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How to pair chocolate (and toffee) with just about anything!

Chocolate and toffee makes our lives much sweeter… but chocolate and toffee together… now that’s a match made in heaven! And we don’t like to stop there. We’ve come up with a guide of chocolate and toffee pairings with different foods and drinks so that you can expertly mix and match these sweet marriages of flavor!

  • Coffee
  • Fruit
  • Cheese
  • Nuts
  • Wine

Coffee:

We all love it and chocolate makes its’ flavor shine! Darker, bolder roasted coffee, such as an Italian roast is a perfect pairing with dark chocolate. Take, for example, our Seattle bark with dark roasted coffee beans atop a bed of dark chocolate - a match made in heaven! Likewise, milk chocolate is best paired with a Columbian, Kenyan, or Kona coffee, because of their medium flavor notes. Finally, white chocolate is best paired with a Costa Rican or Yemeni roast, because of its’ light characteristics.

Fruit:

When thinking about chocolate pairing with fruit, it’s important to take all three chocolates; milk, dark and white, into consideration.  Darker chocolates are more bitter than others; for that reason, it should be complemented by a fruit that’s sweeter. And that’s why dark chocolate is always paired with fruits such as ripe strawberries, mangos and bananas. White chocolate works bests with more acidic fruits (like cranberries in our Florida bark!) While mild-flavored fruits and milk chocolate are a perfect pair. Check out our chocolate guide below to help you navigate fruit and chocolate pairings at home!

Cheese:

Chocolate pairings with nuts and fruits are often best thought of by creating a contrast to highlight each parts’ individual flavor. The reverse is true with cheese. Generally speaking, lighter, creamier cheeses will pair better with lighter, creamier chocolates. Pairing milk chocolate with a side of Gruyère (known for its nutty flavor) will emphasize the sweetness of the chocolate and the nuttiness of the cheese without overpowering either of the flavor components. Cheeses that are more acidic or pungent, like blue cheese or goat cheese, taste better with a dark chocolate counterpart that complements these stronger flavors.

Nuts:

The type of chocolate and the type of nut should be considered when it comes to pairing. Peanuts, pecans, almonds and hazelnuts have distinct flavors that go well with dark chocolate. Walnuts are a little bit milder and therefore work better with milk chocolate. We actually use California Walnuts in all of our toffee! Why? Because our dark chocolate is not too bitter,  so it doesn’t need a contrasting flavor (like an almond). Lastly, nuts such as macadamias taste best with rich white chocolate due to their even milder flavor.We lightly dust our creamy white chocolate toffee with California Walnuts to not overpower its’ natural flavor with our toffee.

Wine:

It’s the most important pairing right? The key to successfully pairing wine with chocolate is to match sweetness with sweetness! Pairing milk chocolate (or sweeter dark chocolates) with dessert wines, like a vintage port, madeira, or a sweet sherry, is the easiest way to make a successful pairing. These types of wines bring a natural sweetness to help keep up with the sweetness of the chocolate. Lastly, we can’t leave out our bitter dark chocolate pairing for our dark chocolate lovers! If you have a bitter dark, pair it with a red zinfandel, because its’ high acidity make it taste bold!

Helpful tip:

"When pairing desserts [with wine], I try to keep the sweetness levels somewhat in line,” Jeff Porter, a certified sommelier says, “but moreso, I look for flavors that work together. I think of all the awesome candy bars I've had as a kid and try to recreate some of those flavor synergies with wine and chocolate.”

Take our Swiss Milk Chocolate Toffee with its nuts, toffee, and chocolate -- you might look for a wine with nuttiness and caramel notes to complement the chocolate! All this said, I’m sure you’re already thinking of delicious and decadent pairings of chocolate and toffee with different food and drink! Just remember, at the end of the day, whether you’re a pairing expert or a certified rookie… you get to eat chocolate either way;)!