acidity.
Whether using milk, dark or white chocolate it’s always important to taste the chocolate to determine what flavor notes it does carry to optimize flavor combinations. is a great resource with a flavor note wheel to help guide tastings. Chocolate can carry fruity, spicy, nutty and earthy flavor notes, for example. Optimizing flavor combinations doesn’t stop with chocolate, however. When using fresh fruit be sure to taste it as well – varying degrees of ripeness, acidity, seasonality and other factors will affect the bitterness, sweetness and aromas of the fruit, and its ability to play well with chocolate. Compounds, purees and extracts are also great flavorings that ensure a stable and consistent fruit flavor. Check out our table of recommended chocolate and fruit pairings created from various sources and chefs. Review it, test it and best of luck on your next chocolate and fruit pairing. If you don’t see a fruit on there or have questions, feel free to reach out to PreGel’s Professional Training Center by emailing