Showing posts with label Types of chocolate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Types of chocolate. Show all posts

04 September 2009

Recipe: Simple Easy Chocolate Coconut Krispies, Plus Vegan Recipe

Rice Krispies? Meet S'mores. S'mores, Rice Kri...This is a S'Mores version, cool! Image by e.marie via Flickr

From Denny: People are always searching for a recipe of a food they fondly remember from childhood - and Rice Krispie bar cookie recipes are often a favorite! When this was featured in our local newspaper recently (no photo) I just had to include it here. What's perfect about this simple easy recipe is that it's perfect for this holiday weekend of Labor Day. You can make and take it any where easily, enjoy!

From: Susan Filopowicz

Yield: 12 muffin-size or 24 minimuffin-size servings.

Ingredients:

4 Tablespoons butter

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 (10-ounce) bag marshmallows

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

2-1/2 cups shredded coconut

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1-1/2 teaspoons water

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

Directions:

1. Melt butter, 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate and marshmallows. Combine and add Rice Krispies and cool.

2. Spray palms of hands with cooking spray and while mixture is still warm press the mixture up to 1/2 full of the minimuffin cups or regular cupcake tins.

3. In a medium glass bowl, stir coconut with 2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk. Microwave 1 minute on high. Stir and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to cool slightly. While warm, pour over the crispy mixture to the top.

4. In a small bowl, combine the remaining 2 ounces of chocolate and 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk and microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and microwave for 30 more seconds. Add water and vanilla and drizzle over each crispy cup and top with several slivered almonds.

***

krispie carnageVegan version of Rice Krispie treats Image by Jocelyn | McAuliflower via Flickr

Now here's another version of a Rice Krispie treat, vegan style from Jocely McAuliflower @ Brownie Points Blog.

Chocolate GORP Rice Crispy Treats

GORP: Good Old Raisins and Peanuts

Lightly oil an 8″ x 8″ baking pan and set aside.

Combine in a sauce pan:

light corn syrup, 1/2 cup

light brown sugar, 1/4 cup packed

1/4 teaspoon salt

Bring to a full boil and remove from the heat.

Stir in:

peanut butter butter (or any favorite nut butter), 1 cup
(Warming the peanut butter jar in the microwave makes the 1 cup easier to scoop out.)

vanilla, 1 teaspoon

crisp puffed rice cereal, 3 cups

With oiled hands, press the mixture firmly into the buttered 8″ x 8″ pan.

Directions:

Sprinkle the top with chopped raisins and enough grated or finely chopped semi-sweet chocolate to cover the entire pan, making sure to get the chocolate in the corners, as well as thick enough to form a layer. As I was working with a large block of chocolate and free-form with the raisins, I don’t quite remember the quantities required. A four ounce chocolate bar and 1/2 cup of raisins are a good place to start.

Using a blow torch (or a brief visit to the broiler), melt out the chocolate layer to help adhere the raisins.

This cuts best before the chocolate has completely hardened.


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26 August 2009

Recipe: Lime Pie with a Twist - White Chocolate!

key limes for key limeadeSee how tiny these key limes are? Intensely flavored and tart! Image by m kasahara via Flickr

From Denny: In the heat of this summer (which it seems you have heard me endlessly whining about - grin) and to be enjoyed after a good garlicky seafood dish is a citrus flavor to cut the oils, salt and heat.

We adore Key Lime Pie here in Louisiana! Louisianians often visit the Florida beaches and golf courses where we were introduced to such a sweet treat as to what they like to create with Key Limes! (We also love their soft shell crabs - yum!) Here is another twist on the classic recipe by using white chocolate.

Easy Key Lime Pie with a Twist

Yield: one (9-inch) pie

Ingredients:

1 cup whipping cream

1 (11-ounce) package white chocolate morsels

1 tablespoon Breakstone's sour cream (you can use another full fat brand)

1 teaspoon grated Key Lime rind (these things are tiny to grip; if you have a microplane it's easier to grate them)

1/3 cup fresh Key lime juice (these tiny little limes are awesome!)

1 (9-inch) pre-baked chocolate graham cracker crust (I prefer a chocolate crust as I find the plain just a little too bland but you can choose whatever you enjoy!)

Garnish: lime slices

Directions:

Over low heat in a medium saucepan you want to combine the white chocolate morsels and the whipping cream.

Cook 5 minutes or until white chocolate melts; stir constantly. Remove from heat and now add the sour cream, lime rind and juice; stir well. Note: The reason you remove it from the heat is that you don't want the sour cream to separate or the white chocolate to seize up on you.

Note: Variation - Before you pour this mixture into the crust you can add some zing with another variation: spread a thin layer of sour cream on the bottom of the crust. You could also spread a thin layer of melted semi-sweet chocolate here too! I've even placed finely chopped butter-roasted pecans here.

If you want to just proceed with the basic recipe and skip the variations, go ahead and pour the sour cream-lime mixture into crust. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Garnish, if desired with more whipped cream, finely chopped butter-roasted pecans and lime slices for beautiful presentation! Dare I say it? Lip-smacking good! :)

Feel free to subscribe to Comfort Food From Louisiana just click on the orange feed icon next to the feed count right hand side at the top of the page! Thanks for visiting!

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14 July 2009

Recipe: Easy KeyRecipe: Lime Pie with a Twist - White Chocolate!

key limes for key limeadeSee how tiny these key limes are? Intensely flavored and tart! Image by m kasahara via Flickr

From Denny: In the heat of this summer (which it seems you have heard me endlessly whining about - grin) and to be enjoyed after a good garlicky seafood dish is a citrus flavor to cut the oils, salt and heat.

We adore Key Lime Pie here in Louisiana! Louisianians often visit the Florida beaches and golf courses where we were introduced to such a sweet treat as to what they like to create with Key Limes! (We also love their soft shell crabs - yum!) Here is another twist on the classic recipe by using white chocolate.

Easy Key Lime Pie with a Twist

Yield: one (9-inch) pie

Ingredients:

1 cup whipping cream

1 (11-ounce) package white chocolate morsels

1 tablespoon Breakstone's sour cream (you can use another full fat brand)

1 teaspoon grated Key Lime rind (these things are tiny to grip; if you have a microplane it's easier to grate them)

1/3 cup fresh Key lime juice (these tiny little limes are awesome!)

