I had the honor to be the host of this interesting event created by Martin Lersch from Khymos.org. In round #9 of the flavour pairing event „They Go Really Well Together“ we were asked to develop a recipe that was about pairing of Parmesan and Cocoa.
This round brought together 15 participants. I have been very impressed with the creativity of food bloggers. There are some really delicious dishes in this round-up and plenty of ideas which I never would have thought of. Several of the contributions succeeded in creating a dish which made parmesan and cocoa go really well together. In a few cases, the reviews were mixed. That may have justified reasons. However, this is a matter of taste anyway. Thank you all for your participation! I apologise profusely, before I will start, for my rusty english. Entries in chronological order of received announcements.
Hedonistin from Austria at Low Budget Cooking got inspiration from noodles with parmesan cream and spinach to prepare their cocoa version with parmesan cream and sauted apples.
The cocoa noodle dough was ready, when she found in google, that their idea has already been invented by someone else. However. Hedonistin continued and succeeded. Her verdict was: The noodles have a significant, but not intrusive taste of cocoa, whose slight astringency is partially alleviated by the sharpness of chili and harmonizes well with the Parmesan cream. However, she missed a hint of sweetness. „Along with the apples, the overall impression perfectly in tune – but not overwhelming. Good, but not what you would wish for your birthday dinner.“
Alex from Scotland at cookingsideways started making a pancake for breakfast and came up with Chocolate Pancakes/Blinis and Parmesan & White Chocolate Sauce. Although his first try was rather disgusting, he came to a result worth to expand on: A cream of white chocolate and parmesan was served on a chocolate pancake. The chocolate pancakes worked out pretty well. The white sauce itself demonstrated that parmesan and even the white, sweet chocolate go well together.
Dennis from Netherlands at kookjegek.nl was already preparing dark chocolate truffles when TGRWT #9 has been announced. He wondered, if Parmesan cheese could be used to coat those truffles. The result was great! The salty flavor of the grated Parmesan cheese tasted great in combination with the dark chocolate ganache of the chocolate truffle. He found it definitely a combination that works!
Katia from France at Bolli’s Kitchen made an astonishing discovery. She found in Northern Italy, Region Piedmont, a very old classical recipe, Cipolle ripiene con cioccolata e parmigiano. She stuffed previously cooked onions with a mixture of chocolate, parmesan, amaretti-crumbs and chopped onions and baked them in the oven. Katia was pleasantly surprised about the result. However, next time she would replace the very sweet amaretti cookies by white breadcrumbs.
My Entry for the event. I made the classical dessert, replacing the vanilla ice cream by parmesan ice cream. I have the impression, that in my dish the ratio of chocolate to parmesan affected the outcome. The more chocolate sauce I poured over the ice, the better the combination tasted. Maybe that also the quality of parmesan has an influence on the combination. Nevertheless: There will be no second Troy war owing to my dessert.
Chriesi from Switzerland at Almond Corner made a beautifully presented dish that combines Parmesan Mousse with Cocoa Jelly with a nice decoration and salad. She says …“that the parmesan mousse matches really well this cocoa jelly, it is quite a good combination and my test person liked it too. The mousse tastes savoury and in combination with the jelly and the salad with strawberry dressing it is spicy but in a decent way…“
Martin from Norway at Blog.khymos.org decided to prepare Chocolate tagliatelle with parmesan cream. A recipe originally developed by Masaharu Morimoto. His verdict: Very nice! Martin was surprised when tasting the parmesan cream, because it reminded him of vanilla.
Jokerine from Germany at hdreioplus.de sent in a nonclassical Risotto with Parmesan. Chopped chipotle chili has been used to spice up the dish. Jokerine promises an absolutely delicious dish but recommends not do overdo when sprinkling with Parmesan, because it tends to overbear most other tastes.
Tiger from Germany at ars coquinaria experimentum sent in a creation using techniques from molecular gastronomy to prepare a fabulous artificial parmesan spaghetto together with a Bolognese sauce from tomatoes, spelt and chocolate. To produce the spaghetto, he filled a liquid parmesan-gelatine-solution in a long, fine tube and after thickening he pressed out the firm spaghetto using a bicycle tire inflator.
Papin from USA at flavoralchemy created a variation of a traditional recipe using dates and bacon. He prepared something like little sandwiches, with figs being the bread and the parmesan and chocolate being the filling. Papin felt that the chocolate and parmesan blend in so well that most people did not notice there is chocolate in the rolls. This makes this dish to an interesting appetizer.
David from USA at Eatfoo(d) experimented with different forms of the combo. He tried the following dishes (1) Parmesan and Cocoa Crisp Mille-feuille, layered with Chocolate-Parmesan Chantilly (Foto). (2) Chocolate-Parmesan Chantilly with Parmesan Pebbles and (3) Chocolate Truffles, rolled in Parmesan. Creation of the dish see: Parmeggiano and Cocolate pairing. His verdict: the reviews are mixed. He loved the saltiness and sharp earthiness of the raw parmesan on the truffles, and everyone generally agreed that they were pretty good. The parmesan pebbles in the chantilly were a great textural contrast–rich and creamy mousse with hard, chewy cheese, and the flavors were definitely pleasant here. But the mille-feuille has been found not so good, probably due to the fact that the toasted parmesan has suffered some changes of the flavour.
Kelly from Illinois, USA at Sounding My Barbaric Gulp! challenged the winery Port Club members to a Parmesan & Cocoa throwdown. Three of them brought their creations to the winery and let a couple of people choose a winner. All 3 contributions are included in the blog-post, mentioned above. Here is Sharons recipe of the Chocolate-Dipped Parmesan Toasts, which were ultra-buttery and really delicious…and won the local contest. A very simple, but impressive recipe: slices of thin bread, spread with a mixture of parmesan and butter, rolled like cigars, baked and the one end dipped in molten chocolate.
Kelly decided to make Cocoa-Nibby Parmesan Biscotti. She really tasted the Parmesan in this biscotti, which were a bit softer in texture than traditional biscotti, and the cocoa nibs added a pleasing hint of sweetness.
and Jerad made Chocolate-Parmesan Popcorn , a simple recipe made by tossing popped corn with grated cheese and melted bittersweet chocolate & butter, a delightfully salty-sweet treat, as Kelly confirms.
Daniel from Canada has no own blog yet. Therefore I hosted his contribution. He sent in an interesting dish. A mille-feuille was built up from disks of grated, roasted parmesan. Dark chocolate-chantilly in between and served on and with candied Daikon. Daniel says: „The taste was pretty interesting, although perhaps the caramelization of the parmesan made it too bitter. The candied daikon was an amazing combination, adding sweetness, some spice, and a chewy texture.“
Roberto from Mexico at Mex Mix sent in the conclusive recipe, still in time. He started out by rendering bacon fat, continued preparing a classical risotto, but used cream sherry instead of white wine and in the last step he added chocolate and topped with the crisp bacon. His verdict was „…good, but not perfect… The tasting could be classified as a success since both my cousin and his wife completely ate their bowls, and seemed to have enjoyed it.“ Roberto personally thinks he could have used some improvements such as an older Parmiggiano in order to get a sharper cheese note.
Helene at Neues aus meiner Küche has prepared in a timely manner strawberries on puff pastry, seasoned with chocolate and parmesan and enjoyed it.
However her e-mail seems to be lost in the net. Sorry.