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Chocolate Tasting Party


RobertM
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Everyone:

I am hosting a Chocolate Tasting Party on 2/14/2009. This will be my second CTP and I'm looking to anyone here for assistance in the menu. If I may explain:

While I have different chocolates available for tasting (e.g. different % of dark chocolate from different manuf) the party itself is a "dessert" party, with three desserts and matching wines. one dessert of White Chocolate, one from Milk Chocolate and the third and last with Dark Chocolate.

My previous party had a White Choc Rounds of Mousse with Raspberry Coulis paired with ice wines; Milk Chocolate Cheesecake with a delicious Pinot Noir and ending with a flourless chocolate cake and Port)

This party I've already decided on a White Chocolate pudding with Citrus and a dark chocolate cake with pomegranite and cranberry jelly). Notice what's missing? The milk chocolate dessert - and so my friends, I turn to you - does anyone here have any suggestions for an amazing milk chocolate dessert?

I'm trying to make them "different" from each other - notice pudding/cheesecake/flourless cake -

Also - please note, I like to think I'm a more advanced pastry cook (no - won't use the word chef) than I probably am -

Any ideas, recipes etc are greatly appreciated.

Bless you all and a Happy New Year

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I also noticed that the Feb. 2009 issue of Food & Wine has a feature on milk chocolate desserts e.g. Milk Chocolate Tart with Pretzel Crust, among others. Check it out.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Many Thanks - I was searching some books last night - and will (of course) add your suggestions to the pile to review - I think I created a monster with the first party, because our friends have been asking us for some time now when the next party will be.

You can see my issue - I have to create something as memorable as the first...

Thanks again

Bob

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Last night we sat and reviewed our potential menu, making the semi-final decisions. We decided on the following for each course:

1 st Course: lime curd/citrus salad topped with white chocolate mousse

2nd Course: Milk Chocolate Tart with Gold Leaf

3rd Course: Dark Chocolate and Pomegranate Cake with Dark Chocolate ganache

We have a friend who is a wine wholesaler here in the area. Tomorrow we present her with the menu for review and wine recommendations.

Anyone interested in my keeping this thread going?

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Following up on our very successful bacon tasting (http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=82167), we had a chocolate tasting last Valentine's day. We did ours double-blind, with the chocolate chopped and any identifying markings obscured.

Here are the chocolates for tasting (with a plate of bacon for "clearing the palate" :blink: ):

gallery_9502_6408_159252.jpg

Here are the chocolates that were represented. The unlabeled block at top right is Callebaut.

gallery_9502_6408_92043.jpg

gallery_9502_6408_19113.jpg

Almost all of the chocolates were dark, of varying percentages-- the one exception was the Vosges bacon bar, which was milk chocolate based. That threw many people-- they only figured out what it was because we had warned the vegetarian not to eat it. It was really good-- kind of like a Nestle Crunch bar, but with bacon.

May of the stronger chocolates did not fare well in this tasting, especially the Lindt and Scharffen Berger. The winner-- that is the favorite of most people (as well as my personal favorite)-- was the E. Wedel Bitter Chocolate. The bar is at the bottom right of the top picture, with a blue and brown wrapper. Wedel is a Polish company and I think it is owned by Cadbury. Here in Chicago, you can find the bars at most Polish grocery stores.

Cheers, Jen

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Following up on our very successful bacon tasting (http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=82167), we had a chocolate tasting last Valentine's day.  We did ours double-blind, with the chocolate chopped and any identifying markings obscured. 

Here are the chocolates for tasting (with a plate of bacon for "clearing the palate"  :blink: ):

gallery_9502_6408_159252.jpg

Here are the chocolates that were represented.  The unlabeled block at top right is Callebaut.

gallery_9502_6408_92043.jpg

gallery_9502_6408_19113.jpg

Almost all of the chocolates were dark, of varying percentages-- the one exception was the Vosges bacon bar, which was milk chocolate based.  That threw many people-- they only figured out what it was because we had warned the vegetarian not to eat it.  It was really good-- kind of like a Nestle Crunch bar, but with bacon.