1 (9-inch) pre-baked chocolate graham cracker crust (I prefer a chocolate crust as I find the plain just a little too bland but you can choose whatever you enjoy!)

Garnish: lime slices

Directions:

Over low heat in a medium saucepan you want to combine the white chocolate morsels and the whipping cream.

Cook 5 minutes or until white chocolate melts; stir constantly. Remove from heat and now add the sour cream, lime rind and juice; stir well. Note: The reason you remove it from the heat is that you don't want the sour cream to separate or the white chocolate to seize up on you.

Note: Variation - Before you pour this mixture into the crust you can add some zing with another variation: spread a thin layer of sour cream on the bottom of the crust. You could also spread a thin layer of melted semi-sweet chocolate here too! I've even placed finely chopped butter-roasted pecans here.

If you want to just proceed with the basic recipe and skip the variations, go ahead and pour the sour cream-lime mixture into crust. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Garnish, if desired with more whipped cream, finely chopped butter-roasted pecans and lime slices for beautiful presentation! Dare I say it? Lip-smacking good! :)

Feel free to subscribe to Comfort Food From Louisiana just click on the orange feed icon next to the feed count right hand side at the top of the page! Thanks for visiting!

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10 July 2009

Recipe: Make You Own Devils Food Cake Mix!

Cross section of the Chocolate Devils Food cakeDevils Food Cake Image by Sifu Renka via Flickr

From Denny: Are you tired of using a cake mix because you find it uninspiring, bland tasting or are uncomfortable with the food additives and preservatives? Fear not! It's an easy recipe to make from scratch with little effort as if you were using a cake mix!

As a child, when I first went to make this cake I was fascinated with the unusual color AND the name. My English teacher Aunt Noelle, who was pitch-hitting for my mother since my mother had died that summer, was teaching me how to bake, told me the funny name came from the reddish color as people thought for sure this cake must have come out of hell itself as it tasted so good it was sinful! Then she went on to instruct me in the science of how to get that cake color because of the reaction of the cocoa powder and the baking soda. After that I was hooked for a lifetime and have enjoyed this simple cake ever since!

To show you how simple it is, here is a recipe straight from Better Homes and Gardens 75th Anniversary Edition Cookbook:

Devil's Food Cake

Prep: 25 minutes
Bake: 25 minutes
Oven: 350 degrees F.
Cooling time: 1 hour
Yield: 12 to 16 servings

Ingredients:

3 eggs

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (this isn't a fussy cake that requires special flour)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shortening (try canola oil or unsalted clarified butter)

1 3/4 cups sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups cold water

Directions:

Allow eggs to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease and lightly flour two 9x1 1/2-inch or 8x1 1/2-inch round cake pans or grease one 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt;set aside.

In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined. Add eggs 1 at a time; beating well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and water to shortening mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan or pans.

Bake in a 350 degree F. over for 25 to 30 minutes for 9-inch pans, 30 to 35 minutes for 8-inch or 13x9x2-inch pans - or until a wooden toothpick or cake wire inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes in the pans. Then remove from the pans. Cool thoroughly on wire racks. You can just leave the larger sheet cake in the pan (the pan size of 13x9x2-inch). Frost with desired frosting.

From Denny: I'm a big fan of chocolate ganache so I'll give this one. It's also less effort than most frostings with powdered sugar and butter.

Ganache

Start to finish time: 35 minutes

Yield: just under 2 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup whipping cream

12 ounces chopped milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate or bittersweet chocolate

Directions:

In a medium saucepan bring whipping cream just to boiling over medium-high heat. Add the chopped chocolate of your choice. Resist the temptation to stir. Let stand 5 minutes. Then stir until smooth. Cool for 15 minutes. Spoon evenly over cake (which is why using this frosting works best with a one layer cake). To make things easy on yourself: pull out a cookie sheet, line with waxed paper, then place your wire rack with the cooled cake layer on top of this. This setup will catch all the drips and contain the mess as you "frost" with ganache.

Here's another twist on the ganache so you can use this frosting for the top and middle layers and sides of an 8-inch or 9-inch size cake so it looks like a conventional cake:

Truffle Frosting:

Ingredients are doubled from above recipe:

2 cups whipping cream

24 ounces chopped milk chocolate only

Directions: Prepare the Ganache as in the above recipe. Instead of cooling for 15 minutes, transfer to a large mixing bowl. Cover and chill mixture overnight. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds or until fluffy and of spreading consistency when ready to frost cake the next day.










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19 June 2009

Recipe: Canada's Famous Nanaimo Bars



From Denny: Have you been over to the Canadian food site Joy of Baking yet? Even though the summer weather has set in with 98 degree F. days, their recipes are enough to coax me into turning on the oven even in this heat - though with this recipe it won't be required!

This is a summer-friendly recipe as it is a no-bake one. Definitely a must-try recipe AND easy - perfect for the weekend!

Here is an excerpt from their site about this cookie bar:

"Nanaimo Bars (or N.B.s for short) are one of Canada's favorite confections. The beautiful City of Nanaimo, British Columbia lays claim to these squares, telling us on their website that it all began when a Nanaimo housewife entered a recipe for chocolate squares in a magazine contest some 35 years ago.

She called her recipe 'Nanaimo Bars' and when she won the contest, not only did her dessert become popular throughout Canada, so did the town they were named after. Whether this story is true or not, we will never know, but what we do know is that these no-bake bars are delicious; a three layered square with a crumb base, followed by a layer of light custard buttercream, that is topped with a smooth layer of chocolate."

Their recipes are given in both American and metric measurements. For the continuation of their tips, history and suggestions about this recipe - worth the read - just click on the title link.

Nanaimo Bars

Ingredients:

Bottom Layer:

1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1/3 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa (I use Dutch-processed)

1 large egg, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups (200 grams) graham cracker crumbs

1 cup (65 grams) coconut (either sweetened or unsweetened)

1/2 cup (50 grams) walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped

FILLING:

1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 - 3 tablespoons milk or cream

2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder (Bird's) or vanilla pudding powder

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups (230 grams) powdered sugar (confectioners or icing) sugar

TOPPING:

4 ounces (115 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter

Directions:

Nanaimo Bars: Butter (or use a cooking spray) a 9 x 9 inch (23 x 23 cm) pan.

