The Kitchen's Guide to the Best Chocolate Pairings

Celebrate Valentine's Day in the sweetest way.

Few things say Valentine's day quite like chocolate, so what better way to celebrate than creating the ultimate chocolate pairing board? Whether you prefer milk, white or dark chocolate, there's something for everyone.

Milk Chocolate Pairings

The flavor profile of milk chocolate lands right in between that of white and dark chocolate. It's not as sweet as white or as bitter as dark, which makes milk chocolate pair well with a wide variety of foods. We find the best cheese for your milk chocolate board is Gruyere. The nutty and sweet finish of this cheese allows for a balanced combination. As far as fruit, the mild flavor of milk chocolate is best with bright acidity, so raspberries are ideal. This pairing is quite common in baked goods, so it might add a fun familiar taste to your board. Next, we think hazelnut works well with milk chocolate, as both are sweet, rich and creamy. For a surprise element on your milk chocolate board, go for ancho chile powder either in a bowl, for sprinkling, or in a shaker. Milk chocolate and chile complement each other well, showcasing subtle flavor notes of each other that might otherwise go unnoticed.

White Chocolate Pairings

White chocolate is the sweetest of the three and usually has nice tones of vanilla. We think the ideal cheese for this board is smoked Gouda. For a fruity element, go for tart pomegranate seeds. They are a fantastic addition to temper white chocolate so it's not overly sweet to the palate. Walnuts are a must on your white chocolate board, bringing a nice crunchy texture to this velvety treat. For a fun and unexpected twist, pair white chocolate with wasabi peas. These pack a punch of heat that highlights the coolness of this chocolate.

Dark Chocolate Pairings

Finally, classic dark chocolate has the highest cacao content, making it the boldest of the three. You want to pair this chocolate with equally strong flavored food, like blue cheese, so they don't overpower each other. The bitter notes in dark chocolate are really great with sweet fruits, so dried apricots are a fantastic addition on this board. Next, we find dark chocolate and pecans both have rich, earthy flavors, making for an ideal pairing. We also recommend sourdough toast for a crunchy partner to your chocolate. Finally, for a surprising element, add Kalamata olives. Dark chocolate has fruity notes that complement the saltiness of the olive, for an undoubtedly unusual, but amazing, bite.

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