The “snap” I hear when I break a quality bar of Green & Black’s chocolate is the echo of a careful and attentive process of harvesting Fair Trade Certified cocoa from the Dominican Republic and Belize; shipping the beans to Europe where the nibs are roasted, ground, blended with organic vanilla and cane sugar, and finally conched and tempered into the smooth, thick and indulgent quality Green & Blacks chocolate that I love.
To convey the versatility of their chocolate, Green & Black’s sought Chef Lora Kirk of famed Toronto restaurant, Ruby Watchco. Kirk is a phenom, whose artistry must be experienced by anyone who considers him or herself a lover of exquisite cuisine. On a sunny afternoon Kirk showcased the depth and range of Green & Black’s chocolates, as well as her own imagination and talent, with a tasting menu that wowed a room full of eager tasters.
Kirk’s original recipes began with a roasted chestnut and Green & Black’s Organic Milk Chocolate soup. From first sip a hush fell over the room as each guest was seduced by the confluence of delicate flavours before us.
For me, the dream began with the second course: a generous serving of lobster luxuriating in a brulée of Green & Black’s Organic White Chocolate with a sprinkling of toasted hazelnuts. I am often asked about memorable dishes—this is now one of them. To say it was sweet would be to miss the point. It was subtle yet rich, simple yet complex. It was purely ambrosial, and my only response was to acknowledge that sampling this dish was indeed a privilege.
Impossibly tender, succulent pork tenderloin with red wine jus—the kind that makes a person instinctively close their eyes and nod when asked if they like it—was gently seared, and crusted in Green & Black’s Organic Dark 70% Chocolate. The sweet notes of the pork married with the bitter chocolate in culinary matrimony, as did the texture of the cocoa-y crust with juicy pork reminiscent of marbled wagyu.
A playful interlude before dessert was a plate of chevre noir and goat yogurt with broken pieces of Green & Black’s new Organic Sea Salt Milk Chocolate bar. The high quality consistency of the chocolate was on display and its mélange of “sweet” and “salt” contrasted beautifully with the mild sweetness of the cheese and the yogurt. This is my new favourite chocolate bar. I will share it with no one.
The finale: a chocolate course we could call dessert. Chef Kirk shared with us that she cannot think of chocolate without thinking about peanut butter. I also cannot think of chocolate without thinking about peanut butter. In fact I think about them together a lot. But, while the extent of my reach is a Reece’s peanut butter cup, Chef Kirk’s culinary wavelength reached far greater heights of decadence with a rich burnt toffee chocolate peanut butter tart. Green & Black’s latest offering, the Organic Burnt Toffee Chocolate bar needs to be appreciated one piece at a time–or as a Lora Kirk confection. In true dessert fashion, this was the exclamation mark at the end of a sentence whose point being that high quality chocolate, like those of the Green & Black’s selection, is a wonderfully versatile ingredient adding subtle flare to any recipe.
For more info on Green & Black’s go to: www.greenandblacks.com/ca