Chef Nicole Patel has mastered the art of pairing chocolate with fruit to create decadent fruit-filled truffles that are perfectly balanced and never artificial tasting. How does she do it? Discover the secrets to combining your favorite fruit with rich, creamy chocolate.
Choosing the Right Ingredients for Your Chocolate and Fruit Pairing
Fruit-filled chocolate has gotten a bad reputation over the years thanks to mass-produced chocolates that use artificial flavorings with sugary creams. They couldn’t be farther from real fruit. Which leads us to the first secret of pairing chocolate with fruit.
Use Real Fruit
The first key to successfully pairing chocolate with fruit is to use ingredients that are high quality and natural. Fresh fruit is the most popular option, but dried fruit can also be used when you’re creating chocolates that you don’t plan to eat right away. Look for fruits that are in season and ripe when you want to make a dessert you can enjoy immediately.
Don’t be afraid to venture away from traditional fruits. Chef Nicole uses a wide variety of fruits including oranges, limes and lemons in the Citrus Truffle Collection. With the right chocolate virtually any fruit can become a cacao sensation.
Choose Your Chocolate Carefully
The chocolate you use can enhance the flavor of the fruit or completely mask it. A rule of thumb is the darker the chocolate the more bitter the taste will be. However, it’s always best to taste test first so you know the exact flavor notes you’re working with.
Dark Chocolate – Best with tart and tangy fruits that aren’t easily overwhelmed, but lower percentage dark chocolate works well with almost any fruit in the right ratio.
Milk Chocolate – Best with equally sweet fruits like cherries, mangos and bananas, however, it too pairs well with nearly all fruit regardless of the ratio.
White chocolate – Best with delicate, saccharine fruit flavors such as peach and cantaloupe. The richly sweet taste of white chocolate can also help to balance sour or tangy options like passion fruit.
Balance the Fruit to Chocolate Ratio
Whether it’s an issue of texture or taste, getting the ratio right is important for chocolate fruit pairings. It’s not a matter of having equal parts of chocolate and fruit, but rather balancing the flavor of the ingredients. For example, blueberries are small, but they are very flavorful. The tart taste can come through even when the ratio of chocolate to fruit is high.
Celebrate National Blueberry Month With Chocolate
July is the perfect time to pair chocolate with blueberries. All month long the US Department of Agriculture is encouraging people to indulge in the blueberries as a part of National Blueberry Month.
Blueberries are a native fruit of North America that are known the world over for their amazing health benefits. The fruit is a natural source of:
- Vitamin C
- Dietary Fiber
It’s the peak of the harvest season, and at Delysia Chocolatier we plan to stock up on blueberries for our Blueberry Truffles. Bits of dried blueberries are combined with a rich, dark chocolate ganache to create a touch of sweet tartness in every bite. This chocolate/fruit combination is so good it’s one of the antioxidant-rich chocolates featured in our Wellness Truffle Collection.
Enjoy celebrating National Blueberry Month by pairing chocolate with fruit this July!