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.

Published by: Eagranie

7 years as a chemist + 9 months of culinary school + 2 years as a pastry chef & chocolatier + a lifetime of writing = this blog. This blog won't always be about chocolate, but it will almost certainly be about food. The name of the blog is a triple play on words. 1. It's a nod to my training as a classical pianist. Among other fantastic accomplishments, J.S. Bach combined technical prowess with artistic inspiration and penned the 24 preludes & fugues that make up The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II. 2. In order to behave properly, chocolate needs to be tempered. In a nutshell, tempering prompts the chocolate to assume its most stable crystalline form (beta prime, if you're interested) so that it is shiny, snappy, and as stable as it can be. 3. Depending on my mood and how we meet, you might agree that I'm well-tempered. Or not.

Categories 2009, Food scienceTags, 2 Comments

2 thoughts on “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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