Here are some practical tips for you to fully enjoy those
Do not store chocolate in
the refrigerator or freezer because when it's brought to room temperature condensation
will form on the surface of the chocolate and effect it's ability to melt smoothly. In
fact, in most cases chocolate and water makes a disastrous combination. If you're melting
chocolate all by itself and even a drop of water accidentally makes its way into the pot,
you can possibly cause the chocolate mixture to "seize", meaning the chocolate
will tighten and form an unworkable mass. If this should happen when you are melting
chocolate add a few drops of vegetable oil to the chocolate which will allow it to relax
enough that other ingredients can be mixed in.
Chocolate chips, also known
as morsels, are fine for cookie baking but don't be tempted to melt them down and utilize
them in lieu of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate. When forced to melt you'll find the
consistency is thick and difficult to use because it contains significantly less cocoa
butter (about 29%) than average bar chocolates.
It stands to reason the
better tasting the chocolate you elect to use, the better the chocolate dessert.
Be sure to choose chocolate
that has a glossy, unblemished surface. Superficial imperfections such as bloom, that
white dusty film, is an indication that the chocolate has been improperly stored and/or
has melted and hardened once again, although it may not always affect its taste.
Chocolate in fine condition
will snap cleanly when you break it, poor quality chocolate on the other hand will
Select chocolate that
smells chocolately and appetizing and make sure the chocolate you buy is neither initially
or subsequently stored in or around very aromatic foods like garlic, tea, coffee, or
detergents, all which can affect it's flavor.
Last, try to buy chocolate
you've had a chance to try first. Wondering how to judge a good chunk of chocolate? Just
place a piece on your tongue and hold it in your mouth allowing it to slowly melt. If it
coats your mouth with a smooth, velvety feel that's a good sign you're eating an
excellent, albeit most likely, an expensive piece of chocolate. A sandy, grainy texture
however should be avoided.