Tippin' the Scales


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Cloud Nine

Induced by champagne and savoury dishes made with chocolate I arrived home late last night, or should I say it was early this morning.

I went to a tasting of champagne and accompanying dishes made with chocolate from ‘the dealer‘ in the southern region of Amsterdam. Next to a great taste you get to meet new people.

Host was Hinke de Jong of Brouzje [pronounced as: Bruges], who’s passionate about champagne, but… they all come from small estates and are not the big brand names you see on the shelves or in movies. Her brother Tjitte had made all the food. Next to singing and dancing that’s his passion. Hinke and Tjitte are of Frisian descend and the Frisian name Brouzje translates to sparkling, bubbling, which in this case is the right word for what was offered, a sparkling night with good company and food and drink to match. BTW the website will be online soon. Some of the photos were shot last night during the event.

During the evening we had 4 different champagnes to drink, even when it was a tasting we didn’t have to spit it out, [that would have been a waste IMHO]. Hinke told about the wineries, the production process, and the grapes used to get that special taste. Erik of Chocolátl followed by telling about chocolate, the plantations, the product and we had a tasting of the nibs still inside a roasted bean but also some bars. And to finish it off, Tjitte went round with the snacks, delicious strawberries and apricots dipped in pure chocolate, which tastes much better then the well-known milk chocolate. Ravioli, in which the pasta was made with cocoa powder and a filling of white chocolate and goat cheese, some lightly whipped cream as a sauce and chopped pistachios, a real tongue pleaser. Next… Mole Poblano, a bit similar to the recipe which appeared on these pages, only Tjitte used a mix of 4 dried peppers [mulato, ancho, pasilla and chipotle] instead of chili paste, and chicken replaced the turkey. This was served with a corn tortilla.

In the mean time bottle #4 was opened, a Grand Cru from 2000, the smell of flowers and a hint of ripe fruit in a glass was a surprise, but boy did it taste good! To go with it a dessert: cheese cake of which the bottom had some chocolate in it, and the icing of the cake was chocolate too. D.E.L.I.S.H. !! Covered totally in this dark brown gold it could be sold as  bonbons.

To finish the evening, two hours later than expected, we drank a ‘Marque de Champagne’, this is not a champagne but a digestive made for own use by the producers in the Champagne region. But also a hard to get drink with an alcohol percentage of 18 percent. Those producers want to keep them to themselves because its delicious too.

With a birthday coming up in 15 days, I bought two bottles of Barbier Champagne, solely made from Sauvignon grapes [wine #2]. The chocolates were ordered in advance, only have to pick them up a few days before the big day. I know myself, they would never last that long if I bought them now.

In all it was a great evening with a great ambiance as well, I would like to thank Hinke, Tjitte and Erik for this wonderful evening… and the workout I got when I arrived. [Had to walk up to the fifth floor, these houses from around the turn of the 20th century have no elevators, but I was warned in advance]. So with two bottles of bubbly and a goodie bag I went back home, fully satisfied.

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