I have new best friends in North Carolina – They go by the name Videri.
The story goes that they saw me across the blog universe and eventually emailed to ask if I wanted to play. I did. I am not one to take candy from strangers (thanks Mom!), but I am also not one to say no to chocolate. Videri is a North Carolina based bean-to-bar chocolate company that you all should get to know. Not only are they fair trade, organic, artisanal, and darn friendly, but their chocolate is also delicious.
To tell you the truth, I’ve become skeptical of bean-to-bar producers because I’m so often disappointed– I am not an expert chocolate maker, but I do know when chocolate is gritty, harsh, or doesn’t melt properly in my mouth. Well, Videri, you can come over to play anytime.
For the first week after the chocolate arrived, I nibbled the samples in front of the TV as I struggled to figure out suitable flavor pairings. I wanted to chocolate to express itself in whatever I made and not be overwhelmed by other flavors. I nibbled some more. The chocolate melted smoothly over my tongue and the flavor was mild and mellow, but complex (I realize that is quite possibly one of the vaguest descriptions ever – to use more tangible terms, think fresh earth, oranges and mild coffee.) I also realize that these are the types of terms that wine connoisseurs use that make me twitch and crave a cold beer, but stay with me.
You know when chefs talk about showcasing fresh vegetables? Like eating raw delicious carrots dug straight from the ground that are full of life and mystical qualities. Using good chocolate is exactly like a flavorful, fresh carrot. It deserves to be served without heavy sauces, or complicated by a dozen other components. Videri possesses this sort of integrity, but I couldn’t very well put the chocolate bar on a plate and be done.
I decided to keep it simple and only use chocolate and orange flavors. I chose a very simple chocolate cake recipe, a light chocolate mousse, and chocolate sauce paired with candied blood oranges, dark brown sugar orange marmalade, and orange zest. Here’s what I came up with…
There is a also molten chocolate in the works. Stay tuned.