Craft Beer, Fine Wine, Artisan Spirits, and Mouthgasmic Food.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ghirardelli's Pairing Party is more of a Chocolate Feast

Blog post and party sponsored by Ghirardelli.

To celebrate Ghirardelli's support to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Leslie Sbrocco (@BeaThirstyGirl) has  teamed up with Ghirardelli's to throw chocolate pairing parties.  After the parities, Ghirardelli Chocolate and will host a live tasting party and Tweet Chat on Intense Dark™ chocolate to be held Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 5 PM PST/8 PM EST. They'll be tasting four varieties of IntenseDark—Evening Dream®, Twilight Delight™, Midnight Reverie® and Toffee Interlude®—and creating and sharing food and wine pairings. 
Here's some photos and recipes from my fun party.  Unfortunately, as the party host, I didn't have an opportunity to try many of the pairings.  However, guests' feedback was pretty clear.  The Sea Salt Soiree was the crowd favorite.  I would also guess by the amount of spirits that we went through, Paula's Texas Orange was also a favorite.  A big thanks to @SowGrowEatLive for bringing by some scotch to pair with the chocolates as well. 

Photo by John M. P. Knox.

Photo by John M. P. Knox.  There were a few gorgeous pairing kits filled with chocolate, wine charms, and almonds.  The packages put Tiffany jewelry boxes to shame. 

Photo by John M. P. Knox. Just a few of the bottles we enjoyed with the chocolate. 

Photo by John M. P. Knox.  Chocolate and salt are a lovely combination.  It isn't a big surprise that salty olives with chocolate could be a hit. 

Since our party was around a meal time.  I decided to make some meaty goodness in addition to the cheese plate.  I used this recipe for chocolate honey ribs from The Food Site with a few tweaks.  Instead of melted chocolate, I used cocoa powder to make sure that it was gluten free.  I also used gluten free soy sauce instead of regular soy sauce, and added a few dashes of liquid smoke.  Instead of regular ribs, I used pork riblets.  I really enjoyed the ribs and the sweet fatty goodness the honey and chocolate brought. 

I also made the Vietnamese goat recipe from Goat: Meat, Milk, and Cheese by Bruce WeinStien.   This photo was taken just half way through the cooking process.  I used two sides of goat ribs for this delicious recipe, and boy was it!  I would highly, highly, highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to start using more goat in their cooking.  The flavors of sweet onion, pungent fish sauce, nutty browned garlic, and spicy chiles married with falling off the bone flavorful meat was a darn fantastic dish.  I can't wait to use the same recipe with different cuts of meat. 

Ghirardelli full house!

Are those people having fun? The answer is yes.  Highly likely yes.

Just a few weeks prior to this party, @CookingEngineer introduced several of us to the Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream recipes.  That introduction turned into massive homemade ice cream making marathon in the Austin area.  The @CookingEngineer and I made several versions of the darkest chocolate ice cream recipe with varying levels of intensity and coffee flavors.  And ironically enough, my favorite ice cream of the spread was the hatch chile ice cream.  Big thanks to @CookingEngineer for bringing so many delicious ice creams. 

The perfect shirt for this party.  Chocolate + marshmallows + graham crackers = win.  No big surprise who came wearing it!

We didn't just pair chocolate with beverages; we also had chocolate in beverages.  @MadameCocoa was kind enough to bring two batches of Chocolate Liqueur - a whiskey version and a vodka version.  It is a Christopher Elbow recipe that you can make at home, and it is FANTASTIC!  If you don't feel like making it yourself, @MadameCocoa is happy to make them for you for $25 each.  That is probably the perfect Holiday gift for the chocolate and beverage lover in your life.  Thanks to @MadameCocoa for bringing it!

Little @VestaTheDog had fun with @Bepkoboy sans chocolate.

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