Chocolate and coffee

It’s a pastry chef’s secret that if you’re making something chocolate-flavoured, a little bit of coffee acts like an invisible flavour enhancer. This is true for chocolate cake, chocolate icing, chocolate pudding, chocolate pastry, chocolate pudding pie, chocolate souffle…wait, what was I talking about?

Oh, right. Chocolate and coffee.

When used properly in chocolate recipes, you don’t even taste the addition of coffee. But there’s something about it that makes the chocolate taste more robust, more chocolatey, more kick-ass. As if it needed any help.

This is one of the few cases when I’ll actually advocate the use of freeze-dried coffee. No longer the stuff of camping trips, a teaspoon or two can make a surprising difference.

When I have the time and inclination, I’ll make a batch of espresso and then boil it down until it’s a thick syrup. I keep it in the fridge and add it to recipes that can accommodate the extra liquid.

So there you go. The cat’s out of the bag.

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2 responses to “Chocolate and coffee

  1. I too love adding that bit of coffee to bolster chocolate flavor. I think of it as adding a baseline in music, one you can’t quite distinguish but without which the song would be less intriguing.

  2. That’s a great way to describe it. I think of coffee, salt, lemons, and onions in a similar way: used properly, you don’t even notice they’re there. But you’d probably notice the absence of them.

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