A Triple pairing – Chocolate, Coffee, and Garlic

In Western food, we often look for similar flavours that will go well together, as opposed to much of Asian cuisine that aims to find flavours that are very different from each other.

To make things interesting we try to find flavour overlaps for ingredients that wouldn’t normally be put together, such as Caviar and White Chocolate, and Blue Cheese and Cocoa.

This can add a twist but what if you would like to add two things that don’t overlap and are still considered palatable to the people more left than right of the world? What about chocolate, coffee, and garlic?

This can be done by finding an ingredient that possesses flavour compounds in common with both ingredients that you would like to pair together. A great example of this is pairing coffee and garlic, using chocolate as the child holding the volatile family together – it helps if both parties share commonality.

coffee chocolate garlic
In Red we have Methyl pyrazine linking chocolate and coffee. In Blue we have Dimethyl disulfide as the common factor between chocolate and garlic.

Obviously as with all ingredients, you need to make sure the proportions are correct – especially when there is a potential yacking factor.

Here is my recipe for a chocolate, coffee, and garlic pairing.

I made a standard hot chocolate and added a double shot of espresso to it, very run of the mill but still delicious.

Enter volatile and potential barf-worthy factor: Garlic

Now, I’m sure you know that garlic can have a very sharp and strong taste, so I mellowed it out by roasting it, which also sweetens it, in the oven till soft. Infused it into milk (AKA just leaving it in some warm milk for 20 minutes), blended the milk and roasted cloves, and made a foam using lecithin.


The subdued garlic flavour pairs well with the chocolate, which pairs well with the coffee.