Chocolate is not an easy thing to work with. I know most beginners feel it is just about melting it, putting it into the mold and voila, it is done, right?
Guess what, there is a good chance you just ended up with chocolate as hard as a stone or those that melt as soon as they are out of the fridge.
So why did that happen? What kind of chocolate should you be using for your desserts? In this FAQ about chocolates, we’ll answer all the questions that you guys have been sending us in the last couple of months.
Q1: How do you know if the Chocolate is good?
The driving ingredient behind any good quality chocolate is Cocoa. So if the chocolate package mentions Cocoa at the back then yes, you have the right thing in your hands.
Another thing to keep in mind is the manufacturing date. For the best results, I would recommend you get the freshest possible pack.
Once you open the pack, the chocolate should have a strong aroma along with a slightly glossy and smooth finish. Lastly, when you break it into half, you should hear a good snap.
Q2: What is the cocoa butter ratio all about?
If you want your chocolate to have a more potent cocoa taste then you should go with chocolate that has a higher cocoa content. These dark chocolates are great for diabetic patients as they have low sugar content.
When I say cocoa content, it refers to cocoa beans, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder. But if you want a sweeter, milder taste then opt for chocolate than has a lower cocoa ratio.
Q3: What is the best way to store chocolate and how long will it last?
Dark chocolate can easily stay fresh for up to 2 years but if you use more of brown chocolate then you will have to use it up faster as their taste and aroma start to diminish after just a year.
The ideal place to store your chocolate would be in the fridge, away from the sunlight, especially if you have really hot summers like that in the northern states like Delhi.
Although make sure you wrap the chocolate or at least put it all in an airtight container so moisture does not play spoil-sport. If you are not putting it in the fridge, find a spot with a temperature range of about 65 and 70°F.
Q4: What is White Chocolate?
White chocolate is a combination of sugar, cocoa butter, milk products, vanilla, and lecithin (a substance that adds fat content to the chocolate). Working with white chocolate is even harder than with brown or dark chocolate as it tends to burn really fast if left unattended on the heat and this is why most beginners struggle with it at first.
Q5: What is Chocolate Bloom
Remember I told you to store chocolate in an airtight container? That is because if you don’t there is a good chance of chocolate bloom. Chocolate bloom is white patches on the chocolate due to the sugar content in it and hence is also known as sugar bloom. It occurs when the chocolate is exposed to heat or left in a damp environment. Though remember, it is safe to consume.