A few weeks ago, I had the wonderful luxury of throwing myself head first into an all out chocolate tasting. The event, which was hosted by tuttiefoodie  and tablehopper , was to promote the Chocolate Adventure Recipe Contest . It began with a few words from John Scharffenberger (of Scharffen Berger Chocolate ). He told us the ins and outs of chocolate, had us taste different varieties — including unprocessed chocolate — and taught us how compare chocolate tasting to wine tasting. After a fun, and highly informative conversation, we were then treated to a trio of desserts by Nicole Krasinski, Rubicon's current pastry chef .
The delicious desserts were meant to get us thinking about chocolate flavor pairings — the contest is all about pairing dark chocolate with different ingredients in order to create a new experience — and it definitely did. Kransinski's three offerings included pairings of chocolate and thyme, chocolate and umeboshi plum, and chocolate and coffee. The unusual flavor combos really captivated the spirit of the Chocolate Adventure contest and completely got my mind racing.
The contest, which has a $5000 prize, has a very simple premise: create a recipe using Scharffen Berger dark chocolate and one of the "adventure" ingredients . I don't know about you guys, but I can't wait to get to the kitchen and cook up an entry! The contest ends Dec 1, 2007, so you better get cracking!
Below are pics of some of the adventure ingredients, as well as close up photos of Kransinski's desserts.