May of the stronger chocolates did not fare well in this tasting, especially the Lindt and Scharffen Berger.  The winner-- that is the favorite of most people (as well as my personal favorite)-- was the E. Wedel Bitter Chocolate.  The bar is at the bottom right of the top picture, with a blue and brown wrapper.  Wedel is a Polish company and  I think it is owned by Cadbury.  Here in Chicago, you can find the bars at most Polish grocery stores.

Cheers, Jen

lolol, love the bacon 'palate cleanser' lol.

I did a similar test of my lab. Dark chocolate with

Callebaut, trader Joe's, Valrhona, Ghiradelli, Hershey's, Lindt.

In my test, Callebaut came out tops. Valrhona came out

at the bottom.

Valrhona has a stronger, more distinctive taste that experts

can appreciate. But I think regular Joes and Joannes may

prefer something more plain.

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  • 1 month later...

Following up, here was the end result of our party - which according to the guests was a resounding success.

We began with a wonderful Italian Sparkling wine/strawberrys - Prosecco

First course, we had a lime curd, citrus salad and white chocolate mousse served with a Jackson-Triggs Ice wine

gallery_26699_6469_230111.jpg

Second course was a Chocolate-Mocha Tart served with Pinot Noir

gallery_26699_6469_96849.jpg

gallery_26699_6469_225131.jpg

and lastly we did a Chocolate-Pomegranate Torte served with Port

gallery_26699_6469_653822.jpg

Thanks to everyone who responded, read about this, provided excellent ideas - now it's time to rest until next time....

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That was the ONE that gave me trouble - had to make the cake three times before I got one that was good enough. Was up until Midnight Friday baking... if you want, I'll send you the recipe. The actual cake wasn't that difficult, but the pomegranate jelly was the killer (for me anyway)

Thanks! Still trying to live up to your standards!!!

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My best friend told me that the curd/salad/mousse dessert was "a $10.00 dessert" if I owned a restaurant. Everyone raved about the Chocolate-Mocha tart and did a lot of "mmmmm ing" over the Pomegranate Torte. I think I upset my wife though - I made the comment "where else could I be surrounded by beautiful women all "mmmm"ing and "ahhh"ing and NOT get into trouble?" She didn't think it was funny...

Considering that they were all on chocolate and wine overload by the end of the night - I was very happy with the responses.

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I am sure your wife must have also made some hmmmming aaahing!!! Nice story!

And women on a chocolate and wine overload is trouble!

My wife is watching her weight (even though she doesn't need it, she's a size 6) and didn't drink but one glass of wine all night and only had a small bite of each dessert - all in all it was a terrific evening - and one we'll do again next year I'm sure...

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  • 3 months later...

Has anyone ever tried to have a chocolate party?

I want to have friends and family over to try some of my recipes and get some feedback, I have been slowly developing some of my own creations and want to start spreading the word!

Since I have never tried anything like this and my place is not very big I was thinking of having a open house, so everyone would be able to come by try all the chocolate and leave some feedback!

My main goal is to get the word out as well as see if people like my chocolates. I have about 5 products ranging from truffles, to molded chocolates. Also I would make some score card, and a menu of course!

Does anyone have suggestions, comments or input???

Thanks!

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I've hosted a couple of Chocolate Tasting Party's and found them to be very successful, in fact, the guests keep asking when the next one will be.

Not only did I have samples of my truffles, but I also put out samples of different chocolates, white, milk and dark. This gave people the ability to taste the quality differences between chocolates. I also had some single source chocolate for them to try as well as different % chocolate.

I kicked my party up a bit, because I made three different desserts (or courses) a white chocolate course, a milk chocolate and last a dark chocolate. I paired each course with a different wine.

I hope you have a successful time, it's a wonderful way to get feedback on your product, but if they are your friends, you may have to temper their feedback because not all friends speak the truth all the time.

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