Bakers Guide to Chocolate

What’s the difference between bittersweet chocolate and semisweet chocolate? Can I use Dutch cocoa in all my recipes calling for cocoa? Understanding the difference in chocolate and how they are used is essential to baking. In this guide, we’ll identify the characteristics of those chocolates used in baking.

Cocoa is the dry chocolate powder derived from chocolate liquor. It comes in two types: natural and Dutch process. Dutch processed cocoa is processed with an alkaline. It is slightly darker, smoother, and more easily dissolved than natural cocoa. In many recipes, natural cocoa and Dutch cocoa are not interchangeable. Natural cocoa is slightly acidic and will therefore chemically react with baking soda to create carbon dioxide bubbles and some leavening power. Dutch cocoa is slightly alkaline, will not react with baking soda, and must rely on baking powder for leavening.

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Making Chocolate Candy

The success of your chocolate candy lies on the ability to temper the chocolate. Even in other chocolate delicacies, the importance of tempering the chocolate mixture will never be understated. Chocolate, to begin with, must have a premium quality to it. You can have fun experimenting on different core chocolate materials that you can use for your chocolate candy.

Sometimes, you will find in the market some melted chocolates that are ready for making chocolate candy. You can make use of this or do chocolate the hard way and start from the cocoa beans. The good thing about melted chocolates is that you can focus on the making of chocolate candy itself. The making of chocolate from cocoa beans can be very difficult and tedious, and you may be robbed of your energy the moment you decide to do both. By the time that you reach the chocolate candy making aspect, you may have no more gusto or enthusiasm to complete it.

But when buying melted chocolate, make sure that it is not made of a processed candy bar. The courveture quality of chocolate is something you must look for since it makes for an ideal chocolate core for chocolate candy.

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Gourmet Chocolate

Like a fine wine, gourmet chocolate is the thing to which our palates instantly respond – ruining us forever for the average store-sold candy bar. While it’s true that chocolate of any variety will surely bring joy to the consumer, gourmet chocolate delivers a special treat for the taste buds. But, as would be expected, it can come at a price.

Gourmet chocolate can not be defined but rather must be experienced. What may be considered gourmet to some may be perfectly ordinary to another; in short the term ‘gourmet’ can be more than a bit subjective. But most chocolate enthusiasts agree that gourmet chocolate falls within the boundaries of that chocolate that is prepared with a certain level of care and an eye towards quality. (more…) «Gourmet Chocolate»” class=”more-link”>Read more» Gourmet Chocolate»

Health Benefits of Chocolate

Chocolate is relaxing. It’s calming. It soothes our nerves and makes us feel good. And we often think of it as a sinful indulgence. But it doesn’t have to be. If you choose your chocolate wisely, you can enjoy it without the guilty feelings we normally associate with it.

What Are the Health Benefits of Chocolate?

By eating small amounts of the right chocolate, you will enjoy the many health aspects of chocolate. Chocolate contains high levels of potassium and magnesium, as well as vitamins B1, B2, D and E. If that’s not reason enough to reach for a daily dose of chocolate, consider that it can also lower blood pressure and prevent arteries from hardening, therefore protecting the heart.
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Types of Chocolate

If you always like to accompany your cup of coffee with a chocolate cookie or other chocolate-based treat, or if you usually order a hot chocolate drink, you might not consider yourself a chocoholic, but you certainly make it to the fans’ category. But even of chocolate is not your first choice when it comes to desert, you should probably by familiar with at least its main categories, just in case you are asked if you prefer couverture over white chocolate for your ice-cream glace.

– Dark Chocolate can contain anything from 30% to 75% cocoa solids. It has a slightly sweet flavor and a dark color and it is the chocolate type most used in cooking. For everyday cooking and the majority of the recipes for dark chocolate, choose one with around 50% cocoa solids. However, dark chocolate with a higher cocoa solid content will give a richer, more intense, flavor. This chocolate is often called luxury or continental chocolate and has a cocoa solid content of between 70-75%. Occasionally, cooking experts support that it is essential to use a better chocolate, but the recipe should specify when that is the case.

