Lindt recently invited me to "spice up my chocolate life" at their stand at this year's Good Food And Wine Show. To celebrate the launch of a brand new addition to their Excellence range, we were treated to an exceptional tasting where NOBU's Head Chef Fred Faucheux and Lindt Master Chocolatier Dimo Simatos blew our minds with their combined forces. Pairing sweet, spicy and savoury to create interesting, delicious dishes incorporating chocolate and spice.
Adding to their existing Excellence range of Touch of Sea Salt and Dark Chilli, Lindt introduced us to their new flavour; Hint of Wasabi. I have to admit to being pretty sceptical about this new "flavour sensation" at first. I'm all for a little salty surprise in my chocolate treat, or a slight bite to my sweet chocolatey goodness... but wasabi? That all-important accompaniment to sushi...in chocolate?
However, as soon as I tasted Chef Fred's incredible beef fillet with wasabi chocolate, I was sold. Before that though, we started off with a whitefish sashimi and dry miso enhanced by the Lindt Excellence Dark with a Touch of Sea Salt chocolate, topped off with olive oil, yuzu juice and Maldon sea salt. It was a mouthful. Eating it, and typing it.
This was followed by Prawn yuzu anticucho, treated with a Dark Chilli chocolate sauce and vegetable shavings. You have know idea what that means, do you? Me neither. But it tasted provocative.
And then it was on to the star of the show, the beef fillet with a white sesame and Lindt chocolate dressing accompanied by Sake Green Vegetables and Lindt Excellence Dark Wasabi chocolate shavings – which incidentally, will also be available as part of NOBU’s Winter Menu for 2012.
We ended it all off with a desert so incredibly decadent, I can hardly stop my mouth from watering as I write about it. A chocolate sponge served with a caramelised white chocolate sauce (made by baking a slab of white Lindt chocolate at 160 degrees for around four minutes and adding some cream), a wasabi chocolate ganache, Lindt thins and a little whipped cream.
It was SUCH a treat. I'm not sure how I got lucky enough to be invited, but I hope this won't be my last Lindt event. Also, I can't not mention the flipping fantastic gift bags Lindt always spoils us with.
The Hint Of Wasabi will be on sale from July. Perfect for winter recipe experiments. I'm going to be attempting this incredibly complex one: Wasabi Chocolate Maki Roll, which entails things like confit ginger, wasabi chocolate dipping sauce, poached pineapple, caramalised pineapple, wasabi ganache and coconut sushi rice...each with their own recipe to make cook them from scratch.