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Excellent flavor combinations

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78 replies to this topic

#1 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 10:11 AM

Theres so many times I wish I had a list of great flavor combo's in my recipe file. I'll read a thread where someone goes off on a riff of great combos. If I don't print it out when I read it, I loose the info.. Because you can't do a search on this topic because it could be in hundreds of threads...forcing you to read thru the whole Forum.

Soooo I was wondering if we could work together as a group?. When you see a some flavor combinations that look really good, would you post a link to it in this thread or copy and paste the combo's here?

The idea is, anyone could print out this page and have a great list of combinations as a handy reference tool.

#2 Lesley C

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 11:00 AM

OK, I'll get the ball rolling...chocolate and vanilla. :wink:

On a more serious note...

pistachio and cherry
chocolate and passion fruit
rum and praline
white chocolate and bitter orange
peanut and gingerbread
and, who could forget the classic pear and caramel

Edited by Lesley C, 12 December 2005 - 11:11 AM.

#3 Ling

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 11:38 AM

-dark chocolate + beet
-dark chocolate + banana + dark rum
-dark chocolate + apricot
-dark chocolate + candied ginger
-dark chocolate + ancho chili + cinnamon
-dark chocolate + cashew + fleur de sel
-dark chocolate + lemon (not a personal favourite, but I've seen it done)
-dark chocolate + raspberry
-dark chocolate + pumpkin + pumpkin seed brittle
-dark chocolate + coffee
-dark chocolate + burnt caramel
-dark chocolate + allspice + fivespice
-dark chocolate + lavender
-dark chocolate + crunchy, salted peanut butter
-dark chocolate + tangerine
-dark chocolate + cherry + kirsch + almond

-milk chocolate + honey
-milk chocolate + rice krispies (not a flavour, really...)
-milk chocolate + almond

-white chocolate + any berry
-white chocolate + pumpkin
-white chocolate + chai
-white chocolate + persimmon
-white chocolate + kumquat + cranberry

-ginger + cardamon + cinnamon
-pistachio + cranberry
-pear/quince + port + blue cheese
-eggnog + gingerbread + pear
-blue cheese + fig + balsamic
-balsamic + strawberry
-coconut + macadamia + pineapple
-mango + lychee
-pink peppercorn + rhubarb + blue cheese
-manchego + sherry
-bourbon + pecan + maple syrup
-lemon + thyme or rosemary
-almond (or marzipan) + pear
-ricotta (or any mild, soft cheese) + strawberry + balsamic
-raisin + cinnamon
-rosewater + saffron
-chestnut + caramel
-butternut squash + marscapone
-coconut + cashew or macadamia
-kaffir lime + coconut
-matcha + sesame
-browned butter + any nut + chocolate caramel
-buttermilk + blueberry

Edited by Ling, 12 December 2005 - 11:46 AM.

#4 Badiane

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 11:55 AM

Ling, is that a list of stuff you ate over the weekend? :smile:

You should print that on laminated cards and send them to all the chefs you know in a Christmas card.

I have to find some bitter oranges...I just had a vision of white chocolate cups with bitter orange filling.
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#5 Ling

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 11:57 AM

^haha...I can think of some more but I'll post again tonight or in a few days--I'm hogging the thread! :laugh:

#6 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 11:58 AM

Auesome start!

#7 ludja

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 12:04 PM

Nice start so far!


chesnut, vanilla and rum
chestnut and dark chocolate, with or without rum

hazlenuts and dark chocolate

lemon, rum and vanilla

walnuts, lemon, rum, vanilla

walnuts, dark chocoalte and rum

apricot jam and dark chocolate

hazelnuts or walnuts and apricot or raspberry jam

ground poppyseeds, (raisins), lemon. vanilla

caramel and dark chocolate

anise and lemon and vanilla


mexican chocolate flavors:
chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla, alnonds (plus or minus orange zest) and (plus or minus chile)

peach and habenero chile
apple and New Mexico green chile
cherries and chipotle chiles
(this are inspired by the pie man in Albuquerque--I've tried the peach combination but can also definately picture the cherry being good as well)

coconut and lime
coconut, dark chocolate (and plus or minus cinnamon)

lemon, almonds and vanilla
almonds and kirsch

fresh figs and raspberries and anise

Vanilla by itself!!!

Edited by ludja, 12 December 2005 - 12:06 PM.

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

#8 sanrensho

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 12:38 PM

Does anyone have any suggestions for combos with lemon specifically? TIA

Lemon + almond
Lemon + vanilla
Lemon + coconut
Lemon + white chocolate
Lemon + raspberry
Lemon + (other citrus)
Lemon + ???
Baker of "impaired" cakes...