BOTTOM LAYER: In a saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the sugar and cocoa powder and then gradually whisk in the beaten egg. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens (1 - 2 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, graham cracker crumbs, coconut, and chopped nuts. Press the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate until firm (about an hour).

FILLING: In your electric mixer cream the butter. Beat in the remaining ingredients. If the mixture is too thick to spread, add a little more milk. Spread the filling over the bottom layer, cover, and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).

TOP LAYER: In a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter. Spread over the filling and refrigerate.

TO SERVE: To prevent the chocolate from cracking, using a sharp knife, bring the squares to room temperature before cutting.

Yield: Makes about 25 squares

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05 June 2009

Recipe: Easy 7 Layer Cookie Bars



From Denny: The kids can help you make these easy cookie bars! Great for the weekend; make ahead, freeze, then pull out when you need them. Nothing could be easier!

Some folks call these “hello dollies.” For a change, substitute peanut butter chips and peanuts for the butterscotch chips and pecans. - Meridith Ford Goldman


Hands on time: 15 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: Makes 40 bars


Ingredients:

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips

1 (12-ounce) package milk chocolate chips

1 (12-ounce) package butterscotch chips

1 1/2 cups flaked coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

2 (14-ounce) cans sweetened condensed milk

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Spray sides of 9-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray. Pour butter into pan. Sprinkle crumbs evenly on butter, then pat them down to even out. Sprinkle semisweet, milk chocolate and butterscotch chips evenly over crumbs. Sprinkle with coconut, then nuts. Pour milk over layers. Bake 25 to 35 minutes or until mixture bubbles and browns on top. Let cool on a rack; cut into squares.

Nutrition:

Per serving:
263 calories (percent of calories from fat, 46), 3 grams protein, 34 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 14 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 19 milligrams cholesterol, 70 milligrams sodium.

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04 June 2009

Recipe: Coconut Chocolate Pudding



From Denny: OK, two of my favorites are coconut and chocolate in a happy marriage with me as the happy child enjoying the company of both! :) From 101 Cookbooks, she really outdid herself developing this awesome recipe. Any time you add a dry roasted ingredient to a dish it really kicks up the taste, in this case she used coconut flakes. Take a look at the rest of her site as there are varied recipes for everyone to enjoy!

Coconut Chocolate Pudding

"I used Scharffen Berger 62% semi-sweet chocolate in this pudding, I also did a batch with 70% - delicious. You can play around with a few of the variables here. For example, it might be fun to use one of the uniquely spiced Vosges chocolate bars in place of the straight semi-sweet. I used raz el hanout spice blend here - but you should feel free to experiment with your favorite curry spice blend. If you want to use regular or low-fat milk in place of the coconut milk, give it a go. For a more pronounced coconut flavor, you might want to add a small splash of coconut extract."

Ingredients:

1 14-ounce can of coconut milk (lite is fine), divided

3 tablespoons sugar

scant 1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup arrowroot powder, sifted

1 teaspoon raz el hanout spice blend or curry powder, (optional)

3 tablespoons alkalized dutch-cocoa powder, sifted

1 3.5-ounce bar semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut flakes, toasted in a dry skillet


Directions:

Shake the can of coconut milk vigorously for a few seconds. In a heavy saucepan bring 1 1/4 cups of the coconut milk, sugar, and the salt (just) to a simmer over low heat.

While that is heating, in a separate bowl whisk together the remaining coconut milk, arrowroot powder, spice blend (or curry powder), and cocoa powder. It should look like a chocolate frosting.

When the coconut milk and sugar mixture has started simmering take about 1/4 cup of it and whisk it little by little into the arrowroot mixture, creating a slurry. Turn down the heat to the very lowest setting.

Now drizzle the arrowroot slurry mixture into the simmering pan of coconut milk whisking vigorously all the while. Keep whisking until the pudding comes back up barely to a simmer and thickens up a bit, about a minute.

Remove the saucepan from heat, continue whisking while it is cooling for about a minute. Now whisk in the chocolate and vanilla. Keep stirring until the pudding is smooth.

Place in a refrigerator to chill thoroughly. To prevent a skin from forming press plastic up against the surface of the pudding. Serve dusted with the coconut flakes and a tiny pinch of spices (or curry powder).

Serves four. (From Denny: Like 4 people would even get the chance in my house!)

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27 May 2009

Chocolate Glossary Terms



Chocolate Photo from Wikipedia

From Denny: How many times do you run into those chocolate terms, scratch your head and wonder? Well, at this site, Chocolate Lover, they have compiled the following list. They have a lot of other goodies on this clever site too! Check out their recipes and just plain good attitude!

There are chefs' terms, agricultural, manufacturing, cultural and scientific. Take a look and use this reference whenever you need it!

"Alkalinisation In the early 19th century the Dutchman Coenraad Johannes van Houten discovered that the acid taste of cocoa was neutralized if he added alkali-potash to the nibs before they were roasted. Ever since the end of the 19th century all industrial chocolate makers have practiced this alkalization process to modify the flavor and the color of the final product. Another technical term for alkalization still used today is the ‘Dutch process’ or ‘Dutching’.

Artisanal Chocolate produced by a small maker (an artisan), usually from a unique blend of beans or a rare single type.

Bittersweet Bittersweet chocolate, not to be confused with unsweetened or semisweet chocolate, is primarily used for baking. A slightly sweetened dark chocolate, it has many uses such as making shiny chocolate curls as garnishes or rich, dense chocolate cakes. Both it and semisweet chocolate are required by the U.S. FDA to contain at least 35% chocolate liquor.

Brut (Bitter) In the U.S. the FDA describes this as chocolate that does not contain any sugar, though it may contain natural or artificial flavoring. This pure chocolate is intended for cooking as only real fanatics will enjoy this very bitter chocolate substance with a solid cocoa content in excess of 85%.

Cacao A term used for a cacao plant but also for the unprocessed product (pods) of the cacao plant.

Carraque Solid milk or dark chocolate pieces, which are sometimes topped with raisins, almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts.

Chocolate Liquor Chocolate liquor is made up of the finely ground nib of the cocoa bean. This is technically not yet chocolate. This type of chocolate is also known as unsweetened chocolate and is also referred to cocoa mass or cocoa liquor.

Chocolate Lover One who appreciates the unique qualities of a truly fine piece of chocolate and feels that life would not be the same without gourmet chocolate.

