Chyrel's Recipes From Friends

Helpful Hints


CHOCOLATE: Pure chocolate with no additives is unsweetened chocolate, unsweetened baking chocolate or bitter chocolate. When sugar and other additives are combined with unsweetened chocolate, it becomes bittersweet chocolate, semisweet chocolate or sweet chocolate.(For baking, I prefer to use unsweetened chocolate or 100% cocoa powder [see GLOSSARY]. That way, the cook is in control of the sugar, flavorings and often peculiar additives to give the chocolate a longer shelf life ~ Will) Milk chocolate happens when powdered milk is added to the molten sweet chocolate. White chocolate really isn’t chocolate at all, but a mixture of cocoa butter and a variety of additives. Chocolate is often adulterated with paraffin, particularly the bags of colored chocolate bits that are sold in cake decorating stores, that is formulated to be used in chocolate molds that come in fanciful shapes. If one really must do this sort of thing, the same thing can be accomplished by melting white chocolate and coloring it with paste food color [see GLOSSARY]. Chocolate is notoriously hard to work with. If you don't store it properly (preferably at 65°F. or so), the cocoa butter can separate slightly from the solids, causing the chocolate to "bloom" thay leaves a gray residue on the surface and somewhat compromises taste and texture. Chocolate will scorch if you melted at too high a temperature, or "seize" and become thick and grainy if you add even a drop of cold liquid to it as it's melting. You can prevent it from seizing by adding hot liquids (like cream) to chopped chocolate in order to melt it [see RECIPES-PASTRIES ET AL.-GANACHE], or by making sure that anything you're dipping into the melted chocolate (like a strawberry or whisk) is perfectly dry. If your chocolate has seized, you can still use it in any recipe that calls for chocolate to be blended with a liquid. Just add the liquid to the chocolate and melt it again. (I have found microwave melting to be nothing but trouble. ~Will)


BATONS AU CHOCOLAT: (pron. baa-TONH-oh-shock-oh-LOT Fr.) solid sticks of chocolate approximately 3" long and Ľ" to ˝" in diameter used in making pastries

BLENDING: the process which occurs after roasting and before the grinding of cocoa beans; crushed beans are blended to determine the character of the finished chocolate

BLOOM, FAT: A condition affecting the surface of chocolate. The appearance is similar to sugar bloom (dull, white), except it is shiny and feels greasy when touched. Taste is unaffected. It is caused by the migration of cocoa butter crystals to the surface and subsequent recrystallization. The "migration" is hastened by warm temperatures and prolonged storage

BLOOM, SUGAR: A condition affecting the surface of chocolate. The chocolate adopts a dull, tannish-white color and feels gritty when touched. Only appearance is affected - not taste. It is caused by condensation of water vapor from air on the chocolate surface. The sugar in the chocolate dissolves in the water, then the water evaporates and the sugar crystals remain on the chocolate.

CACAO: raw product of the cacao plant, as well as the plant itself

CACAO CONTENT: amount of cacao in a particular chocolate. Used interchangeably with "Chocolate liquor". The higher the cocoa content, the more intense the flavor of the chocolate, the lower the amount of sugar.

CHOCOLATE: Dark Chocolate – chocolate that contains more than 50% cocoa content. This is the chocolate most often used for premium chocolate confections. Besides chocolate liquor (cocoa content) it contains added cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla, and often lecithin. Milk Chocolate – chocolate liquor to which dehydrated milk, sugar, vanilla and lecithin has been added. Good milk chocolate should contain 30% chocolate liquor though premium milk chocolate contains more. White Chocolate - is made from cocoa butter, milk, sugar, and vanilla. It does not contain chocolate liquor, but must contain at least 1/3 cacao butter

CHOCOLATE LIQUOR: finely ground nib of the cacao bean, technically not yet chocolate. When warm, the liquor is fluid; when cold, it solidifies. It is also referred to as unsweetened or baking chocolate. It is referred to as pâté de cacao on European chocolate labels

COCOA BEANS: the source of all chocolate and cocoa. Cocoa beans are found in the pods of the cacao tree, Theobroma Cacao, which is an evergreen typically grown within 20 degrees of the equator. The natural habitat of the genus Theobroma, a shade loving plant, is in the lower story of the evergreen rain forest

COCOA BUTTER: natural fat in cacao beans, essential in the making of good chocolate. The bean contains approximately 50% cacao butter.

