Coffee and chocolate have more in common than you can imagine. Chocolatier Zeba Kohli, who has been using this potent pair to create unique gourmet chocolates for over two decades, tells us what makes this combination irresistible
Coffee is a beverage that’s been used over the years and has a fair share of romanticism attached to it. However, the next time you decide to gulp down caffeine be it to stay awake before an exam, to get back to piled up work, to improve athletic performance on the track or field, or to get a high do it in the most delicious way possible: eat it as a chocolate.
Chocolate and coffee have always amazed me. They grow in similar equatorial climates. They’re produced similarly, both originating from the seed of a fruit, which is processed, dried, roasted, and ground prior to consumption. From a tiny bean, you get so many flavours and nutrients. Coffee is an extremely intense and aromatic beverage; chocolate has the same qualities too.
Espresso which is coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans is the base for most coffee beverages. Chocolate takes the edge off something as intense as coffee, bringing out the notes, enhancing and complimenting coffee.
Coffee beans can, at times, have a floral or acidic tone. The most important thing to remember when pairing coffee and chocolates is to pair distinct flavours. Each should hold their own.
When you drink a tall glass of Americano, you shouldn’t pair it with a 100% dark chocolate. A 60-70% dark chocolate would be the ideal match for this.
For a Cappuccino or a Caffe latte, which are milk-based, it is best to combine them with a chocolate with less milk and sugar. You also have to remember that a person who is drinking a latte is usually not very fond of heavy, dark chocolate. 80% dark chocolate will be a good match for this.
>> Single Origin Java is 32% cocoa chocolate which has a dash of coffee and flavours of sweet caramel biscuits. It is refreshingly fruity, with slightly acid touches, pairs well with a delicious creamy mocha, ice cream laced with caramel and chocolate, or a hot or cold mocha smoothie garnished with a caramel chocolate.
>> Caramel Hazelnut Praline — which has a hazelnut centre enrobed in milk chocolate with a coffee flavoured caramelised French biscuit — can be paired with a chocolate drink or ice cream ensconced in roasted caramelised hazelnuts.
>> A luxurious 100% pure dark chocolate ganache (which is a glaze made from chocolate and cream), in a medium dark chocolate shell has the luxury of not counting fat and sugar calories and can be paired with an aromatic tall black coffee beverage. This is perfect for a post lunch coffee.
>> Mocha Mousse, which is a perfect blend of coffee and cream in a medium dark chocolate shell, can be best enjoyed with a frothy Cappuccino.
>> White Coffee Mocha, which is a white chocolate ganache with coffee, enrobed in a creamy white chocolate shell, pairs wonderfully with a dark iced coffee or a strong cold coffee, low on milk and sugar.
>> Indian Spice Chocolate, which has hints of cardamom and cinnamon, is best paired with a nice, strong South Indian coffee.
(As told to Suprita Mitter)