@allaboutpastries: Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate....OMG I Just Love Chocolate...but What is Chocolate? Well, Let Me Explain it To YOU! Plus More Interesting Posts from Steemit

in food •  2 years ago 

Chocolate, Couverture; and Tempering, (but not this Post)!  

An Edible Wonder which Makes Life So Enjoyable! 

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Chocolate:

  • Is made from cacao beans the seeds of the cacao plant. 

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  • Sweet chocolate is mostly sold today and is a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fats, and sugar.  

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  • The strongest flavoured chocolate is dark chocolate which has less milk products added. 

 
 

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  • Milk chocolate contains milk powder or condensed milk. 

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  • While white chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, but no cocoa solids. 

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  • The best chocolate however, is known as couverture. 

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The fat and sugar content of chocolate can range from: 

  • Bittersweet 70% cocoa mass, 30% sugar, 
  • Semisweet 60% cocoa mass, 40% sugar, 
  • Sweet Dark 50% cocoa mass (of which a minimum of 20% should be cocoa butter) and 50% sugar. 

Chocolate and its benefits:

This wonderful product is recognised as being the best loved flavour in the world.  Current research shows interesting health benefits too.  

  • Chocolate contains a substance called phenylethylamine which acts in a similar way to amphetamines - as a mood enhancer, and is thought to be good for depression!  
  • Chocolate also gives some cardiovascular benefits, helping to reduce platelet clumping.  
  • These 'flavonoids' within chocolate are also antioxidants which help destroy free radicals, (associated with disease and ageing). 

Be happy:  Delicious chocolate IS good for you! 


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So, let’s consider the varieties of chocolate products available on the market.  

Cocoa Block is processed cocoa mass which has been milled, ground, and formed into a block.  This unsweetened bitter chocolate is used to cook with and will intensify the chocolate flavour.  

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Care must be taken in how much you use as add too much and a bitter flavour develops in baked goods.  A percentage of total chocolate within the recipe is taken out and a portion of bitter chocolate added, usually about 20%. 

Cocoa Butter is pure cocoa fat. It has been hydraulically pressed from the Cocoa Mass.  This 'Butter' is used to make all chocolate couverture.  The higher the amount of cocoa butter in chocolate, the better the chocolate. 

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Cocoa Cakes  are made by passing cocoa mass through an hydraulic press to make the cakes.  

   

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Couverture is a very high quality chocolate which contains extra cocoa butter.  The higher the percentage of cocoa butter included in chocolate, combined with proper tempering, gives the chocolate more sheen and a crisper snap when broken.  Chocolate is like wine, the more you pay for it the better it is.  

Chocolate chip cookies, cakes, brownies and muffins, when made with couverture are fantastic - well worth the extra expense! 

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Dark bitter chocolate is the most expensive of all couverture due to its high fat content and low sugar.

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder is made by grinding up cocoa cakes.

Recipes which contain a lot of fat and/or sugar, like chocolate brownies, benefit from the more intense flavour when cocoa is added. 

Dutch processed cocoa powder is the very best.  It must contain a minimum of 20% fat.

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White Chocolate is cocoa butter mixed with sugar and milk powder, it has no cocoa solids therefore it is not really chocolate, though it is thought of as chocolate.  It is actually sweetened and flavoured cocoa butter. It is made up of 15% milk solids of which 3-4% must be milk fat, a minimum of 20% cocoa butter, and no more than 55% sugar.

Dark Chocolate is cocoa mass mixed with cocoa butter and sugar.  The percentage of cocoa butter added denotes the quality and strength of flavour of the chocolate, and the price!

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Milk Chocolate is cocoa mass mixed with cocoa butter, milk powder and sugar. It must contain at least 15% milk solids of which 3-4% should be milk fat. A total fat content of at least 25%, and no more than 50% sugar.

Chocolate Chips are buttons of chocolate which range in size from small to large. They are mostly used in chocolate chip cookies and other confections which require chocolate chunks. An additive has been put in which keeps them from loosing shape during baking; this makes them more difficult to melt. They are much more expensive than block chocolate so it seems wasteful to use these for tempering; use block chocolate instead as it can easily be chopped up in a food processor.

