The daring blend

The daring blend

Sweet notes

The daring blend

Chocolate is that sinful therapy which everyone leans on to. But who said that you should limit this for the end of your meal? 

Chefs and chocolatiers in the city are experimenting with various chocolate combinations with savoury flavours. Yes, it sounds bizarre but they might just be the next step to evolution in the chocolate world.

Claiming to be the first person to amalgamate the flavours of chocolate and chilli in the city, Chef Ramasamy Selvaraju, executive chef at Vivanta by Taj, says, “I was working abroad and when I came back to India, I wanted to create something new and exciting. While many were sceptical to try the chilli chocolate, it seems to be everyone’s favourite these days.”

One of the major misconceptions that customers had was that the chilli chunks will be cut and added to the chocolate making process. However, it’s the extract of the chilli mixed with other ingredients that has been infused with the chocolate flavour that makes this dish so popular. Though it tastes like chocolate in the first bite, it definitely leaves a tinge of spice a few seconds later.

Chef Ramasamy has also infused herb flavours in chocolates. He says, “I’ve created flavours like basil chocolate, lemongrass chocolate, sage chocolate, coriander chocolate, fresh mint chocolate and peppermint chocolate. I’ve also tried to experiment with ginger, but that didn’t seem to give the results I wanted.”

He’s not the only one. There are other chocolatiers who are trying out such blends. Mubeena Shariff is working at bringing out a mix with Indian savoury flavours and chocolate.

She says, “I’m bringing out a chocolate box called ‘Indian Box’ which has been inspired by various flavours that we use on a regular basis. Kerala fish curry essence is one of them. I’m adding tamarind to my ganache and curry leaf infusion to the dark chocolate to bring flavours out.” She’s also working on a combination of ‘lassi’ flavoured chocolate.

      “It’s about being adventurous and experimenting with different things to excite the palate. I want to be able to bring out my childhood memories with these sweet-savoury delights,” she adds.

There’s also Anusha A Chowdaiah who has infused exotic ingredients to highlight her flavours with chocolate as the base ingredient. The chief executive officer of ‘L’inouï Chocolates’ says, “The intention is to bring out a combination with chocolate in a subtle manner. We offer a bar of chocolate that highlights the cranberry in dark chocolate. What makes this different is that we’ve added pink pepper and Himalayan pink salt to it. Though one will not be able to tell the difference initially, there is the aftertaste of the salt and pepper after the first bite.”

Another exotic combination that she’s introduced is the basil and lime truffles. One can feel the basil as they bite into it and also the punch of lime with it.

There are also certain others who are bringing out a chocolate sauce that can be poured over one’s main course. Swasti Aggarwal, the food strategist at Foodhall, says, “We offer the chocolate mole which is infused with more than 20 spiced ingredients like cinnamon and chilli that can be used as part of the main course. It gives out an umami flavour and goes perfectly well with enchiladas, sandwiches and steaks.”

As chocolate is spreading its sweet ability with interesting savoury flavour combinations, one can easily rise up and say, ‘I’ve never met a chocolate I didn’t like’.

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