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EASTER INDULGENCE: HOW TO PAIR ROOIBOS AND CHOCOLATE LIKE A PRO
Make this Easter a feast for the senses by impressing friends and family with a decadent Rooibos and chocolate tasting.
Pairing tea or herbal tisanes with chocolate is a culinary delight, which can help to unlock the more subtle flavours and aromas that you might not pick up when enjoying tea or chocolate on its own.
Rooibos’ naturally sweet taste and diverse flavour profile makes it an obvious choice for chocolate pairings, plus it’s healthy too!
Ensure that the flavour profiles are well-balanced. In other words, aim to find a match that both enhances the flavour of the chocolate, as well as the Rooibos blend you have selected.
Choose good quality chocolate with varying amounts of cacao, which includes a variety of white, milk and dark chocolate.
Select Rooibos blends that have both complementing and contrasting flavours to heighten the flavour and aroma of the chocolate and vice versa.
Rooibos blends that complement MILK chocolate
Milk chocolate is the most versatile for pairing with Rooibos. It’s creamy, milky consistency can help to balance the flavour of various blends.
Plain Rooibos, Rooibos & Cinnamon, Rooibos & Berry and Rooibos & Vanilla all pair beautifully with milk chocolate. Rooibos’ smoky undertones complement the nuttiness of milk chocolate, while its smooth, sweet caramel notes naturally match and balance the flavours of the chocolate. These blends also work well with sponge cakes, custard and other sweet tarts.
Rooibos blends that pair well with DARK chocolate
Rooibos and chocolate share many similar characteristics – from the fruity, floral and nutty aromas to the slight levels of astringency, making it ideal when matching it up with the bitter taste of dark chocolate.
Experiment with Rooibos & Mint, Rooibos & Chai, Rooibos & Berry, Rooibos & Orange and even Rooibos & Ginger. The bold flavours and rich aroma of these Rooibos blends make them ideal with anything chocolaty i.e. chocolate mousse/pudding, chocolate fondant etc. Pairing dark hazelnut chocolate and Rooibos & Chai is a must! The spicy tea flavours are enhanced by the nuttiness of the chocolate, which makes for a winning combination.
Rooibos blends that match WHITE chocolate
Plain Rooibosand Rooibos & Vanilla pair particularly well with white chocolate as its citrusy undertone cuts through the richness of white chocolate. Its herbaceous flavour is divine when blended into creamy white chocolate – think truffles, pralines, fudge, mousse and meringues. The earthy taste of Rooibos & Mint/Peppermint also gives white chocolate a refreshing lift.
We’d recommend that you take your tea without any milk or sweeteners, as adding an extra layer of creaminess or sugar often mask the nuanced flavours in chocolate.
Start by taking a small bite of chocolate and allow it to melt slowly across your tongue.
Then slurp some Rooibos into the back of your mouth so it reaches your taste buds. Rather slurp than sip as the former will draw air into your mouth, allowing for more intense flavours and aromas to be released.
Then, take another small bite of chocolate and you’ll notice how Rooibos has influenced the flavour, aroma and mouthfeel of the chocolate compared to the initial bite.
If you want, you can cleanse your plate with a sip of water and either reverse the process or move onto another chocolate and tea combination.
As you experiment, make sure to jot down some notes and share your personal preferences and/or photos on @rooiboscouncil (FB) and @sarooiboscouncil (IG).