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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Make Your Own Chocolate

Home-made chocolate trufflesImage via Wikipedia
By Tom Doerr

Once people are questioned about chocolate, the general conscious is that it is arguably met with very positive responses that also reveal that it becomes an addiction for many people. Studies support this idea that chocolate has additive qualities meaning that given its extensive appeal, uncovering the essential ingredients that it consists of will perhaps give people a nice idea of how to make their own chocolate.

The vast selection of chocolate ingredients and be either used in isolation or combined to infuse flavours, providing a unique and original outcome. Essentially, creating your own personalised flavours can be done via a process of trial and error - which realistically can realise a taste and is unavailable anywhere, providing you understand the basics of what to look out for and how to apply it.

To gain a basic idea of what ingredients are available, they can be split into 3 categories - additives, milk and powders.

Chocolate liquor is an important first step - it acts as the foundation to virtually all chocolate. This will be the basic liquid produced after the initial grounding and roasting of coco beans has occurred.

This is essentially 100%, without any additional additives or sugar. Therefore, within the remaining ingredients, it is basically a diluted concentrated form of the chocolate liquor. These range from 15% to 90%. Semi-sweet chocolate is the lowest concentration, yet is a very popular choice by many confectioners. Bitter chocolate is slightly more, whereas within couverture, it is 35% more than this - but the difference with this is that it is useful for adding a 'sheened' 'glossy' finish onto chocolate truffles.

Baking chocolate is the 'hardened' variant of the coca bean grounding. Many recipes use this, simply because by varying the milk and sweeteners can achieve virtually most flavours. However, to attain perfection, it is certainly advisable to use a specific chocolate that has been perfected in the shop; otherwise if you are a novice; minor alternations will have a significant effect on outcome.

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