The Cheese Board Collective in Berkeley and came away with Cremont, a double-cream from Vermont. Many cheese shops also sell chocolate, so you might be able to pick up your chocolate while you're there. Dark chocolate works best with this pairing -- look for a fruiter chocolate with a higher percentage of cacao. I picked up a bar of Spanish chocolate called Blanxart 72% Dark Chocolate at my local grocery store. They also had almost ripe figs for sale, so when I left the store, I was good to go. ( As figs move out of season, you can consider other fruits such as pears or perhaps even ripe persimmons.) You can serve this dessert individually by placing a few squares of chocolate, a small wedge of cheese and a ripe fig or two, cut in half, on plates. Or, for a dramatic presentation, place a whole wheel of your cheese on a board or platter, and scatter the chocolate and figs around it. Pass the platter at your table or use this as an excuse to move to the living room where people can help themselves.
My favorite way to eat this is to spread some of the cheese on a small square of chocolate and pop it into my mouth. The cheese will be the first taste, rich and milky with a slight twang, followed by the deep, slightly bitter darkness of the chocolate. You may want to experiment with sprinkling a little crunchy, flakey sea salt on top. (This may or may not work, depending on the saltiness of your cheese.) I love to follow this up with the fig which is sweet and juicy and cleanses my palate for another bite! One last note: while I bill this as a dessert, it also makes a nice hors d'oeuvre or elegant late afternoon snack, especially when paired with port. Enjoy! Sources: • Cowgirl Creamery's Inverness with Poco Dolce Chocolate • Vermont Creamery's Cremont with Blanxart's Organic Dark Chocolate 72% Related: Paired! Humbolt Fog Cheese with Ficoco Spread (Images: Dana Velden)