Nearly everyone likes chocolate, so why not make it the centerpiece of a really fun get-together? Whether you are already a chocolate connoisseur or someone who simply likes trying different flavors and brands of chocolate, a chocolate party is a great way to enjoy your favorite food, expand your culinary horizons and share your passion with friends.
Similar to a wine tasting, the basic concept of a chocolate tasting is really quite simple. First, provide guests with a variety of chocolates to sample. To make things interesting, offer a wide range of chocolates that vary in price, origin, intensity and flavors. Give each guest a plate with one sample of each chocolate on it, numbering the samples so they can be identified without giving away the names. Also give the guests some journal paper to write down their thoughts about each chocolate, or search online for chocolate tasting scorecards that you can download for free. You can taste the chocolates together as a group and discuss the flavors and features as you go, or let everyone taste at their own pace and write down their impressions. Have guests vote for their favorite chocolate and guess which one is the most expensive and which one is the least expensive. Invite them to guess details such as the chocolate’s cocoa mass, origin or brand. You can even give prizes. In the end, reveal information in a brief presentation about each chocolate.
This format works for any number of guests, from 5 to 50, and you can make the party as simple or as extravagant as you wish through the use of decorations and accompaniments. Absolutely provide water so guests can cleanse their pallet between samples. You can also provide unsalted crackers, shortbread cookies or a mild fruit sorbet. If you really want to make things interesting, provide a variety of wines, beers, cheeses and fruits to explore the best pairings with your chocolate as well.
If you are in the Southwest Florida area, join us on Aug. 22 for a deliciously elegant night of chocolate and wine pairings hosted by Norman Love Confections. Norman will explain the elaborate and wonderful world of chocolate production, starting from raw cocoa beans to the velvety couverture of premium chocolates, and how their natural flavors find a harmony with certain wines. Taste and explore, bringing home this unique knowledge to enrich your home dining experience. Visit http://www.normanloveconfections.com/classes/chocolate-and-wine-tasting/ for information on registering for this unique experience.
Comment here with additional ideas for a fabulous chocolate tasting soiree….