Cocoa Beans Source of all chocolate and cocoa, cocoa beans are found in the pods (fruit) of the cocoa tree, an evergreen cultivated mainly within twenty degrees north or south of the equator.

Cocoa Butter Cocoa butter is a complex, hard fat made up mostly of triglycerides, it remains firm at room temperature, then it contracts as it cools and solidifies. It is ideal for molding.

Cocoa Mass Same as Chocolate Liquor.

Cocoa Pods Between the blossoms of the permanently flowering cocoa tree we can see fruit at various stages of development. The egg-shaped cocoa pods measure between 15 and 30 centimeters (between 6 and 12 inches) and hang from the trunk and the largest branches. Each fruit contains between 30 and 40 beans of about 1 cm (about 0.5 inch) in length.



Cocoa Powder The result of extracting cocoa butter from cocoa paste. Cocoa powder is used to prepare chocolate drinks or to sprinkle truffles and chocolate tarts.

Compound Coatings In chocolate flavored coatings and compounds, part of the cocoa butter may be replaced by vegetable fat. Also a whole range of whey powders, whey derivatives and dairy blends are permitted where milk powder is prescribed in milk chocolate. However, there is hardly any difference between the production processes of ‘genuine’ chocolate on the one hand and ‘chocolate flavored’ coatings and compounds on the other. Some ingredients not used in chocolate may require adjustments of the production processes. For chocolate flavored products containing sorbitol or xylitol the mixing, refining and conching temperature settings need to be adjusted.

Conching The processing step called ‘conching’ reduces the moistness of the cocoa mass and removes the volatile acids. At the same time, this step allows for specific aromas and smoothness to be associated with chocolate. Conching is the process where the chocolate is "plowed" back and forth through the liquid chocolate which smoothes the chocolate and rounds out the flavor, essential for the flavor, the texture and the overall quality of the chocolate.

Couverture Couverture is a term used to describe professional-quality coating chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa butter, at least 32%, and as high as 39% for good quality couverture. The extra cocoa butter allows the chocolate to form a thinner coating shell than non-couverture chocolate.

Criollo The best quality cocoa bean, but rare and harder to grow than others, with a lower yield per tree.

Dark Chocolate Dark chocolate must contain a minimum of 43% cocoa to be called "dark" according to European norms. A "70% cocoa chocolate" is considered quite dark while 85% and even 88% cocoa dark chocolates have become quite popular for dark chocolate lovers.

Devil's Food A chocolate flavored product that derives most of its flavor from cocoa butter rather than chocolate.

Dutching In the early 19th century the Dutchman Coenraad Johannes van Houten discovered that the acid taste of cocoa was neutralized if he added alkali-potash to the nibs before they were roasted. Ever since the end of the 19th century all industrial chocolate makers have practiced this alkalization process to modify the flavor and the color of the final product. Another technical term for alkalization still used today is the ‘Dutch process’ or ‘Dutching’.

Enrobing One of two chocolates-making techniques by taking the center of a certain chocolate or praline and covering it with a layer of outer chocolate by pouring liquid chocolate over it or by dipping the chocolate center by hand in liquid chocolate. (Contrasts with "molded" chocolates)

Fondant Fondant is the French word for dark or "Pure" chocolate. (Contrasts with milk chocolate or "Lait")

Fudge Fudge is a type of confectionery, usually extremely rich and often flavored with chocolate. It is made by boiling sugar in milk to the soft-ball stage, and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency.

Ganache A Ganache is a rich, silky chocolate mixture made by combining chopped semisweet chocolate and boiling cream and stirring until smooth. (Sometimes butter can also be added) The proportions of chocolate to cream vary, depending on the use of the ganache and can be flavored with fruits spices and different liquors. The result is a harmonious balance between the smoothness of the flavor and the intensity of the chocolate.

Gianduja Gianduja is a delicious mixture of emulsified hazelnuts and cocoa mass, cocoa butter and sugar. Originally this was an Italian specialty.

Lecithin A natural product extracted from the soy bean that is used as a thinner in chocolate. During the manufacturing of chocolate, lecithin controls flow properties through the reduction of viscocity.

Low Fat Cocoa Cocoa powder containing less than ten percent cocoa butter.

Malitol Maltitol is a natural sugar-substitute based on a Malt-extract, which allows chocolate to keep a sweet taste without containing sugar. Maltitol has become a popular sugar substitute in many chocolate couvertures, especially Belgian chocolate sugar-free products.

Marzipan Marzipan is a thick paste achieved by skillfully mixing melted sugar with finely chopped ground almonds. The outer shell of a marzipan is an envelope of milk, white or dark chocolate. The Lubecker method (known to be the world's best Marzipan) means that only pure almond and sugar are used, thereby delivering the fullest almond taste.

Medium Fat Cocoa Cocoa powder containing between ten and twenty-two percent cocoa butter.

Milk Chocolate The best known kind of eating chocolate. Milk chocolate is made by combining the chocolate liquid, extra cocoa butter, milk or cream, sweetening, and flavorings.

Moulding Another technique for making chocolate consists of placing chocolate in molds to obtain a molded chocolate "shell" that is then filled with one or several unique fillings before being seals with another layer of chocolate. The typical Belgian Praline is produced by pouring a hazelnut praline filling in molded shapes.

Nibs The kernels of coca beans are usually called ‘nibs’ and are the basic ingredient of which chocolate is made, Sometimes, the original dark and rich nibs are used to add texture to chocolate bars or chocolate deserts.

Nougatine Nougatine is achieved by heating sugar until it caramelizes and mixing finely crushed roasted hazelnuts or almonds . Once this paste is achieved, it is put on a caramel roller and crushed into little pieces. Nougatine pieces are used as filling in certain chocolates and chocolate bars.

Organic The word ‘organic’ refers to how these food products are produced. Organic production is based on a system of farming that maintains and replenishes the fertility of the soil. Organic foods are produced without the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers. They are processed without artificial ingredients, preservatives or irradiation. Organic chocolate contains a minimum of 95% naturally grown and certified raw materials.

Pâte de Fruits Pates de fruits are composed of sugar pulps and apple pectin. The fruit percentage is more than 50% of the total component.

Pods Between the blossoms of the permanently flowering cocoa tree we can see fruit (pods) at various stages of development. The egg-shaped cocoa pods measure between 15 and 30 centimeters (between 6 and 12 inches) and hang from the trunk and the largest branches. Each fruit contains between 30 and 40 beans of about 1 cm (about 0.5 inch) in length.

