Kitchen Secrets: My Best Tip For Chocolate - The Kitchen Garden: Fresh Herbs and Flavorings Blog at - 221967

The Kitchen Garden: Fresh Herbs and Flavorings

Kitchen Secrets: My Best Tip For Chocolate 
Feb. 9, 2011 8:33 am 
Updated: Mar. 31, 2011 2:02 pm
Valentine's Day is around the bend and cocoa powder is filling the kitchen air! 

Someone suggested that I do a "themed" kitchen tips post, so what could be more appropriate?

Besides the obvious uses for chocolate and cocoa in brownies, cupcakes and other desserts, I've seen some of your recipes using it for grilling rubs, sauces and glazes.  (Gitano probably is having some mole as we speak!)

So please share your chocolate tips with us (or any others if they pop into your head!)

All the best!
Marvel's Chocolate Orange Twigs
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Photo by Baker Bee (Marvel's Chocolate Orange Twigs)
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Feb. 9, 2011 8:34 am
In order to produce a shiny hard chocolate that won't bloom (dull to a chalky texture), the chocolate temperatures need to be carefully watched (tempered), ie, heated to 120 degrees to melt, cooled to 89 by adding chocolate and stirring and maintaining temperature while coating. True tempering is more involved.
Feb. 9, 2011 8:36 am
I pour the extra chocolate I didn't use from making orange twigs from a spouted pitcher onto parchment to spell out names, greetings or making chocolate designs and drops that can be used for decorating desserts.
Feb. 9, 2011 9:41 am
we must have different chocolate up north (as is our flour). I read many blogs, recipes, etc that call for tempered chocolate and I don't get it. I get out my double boiler-add some water, let it heat up. Add some chocolate into the top pot, stir to melt, check for thickness, add canola oil until desired consistency is reached. Turn off the heat for a bit, let the water cool, turn the heat back on when the chocolate starts to stiffen a bit, don't let it over heat or the chocolate will seize. Dunk candy in the chocolate and shake off excess. Then place on waxed paper to cool. I have left the ot overnight and reheated the next day to make more-it's easy peasy stuff.
Feb. 9, 2011 9:42 am
the biggest thing is to never let the water boil, but I never test the temp of the chocolate
Feb. 9, 2011 9:43 am
I'm not much of a chocolate eater, so don't have any real tips except for this....If you ever have the opportunity to try dark chocolate with sea salt on it......GO FOR IT! :)
Feb. 9, 2011 10:11 am
cocoa powder on the rim of a highball or martini glass for drinks with a milk or cream base
Feb. 9, 2011 10:59 am
I imagine you'd use a simple syrop or milk or drink mixture to make it adhere!
Feb. 9, 2011 2:54 pm
If you are making hot chocolate from scratch, add a dash of cayenne. You can't really taste it, but it brightens the cocoa flavor.
Feb. 9, 2011 6:22 pm
YUM on the dark chocolate with sea salt!!! Also good on chocolate covered caramels! My tip would be when melting chocolate over a double boiler have a dish towel hand when you remove the bowl/pan to make sure any water/condensation on the bowl/pan goes on the towel and NOT in your chocolate which the tiniest droplet will cause it to seize. Happy Valentine's everyone!!!
Feb. 9, 2011 6:23 pm
that would be "dish towel handy" ;) to put your bowl on ;)
Feb. 9, 2011 7:39 pm
Coffee intensifies the flavor of chocolate! Try chocolate/espresso brownies! I also like cinnamon and cayenne (Like BSM) with chocolate.
Feb. 9, 2011 7:47 pm
i agree with coffee in chocolate! even a very small amount makes chocolate taste more chocolaty. i like a little chocolate in my chili, too. :)
Feb. 9, 2011 9:09 pm
Feb. 10, 2011 5:43 am
And because I think you all are backwards :) May I suggest chocolate in coffee. I love to make hot cocoa with coffee rather than water.
Feb. 10, 2011 8:45 pm
I melt in the microwave for about 1 minute for 1 cup or so of chocolate chips. Stir after 30 seconds. Thin with cooking oil as needed. Use on your desserts and pour the rest of it into chocolate molds and freeze. Also good poured over a cake. Found a new chocolate glaze on here I like: Satiny Chocolate Glaze. I think I have the name right. Great to dip doughnuts in or to drizzle on cake.
Feb. 11, 2011 8:28 am
Add cocoa and ground coffee in equal parts to your favorite spice rub for pork chops
Feb. 11, 2011 9:11 am
I like to use chocolate in things like mole and chili. I use the abuelita chocolate discs. Or a cup of mexican hot chocolate is good too. I love the dove dark chocolate squares. I made some awesome dark chocolate brownies with them the other day. I also use cocoa powder in a dry mole rub too. As you can see, I enjoy chocolate :)
Feb. 12, 2011 8:28 am
Answered by: Zoya Feb. 12, 2011 8:24 am Be really careful with the temp of the chocolate. Chocolatiers actually used the following method for hundreds of years: They use a cold countertop and put the chocolate on it. To get just the right temperature, they mix and swirl it around using a spatula. This is the best way to temper your chocolate
Feb. 13, 2011 2:10 am
Can you color white chocolate with Wilton icing color?..Answered by: Sweettreats Feb. 12, 2011 6:51 pm No you can't. They are water based and will seize your chocolate. You need Wilton oil based coloring.
Feb. 13, 2011 2:19 am
Chocolate is the AR ingredient of the week, there are some good pointers in the site. Link--
Feb. 13, 2011 7:51 am
Thanks, JP (and Nana!)
Feb. 13, 2011 9:17 am
Buy some nice darkly roasted expresso beans and dip in choclate for a lovely treat! Yummmmmm .... chocolate ..... chocolate and coffee .... yummmmmmmmmmm (off to the kitchen lol)
Feb. 13, 2011 10:34 am
From: Carrie Feb. 13, 2011 10:12 am I have alsways had the worst darned luck with it until... I starting bringing some water to a boil in small pot and putting the choc. chips in a small stainless steal bowl, turning the water to medium boil and let sit until you can see it starting to get all soft around the edges, then I stir it briskly with a rubber spatula and if using for dipping I add two tbsps. of crisco for a shine. Haven't had a failed batch since! good luck!
Mike Roberts 
Feb. 13, 2011 2:39 pm
Simple and quick chocolate covered raisins. Melt your favorite chocolate in a sauce pan on real low heat being careful not to cook or burn it. Once melted, remove pan from heat, add raisins and stir till covered with chocolate. Spoon out on wax paper. Serve when cool and hardened. My favorite is semi-sweet chocolate. Great treat for a party or for the kids too!
Feb. 13, 2011 8:03 pm
Thanks, Mike!
Mar. 31, 2011 2:02 pm
[re: Dipping cake balls] Skoo Mar. 31, 2011 10:57 am I don't do it awesomely either but I AM getting better. I use a plastic fork with the middle tongs cut out. I kind of scrape it across the bowl edge then let it drip for a second, then set it on parchment and quickly jerk the fork out. I also do small batches of dipping chocolate at a time. And don't heat it too much. That was my main problem, I heated it to much at it got globby. Also freeze the item you're dipping if you can.
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Marvel's Kitchen

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Marvel is my mother's name and her kitchen is where I started learning to cook. It should also be Gramma's kitchen, Auntie Jean's, Auntie Phil's, etc. Still learning from friends, family and you all. Many thanks and all the best!
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