Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TGRWT #13: Caraway & Cocoa/Chocolate

For newcomers: TGRWT (They Go Really Well Together) is a monthly open invitation to come up with dishes that combine certain given ingredients that are supposed to match well. The hypothesis is that foods containing one or more common major volatile compound will work well in combination. The result of this might thus be a range of new and, sometimes unlikely, good combinations of ingredients. In an earlier trial I went for the direct truffle approach HERE In that round I had trouble infusing the flavor of the caraway into the water based ganache.

For my real attempt, I went for a Brooklyn classic - Egg Cream! First toasted the caraway, then infused it into hot water.

1 C. Sugar
1 C. Cocoa Powder
1 C. Water
1 T. Caraway

I left the caraway in the water when I combined it with the other ingredients to further the steep beyond the one hour I already gave it. This was all heated in a pot over medium flame, whisking, until it began to thicken. After I got tired of looking at it, I covered it and let it think about its naughty deeds for another few hours.

I brought a jar home for dinner...who knew that Tyler had prepared a meal that included caraway - serendipity! So we took our new glasses from my late Grandma Irma, and added 3 T. of the chocolate syrup, 1/4 C. cold milk and finally seltzer water. Stirred and drank.

So how was it?

First off, I was able to get the caraway flavor to stick with the chocolate this time. The chocolate is already subdued in an egg cream due to the seltzer, so it was nicely balanced with the caraway. We both enjoyed the drink and found it to be a nice pairing. I kept fending off the idea of a hot chocolate, but do think the caraway would be even nicer in a drink that is warm and more receptive by the mouth.

Interestingly I wouldn't do this combination again, but only because its a bit too "normal" for my liking. It was too good together, and not enough "wow" factor. That said, more appreciation to the folks at Khymos and Fooducation.org for hosting the event.

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