Praliné Praliné is composed of richly flavored chocolate to which caramelized sugar (hot caramel), well-roasted, finely-ground hazelnuts (or almonds) and vanilla have been added. The praliné flavor is typical in many Belgian chocolates or "pralines."

Semi-sweet chocolate chipsImage via Wikipedia



Semisweet Chocolate Semi-sweet chocolate is created by blending chocolate liquid with varying amounts of sweetening and extra cocoa butter. Flavorings may be included. Semi-sweet chocolate is available in bar form, but is usually sold in pieces or chips. Semi-sweet contains between 15% and 35% chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar, lecithin, and vanilla. It may be used in recipes that call for bittersweet or sweet chocolate, but is not interchangeable with milk chocolate. Also Known As: Semi-sweet blocs, squares, bits, chocolate chips, morsels.

Sheen The pleasant shine on couverture and eating chocolate. High-quality chocolate usually has a bright sheen. A chalky face may be an indication of poor quality. But it may also mean the chocolate has been exposed to extreme temperatures - from hot to cold to hot - which causes cocoa butter to separate and rise to the surface. This does not affect the taste.

Sweet Chocolate This is similar to semisweet, but has more sweeteners and only has to have at least 15% chocolate liquor. It can often be interchanged with semisweet or bittersweet chocolate.

Tempering Tempering is the process of bringing the chocolate to a certain temperature whereby the cocoa butter reaches its most stable crystal form. There are several forms in which the butter can crystallize, only one of which ensures the hardness, shrinking force and gloss of the finished product after it has cooled. If the chocolate is melted in the normal way (between 40 and 45°C) and then left to cool to working temperature, the finished product will not be gloss. Proper tempering, followed by proper cooling produces a nice shine and good eating properties.

Theobroma The botanical description for cocoa. The name "Theobroma," comes from the ancient Greek words for "god" (Theo) and "food" (Broma).



Truffle A confection made of chocolate (ganache), butter, sugar, and sometimes liqueur shaped into balls and often coated with cocoa. Truffles are made by heating a rich blend of butter, cream, chocolate, and often a flavoring, delicately shaping it, and enrobing it with chocolate couverture.(milk, dark or white) Different truffle textures can be created by rolling the center ganache in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, or finely chopped nuts. Truffles, originally named after the exotic French mushroom because of its visual resemblance, are either hand-rolled chocolate or domed with a piped center.

Varietal Describes the type of bean, such as criollo, forestero or trinitario, used in the chocolate. Varietal chocolates are those made from a single type of bean.

Viscosity The measure of the flow characteristics of a melted chocolate.

White Chocolate White chocolate is not considered real chocolate, because although it has cocoa butter (at least 32% to be considered of good quality), it does not have chocolate liquor. White chocolate is made from cocoa butter, milk, sugar and vanilla.

Xocoatl Xocoatl is the original name the Aztecs, Toltecs, Mayas and Incas gave to a stimulating drink they brewed from cocoa beans. It was a mixture of cocoa, maize (Indian corn) and water."

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26 May 2009

Recipe: Grilled Shrimp with Chocolate Mole Poblano Sauce



From Denny: We love seafood because it is quick to prepare. Here's a new twist; pair grilled shrimp with a chocolate mole sauce! Anything chocolate works for me!

From: Southern Living Magazine, a wonderful resource recipe database.

Southern Living, "This recipe offers a creative savory use of Andrew Weil's "perfect" food: dark chocolate. The chocolate adds richness to the mole, a traditional Mexican sauce. Prepare the sauce a day ahead, and refrigerate so the flavors have time to develop. Store the mole poblano, covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days, or freeze for up to two months."

Ingredients:

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups Mole Poblano (recipe follows)


Directions:

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.

Pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Combine shrimp, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Thread the shrimp onto 6 (8-inch) skewers. Place skewers on grill pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with Mole Poblano.

Note: Nutritional analysis includes 1/3 cup Mole Poblano per serving.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 skewer and 1/3 cup mole poblano)

CALORIES 230 (25% from fat); FAT 6.5g (sat 1.5g,mono 2.1g,poly 1.2g); IRON 3.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 230mg; CALCIUM 79mg; CARBOHYDRATE 10.1g; SODIUM 556mg; PROTEIN 32g; FIBER 1.3g

*****

Mole Poblano

If needed, add more water during the final 18 minutes of cooking to achieve the desired consistency.
This recipe goes with Shrimp with Mole Poblano

Ingredients:

2 ancho chiles, seeded

2 mulato chiles, seeded

1 pasilla chile, seeded

2 plum tomatoes

2 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Cooking spray

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 soft black plantain, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1/4 cup sliced almonds

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 1/4 cups water, divided

2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ancho, mulato, and pasilla chiles; cook 1 minute on each side. Place chiles in a medium bowl; cover with hot water. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes; drain.

While chiles soak in hot water, place tomatoes in pan, and cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Add tortillas to pan, and cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place drained chiles, tomatoes, tortillas, and broth in a blender; process until smooth.

Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add chopped onion, and sauté for 3 minutes. Add plantain, and sauté for 3 minutes or until browned. Add almonds and garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Stir in unsweetened cocoa, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves; sauté 15 seconds. Place onion mixture and 1/4 cup water in blender with chile mixture; process until smooth.

Place chile mixture, 1 cup water, and chocolate in pan; cook over medium heat, partially covered, 18 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in lime juice and salt.

Wine note: The complex flavors of moles are a big challenge when it comes to wine. One style I like is fruity but dry rieslings. These have crisp acidity to counterbalance a mole's intense flavor, plus a touch of fruitiness that plays perfectly off the chiles. A great example: Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling Cold Creek Vineyard 2003 from Washington's Columbia Valley ($17). -Karen MacNeil

Yield: 4 cups (serving size: 1/3 cup)

CALORIES 80 (30% from fat); FAT 2.7g (sat 1.1g,mono 0.7g,poly 0.4g); IRON 0.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 23mg; CARBOHYDRATE 13.8g; SODIUM 219mg; PROTEIN 1.9g; FIBER 1.8g

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25 May 2009

Recipe: Grilled Shrimp with Chocolate Mole Poblano Sauce



From Denny: We love seafood because it is quick to prepare. Here's a new twist; pair grilled shrimp with a chocolate mole sauce! Anything chocolate works for me!

