|Pardon the photo quality. This was taken from my phone to text to an out-of-town Mike. I knew he would be excited to come home!|
As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Ghirardelli® Intense Dark chocolates, I was given the opportunity to taste three varieties of their Intense Dark chocolate line. That's right. I got to sample top quality chocolate for free. You don't need to twist my arm for this one! As a lover of all things chocolate, especially dark chocolate, this was right up my alley.
The task was to share the pairings we put together with the chocolates. I enjoyed some plain, some with coffee, and was busy in the kitchen as well. Well, you'll see...let's get started.
Twilight Delight - 72% cacao
When I first opened my chocolate bounty, Twilight Delight is the chocolate that I was immediately drawn to. After the first bite, I knew I was in trouble. The chocolate is smooth, dark, and is a perfect accompaniment with my coffee (or water, or wine, or milk, or Tuesday...you get the idea). I really wanted to just sit and eat all of this lovely chocolate plain, but the baker inside of me had other ideas. It just so happens, that weekend I rediscovered a brownie recipe,..it was as if fate was working its little hand here. Check out Brown Sugar Brownies for the recipe.
I really enjoyed the Twilight Delight chocolate with the caramel flavors of the brown sugar in these brownies. I also enjoyed Twlight Delight with dried apricots, coconut and pretzels.
Midnight Reverie - 86% Cacao
The darkest of the bunch, Midnight Reverie boasts 86% Cacao, and unrivaled chocolate intensity. To a dark chocolate lover like myself, it's perfect. Again, I really wanted to just enjoy the bar plain (and I definitely did!), but I wanted to make a dessert that would really highlight the beautiful chocolate. The idea of the darkest of dark whipped into a mousse was SO appealing, so I made Chocolate Ricotta Mousse. The Midnight Reverie chocolate was well pronounced throughout this dessert, and the result was a nice dark chocolate treat!
I also enjoyed Midnight Reverie with marshmallows and pretzels.
Sea Salt Soiree - Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Roasted Almonds
How delicious does this sound! There is something about the sweet-salty combination that is so appealing. Now, I did not personally sample this chocolate because I have a tree nut allergy. *tear* Fortunately Mike and my mom were willing and eager participants for this task! They both devoured the chocolate. You really can't go wrong with dark chocolate and almonds, they say. The sea salt puts it over the top, they say. I will have to take their word for it. *tear* So for me, Sea Salt Soiree pairs best with sharing and smiles :) (My taste testers thought they were perfect without accompaniment).
So there you have if folks! While these chocolate pair well with many accompaniments, they are quite delicious just plain. It's nice to have options...and chocolate!
Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was provided with 3 bars and 2 bags of Ghirardelli chocolate for free. The details of my experience are exclusively my opinion, and I was not otherwise influenced or compensated.