For the Love of Chocolate

Chocolate comes in a variety of packages and candy bars seem to be the easiest, most convenient form of purchase. Selecting the right chocolate for your dish is important and considerations that must be made are taste or flavor and price, as well as how it is prepared for the dish.

Chocolate Chips
Chocolate Cocoa Powder
Chocolate Candy Bars
Bakers Chocolate
Chocolate Milk Powder

All of these chocolates can work in making candy and sweet chocolate based dishes, but how do you pick the right one for what you want to accomplish?

Is it the richness? Do you think the more you pay for chocolate the better it will be? Is it how well it blends, melts, hardens, or softens? Is it the tools and ways the chocolate is managed that makes it perfect?

For my dishes, it seems to be the chocolate and what it is mixed with, as well as how it is mixed – either using heat, syrups, sugars, or flours.

Chocolate Cocoa Powder is the cheapest and easiest to work with, but it doesn’t taste like chocolate straight out of the can. It has to be prepared, using sugars, fruit flavors, and doughs, or hardening techniques, mixed with creams set at the right temperature and fluffiness, and coated with the right level of thickness and sweetness of the chocolate. Temperature is so important when working with chocolate, especially important to avoid burning, or over mixing.

Chocolate syrup can easily be made by melting Chocolate Cocoa Powder with White Granulated Sugar; for a sweet syrupy coating or covering. The temperature and amount of sugar changes its smoothness and enables it to harden. Gelatin adds a more jiggly feature to the chocolate and when mixed with fruits (blended, chopped, whole, or food processed) changes the liquidity of the chocolate.

While buying a chocolate candy bar or bakers chocolate works for melting and making quick candies, or chocolate chips for adding little morsels to desserts, chocolate cocoa seems to be the secret to milk chocolate candies and desserts as long as you know how to work with it; selecting the right things to add, such as Heavy Whipping Cream; Whipped Cream, Cream Cheese, or other fluffy flavorings.

Chocolate has been found to be an excellent syrup or sauce when combined with spices, especially for vegetables, fish, and other amazing things that seemed to once be forbidden since chocolate was meant for dessert or a packaged mid day snack.

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