As a relatively new blogger, I was more than thrilled when Ghiradelli sent me samples of their Intense Dark chocolates as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program. An excuse to eat chocolate? I’m ALL. OVER. IT.
Now, before I received my little tasting pack, I didn’t realize there was a proper way to sample chocolate – my method of “sampling” was basically determining how quickly and how much I could jam in my mouth.
But here is what Ghiradelli advises:
Admire the attractive gloss that’s unique to the chocolate.
Take in the aroma of rich, deep chocolate, hints of toasted nuts, roasted coffee, dried fruit and more.
Listen for the “snap” when you break it in half. That’s your first clue to the texture and quality of the chocolate.
Hold the chocolate against the roof of your mouth. Revel in the velvety smooth texture as it begins to melt.
Savor the flavors that fill your mouth.
And you know what? Doing that does really make a difference. Here was what my sampling group had to say about each one:
Twilight Delight – shiny brown; even color; favor builds slowly; with a hint of vanilla and no bitterness or after-taste
Midnight Reverie – dull, dark brown; smooth and even in color; intense aroma; slightly bitter with an even flavor; firm snap
Sea Salt Soiree – reddish-brown and glossy in appearance; nutty aroma; very flavorful; no bitterness; complex flavor
After sampling the 72% Twilight Delight, the 86% Midnight Reverie and the Sea Salt Soiree, my personal favorite was the Sea Salt Soriee.
However, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use this amazing chocolate to make a hot fudge sauce. With cooler weather finally on its way, I was looking forward to having something on hand to use for hot chocolate, to use as an apple dip (that’s healthy, right??), and on this pound cake:
Also, I wanted to do something with these cute little jars. How fun would these be to give as a holiday gift, packaged with dry hot cocoa mix and homemade marshmallows?
Hot Fudge Sauce
3.5 ounces Ghiradelli 72% cocoa, Twilight Delight
1 can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat-free, and this was still to.die.for)
1/2 stick butter
In a saucepan, melt all ingredients over medium heat until smooth and melted.
This will keep at room temperature for a day. Otherwise, keep it in the refrigerator and pop it in the microwave before serving.
As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received samples of Ghiradelli Chocolate’s Intense Dark Line. However, any opinion expressed in this post is solely my own, ’cause that’s how I roll.
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