From: Southern Living Magazine, a wonderful resource recipe database.

Southern Living, "This recipe offers a creative savory use of Andrew Weil's "perfect" food: dark chocolate. The chocolate adds richness to the mole, a traditional Mexican sauce. Prepare the sauce a day ahead, and refrigerate so the flavors have time to develop. Store the mole poblano, covered, in the refrigerator for up to three days, or freeze for up to two months."

Ingredients:

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups Mole Poblano (recipe follows)


Directions:

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.

Pat shrimp dry with paper towels. Combine shrimp, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Thread the shrimp onto 6 (8-inch) skewers. Place skewers on grill pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with Mole Poblano.

Note: Nutritional analysis includes 1/3 cup Mole Poblano per serving.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 skewer and 1/3 cup mole poblano)

CALORIES 230 (25% from fat); FAT 6.5g (sat 1.5g,mono 2.1g,poly 1.2g); IRON 3.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 230mg; CALCIUM 79mg; CARBOHYDRATE 10.1g; SODIUM 556mg; PROTEIN 32g; FIBER 1.3g

*****

Mole Poblano

If needed, add more water during the final 18 minutes of cooking to achieve the desired consistency.
This recipe goes with Shrimp with Mole Poblano

Ingredients:

2 ancho chiles, seeded

2 mulato chiles, seeded

1 pasilla chile, seeded

2 plum tomatoes

2 (6-inch) corn tortillas

1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Cooking spray

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 soft black plantain, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1/4 cup sliced almonds

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1 1/4 cups water, divided

2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

3/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ancho, mulato, and pasilla chiles; cook 1 minute on each side. Place chiles in a medium bowl; cover with hot water. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes; drain.

While chiles soak in hot water, place tomatoes in pan, and cook 6 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove from pan. Add tortillas to pan, and cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Place drained chiles, tomatoes, tortillas, and broth in a blender; process until smooth.

Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add chopped onion, and sauté for 3 minutes. Add plantain, and sauté for 3 minutes or until browned. Add almonds and garlic; sauté for 1 minute. Stir in unsweetened cocoa, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves; sauté 15 seconds. Place onion mixture and 1/4 cup water in blender with chile mixture; process until smooth.

Place chile mixture, 1 cup water, and chocolate in pan; cook over medium heat, partially covered, 18 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in lime juice and salt.

Wine note: The complex flavors of moles are a big challenge when it comes to wine. One style I like is fruity but dry rieslings. These have crisp acidity to counterbalance a mole's intense flavor, plus a touch of fruitiness that plays perfectly off the chiles. A great example: Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling Cold Creek Vineyard 2003 from Washington's Columbia Valley ($17). -Karen MacNeil

Yield: 4 cups (serving size: 1/3 cup)

CALORIES 80 (30% from fat); FAT 2.7g (sat 1.1g,mono 0.7g,poly 0.4g); IRON 0.6mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 23mg; CARBOHYDRATE 13.8g; SODIUM 219mg; PROTEIN 1.9g; FIBER 1.8g

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24 May 2009

Recipe: Chocolate-Tipped Butter Cookies



From Denny: Found this easy and kid-friendly recipe from the food archives of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It does contain hydrogenated vegetable shortening which tells me it's an old recipe. Though I haven't tested this recipe yet I'd prefer to use clarified butter which gives it loads of flavor and kills the cholesterol problem. As far as sweets go this recipe is also listed as low calorie at 107 calories per cookie! The sodium level is respectably low too.

Chocolate-Tipped Butter Cookies

Hands on time: 25 minutes
Total time: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Serves: Makes about 3 dozen

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1/2 cup sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 (6-ounce) package semisweet chocolate morsels

1 tablespoon hydrogenated vegetable shortening


Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With electric mixer, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Add vanilla. Gradually add flour, mixing well with a wooden spoon or the hands. Dough will be dry. Shape dough into sticks about 2 1/2 inches long, 1/2 inch wide and 1/2 inch deep (thick). Place on ungreased cookie sheets about an inch apart. Flatten 3/4 of each cookie lengthwise with fork to 1/4 inch thickness, leaving the patterns of the fork tines in the dough.

Bake 10-12 minutes, or until set but not brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Combine chocolate morsels and shortening in microwaveable dish; microwave on high (100 percent power) 45 to 60 seconds, or until melted. Or melt in top of double boiler or in a heavy-bottom pan.

Put melted chocolate in a small, deep glass. Dip the thick, plain end of each cooled cookie in chocolate mixture and let excess drip back into the glass. Place cookies on wax paper until chocolate is firm. Store in airtight containers between layers of wax paper for 3 days or freeze.

Notes: Total time includes cooling and firming time.

Nutrition:

Per cookie:
107 calories (percent of calories from fat, 59), 1 gram protein, 10 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 7 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 14 milligrams cholesterol, 1 milligram sodium.

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22 May 2009

Recipe: Chocolate Pound Cake



From Denny: Awesome cake! You could bake this up, cut into fourths, freeze most of it, enjoy the rest baked fresh! Make the glaze as you need it. Something easy to keep on hand for unexpected guests or some cake required for your child's school function - just slice, glaze and arrange on a wonderful paper doily and disposable paper plate! What could be easier and more delicious?


Chocolate Pound Cake

Prep Time: 30 min
Inactive Prep Time: 1 hr 0 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 10 min
Level: Intermediate
Serves: 10 to 12 servings

Ingredients Cake:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 large eggs, at room temperature

2 egg large yolks, at room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

12 ounces unsalted butter (3 sticks), room temperature

2 1/2 cups sugar

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped


Chocolate Glaze:

6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)

1 tablespoon honey

Equipment: 10 cup bundt pan

Directions

Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour the bundt pan.

Sift the flour, cocoa, and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk the eggs, yolks, vanilla, and espresso powder together into a bowl and set aside.

In a heavy duty mixer, beat the butter with the paddle attachment, on medium speed for 1 minute, or until smooth. Gradually pour in the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until the butter begins to lighten, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and beat, on medium-high, until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes more.

Adjust the mixer's speed to its lowest setting. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and mix until completely absorbed before adding the rest. Scrape down the sides of the mixer then beat on medium-high for 30 seconds more.

