Posts Tagged ‘caraway’

TGRWT #13: Chocolate cookies with caraway

Monday, December 29th, 2008

I thought I’d do a twist on some chocolate cookies my Mom always makes for Christmas for TGRWT #13. I tried two versions with added caraway (and a litte bitter orange peel) – one where I omitted all the spices except cocoa and one where they were added together with all the spices in the original recipes.

Chocolate cookies with caraway (more…)

TGRWT #13: Caraway and chocolate

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

According to Google trends searches for chocolate peak every December (plus that special day in February), and I assume that consumption of chocolate follows the same pattern. For this month’s They go really well together event (TGRWT #13) Erik Fooladi over at Fooducation has chosen to pair chocolate with caraway. So if you plan to cook or bake with chocolate (or cocoa) in December – why not add some caraway and see how it turns out? It’s time to spice up your Christmas desserts! Surprise your guests and let us all know how it worked out.

If you can’t figure out what to make, try the chocolate sauerkraut cake I blogged about last year. It was quite successful and I figured out that one possible reason for the success was the fact that sauerkraut contains caraway which goes well with chocolate (and cognac).

More information about how to participate can be found in Erik’s announcement post of TGRWT #13.

Chocolate + caraway and other pairings

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

I have been pondering on the chocolate sauerkraut cake I wrote about, and considering the fact that caraway is a spice used in sauerkraut I did some googling… And voilá – I found a page on different chocolate and cognac pairings! In October 2006 a tasting sessions was held for sommeliers – it was hosted by John Campbell (author of “Formulas for flavour”) and sponsored by Hennesy. Here are the chocolate and cognac pairings that were offered:

  • Sage & Carraway Chocolate with Hennessy XO. (Ingredients used: Double cream, Sage, Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate, Isomalt sugar, Glucose syrup, Fondant sugar, Carraway seeds)
  • Peanut & Merlot Vinegar Chocolate with Hennessy Paradis Extra (Ingredients used: Raspberry vinegar, Merlot vinegar, Double cream, Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate, Peanuts, Salt, Cocoa powder)
  • “Another interesting flavour to arise was the peanut and Merlot vinegar chocolates. Whilst trialing the combination of a merlot vinegar flavoured chocolate and the Hennessy Paradis Extra Cognac we noticed an unexpected third flavour element, present only when the two were combined: peanut. We underscored this unusual taste discovery by adding salted and roasted peanuts. The result is amazing”

  • Tobacco Infused Chocolate Ganache with Richard Hennessy (Ingredients used: Whipping cream, Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate, White chocolate, Butter, Tobacco, Cocoa powder)
  • “The long tradition of savouring cognac together with a suitably matched, high-quality cigar led us to the logical conclusion that both of these products must contain taste elements that matched or complemented each other. Once we blended various tobaccos and oak it resulted in a smooth underscore of the tobacco taste that is present when smoking a fine cigar. This coupled with Richard Hennessey makes the experience unique. On further experimentation the Ganache itself delivers the aromas slowly, you therefore savour the chocolate as you would a fine cigar.”

    Any cooks out there who can come up with recipe suggestions for the different chocolate dishes? I have added theses pairings to the list of other known pairings.

    caraway seeds
    Caraway seeds (photo by Joyous! at flickr)

    Chocolate sauerkraut cake

    Sunday, January 14th, 2007

    After giving a presentation about molecular gastronomy I was asked if I had ever heard about a chocolate cake baked with sauerkraut. I admitted that this was new for me, but that I would be very interested in the recipe. Could it be that this is a new flavor/flavour pairing? Remember, the hypothesis is: if the major volatile molecules of two foods are the same, they might taste (and smell) nice when eaten together. Perhaps there’s some one out there with access to a headspace gas chromatographer that could check this out? Or perhaps someone who has access to the Volatile Compounds in Foods database could do a quick search? If you’re unfamilier with such flavor pairings, another nice pairing with chocolate is the one with caramelized cauliflower and chocolate jelly.

    I did get the recipe and it turned out that it was from a cookbook called “Food that really schmecks” by Edna Staebler. The book is a collection of recipes from the Mennonite community in Ontario. Many Mennonites came from Germany, hence the word “schmecks” in the title which is German (zu schmecken = to taste). According to the cookbook, leftover sauerkraut makes the cake moist and delicious – which I can certainly confirm! And the strange things is you can’t really taste the sauerkraut. Here is the recipe (the way I made it):

    Sauerkraut chocolate cake
    170 g butter (ca. 3/4 cup)
    300 g white sugar – less than the 1 1/2 cups in the original recipe
    3 large eggs
    1 teaspoon vanilla (either essence or vanilla flavored sugar)
    2.5 dL water (= 1 cup)
    6 dL flour (= 2 1/2 cup)
    1.3 dL unsweetened cocoa (= 1/2 cup)
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon soda (sauerkraut is sour, therefore the recipe calls for soda!)
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    330 g drained  sauerkraut (1 1/2 cup) – more than in the original recipe

    Mix butter and sugar. Add eggs, water and dry ingredients. Stir in the sauerkraut and pour batter into greased pan. Bake at 350 F/180 C for 30-50 minutes.

    chocolate-sauerkraut-cake

    The cake was a little too moist in the center when I made it and could have needed a couple more minutes in the oven. Make sure you check if it’s all set by inserting a wooden match or a knitting pin in the center of the cake!

    Interestingly, the cookbook “Food that really schmecks” was recently presented in the blog Cream Puffs in Venice, with the following statement attached: “There is no haute cuisine or molecular gastronomy to be found here”. But chocolate and sauerkraut might turn out to be another flavor pairing based on sound chemical reasoning.

    Update: Read the followup on this post with more about chocolate and caraway (the main spice in sauerkraut)