Origin of chocolate
Chocolate comes from the seeds or beans of the cacao tree. They're roasted and ground to produce a paste called chocolate liquor, which can then be separated into cocoa butter and cocoa powder. Tweaking ratios of cocoa butter, cocoa powder, sugar, and other ingredients produce the different types of chocolates in the market.
Tricks of choosing the right bar
Selecting the right chocolate should be the most important step for creating the perfect chocolate dessert. While purchasing the chocolate, look at it closely before you taste it. Your perfect chocolate should have a glossy surface, free from blemishes. If the surface is scarred, cloudy, or gray, this may be a sign that it is old or has been subject to extremes in temperature or handling. Next, break or chop the chocolate into pieces. You want a chocolate with a clean, hard “snap” to it. If it bends or crumbles, either the quality is low or the chocolate is old.
The best trick to know if you have pure and fresh chocolate is to rub your fingers over the surface of the chocolate and then smell the bar. If it doesn’t smell like chocolate then it probably won’t taste very much like chocolate either as chocolate easily picks up odors from its environment. Fresh and pure chocolate will smell strongly of chocolate.
Forms of chocolates usually used :
There are five main formats of baking chocolate: bars, blocks, wafers, chips, and cocoa powder.
- Bars are mostly used for baking cookies, puddings, cakes, hot chocolate, and more.
- Blocks are mostly used for large cakes. Though most of the regular bakers do not need such quantities. Big cakes need bigger blocks.
- Wafers come in small disc shapes. These are mostly used for ganaches, glazes, puddings, and frostings. Mostly used in recipes that needs melted chocolate. Easy to melt and easy to use.
- Chips are mostly used in cookies, breads, ice creams etc. Chips contain stabilizers and preservatives hence they do not melt and are shiny and glossy even after you have baked them.
- Lastly Cocoa powder, its flour like texture help in making amazing cakes, cookies, hot chocolate, ganache, pudding, truffles and so many other things. Sometimes cocoa powder is used instead of flour to coat a pan before adding the batter.
Did you know
Most people are unaware of the fact that cocoa and cacao are different from each other.
Cacao is the purest form of chocolate you can consume, which means it is raw and much less processed than cocoa powder or chocolate bars. Cacao is known to be the highest source of antioxidants of all food and has the highest source of magnesium of all foods. It has been used for decades for health purposes and even used as a high trade commodity. Cacao paste can be used to make raw vegan desserts or you can just eat it as an indulgent snack by itself!
Whereas cocoa is the term used to refer to the heated form of cacao that you probably grew up buying at the store in the form of powder. Cocoa powder is a rich source of fiber, has little fat, and has a bit of protein in it as well.
In our next blog, we will write “ how to bake an easy chocolate strawberry cake.
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