Thursday, January 30, 2014

Chocolate Covered Choices

 

Chocolate-Bacon

Chocolate-Bacon

Chocolate Covered Treats

 

It seems like most people typically use strawberries as the go-to item for dipping in chocolate.  Sure they’re tasty, but they’re far from unique.  Instead of serving up a treat that’s becoming a little too common, why not try something a bit different for your next party or gathering?  Here are five fun foods you can cover in chocolate:

 

1.     Potato chips

 

Chocolate-covered pretzels have been around for years, but there’s another way to get your sweet-and-salty fix.  Pick up your favorite brand of plain potato chips, melt some chocolate chips or almond bark and dip away!  Let the coating harden and you’ve got an insanely-addictive treat.  Use potato chips with ridges and double dip them to maximize the chocolate build-up.  Bet you can’t eat just one!

 

2.     Hot peppers

 

If you know someone who has a sweet tooth and likes things on the spicy side, this is the perfect way to satisfy both cravings.  Cayenne peppers and jalapenos dipped in chocolate are great choices to bring the heat and the sweet.  For the true “chili heads,” you could even try some chocolate-covered habaneros or ghost peppers.  Just be careful; the latter is considered by most experts to be the hottest pepper on the planet.  You may want to think about using white chocolate since the intense sweetness and higher dairy content can help calm your fiery taste buds.  No matter what type of pepper or chocolate you choose, these are sure to be a tongue-torching treat!

 

3.     Bacon

 

Almost everyone loves bacon.  Almost everyone loves chocolate.  Put the two together and you’ve got a sweet-and-savory dessert that will be the hit of any party.  Just fry up some crispy strips, let them cool and dunk them in melted chocolate.  Allow the chocolate to set and you’ve got some yummy “pig candy” to share with all the foodies in your life.  It may sound like a strange pairing, but the unique union of bacon and chocolate somehow works beautifully.  One bite and you’ll definitely be in favor of the marriage of this slightly odd couple!

 

4.     Peanut butter and crackers

 

Peanut butter and crackers have always complemented each other.  Likewise, peanut butter with chocolate is a tasty combination that has stood the test of time.  It makes sense that merging all three elements would make for a tasty team.  You can use your preferred brand of store-bought sandwich crackers or make your own.  Saltines, club crackers and buttery rounds all work well.  Spread your favorite kind with your choice of smooth or crunchy peanut butter and place another one on top.  Then, dip the sandwiches in chocolate and let the coating harden.  Whether you use sweet milk chocolate or bitter dark, your family and friends will love biting into a peanut buttery surprise!

 

5.     Various types of fruit

 

Why should strawberries get all the chocolate love?  There are plenty of other fruits out there that look gorgeous and taste amazing when covered in chocolate.  Cherries, raspberries and oranges are some other classic options.  However, you can also think a little outside the box by dipping kiwi, mango, pineapple and more.  Kids and adults alike will love chocolate-covered apples.  You just can’t go wrong with a tart Granny Smith or a sweet Gala that’s been dipped in scrumptious chocolate coating.  You could also dip bananas in chocolate and place them in the freezer for flavorful frozen confections.  When it comes to chocolate-dipped fruit, the possibilities are limitless.  Just visit the produce section of your local supermarket and let inspiration strike!

 

You’ll find chocolate-covered strawberries at almost any chocolate boutique.  As a result, they’re becoming a bit overdone.  Forget about that boring trend and start a food fad of your own.  Any of the items on this list will be a delicious and unique dessert option for your next party or gathering.  Give all of these suggestions a try to create tasty treats that are sure to impress your guests.  Who knows?  You just may start the next chocolate-covered craze!

 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chocolate

 

A chocolate-fan is ready to eat a chocolate always regardless of the type of chocolate. Still, it is interesting to know about the various types of chocolate which are mainly unsweetened, semisweet, bittersweet, dark, milk and white chocolate. It is also interesting to know that the cocoa beans used to make these varieties may also be of different types, like ones which are ordinary, meaning bulk-produced and cheap, or specialty ones, meaning sweet-smelling and expensive. Some chocolates may be produced using both these types of cocoa beans. The flavor and price of chocolate involves many factors, like composition and origin of cocoa beans of which it is made, their treatment and roasting and types and quantities of additives used.

 

 

Unsweetened chocolate is used only for baking and tastes bitter. It contains nearly 100% cocoa solids and half of it may contain fat, i.e. cocoa butter. Bittersweet chocolate is a dark, but sweetened chocolate which has at least 35% of cocoa solids. If the cocoa solids amount to 60 to 85 percent, it is a good quality. Bittersweet chocolate is also used mainly for cooking or baking. On the other hand, semisweet chocolate is a classic dark variety commonly used for cakes, brownies and cookies. It contains about 40 to 62 percent cocoa solids.