Adjust again to low speed and add half the egg mixture, mix until blended and smooth. Add the remaining egg mixture and beat until almost blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and fold in the chocolate by hand. Take care not to over mix the batter.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool the cake in the pan, on a rack for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out of the pan, and cool right side up on a rack. If not serving the same day, wrap in plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Glaze just before serving. Cake can be frozen for 1 month.

For the glaze: Put all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl or glass measuring cup. Melt at 50 percent power in the microwave until soft, about 1 minute. Stir, and continue heat until completely melted, about 1 minute more. Remove from the microwave and whisk until fully combined, smooth and glossy. While warm, pour glaze over cooled cake and do not spread. Serve as desired.

Copyright (c) 2007 Television Food Network, G.P., All Rights Reserved

© 2009 Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved

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08 May 2009

Recipe: Orange Chocolate Bundt Cake



From Denny: The wonderful site of BellaOnline.com of which their food and wine section is one of many areas they cover for womens' issues! This is an easy recipe to make for weekend company or if you and yours are going to a relative's house to celebrate this Mother's Day.

"Orange Chocolate Bundt Cake combines the flavors of fresh oranges and dark chocolate to make a decadent cake that stays moist; it’s also pretty enough to serve company.

Since this delicious cake starts with a mix, it goes together quickly; once a few other simple ingredients are added, the cake takes on the texture and flavor of a made-from-scratch cake. Don't be surprized when this cake becomes an oft requested favorite."

By Karen Hancock, Desserts Editor

Orange Chocolate Bundt Cake

Yield: 16 Servings

Cake

1 18.25 ounce yellow cake Mix

1 3 oz. package orange gelatin

2 oranges

1/2 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 cup mini chocolate chips, or semi-sweet chocolate chips coarsely chopped in the food processor

Frosting

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons whipping cream

1 teaspoon orange extract

Orange zest, for garnish

Spray a 10" bundt pan with Baker's Joy (alternatively, spray the pan liberally with non-stick spray and sprinkle a tablespoon or two of flour into the pan. Rotate the pan so that flour covers the inside of the pan and dump the excess flour out; set the pan aside).

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Mix the cake mix and gelatin in a large mixing bowl.

Using a Microplane or fine grater, remove the zest from the oranges; add all but 1 teaspoon of the zest to the cake mixture (save the other half for the frosting).

Juice the oranges; you should have about 1 cup juice; if you don't have a full cup, add water to make 1 cup.

Add the juice, vegetable oil, eggs, and orange extract to the cake and gelatin mixture.

Mix on low speed until combined, scraping the bowl a couple of times.

Turn the mixer to medium and beat until the batter is smooth, 2-3 minutes.

Pour the batter evenly into the prepared bundt pan.

Bake 45-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Remove from the oven and cool 10 minutes; invert cake onto a cooling rack and cool thoroughly.

Frosting: Pour the chocolate chips into a microwaveable container; add the butter and whipping cream.

Microwave 1 1/2 minutes or until the butter is melted and the cream is warm; let sit 5 minutes.

Add the orange extract and the reserved orange zest; whisk until thick and smooth.

Pour the mixture over the top of the bundt cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.

Garnish with additional orange peel if desired.

Amount Per Serving

Calories 391 Calories from Fat 198
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 50%
Protein 5%
Carb. 45%

Nutrient Amount per
Serving:


Total Fat 22 g
Saturated Fat 8 g
Cholesterol 63 mg
Sodium 251 mg
Total Carbohydrate 44 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Sugars 14 g
Protein 5 g

Vitamin A 5%
Vitamin C 46%
Calcium 0%
Iron 4%

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05 May 2009

Video: Learn How to Make Homemade Candy Bars

From Denny: Learn how to make your own candy bars in your own kitchen? Sign me up on that program, NOW! :) Definitely my kind of video... CHOW.com Food Editor Aida Mollenkamp shows us how easy it is to make candy bars!

"Aida Mollenkamp from Chow.com shows Maggie Rodriguez and Harry Smith how to make delicious chocolate bars at home."



From CBS The Early Show:

To get started, you need to know a few terms.

Tempering is a method of melting and cooling chocolate to stabilize its crystal structure. Tempering makes chocolate shiny, and makes it have a good snap when you break it. Most baking recipes don't require tempering, but it's essential when enrobing chocolate confections.

To enrobe is simply to dip or coat candies in chocolate.

Another term: seed. It's one of the most common methods of tempering chocolate, requiring the fewest tools and easiest to master. Seeding is the method recommended for home cooks. To do it, melt two-thirds to three-quarters of the total weight of chocolate you're working with, and once it's reached 118 degrees Fahrenheit (for milk chocolate), add in the remaining chocolate, which is also referred to as the seed.

The bloom is the gray mottling that sometimes appears on the surface of chocolate; it's a result of extremes in heat or humidity. Chocolate stored in a fridge is subject to too much humidity, which causes the sugars to crystallize. If your chocolate is too warm, it will melt slightly and the fats will separate out. While not aesthetically pleasing, the chocolate is still usable and edible. The only risk is that chocolate with sugar bloom may seize, since it's been exposed to moisture.

Couverture is chocolate with a higher percentage of cocoa butter (at least 32 percent). It's used to enrobe candy because it forms a very thin coating when properly tempered.

RECIPES

Tempering Chocolate

METHOD:


To temper chocolate, fill a large bowl with 2 inches of cold water, add 3 to 4 ice cubes, and set aside.
Bring a saucepan filled with 1 to 2 inches of water to a simmer over high heat; once simmering, turn off heat. Place 18 ounces of the chocolate in a dry heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan and stir until chocolate is completely melted and reaches 118°F. (Make sure chocolate does not come in contact with water or exceed 120°F. If either happens, start over, as the chocolate is no longer usable.)

Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Add remaining 6 ounces chocolate and stir until all chocolate is melted and cools to 80°F. To speed the cooling process, after all chocolate has melted place the bowl over the reserved cold-water bath.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups


INGREDIENTS:

For the filling:

1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup powdered sugar

3/4 cup natural crunchy peanut butter (no added sugar)


For the chocolate coating:

1 pound milk chocolate couverture, such as El Rey 41 percent milk chocolate Discos


METHOD:

For the filling:


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and peanut butter. Mix on medium speed until filling is well combined, breaks into large chunks, and resembles cookie dough, about 3 minutes.
Divide filling into 24 (2-teaspoon) balls, and then form into round, compact shapes that will fit in the mini muffin pan wells. (Keep in mind that when the filling is in the wells, there should be enough room to cover it with chocolate.) Set aside.