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Melting Chocolate

When you buy chocolate from the craft store, these are usually sold in blocks which is ready to be transformed into different shapes. To make that happen, you have to melt it.

Melting is not the same thing as tempering so never confuse the two. However, melting is part of the tempering process which can be done using a microwave or a hot water bath.

The nice thing about using a microwave to melt chocolate is that you get the results you want fast with little or no effort at all and mess. Naturally, before you put the chocolate in the microwave, you should put this in a microwave safe container that remains cool or only slightly warm after several minutes. (more…) «Melting Chocolate»” class=”more-link”>Read more» Melting Chocolate»

Chocolate Martini

If the return of the martini and it’s recent rediscovered popularity has you feeling left out while you’re making a cocktail, then it’s time you tried a chocolate martini. Let’s face it, if it wasn’t for the vermouth, a martini is really just straight vodka. For someone who doesn’t like straight vodka a martini can taste kind of harsh. The solution is try one of the many specialty martinis that are packing them in at martini bars. And one of the tastiest martinis around is the chocolate martini. There are a few different ways to make chocolate martinis and all of them are delicious.

Chocolate Martinis are made with vodka. Gin and chocolate sounds like a terrible idea to me so thankfully I haven’t seen a recipe like that. Most recipes call for vodka which is mixed with something chocolaty like Godiva Liqueur or Creme De Cacao. This first recipe contains both. (more…) «Chocolate Martini»” class=”more-link”>Read more» Chocolate Martini»

Chocolate History

Chocolate has been a favorite of man for thousands of years. Ancient people brewing the seeds of the cacao tree into a yummy beverage was the beginning of the wide assortment of chocolates that we enjoy today.

Once chocolate was discovered by European conquests, it became a treat only the wealthiest could afford. Not only was chocolate expensive, but it was bitter. Sugar and spices used to sweeten it were expensive too and out of the common man’s reach. It was in the 1800’s that the industrial age and mass production made chocolate candy affordable for everyone.
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Vanilla Chocolate

Vanilla chocolate is usually thought of as white chocolate. There is an ongoing controversy on whether vanilla chocolate is even a chocolate at all. When one thinks of something made of chocolate, the picture in your mind is of a dark or rich brown morsel of tastiness. Vanilla and chocolate are on the opposite ends of the scale of chocolates in color and taste.

The processes of making vanilla chocolates are the same as with dark chocolate, the difference is in the ingredients. Vanilla chocolate is made from sugar, cocoa butter, milk or milk powder and vanilla. The Food and Drug Administration does not recognize white chocolate as a chocolate at all, as white chocolate contains no cocoa solids at all. There is an organization that is working on having white chocolate recognized since, without this standard, vanilla chocolate can contain vegetable fat instead of cocoa butter, and this can affect the taste and quality.

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Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

It’s that time of year when giving and indulging in the sweetness of sweets (especially with your sweetie) is seen as perfectly acceptable.

But, new research shows that there are more reasons than ever to NOT avoid or deny your chocolate cravings all year long.

According to some studies done in Italy, dark chocolate has many of the same benefits as vitamin C helping the body use insulin more effectively and lower blood pressure.

The research examined two out of three chocolate varieties, dark chocolate and white chocolate. Dark chocolate is made up of cocoa solids and sugar but no milk solids (prevalent in milk chocolate) and white chocolate, although referred to as chocolate had no cocoa solids, but instead is made of cocoa butter (the fat in chocolate), milk solids and sugar.
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Easy Modeling Chocolate Recipe Chocolate leaves and other chocolate decorations can be made using this very easy modeling chocolate recipe. I used it for Large chocolate grape leaves on the sides of my wine themed decadent chocolate cake, which can be adapted to a groom’s cake, a birthday cake, or even a bride’s cake.

