Chocolate, Jura style

02.10.2014 | Foodie Inspirations

When cocoa first reached France in the 17th century, it was notably bitter. Chocolate makers have since enjoyed experimenting with the matching of chocolates and wines. For such a pairing to succeed, the chosen wines should typically offer cocoa, praline and roasted aromas so as to echo the bitter edge of dark chocolate. Like wine, cocoa beans contain tannins that give chocolate its strength. The traditional combination is chocolate with sweet wine, to counterbalance the cocoa’s bitterness. But if you’re a risk-taker keen on novel sensations, the most convincing duet is praline chocolate with Vin Jaune. Alain Ricot, a chocolatier and confectioner based in Besançon, tells us more about this alluring recipe.

IMG_0997[1]Chocolate and Vin Jaune from the Jura: why wed these unusual flavours? When was this recipe invented?

With its extremely powerful aromas, of walnuts especially, Vin Jaune makes a wonderful companion for very dark, full-flavoured chocolate – with 80-85% cocoa – or even with praline milk chocolate. I devised an original pairing when preparing for the international Chocolate Festival in Lunéville in 1999, in the “speciality” category. After tasting Vin Jaune, I literally fell in love with this incredibly distinctive wine. So I decided to marry it with cocoa and create this terrific chocolate, which won me an award. It’s an extraordinary fusion of flavours.

What’s the secret of your Vin Jaune chocolate?

This speciality is a milk chocolate ganache with Piedmontese hazelnut praline and crushed walnuts – plus Vin Jaune, of course! Jura wines are a better match with milk chocolate, really highlighting the chocolate’s complete flavour spectrum. For the coverings, you can just as well use dark, milk or white couverture chocolate.

Does chocolate go well with other Jura wines? How about Vin de Paille? Or a brandy like Marc du Jura?

Vin de Paille works really well with the mellowness of white chocolate. Eighteen years ago, I created a Marc du Jura truffle which also won an award at the festival. The truffle filling is milk chocolate with walnuts and crushed nougatine, covered with dark chocolate dusted in icing sugar.

To find out more about the wonderfully chocolatey world of Alain Ricot: www.chocolat-ricot.com (in French)

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