Green tea, black tea, red wine, and blueberries all contain flavonoids, but none are as high as chocolate. One ounce a day is enough - chocolate has calories and more is not better.
THE CHOCOLATE BEAN ITSELF
This is it, the heart of the bean. After the beans are roasted, the
shells are removed and these dark bits remain.
- Called liquor only because it is liquid, not because of alcohol content
which is nonexistent. The ground nibs, also called unsweetened chocolate,
are liquid when warm, but solidify when cooled.
- The fat of the cacao
POWDER - The powdery
substance that remains when the fat is pressed out .
Chocolate contains two types of
fat which melt at different temperatures. The complex process of cooling
and heating chocolate so that both solidify with stability is called
tempering. This process, done correctly, is what gives chocolate its
shine and prevents "fat bloom."
- A dull white film of fat crystals on the surface of the chocolate.
This is a problem of appearance only, as the chocolate is still edible. It looks like gray-white blotches and streaks and happens when chocolate is exposed to heat during storage.
- Condensation on the surface of the chocolate melts some of the sugar
which then recrystallizes. You run the risk of sugar bloom when chocolate
is stored in the refrigerator.
A process of treating cocoa solids
with an alkaline solution. This neutralizes acidity and creates a milder
TYPES OF CHOCOLATE
- The chocolate liquor
solidified into blocks for baking.
BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE - A dark chocolate
that has a minimum of 35% chocolate liquor. It may also contain cocoa
butter, vanilla, and sugar.
SWEET or DARK CHOCOLATE
- This chocolate has a
minimum of 15% chocolate liquor. Sweeteners and cocoa butter are added
in amounts that vary among manufacturers.
- A formula containing milk solids, sugar and at least 10% chocolate liquor. It is rarely used in baking because of the high amount of sugar as well as the large amount of milk solids which are heat sensitive.
- This is actually
not chocolate at all, containing no chocolate liquor. It is mostly cocoa
butter, flavorings, milk solids, and sweetener.
Chocolate should be kept in a dry,
cool place. If the temperature goes above 75°F, the cocoa butter may
melt on the surface. Likewise, condensation in a refrigerator will affect
chocolate. If you live in a warm climate and need to store chocolate in
the refrigerator, try to keep it in an air tight container. Chocolate
is also susceptible to odors, and will pick them up from other foods.
Chocolate will burn, hence we use
a double boiler or a microwave oven. The golden rule of working with chocolate,
however, is that no water or steam come in contact or it will 'seize'
and become pasty.