Quick Recipes and Easy

Some Recommendations When Using Chocolate For Dessert Preparation

Chocolate, like most ingredients used to prepare food has to be of excellent quality. So, do not hesitate to buy excellent or even very excellent chocolate when shopping. Of course, price will be higher but certainly this is the price of quality. The quality of a cake, a chocolate mousse or any cream or other chocolate preparation will reflect the chocolates quality exactly. Make no mistake; in this case the price plays an vital part in the selection of the product.

It is preferable to buy dark chocolate for the preparation of desserts unless the recipe you are preparing specifically says to use a light one. The reason is that light chocolate contains a larger quantity of sugar and/or milk and other vegetable fats; and sometimes animal fats. Pure chocolate (cocoa) represents a small percentage of the final product, the one you buy, the one you pay for.

On the other hand dark chocolate contains more pure chocolate and a very small quantity of sugar, sometime even 0%. Milk as well, and some unexpected fats are seldom used here. This, of course makes the dark chocolate a strong purveyor of tastes. Only with dark and high quality chocolate will you obtain the best results with your desserts.

Without doubt I can tell you that the best chocolates you can find are made in Switzerland, Belgium and France.

Chocolate should be stored in a cool, dry place as chocolate starts to melt at body temperature. It is not recommended to keep chocolate in a refrigerator except if you are staying in a very warm country with no air conditioning. Chocolate kept in a cold place, like in a refrigerator will lose its dark colour for un-aesthetic white stripes. If you use such a chocolate to cover a cake for instance, you will get a terrible result, with a poor colour.

When preparing a recipe, if you have to melt chocolate, don’t do it directly on the stove. There is a high risk of burning the chocolate and when burnt, chocolate must be thrown away, the taste being dreadful. It is preferable to melt the chocolate using a double boiler or a micro wave on medium or slow heat.

Don’t hesitate to add spices to the chocolate while it is melting. Doing so with the original recipe you may well make a new one. Try cinnamon, ginger, even a Tandoori mixture may work. Chocolate mixes well with spices! Be adventurous, learn new tastes and sensations.

Next time you are preparing a chocolate dessert, question your children to help you; they will be more than pleased (me too if you call me) to clean the mixing bowl!

Jean-Louis Vosgien is a food consultant. He makes recipes for restaurant chains and individual restaurants in different countries.



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