COCOA POWDER: powdery substance made by pulverizing and sifting the "cake" that remains after cocoa butter is pressed from the chocolate liquor. Cocoa powder contains between 10% (defatted) and 25% cocoa butter

CHOCOPHILE: We would like to see the word Chocophile replace the word Chocoholic in the world of chocolate slang. "-phile" seems to indicate a healthy appreciation, love and fondness of something while "-oholic" has an unhealthy connotation and implies addiction to something (James would still be a chocoholic! ~Will)

CONCHING: process in which heavy rollers plow back and forth through liquid chocolate, kneading it to smooth out its texture and round out its flavor; It's called conching because the machines that do the conching used to look like giant conch shells.

COUVERTURE: term generally used to describe high-quality chocolate used by professionals in confectionery and baked products. In Europe, by law, Couverture must contain at least 32% cocoa butter. No other fats or oils can be used

DARK CHOCOLATE: contains no milk, is made by blending a minimum of 35% unsweetened chocolate with sugar and cocoa butter

ENROBING: covering the (interior) filling with chocolate

FERMENTATION: natural process by which the cocoa bean with the pulp from the cocoa pod undergoes a process by which bacteria, yeast, mold, and temperature modify the composition of the cocoa bean and yields the characteristic chocolate flavour

FINESSE: measurement of the average particle size of the cocoa solids in the chocolate. Finesse is expressed in ten-thousandths of an inch or in microns

GANACHE: smooth and silky mixture made of chocolate, cream and sometimes butter. It comes in a variety of flavor variations using fruit, liquor, liqueur

GIANDUJA: finely ground smooth mixture of chocolate and nut butter. Traditionally, a combination of chocolate and hazelnuts

GRINDING: mechanical process of pulverizing the roasted cocoa bean nib to a smooth liquid known as chocolate liquor

INTERIOR: technical term used for fillings that are to be enrobed with chocolate

LECITHIN: natural product from the soy bean which acts as a thinner. In chocolate manufacture it controls flow properties by reducing viscosity

MILK CHOCOLATE: a blend of at least 10% baking (unsweetened) chocolate and 12% milk with cocoa butter, sugar, and sometimes other flavors

NIBS: roasted, shelled and broken beans. The fundamental product from which chocolate is made.

PRALINE: sweet made of almonds or pecans and sugar invented for the French Comte du Plessis-Praslin by his cook in the 1600s, hence its popularity in New Orleans-often ground, crumbled, broken or cracked and used in other confections; today in Europe it means a filled chocolate of high quality; invented in Brussels by Jean Neuhaus, the most famous Belgian chocolatier of the time, in 1912

PRESS CAKE: product that remains after most of the cocoa butter has been pressed from the chocolate liquor. "Press cake" is pulverized to make cocoa powder.

ROASTING: a cooking or heating process using dry heat which fully develops the chocolate flavor of cocoa beans

SHELL MOLDING: The shell-molding process is practiced extensively in Europe, and begins with a mold composed of intricately designed "impressions." Each cavity is filled with melted, tempered [see TEMPERING below] chocolate. The mould is inverted and most of the chocolate runs out, much like the “lost wax” process in forming metal objects, usually jewelry or sculpture. It is then cooled, forming a "shell." The shell is filled with a center, technically known as the interior, allowing enough space for a thin layer of melted chocolate to be layered over the filling. After cooling, the chocolates are released from the mould. Symmetrical shell-molded confections are made by "book-molding" two identical filled moulds together. The Heart, Walnut, Chestnut, Scallop, etc. are all book-molded.

TEMPERING: the process of preparing melted chocolate so that it will solidify in

Source: Two Bears In The Kitchen

Back          Home
Recipes From Friends

Copyright 2004