So, I had been talking about doing a chocolate dinner for about two years, and I finally came through on my promise to do it. My goal was to have each course utilize chocolate in a more unexpected way then usual and to balance the savory and sweet aspects of chocolate. Mole, not surprisingly, was the first thing that came to mind, but it seemed too obvious to just simply do a typical mole dish. So I started thinking of ways to take the flavors a bit outside of their element. Ravioli! Wait… I’m getting ahead of myself. This is just the introduction, and I’ll go into more detail later. Cue the photos:
A peek at the menu.
Scallop Truffles – Scallops poached in cream and anise then rolled in a lightly sweetened cacao powder.
BCC – Double smoked bacon dipped in Callebaut bittersweet chocolate and topped with a morsel of Taleggio and fennel fronds.
Salad – Portobello mushroom marinated in red wine and chocolate then broiled and finished with a lemon – mint – cacao nib vinaigrette.
Orange Sorbet Float – Lightly sweet and tart sorbet with sparkling club soda and chocolate bitters.
Soup – a creamy chocolate and walnut soup garnished with a leek and goat cheese relish. Finished with a drizzle of orange oils.
(Yes, I did wipe the rims of those cups before serving.)
Pasta – Chocolate ravioli filled with chicken and onions presented on a bed of Oaxacan Mole and sprinkled with fresh cilantro and sesame seeds
This ravioli shot was, admittedly, a little after the fact. When I served it the ravioli was totally not curling up on the corners.
Southside – Gin, fresh lemon juice, mint, and simple syrup shaken and strained.
Chocolate Chip Mint Sorbet – Refreshing sorbet made with fresh mint leaves served with cacao nibs.
Imagine a little white chocolate, curried coconut milk sauce drizzled on top of these. Then, garnished with cilantro and toasted Spanish peanuts. (I got in the cooking zone and wasn’t really thinking about taking photos, sorry.)
Again…This dish lacked a final photo, the country style pork rib rubbed in a mixture of ground coffee, unsweetened cacao powder, ginger, salt and pepper and then broiled was set opposite the greens and garnished with a lemon wheel. If you close your eyes and concentrate hard enough, you can see it. I’ll try to mock one up for the recipe edition.
Dessert – Chocolate bars stone ground and tempered in house. Served with a Chocolate Pear Tea.
Whew! And then batboy was very tired.