Friday, July 20, 2007
Tasting Parties Part 1: Chocolate
I'm gearing up for another segment on KNSD 7/39 this morning -- but at least I can get some sleep since it's for Streetside San Diego, which starts at 10 a.m.
The topic du jour is tasting parties -- a great way to combine fun with a little education. Tasting parties are about exploring one single food or drink and getting to know how its flavor changes depending on how or where it's made. The goal is finding what appeals to your palate.
I presented ideas for a chocolate tasting party, which can be done with chocolates made with different percentages of cocoa, which the range of Scharffen Berger Chocolates shows wonderfully. The line goes from a 41 percent cocoa milk chocolate to an 82 percent cocoa dark chocolate.
Then there's the Lake Champlain Select Origin chocolates, which show the differences between chocolates sourced from Tanzania, Sao Thome (an island off Africa) and Grenada.
Or if you want someone else to do the work for you, pick up an assortment of chocolate desserts from the best bakery in town. Michele Coulon Dessertier in La Jolla makes a range of mini choclate desserts from white chocolate and passion fruit tartlets to chocolate truffle cake to mini cheese cakes to bittersweet chocolate and cherry cake.
The chocolate theme inspired me to make up a fizzy chocolate cocktail, that recalls the old-fashion ice cream sodas my mom made working at College Pharmacy in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It goes upscale with in a champagne glass and sipped through a Christofle silver champagne straw. I know, the sake sounds weird, but trust me!
Chocolate Sake Soda
This would be divine with a bittersweet chocolate ganache as its base, but if you don't feel like making that, Hershey's chocolate syrup works just fine.
1 tablespoon chocolate ganache or syrup
1 ounce Kahlua coffee liqueur
4 to 5 ounces Zipang sparkling sake, chilled
1 tablespoon vanilla ice cream
Add chocolate ganache or syrup to a champagne flute. Next add the Kahlua and stir lightly to combine. Slowly add the sparkling sake, so it doesn't fizz over your glass. When the bubbles subside a bit, add the vanilla ice cream. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Maria Hunt "The Bubbly Girl" All rights reserved.