Love it or hate it, combining sweet and savoury flavours is a thing and it is here to stay. If you’re an indecisive person then you should thank the heavens that this combination exists. Gone are the days of choosing between indulging in something sweet and sugary, or a finger licking salty meal. You can have both! The key is to have a balanced pairing of sweet and savoury. My advice is to experiment with flavours you are familiar with, instead of trying to earn a Michelin star in your own kitchen with some extravagant pairing.

Work on your favourite dish and think of ways to make it a tad sweeter or saltier, depending on what you’re in the mood for.

Although I live, sleep and breathe sweet bakes, I don’t really have a sweet tooth – so I’m usually more inclined towards savoury food. Having said that, I’m all about experiments and trying out new things. When it comes to baking in particular, I love making traditional bakes but with a twist – like adding crushed pink peppercorns to a lemon cheesecake. Therefore, sweet and savoury combinations always spike an interest in me.

Here are a couple of my favourite pairings:


CHOCOLATE AND CHILLI 

Can’t really go wrong with two super tasty ingredients, can you? I recently baked a chocolate mud cake for my grandpa who happens to love chilli, so I decided to smother the cake in chocolate ganache with chilli flakes and the taste was mind blowing.

When biting into it we were hit with a smooth chocolatey taste, followed by the spicy undertones of the chilli flakes. I love how subtle, yet effective chilli can be when done right.

SALTED RICOTTA WITH HONEY AND PISTACHIOS

I first tasted this amazing combination in Rome a couple of years ago, and I’ve been raving about it ever since.

The ricotta and honey combined together offer such a fresh taste without overpowering each other, with the pistachios adding texture to the soft pillowy ricotta and honey. I just love it!

PORK BELLY COOKED IN SWEET & SOUR 

I’m always looking for new ways to cook pork belly, but this method has to be my favourite! Roughly chopped pork belly is braised in stout (I used Guinness) along with mirin, brown sugar, onions etc. for around four to five hours. The result is sensational.

I like sprinkling the pork belly with sea salt and chopped coriander before serving – offering the best marriage of sweet and savoury flavours!

STRAWBERRIES WITH CHOCOLATE AND CRUSHED BLACK PEPPER 
These treats are also ideal for entertaining.
Chocolate dipped strawberries are a classic dessert, but have you ever tried adding crushed black pepper to the combo?
It adds a certain depth of flavour which is so tantalising on the pallet, contrasting with the sweet juiciness of the strawberry. Delicious!
 PEACH AND SPECK 

This combo has got to be my ideal meal when it comes to entertaining and cooking for my friends in summer.

I love pairing peach and speck either to make a fresh and hearty barley salad, or adding mozzarella to the pair to make pizza.

I love how peaches burst with flavour as you bite into them, oozing sweet goodness which works harmoniously with the salty speck.

SAVOURY CROISSANTS 

My go-to breakfast when I feel like a treat, is a lightly sugar – powdered flaky sweet croissant filled with ham, cheese and egg.

A sweet croissant is the perfect vehicle for salty ham and cheese, biting into those tasty sweet and salty layers creating the perfect bite.

© 2018 – VIDA Magazine – Fran Farrugia

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