Showing posts with label Cocoa solids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cocoa solids. Show all posts

09 June 2009

Recipe: Tunnel of Fudge Cake

Half of a chocolate Bundt cake.What's left: half of a chocolate bundt cake! Image via Wikipedia

From Denny: Now here's a perennial favorite with a lot of people besides yours truly! Bundt cakes are so easy to make and involve as many variations as your mind can conceive.

Tunnel of fudge cake

From: Chris Kimball, editor of Cook's Illustrated

Serves 12 to 14



3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting pan

1/2 cup boiling water

2 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups pecans or walnuts, chopped fine

2 cups confectioners' sugar

1 teaspoon salt

5 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

Chocolate glaze

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup light corn syrup

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Do not use a cake tester, toothpick, or skewer to test the cake — the fudgy interior won't give an accurate reading. Instead, remove the cake from the oven when the sides just begin to pull away from the pan and the surface of the cake springs back when pressed gently with your finger.

1. For the cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 12-cup Bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder. Pour boiling water over chocolate in medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Cool to room temperature. Whisk cocoa, flour, nuts, confectioners' sugar, and salt in large bowl. Beat eggs and vanilla in large measuring cup.

2. With electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. On low speed, add egg mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Add chocolate mixture and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in flour mixture until just combined, about 30 seconds.

3. Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth batter, and bake until edges are beginning to pull away from pan, about 45 minutes. Cool upright in pan on wire rack for 1 1/2 hours, then invert onto serving plate and cool completely, at least 2 hours.

4. For the glaze: Cook cream, corn syrup, and chocolate in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. Stir in vanilla and set aside until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Drizzle glaze over cake and let set for at least 10 minutes. Serve. (Cake can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.)

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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."


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


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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01 June 2009

Recipe: Chocolate Soup

From Denny: Now this is definitely something I'd like to try - a soup made from chocolate, wow! Beware of the calorie count though; it's a real whopper! Be generous; share this dessert with friends and family! :)

Zuppa di Cioccolato (Chocolate Soup) - from Sotto Sotto restaurant

From: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Sotto Sotto restaurant

"From the menu of . . . Sotto Sotto
313 N. Highland Ave., Atlanta

Q: Please see if you can coax the chocolate soup dessert recipe out of the chef at Sotto Sotto. It's really great, with little bits of crunchy things in it.
-- Lea Nixon, Atlanta

A: If all you think of is minestrone when you think of Italian soup . . . think again. Zuppa di Cioccolato is a rich chocolate soup served as a dessert. Sotto Sotto chef Christian Watson says this heavenly confection is a combination of fine semi-sweet chocolate (the brand he uses is Callebaut, which can be difficult to find locally), hazelnut whipped cream topping, dry roasted hazelnuts and sugared croutons."

Hands on time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves: 10


For the chocolate base:
1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) heavy cream (36 to 40 percent milkfat)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 pounds best-quality semi-sweet chocolate chips

6 tablespoons rum (Virgin Island Rum, a sweet rum, is suggested)

For the baguettes:

10 slices French baguette

Granulated sugar for sprinkling

For the hazelnut cream:

3/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon hazelnut praline paste (see note)

For the garnishes:

1 cup whole roasted hazelnuts

Unsweetened cocoa powder


In a medium, heavy Dutch oven, combine the cream and sugar over medium-high heat. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to low and gradually add the chocolate chips, whisking constantly until smooth. Stir in the rum, and whisk again. (The soup base may be adjusted to your desired consistency with additional cream or chocolate.)
Sprinkle the baguette slices with granulated sugar and place in the oven to toast until just caramelized.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the 3/4 cup cream to soft peaks with the hazelnut paste.

To serve: Place a crouton in the bottom of a shallow soup bowl; pour about 3/4 cup of the soup base over it, sprinkle with roasted hazelnuts, and top with a dollop of the whipped cream. Dust with cocoa powder, and serve at once.

NOTE: Hazelnut paste is difficult to find. Watson suggests substituting Nutella, for a slightly different flavor. Our tester reports it is fine to omit the paste.


Per serving:
939 calories, 10 grams protein, 86 grams fat (percent calories from fat, 82), 49 grams carbohydrates, 208 milligrams cholesterol, 135 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

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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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03 May 2009

Recipe: Charles Chocolates Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate TrufflesImage via Wikipedia

From Denny: From CBS' 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


1 cup organic heavy cream or whipping cream

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 whole vanilla bean

8 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder


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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21 April 2009

Recipe: Chocolate Espresso Bars

Chocolate Expresso Bars

From CBS: Instant espresso powder offers the most practical way to impart a rich coffee flavor to cookies, candies and cakes. Sold in well-stocked food markets and specialty coffee stores, the fine powder dissolves quickly in hot liquid, producing a bolder, more concentrated taste than regular instant coffee. This intense flavor comes with a solid dose of caffeine, however, so if you are sensitive to caffeine's effects, look for a brand of instant espresso powder labeled "decaffeinated."


3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

3 tbs. instant espresso powder

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

8 tbs. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 oz. semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 eggs

1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the glaze:

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. instant espresso powder

4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped

Pinch of salt

16 chocolate-covered espresso beans (optional)

Directions: Preheat an oven to 350°F. Generously grease an 8-inch square baking pan.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and salt into a bowl; set aside.

In a small, heavy saucepan over low heat, combine the butter and chocolate and heat, stirring occasionally, until melted, about two minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar until blended. Gradually stir in the chocolate mixture until blended. Stir in the vanilla, then add the flour mixture and stir until blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan and the center is springy to the touch, about 25 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool.

Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream and espresso powder and heat, stirring, just until the powder is dissolved and bubbles start to appear around the pan edges. Add the chocolate and salt, remove from the heat and stir just until the chocolate is melted. Let cool to room temperature.

Using a small offset spatula, spread the cooled glaze over the cookie in a thin layer. Refrigerate until the glaze is set, about 30 minutes. Cut into 1 1⁄2-by-2 1⁄2-inch bars or 2-inch squares. Top each bar with a chocolate-covered espresso bean. Makes 16 bars.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, "Cookies," by Marie Simmons (Simon & Schuster, 2002 ).

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