Ever hear of a chocolate hater? Didn’t think so. Of course, there are those people who swear off it for life. Why? Beats me. You’re better off asking them. They’ll give you a whole explanation, but chances are they have a chocolate bar hiding in their bag. So much for that..
Don’t we all have our favorite chocolate cake, chocolate cookie, chocolate pie, chocolate drink, chocolate.. need I continue? You get the point. And for all you out there who claim to only have one chocolate favorite. Well, we all know the truth.
Now, all that being said. Let’s get serious.
A bit of background info – stay with me, it will be short.
Chocolate grows in West Africa and Asia. Most of the world’s cocoa is grown in an extremely narrow belt of 10 degrees on either side of the Equator. Cool? Cool! That’s because cocoa trees grow best in humid tropical climates, where there’s regular rain and a very short dry season.
So, what does this mean for us, chocolate lovers? The flavors you love best with your chocolate actually grow in the same conditions. Kind of like cousins, it’s one big family. Flavors like coconut, mint and coffee have the same growing conditions, and go wonderfully with chocolate. Make sure you try those combos if you haven’t yet.
Another (perhaps surprising) combo is cayenne pepper. Also generally known as Mexican hot chocolate. Next time you get the chance, go for it!
We’re dedicating this blog to Taking Chocolate to The Next Level, with a few tips for you. Ready, set, go!
Tip #1: Melting Chocolate:
When you’re melting you’re chocolate, be sure to use a double boiler for best results. If you put your pan/pot of chocolate straight on the fire, it is more likely to burn. No fun. You want to use the double boiler method so the chocolate melts at a lower temperature, resulting in that perfect smoothness we’re yearning.
Always make sure that your double boiler can’t splash water into your chocolate. If water hits your precious chocolate, it will seize.
If you’re preferred method is melting chocolate in the microwave (less dishes!), do it slowly. Melt the chocolate in increments of 1 min, 30 seconds, 30 seconds, etc, mixing every time. Do not cover the bowl, since condensation will form on the cover, resulting in water dripping into your chocolate L We already know that’s a big no no, since it will seize.
Tip # 2: Baking chocolate
Did you know? You can substitute 3 Tbsp cocoa + 1 Tbsp oil for one square of unsweetened baking chocolate.
~Love From Our Kitchen to Yours
A Taste of Home in Israel