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Host a Chocolate & Cheese Pairing Party

Posted on December 23, 2009 9:23 AM by Erin

Every year, it seems like more and more people are hosting their own New Year's Eve party instead of spending the night out on the town.  But with entertaining comes a lot of planning and hard work.  What will you do?  What will you serve?  One way to both keep it simple and have fun while you wait for the ball to drop is to have a chocolate & cheese pairing party.

Arrange different combinations of chocolates and cheeses around the room (with cards identifying each) for guests to sample and discuss.  Have them start with the mildest pairing and then work their way up.  You can even print out instruction cards, with advice on how to taste like a pro.

For guests to cleanse their palates between pairings, you might want to serve a dry sparkling wine such as Presecco (it is the holidays after all!).  Sparkling water, plain crackers, or baskets of fresh bread also work nicely.

Our friends over at the Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery came up with a few pairings to help you get you started (you can also watch Allison Hooper, owner/cheese maker, demonstrate these pairings on VPT Cooks Chocolate):

• Fresh Goat Cheese (Chevre) with Dark Sea Salt Caramels

• Sharp Vermont Cheddar with Dark Chocolate Covered Ginger or Ginger Lemon Organic Truffles

• Blue Cheese with 70% Dark Organic Truffles

• Hard Sheep’s Milk Cheese with Organic Honey Fig Truffles or with Organic Milk Chocolate Sea Salt & Almonds

• Bijou with Spicy Aztec Organic Dark Chocolate

• Bonne Bouche with Champagne Truffles

These are just a few suggestions; you could also browse your local cheese shop for other ideas and recommendations.  Just remember, as Allison says in the video, there are no absolute right answers for pairing...just have fun & enjoy!

Lake Champlain Chocolates is thrilled to be a participant and sponsor of Vermont Public Television’s live cooking special "VPT Cooks Chocolate" premiering on Saturday Dec 5th from 2-4pm.  Just in time for holiday entertaining, Chef Sean Buchanan of the Stowe Mountain Lodge hosts Vermont chefs and chocolatiers demonstrating their favorite recipes.

Kirk Weed of LCC will be demonstrating how to make a Flourless Pumpkin Ganache Cake, the same creamy ganache used in our amazing truffles! In addition, Allison Hooper of Vermont Butter & Cheese Company will be hosting a chocolate and cheese pairing using Lake Champlain Chocolates.  Chefs from The Belted Cow Bistro, Cafe Provence, New England Culinary Institute and others will also be cooking and sharing their chocolate recipes.

LCC staff will be answering phones during the live show so please call in to show your support of VPT during its winter membership campaign.  The chocolate recipes demonstrated in the show, a gift box of local chocolates and other treats will be offered as thank you gifts for contributions! 

If you miss the live premiere this Saturday, the show will re-air on Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 12 at noon and Dec. 13 at noon.  It will air on VPT’s broadcast channels, and the premiere will be online at  We hope you check it out!