 

 

Sweet dark chocolate is sometimes difficult to distinguish from semisweet chocolate. It contains about 35 to 45 percent cocoa solids. If the recipe demands sweet dark chocolate you can use semisweet variety too. Dark chocolate has high percentage of cocoa solids and very little to no milk. It may contain at the most 12 percent milk solids. Dark chocolate may be unsweetened, bittersweet, semisweet or sweet.

 

 

Milk chocolate is the one which contains 10 to 20 percent cocoa solids and over 12 percent milk solids. The cocoa solids are in form of cocoa and cocoa butter. This variety is hardly used in cooking, except for making cookies.

 

 

White chocolate has no non-fat content from cocoa beans. It contains cocoa butter, milk, sugar, vanilla, emulsifier and sometimes some other flavorings. Some countries don’t consider white chocolate as ‘chocolate’ because it has no cocoa solids.

 

 

Now new researches are encouraging for chocolate lovers proving chocolate as a healthy snack, though among its various types, the dark variety is the healthiest one and if you want to remain healthy and enjoy chocolate, you should prefer the dark one.

 

 

This Infographics was sponsored by swerseys.com who offers shiva baskets gifts, and variety of other gifts, for every occasion.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Top 10 Chocolate Ideas

Top 10 Chocolate Ideas

Top 10 Chocolate Ideas

Top 10 Chocolate Ideas

There are many types of chocolate available to enjoy ranging from:

  • Milk
  • Dark
  • White
  • Bittersweet
  • Semi sweet to
  • Unsweetened

 

 

Did you know that chocolate and cocoa contain a large amount of antioxidants known as flavinoids?  In small amounts chocolate may help reduce high blood pressure and reduce the risk of a stroke or heart attack.  Darker chocolate with a concentrated level of cocoa will have more benefit.  Eating larger quantities will not provide any additional benefits.

 

Ways to Enjoy

1.       Trifle – A layered chocolate with cream trifle makes a wonderful dessert.  Why not try several different types of chocolate within the dish.  Layered up will make an attractive dish display or could be layered in cocktail classes for individual portions.

 

2.       Mousse

The saying “All good things come to those who wait” is very fitting for a chocolate mousse.  Although the recipe may only take around 30 minutes to make, you may need to wait up to 6 hours for it to chill.  Once ready, you will end up with a light, bubbly chocolate dessert that once eaten I’m sure will leave you wanting more!

 

3.       Cookies

White or milk chocolate chip cookies have to feature on the top 10 list.  Who can resist a freshly made cookie?  Little chips of sweetness inside a delicious cookie dough either eaten warm or cold for a firmer finish.  They work perfectly with a morning coffee.

 

4.       Truffles

Little balls of chocolate which can have all sorts of different flavours added to the recipe mix including;

  • Orange
  • Mint
  • Chilli
  • Flavoured Liqueur

Covered with cocoa powder and you have a delightful little chocolate treat.

5.       Chocolate and Ginger Cheesecake

Adding ginger to the recipe changes the chocolate flavour completely.  By using dark chocolate you will have a balance of sweetness and bitterness that compliments each other perfectly.  

6.       Strawberries

 A fresh strawberry that is covered in chocolate is a match made in heaven.  It is

Chocolate and Strawberries

Chocolate and Strawberries

becoming very popular at special occasions to have a chocolate fountain hire at the celebration.  Individuals are able to dip various skewered items such as strawberries and marshmallows into melted chocolate and then devour.

 

7.     Hot Chocolate – Whether it is on a cold winter’s morning or late in the evening a mug of hot chocolate is a wonderful way to warm you up and give you a happy feeling inside.  Indulge further with whipped cream or marshmallows for the perfect sugar boost.

 

Looking for something a little bit different?  Why not try;

 

8.       Chocolate and Chili Cake

This is not an unusual combination.  The chocolate works really well with the spice from the chilli.  Depending on the chilli chosen will reflect in the heat given.  A mild chilli will give a subtle flavour to the recipe.

 

9.       With Venison

A small amount of chocolate melted into a sauce which is accompanying the venison will compliment the dish.  A sauce made from shallots, red wine, raspberry vinegar, herbs and stock will give a deep flavour to the sauce. 

 

10.   Chocolate in Chilli Con Carne

In Mexico it is quite common for a small amount of chocolate to be added to the recipe.  When the chocolate has melted into the sauce it gives a rich deep flavour.

 

This article was written by chocolatier Ceri Joleys who runs a chocolate fountain hire company specialising in wedding chocolate fountain hire