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Cooking with Chocolate: Quick Tips

Nov 26, 2010 08:09PM ● By Erin Frisch

Chocolate

By Susan Nye

Chocolate should be smooth and velvety when you melt it on your tongue. When making a special treat, don’t skimp on the chocolate; the better the chocolate, the better the results for your dessert.

Chocolate chips are great for cookies but not great for most desserts. Most contain less cocoa butter than bar chocolates and some have stabilizers so they hold their shape when baking. Unless your recipe calls for chocolate chips specifically, use bar chocolate.

Chocolate scorches easily. Melt chocolate in a heavy pan over very low heat and keep a close eye; you need to watch it carefully. If you don’t have a heavy pan, use a double boiler over simmering water.

A little bit of coffee will make your chocolate dessert taste even more chocolaty. Add a teaspoon of instant espresso or coffee powder to chocolate cakes and brownies. If your recipe calls for water, substitute some or all of it with brewed espresso or coffee. You won’t taste the coffee but the end result will be spectacular.

Store chocolate in a cool place, but unless you are in the middle of a heat wave, it’s best to avoid the refrigerator or freezer. Don’t store your chocolate near aromatic foods like garlic or onions, and keep it away from detergents. Their strong odors can affect the chocolate’s flavor.

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