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The fat and sugar content of chocolate can range from: 

  • Bittersweet 70% cocoa mass, 30% sugar, 
  • Semisweet 60% cocoa mass, 40% sugar, 
  • Sweet Dark 50% cocoa mass (of which a minimum of 20% should be cocoa butter) and 50% sugar. 

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Coating Chocolate is not chocolate as it contains no cocoa butter.  Other fats are used to make it: different types of edible oils. 

You can get this chocolate in three varieties - dark, milk and white.  

Coating chocolate is best used to cover baked goods.  It does not require tempering unlike couverture, neither does it have the fantastic flavour.  You must decide between cost, ease of use and flavour, when you make your choice.

Carob, when dried and roasted has a slightly sweet taste and is similar to chocolate. It is used as an ingredient in cakes and cookies. Carob is sometimes used as a chocolate substitute for those who are allergic to chocolate. You can get it as a powder or in chip form.  

Be aware, chocolate is poisonous to dogs!  Carob makes a useful alternative ‘chocolate’ treat for them 

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In the next post I will cover tempering.  This process is not difficult and there are different ways to do this; which I will fully cover so you can decide on which is the best way for you.

Now, More Interesting Posts You Might Have Missed:


@thekitchenfairy has a recipe for banana cherry bread which is less like cake and more like bread, wonderful. 

@foodie.warrior - her delicious stuffed omelette has to be seen to be believed.  It looks amazing, and a recipe I need to use, over and over again!

@familycook gives us delicious and nutritious food from home, fantastic; I love regional food recipes.

Finally for now.....

@soulsavers makes gluten free chocolate chip cookies, how appropriate for this post; and they do look good.  

Please Dear Steemit Friends, keep posting great content; as all I want to do is:

And........

And.......

As often as I can!




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It's good! Very useful, and I think you need a basic understanding before going on to tricky things like tempering. Looking forward to the next one too!

Now I'm hungry :-o

Yes, good to get a little info before technical!!!!! Hope I don't blow your minds! :)X

I think you would if you did it all in one! :-o
You have a great way of writing all your posts x

You are such a sweet lady, so do you, I love your cake posts. One day we might break through. Keep trying any way. :)X

Hmm your blog is true inspiration , hehe i love sweet and i will apply this in my next cooking challenge ! Make sure you will join this time :P

I did sweetie through my other post in get-baking. Thought it would be more fair this site I want to keep for community and education! :)X

Sure ) You can join with get-baking :)

Thanks Doll, already have:Peach Crumble! :)X

Almost translated.

Fun fact: Cocoa Powder is very common in Poland, you won't find a house without a pack. It is commonly used to prepare a cocoa drink. I like mixing it with Horlics.

One of the most popular brands uses packaging which looks like a book cover and someone placed it in a book portal as a book about a nameless character who works at a store: http://lubimyczytac.pl/ksiazka/306961/najwyzsza-jakosc - "Highest Quality" by Cacao DecoMorreno.
;)

How wonderful, love it. Yes, I like to drink cocoa but never tried it mixed with horlix? New one on me, what a good idea. You really are a star, it must be taking you hours. I hope tempering doesn't blow your mind! :)X

It has already :) for linguistic reasons so far only. "Tempering" is referred to as "temperowanie". I don't like it as "temperowanie" is mainly used for the act of sharpening a pencil. "Tempering" of steel or glass is "hartowanie", but it doesn't fit ideally because it refers to a rapid temperature change, whereas for chocolate it's not what it is about. I am therefore stuck with "temperowanie" which I am deeply unsatisfied with ;)
#firstworldproblems

WOW, didn't think it would be so complicated. If I were you I would ignore the word and just explain the process ......The Art of putting a shine on Chocolate. :)X

I'm not doing it because it's easy, I'm doing it because it's worth it :)
I like to use the right words, but sometimes it is time consuming.

It must be, you are a star for doing this. :)X