#9 Michael M

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 12:44 PM

OK, someone at some time will co-opt this thread into unusual flavors that go well together, one of my favorite subjects (remember as a kid mixing everything you could find in the spice cupboard into your latest dish?) (or was that just me?).

Miso + toasted pecans
Raisins + butter + garlic (on noodles...not really a pastry thing, but had to add)

More mainstream:

sherry + nuts, especialy almonds
figs + rum/brandy/marsala +/- chocolate
balsamic vinegar + strawberries, or really any berry

#10 k43

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 01:10 PM

From Michael Roberts, "secret ingredients" (flavor enhancers, themselves undetectable when used in small amounts):

- lobster + vanilla
- pork + honey, coriander, clove, orange
- pork + madeira or balsamic vinegar
- pork + mustard and capers
- pork + peanut butter
- onions, or anything that goes with them (e.g., stews) + balsamic vinegar
- popcorn + fresh cumin seeds, toasted and ground
- corn + chile

- pork + ground cumin, ground cardamom, ground clove, powdered ginger
- Angostura bitters on most meats and vegetables
- nuoc mam or nam pla on meats (adds umami)
- Grated ginger on almost anything. Fresh ginger freezes well. Cut into pieces the size of the last joint of your thumb and grate it frozen. Ginger Juice from The Ginger People is also excellent.

Edited by k43, 12 December 2005 - 01:11 PM.

#11 ruthcooks

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 01:20 PM

Wendy, I keep two Word files for reference. One I call "Tips and Techniques" which includes flavor combinations, menu combinations, etc., and the other is "Quotes" where I keep words of wisdom, mostly on food, that I may wish to quote someday.

Are you looking exclusively for baking/sweet combos? I rely on "Culinary Artistry" for inspiration on most foods.
Ruth Dondanville aka "ruthcooks"

“Are you making a statement, or are you making dinner?” Mario Batali

#12 lemon curd

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 01:44 PM

Are you looking exclusively for baking/sweet combos?  I rely on "Culinary Artistry" for inspiration on most foods.

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Similar to the Culinary Artistry flavour combinations, Andrew MacLauchlan's The Making of a Pastry Chef includes ingredient flavour combinations. There are not near as many listed but it is a useful reference.
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#13 SuzySushi

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 02:12 PM

Ling, you make me proud!

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#14 John DePaula

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 03:26 PM

pistachio + strawberry
passion fruit + mango

BTW, Ling, what an awesome list!

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#15 Steven Blaski

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 03:35 PM

I've always been puzzled by the ubiquitous pairing of chocolate & raspberry. I find it jarring. Anyone else agree?

#16 spaghetttti

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 07:17 PM

Coconut + cinnamon
Coconut + cardamom
Coconut + ginger
Yetty CintaS
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#17 pastrymama

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 07:36 PM

I've always been puzzled by the ubiquitous pairing of chocolate & raspberry. I find it jarring. Anyone else agree?

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I have to make cakes all the time that are chocolate with raspberry filling, usually jam with fresh berries. I personally don't like it, but so many requests must mean others do.

Edited by pastrymama, 12 December 2005 - 07:37 PM.

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#18 Pan

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 08:45 PM

A baker am I not, but here are some really good gelato combinations:

Chocolate and hazelnut
Strawberry and lemon

And I see nobody has mentioned "the lime and the coconut" yet. That's not only a good song but also a very good combination. Better yet if you use a more fragrant tropical lime like kaffir lime or Malaysian limau nipis.

Bananas and plantains go terrifically with rum (flambeed!) and dulce de leche.

#19 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 08:49 PM

I've always been puzzled by the ubiquitous pairing of chocolate & raspberry. I find it jarring. Anyone else agree?

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Depends upon how it's done. It can be jarring, I agree completely. Chocolate, raspberry and cinnamon are excellent companions.

#20 Ling

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 09:21 PM

And I see nobody has mentioned "the lime and the coconut" yet.

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I mentioned it already. :smile:

Thanks for the praise, everyone. :blush:

#21 merstar

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 10:26 PM

cranberry and almond
chocolate and espresso
chocolate and chocolate
There's nothing better than a good friend, except a good friend with CHOCOLATE.

#22 Pan

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Posted 12 December 2005 - 11:26 PM

And I see nobody has mentioned "the lime and the coconut" yet.

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I mentioned it already. :smile:

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Ah, so you did, as did Ludja, making me third to mention that combo.

But no-one has mentioned pineapple and coconut yet. Have any of you tried Dominican cocopiñas? Yum! (Include lots of butter.)

#23 freddurf

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 12:20 AM

passion fruit + banana

passion fruit + macadamia nut

passion fruit + mac. nut + coconut

#24 ksaw29

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 03:46 AM

Favorite Ganache recipes

I book marked this thread. I loved the combinations.

