December 23, 2005

The perfect dessert

Today I had a spectacular yet very simple dessert, a little out of the ordinary as to what would be considered a dessert, but completely satisfying in every way.

I had beer with chocolate.

"Beer together with chocolate?? Eugh!", I hear you say. Normally I'd agree. Having something like a larger or any other common beer with chocolate just does not mix. Lager style beer's too bitter and cold to go down well with chocolate, and you ruin both by doing so. But not with the right beer.

My beer of choice today was Rochefort 8, a fantastic Belgian beer brewed by Trappist monks (really!) in their monastery. The beer has a wonderful dessert-sweetness to it (but not overwhelmingly) and is considered one of the world's finest beers and ranks in my top 3 favourite beers. Living only an hour away from Belgium, this is high praise.

The chocolate of choice was more of a chocolate of opportunity. One of the quaint Dutch trandtions at Christmas is for bosses to give their employees a chocolate shaped as a letter of the alphabet. I had this nice milk chocolate 'A' that was begging to be eaten, and it seemed like a fairly nice quality one.

Nibbling on this chocolate was wonderful just by itself, but when combined with sips of Rochefort, the combination was really out of this world. The mellow sweet of the beer with all of its complex flavours, combined with the heavy chocolate is a magical combination, and the light fizz of the beer helped to lift the chocolate off the tongue and bring more life to it. I'm not sure if the fizz of the Rochefort was too much - it's almost as much as a champagne, but it in no way detrimented from the enjoyment. Perhaps it even enhanced it by adding to the sensations.

Overall, this was a thoroughly enjoyable way to relax after dinner, and I'll be sure to try further with different types of chocolate. Fortunately the beer's widely available here at less than €2 per bottle, so I've got plenty more of this goodness to look forward to.

And next time, I'll make a much better photo.

Posted by Ben at December 23, 2005 11:54 PM | TrackBack
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