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Cooking 101: Chocolate

Asnow89 February 7, 2014 User blog:Asnow89

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Cooking101
Topicchocolate

What is Chocolate?

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Chocolate is a processed, typically sweetened food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor.

After fermentation, the beans are dried, then cleaned, and then roasted, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form. Because this cocoa mass usually is liquefied then molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor.

The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Unsweetened baking chocolate (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions.

Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids.

Types of Chocolate

There is a wide range of types of chocolate depending on how much sugar, cocoa solids, and cocoa butter is added. These are the five main types of chocolate. Click on the image to read more about each type!

Tips & Tricks

  • Use premium chocolate, especially when baking, for the best results
  • When melting chocolate, use a double boiler for best results. You can also melt it in the microwave (but do it in 30 second intervals) because chocolate burns easily.
  • If you have trouble melting the chocolate, add a tablespoon of warm water or taste-free vegetable oil
  • Always discard burnt chocolate- the bitter taste will ruin what you are making

Recipes

Mole2
Savory Chocolate
Most of the time when you think of chocolate, you think about sweet chocolate bars or chocolate desserts- but rarely do you come across savory chocolate recipes! We have a few tricks up our sleeve with these tasty SAVORY dishes.

Recipes:Seitan Mole, Chocolate Cheese Fondue, Chicken Wings with Easy Mole Sauce


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Chocolate Sauces
Who doesn't love homemade chocolate sauce? From ganache to frosting to chocolate sauce you can eat straight out of the jar or pour over ice cream- we have you covered.

Recipes:Whipped Chocolate Ganache Filling (or Frosting), Chocolate sauce, Mom's Hot Fudge Sauce


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Chocolate Desserts

Chocolate desserts are the ultimate indulgence. They are especially perfect for Valentine's Day, which is rapidly approaching! Enjoy these sweet chocolate dessert recipes.
Recipes:Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Crème Brûlée, Chocolate Drizzled Peanut Butter Cheesecake




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