For the chocolate coating:

To temper chocolate, fill a large bowl with 2 inches of cold water, add 3 to 4 ice cubes, and set aside.

Bring a saucepan filled with 1 to 2 inches of water to a simmer over high heat; once simmering, turn off heat. Place 12 ounces of the chocolate in a dry heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan and stir until chocolate is completely melted and reaches 118°F. (Make sure the chocolate does not come in contact with water or exceed 120°F. If either happens, start over, as the chocolate is no longer usable.)

Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Add remaining 4 ounces chocolate and stir until all chocolate is melted and cools to 80°F. To speed the cooling process, after all chocolate has melted place the bowl over the reserved cold-water bath.

Return the bowl to the saucepan and stir until chocolate reaches 86°F; immediately remove from heat. Do not remove the thermometer from the bowl; check the temperature periodically to make sure it stays between 85°F and 87°F. (The chocolate must remain in this temperature range or it will not set up properly.) Keep the saucepan over low heat and use it to reheat the chocolate as necessary.

To test if the chocolate is properly tempered, spread a thin layer on parchment and place it in the refrigerator for 3 minutes to set. If the chocolate hardens smooth and without streaks, it is properly tempered. (If it is not properly tempered, you need to repeat the process.)

Using a small pastry brush (or a small, clean paintbrush), liberally spread tempered chocolate inside each cup of the muffin pan. Try to make your coating as even as possible, aiming for about 1/16 inch thick.

Divide filling among chocolate wells. (Don't push too hard or you'll crack the coating.) Spoon chocolate over each filling until completely covered. Scrape across the top of the muffin pan with a palette knife or a flat spatula to remove excess chocolate and even out candy tops.

Place the pan in the freezer for 20 minutes to set up. To remove candies, place a towel or a silicone baking mat on a counter and hit one edge of the muffin pan against the counter. If the candies don't come out easily, freeze them for another 5 minutes and try again. The Peanut Butter Cups will last up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator or up to 2 months in the freezer. Let come to room temperature before serving.

Caramel Filling


INGREDIENTS:

Cooking spray, such as Pam

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup light corn syrup

4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

METHOD:

Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking pan with cooking spray, then line the pan with a 16-by-13-inch piece of parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on each side. Set aside.

Combine all ingredients except vanilla extract in a heavy-bottomed 4-quart saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer and place over medium-high heat. Stir mixture until sugar completely dissolves, about 2 minutes. Wash down the inside of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystallization. Boil mixture, swirling pan occasionally (but not stirring), until syrup is at 248°F, about 8 minutes.

Immediately remove the saucepan from heat, stir in vanilla extract, and pour caramel into prepared baking pan. Using an oiled rubber spatula, spread caramel evenly in the pan. Immediately press 24 cookies, pierced side down, into caramel, leaving space between them to cut them apart later.

Let cool until caramel is no longer warm to the touch and holds a slight indentation when pressed with your finger, about 40 minutes. Place filling in the refrigerator until caramel is firm and can easily be cut through, about 40 minutes.

Remove filling from the baking pan to a cutting board, caramel side down, and, using a sharp knife, cut around each cookie. Peel off parchment paper, place undipped candy bars on a cutting board, caramel side down, and trim away excess caramel. Immediately place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cookie side down, and set in the refrigerator until caramel is hard, at least 10 minutes. (Note: It's best to work in a cool area for this step.) Meanwhile, temper chocolate.

Editor's note: CHOW.com is part of CBS Interactive Group, as is CBSNews.com.





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03 May 2009

Recipe: Charles Chocolates Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate TrufflesImage via Wikipedia

From Denny: From CBS' Chow.com comes an easy chocolate truffle recipe. Give it a try when you want to impress someone and with little effort! So simple the children can help.

***

What to Buy: We love Guittard Chocolate Compnay’s 72% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate; available in small wafers which are perfect for melting. You can find it in some groceries, and online.

Special Equipment: A melon baller, also known as a Parisienne scoop, is perfect for scooping truffle-size balls of ganache. You could also use a cookie scoop. Both are available at Cooking.com.

Ingredients:

1 cup organic heavy cream or whipping cream

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 whole vanilla bean

8 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside. Place chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl.

Split the vanilla bean lengthwise, and use the back of a paring knife to scrape the vanilla seeds into the cream. Let steep for 10 minutes, then return the cream to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
Pour the hot cream over the finely chopped chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes.

Whisk the chocolate and cream mixture together until very smooth. This is referred to as ganache, a mixture of chocolate and cream.
Pour ganache into a shallow 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight.

Using a small melon baller or a small teaspoon, scoop a small ball of ganache into your hand and roll between your palms until somewhat smooth and round. Place ganache balls on a baking sheet until they are all rolled. They should be approximately 1 inch in diameter.

Place cocoa powder in a shallow bowl or pan. Roll the truffles in cocoa powder to coat.

Truffles may be stored for up to two weeks at a cool room temperature (55 to 65 degrees) in an airtight container.

Note: Do not refrigerate or freeze the truffles; this damages the texture of the creamy ganache.

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20 April 2009

Recipe: Chocolate-Banana Croissant Panini

Chocolate-Banana Croissant Panini

From CBS: "Our simple sandwich is inspired by pain au chocolat, a much-loved after-school snack in France. It is, literally, a chocolate bar sandwiched between two slices of bread. This sweet treat is also enjoyed by schoolchildren in Spain."

Ingredients:

2 day-old croissants, cut in half horizontally

2 oz. bittersweet chocolate shavings

1 small banana, cut diagonally into 1/4-inch slices

Directions: Heat an electric panini maker to medium, according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Lay the bottom half of each croissant, cut side up, on a clean work surface. Sprinkle with about two-thirds of the chocolate, dividing equally. Arrange the banana slices on top, then sprinkle with the remaining chocolate. Place the top half of each croissant, cut side down, on top.

Place the sandwiches on the heated panini maker and close the lid. Cook according to the manufacturer's instructions until the chocolate is melted and the tops are golden, 5 to 7 minutes.

Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board and cut in half. Serve immediately. Serves four.





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