#25 Syrah

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 04:23 AM

pistachio and cherry

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Hmm would this work in a salad? It is cherry season here now, but I will not waste the fresh ones with too much cooking. I can't quite taste it in my mind's eye.

#26 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 07:05 AM

Here's a qoute from Ling. It was on a thread asking for flavor ideas doing creme brulee trio's.

"-amaretto, Grand Marnier, dark rum
-caramelized banana, dark chocolate, dark rum
-toasted coconut, macadamia (would this be good? maybe the bits of nuts would ruin the creamy mouthfeel?), pineapple
-ginger, cardamom, cinnamon
-pear, vanilla with a reduced port sauce, blue cheese"

#27 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 07:37 AM

Here's a qoute from Bripastryguy, that I saved because I liked it so much:

"along these lines.... I will be donating my time to a charity I give to every year which is in my local community....

Evening of Good Tatse to benefit South Nassau Community Hospital...
I will be in the Chocolate Pavillion sponsered by Cacao Noel and Paris Gourmet

I will be preparing 4 passed desserts

Cream filled madeliene's with warm chocolate fondue

Passionfruit Creamsicle
passion fruit curd, passion gelee and white chocolate foam

Banana Cloud and praline crunch
toasted banana chiboust, banana ganache and praline crunch garnished with a banana chip dipped in chocolate sea salt

Chocolate Brownie tart with mascarpone mousse and cabarnet cherry jam"

#28 MelissaH

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 08:00 AM

The one I'm not quite sure of is mint with ANY and EVERY dessert.

Apart from that, I adore the chocolate/raspberry combo (the taste of visiting my grandfather: those chocolate-covered raspberry jelly rings), and I also enjoy chocolate with orange (but it's gotta be real orange, nothing fake that tastes like something I once made in organic chem lab). Hazelnut and chocolate (with or without raspberry) is also terrific in my book, although not terribly original. My husband's enamored of chocolate with lemon, after tasting something like that during a tour of a Las Vegas chocolate factory many moons ago, but I'm not quite sure I'd want to try and duplicate it at home.

One of my favorite herb teas is mint with lemongrass. I've occasionally made brewed tea into sugar syrup, and mixed that with lemon juice to make a sorbet. (This is one dessert for which the ubiquitous sprig-of-mint garnish would be appropriate!)

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#29 etalanian

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 07:03 PM

Great thread! Thanks, Wendy.

dark chocolate + ancho chile + espresso
lemon + basil
goat cheese + fig + port + rosemary
goat cheese + long pepper + apples or pears
chai spices + green tea powder (matcha) + cheesecake + plum brandy sauce
dark chocolate ice cream + homemade dark chocolate chips + fresh spearmint
banana + cinnamon + creme fraiche + dulce de leche
butterscotch + rum
blood oranges + balsamic
blood oranges + zinfandel
lime + cilantro
mascarpone cheesecake + fresh berries
blueberries + corn
mango + caramel sauce
pate a choux + lemon
lemon + orange blossom honey
cookies containing dried fruits and nuts + fleur de sel
hazelnuts + meyer lemon + berries
bananas + pineapple + coconut + rum + black pepper wafers
valencia oranges + honey + saigon cinnamon
pears + ginger + lemon

and my favorite savory: filet of beef + fig balsamic + long pepper

This is a GREAT thread!!
Eileen Talanian
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[size="3"]As for butter versus margarine, I trust cows more than chemists. ~Joan Gussow[/size]

#30 tb86

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Posted 13 December 2005 - 08:29 PM

ok here are some of my favorites

candied fennel + meyer lemon + absinthe (king 100cl thjuone per l) + sugar + fire = fun

rosemary + 65% choc

thyme + 64% choc <manjari>

fennel seeds + white chocolate

tarragon ice cream + chocolate

saffron + 72% choc

curry + coconut + chocolate

foie gras + muscat + vanilla ice cream = foie gras mlkshake

black truffle + sugar + cream + water = truffle caramel sauce

mango puree + curry = sorbet

roobios tea + lobster

yuzu + champagne = drink + ice cream = sorbet

tonka bean + scallop

tonka bean + milk chocolate

amaretto + kalamansi lime

saffron + white chocolate

saffron + honey + pear

apple sorbet + bacon + caramel + balsalmic

creme fraiche + black pepper + figs

grahm maslal + lebne (middle eastern yougurt like fage only much better)

espelette pepper + macadamia nuts + caramel + maldon sea salt

white truffle flour + madeline batter (10%)

porchini mushroom + brioche + brulee + black walnut = porchini bread pudding