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Candy Bar Hot Chocolate Recipe (Dove)

This homemade hot chocolate recipe uses chocolate candy to create the ultimate smooth, silky, & creamy cup of hot chocolate. Not only is this recipe supereasy to make but it requires only 4 ingredients (although I’ve gotten away with using only milk and a candy bar with great results) This hot chocolate recipe is easy to customize using your favorite chocolate candy bar. (Mint Chocolate tastes divine!) GET RECIPE: Music By Kevin MacLeod

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French Gourmet Chocolate Bars "Jivara" Grand Cru Milk Chocolate 40%, 10 bars 10×0.7oz

  • Imported straight from France
  • Gourmet milk chocolate
  • Creamy and chocolatey
  • Gourmet chocolate
  • 10 bars combo

Product Description
Jivara chocolate by Valrhona is a delicious gourmet milk chocolate with pronounced cocoa taste and notes of malt and vanilla.
This milk chocolate has 40% cocoa. It is imported from France.
This pack includes 10 bars…. More >>

French Gourmet Chocolate Bars “Jivara” Grand Cru Milk Chocolate 40%, 10 bars 10×0.7oz

Our Favorite Chocolate Recipes Cookbook (Gooseberry Patch)

Product Description
Decadent, ooey-gooey indulgence… there’s nothing more satisfying than chocolate! Our latest best-of book combines tried & true recipes like caramel fudge cake and chilly chocolate malts with new classics like chocolate quesadillas and black forest cupcakes. With Our Favorite Chocolate Recipes Cookbook, you’ll get over 60 of our favorites along with cocoa-inspired tips and quotes. A sweet gift for chocoholics…get one to keep for yourself too!… More >>

Our Favorite Chocolate Recipes Cookbook (Gooseberry Patch)

Quick and easy Hot Chocolate Recipe – Ainsley’s Gourmet Express – BBC

Ainsley Harriott cooks his camera crew a special hot chocolate recipe. Try it out yourself! Delicious recipe idea from BBC cookery show Ainsley’s Gourmet Express. Watch more high quality videos on the Food YouTube channel from BBC Worldwide here:

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Adult Hot Chocolate Recipe

Forget about that chemically powdered hot cocoa mix! Make your own cocoa mix with basic ingredients, and a special gift for yourself. Chef Todd Mohr will show you how to make his Hot Chocolate Recipe for Adults, and has a special announcement coming soon!

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Party Girl Gourmet Chocolates & Truffles (18 Pieces

Product Description
Experience ecstasy, in 18 decadent pieces. Bathe your palate in the creamy bliss of signature sweets hand-made by culinary artists. Only confectioners trained in classical French techniques can turn ganache into nirvana. Nine assorted chocolates with Party Girl characters include: Dark Ganache An ultra-smooth indulgence, this French classic leaves everybody wanting more. Milk Ganache Just as irresistible as Dark Ganache is this mouthwatering milk chocolat… More >>

Party Girl Gourmet Chocolates & Truffles (18 Pieces

Forrest Gump: My Favorite Chocolate Recipes : Mama’s Fudge, Cookies, Cakes, and Candies

Product Description
Interspersed with Forrest Gump’s unique reminiscences and observations, a collection of sixty mouth-watering chocolate recipes includes such scrumptious treats as Groovy Grasshopper Pie and Chocolate Ping Pong Pound Cake. 200,000 first printing. IP. … More >>

Forrest Gump: My Favorite Chocolate Recipes : Mama’s Fudge, Cookies, Cakes, and Candies

ChefMD® Recipe: Dark Chocolate Fruit Dip

The three Cs of spices in this treat (cinnamon, cardamom and cayenne pepper) not only wake up your taste buds, but help you feel good by helping the brain to release endorphins, says Dr La Puma. Cayenne pepper in this dessert can even help reduce stomach ulcers and block pain receptors, making this dish nothing short of a true pleasure.

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Chocolate Dessert Recipe from gourmet chocolate dessert recipe. Chocolate caramel kiss pots.

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