What better way to end a meal than with decadent chocolate desserts? Here is your source for all things chocolate:
Timing is everything when it comes to baking, and more specifically, melting chocolate a few seconds over optimal time can ruin the makeup of the chocolate.
Microwave time may vary depending on the model of the microwave; it is better to start off on the lower end, starting with the lesser amount, and adding a bit more time as necessary, because once the chocolate overcooks and becomes grainy, your chocolate is basically fit for the garbage. Once melted, the chocolate should stay in liquid form for 30 to 60 minutes in a warm kitchen. In a cool kitchen, keep the melted chocolate over warm water until ready to use.
When purchasing chocolate, make sure to verify that you are buying the best quality possible, as this will have a tremendous impact on your chocolate dish. The best way to ensure top quality chocolate is to read the ingredients. The only source of fat in your chocolate should be cocoa butter. This applies to all types of chocolate including chocolate chips. Palm oil or coconut oil, for instance, is no good and may compromise the end result of a chocolate dish.
Store chocolate in a cool, dry place. If storage is too warm, the chocolate can develop gray surface streaks caused by the cocoa butter rising to the surface. It is okay to eat, but not ideal to use for baking as you are not guaranteed optimal results once the makeup of the chocolate has been altered
Chocolate health tip: Dark chocolate and fruit are both packed with natural anti-oxidants which protect the body from many types of cancers, have anti-aging properties, and support cardiovascular health. Chocolate releases natural chemicals in the brain called endorphins, which act as a natural antidepressant and help elevate one’s mood. - Chef Ellie Kumayama
Types of Chocolate
Chocolate chips are made differently than baking chocolate, which is the reason they keep their shape when baked. they are best used in recipes where you need to keep the shape of the chocolate as is, whether it is mixed into cookie or cake batter, used as a topping or for added crunch in desserts.
Semisweet baking chocolate: Unsweetened chocolate contains (at least 35%) cocoa butter, sugar, soy lecithin and vanilla extract. Do not purchase chocolate that contains any fat other than coco a butter. For optimal results, do not substitute chocolate chips in recipes calling for semisweet baking chocolate, since chocolate chips are meant to hold their shape and don’t melt as well.
Bittersweet baking chocolate has a higher chocolate ratio than semisweet, is less sweet and has a stronger chocolate flavor.
Unsweetened baking chocolate, called chocolate liquor, is produced when roasted cocoa beans are ground and processed into liquid. After additional processing, the liquid is hardened into blocks. The packaging label for unsweetened chocolate should list one ingredient: chocolate. Unsweetened baking chocolate is not eaten on its own, but is a core ingredient in many chocolate products.
Unsweetened cocoa powder: Cocoa powder is produced by hydraulically pressing unsweetened chocolate in order to remove most of the cocoa butter. It is not totally fat-free because it does contain residual amounts of cocoa butter. The only ingredient listed should be cocoa.
White chocolate is different than other chocolates as it does not contain cocoa solids, but rather is made from cocoa butter, the fat removed from cocoa beans. while in other chocolates, the fat is recombined with the cocoa solids, white chocolate is made from cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. As a result of its lack of cocoa, it doesn’t contain any of the antioxidants that is found in dark chocolate, and is a richer, higher caloric form of chocolate.
Milk chocolate is made from a combination of cocoa butter, cocoa solids, milk powder and sugar. It is also richer than dark chocolate.
Cocoa nibs are ground, roasted cocoa beans and have a bitter taste and a crunchy texture. Cocoa nibs have been gaining popularity in the culinary world and add a chocolate flavor and crunch to desserts and savory dishes.
This Chocolate Bread Pudding has a rich chocolate flavor that makes great use out of a typically leftover staple, bread.
This dessert tastes like a molten chocolate cake, but with much less work. The inspiration for this dessert is from Glatt a la Carte in Brooklyn, NY. It can easily be made ahead and will wow your guests with its gloriously rich, chocolatey flavor.
A satisfying, fun and healthy dessert. Dark chocolate and fruit are both packed with natural antioxidants which protect the body from illnesses, have anti-aging properties, and support cardiovascular health. Chocolate releases natural chemicals in the brain called endorphins, which act as a natural antidepressant and help elevate one’s mood.
Chocolate is a great flavor addition to the classic carrot cake. This Chocolate Carrot Cake is moist and satisfying and really simple to make. A great option for a Rosh Hashana (or anytime) dessert, celebrating the tradition of eating carrots on the Jewish New Year.
Recipe originally published in JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller Magazine (Bitayavon, Fall 2012) Subscribe Now
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