Fruit Candy Recipe

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Fruit Candy Recipe


Fruit Candy Recipe ~ Easy Chocolate Cake
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Fruit Candy Recipe

Fruit Candy, with its inherently sweet flavor, is a natural ingredient for candy. Many fruits pair well with Chocolate and Nut, and can also shine as the main flavor in Candies ranging from hard lollipops to jellies. Whether you prefer citrus or tropical fruits, bananas or berries.


Related : Fruit Candy Recipe By Elizabeth LaBau, About.com Guide ~ Fruit Candy Recipe, Easy Chocolate Cake
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Glace Fruit

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Glacé Fruit


Glace Fruit ~ Easy Chocolate Cake
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Glacé Fruit

Definition: Often, Glacé Fruit is simply another name for Fruit Candy. Sometimes, the term glacé fruit is used to refer to a finishing process wherein candied fruit is moistened, then dipped in ultra-concentrated sugar syrup and left to dry, thus creating a finishing glaze.


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How to Store Nuts

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How to Store Nuts


How to Store Nuts ~ Easy Chocolate Cake
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How to Store Nuts

Because of the high oil content many Nuts have, they have a limited shelf life and should be properly Stored to prolong their life. Salted Nuts go rancid more quickly, so they are rarely used in commercial candymaking, however, salted Nuts are fine for home use if you know the Candies will be consumed quickly. Store your Nuts in airtight containers or Ziploc bags in the freezer, rather than at room temperature. Nuts that have been frozen can be toasted or Chopped straight from the freezer without problems. When stored this way, most Nuts will last for up to a year, although very oily Nuts like walnuts and pecans have a shorter life and can be frozen up to 10 months. If the Nuts have gone rancid, it will be immediately apparent upon Tasting them.


Related : How to Chop Nuts By Elizabeth LaBau, About.com Guide ~ How to Store Nuts, Easy Chocolate Cake
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How to Chop Nuts

Easy Chocolate Cake

How to Chop Nuts


How to Chop Nuts ~ Easy Chocolate Cake
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Easy Chocolate Cake

Easy Chocolate Cake

How to Chop Nuts

For many Nuts Candies, the recipe requires that the Nuts be Chopped. Depending on how finely the Nuts should be chopped, this task can be done by hand or with a food processor. If a recipe calls for “finely chopped” or “finely ground Nuts,” it is easiest to use a food processor. Place a small Almonds of Nuts in the processor, and pulse quickly several times. Nuts have a great deal of oil, so it is easy to over-process Nuts and end up with Nuts butter if you are not carefully monitoring them. Do the Nuts in small batches to ensure even chopping.

If the candy recipe calls for simply “Chopped Nuts” or “coarsely chopped Nuts,” the Nuts can be chopped by hand using a knife. I prefer to use a heavy, sharp chef’s knife to do the job. First, gather the Nuts in a circle slightly smaller than the length of the knife’s blade. Rock the blade back and forth, rotating it around the circle with a firm, quick stroke. Periodically stop and reposition any Nuts that have shifted outside of the circle. Continue chopping in this fashion until the Nuts are a suitable size.

Remember, never chop Nuts while warm. This can result in greasy, oily Nuts - not ideal for candymaking. Additionally, if a recipe calls for a certain amount of chopped Nuts, measure the Nuts after chopping, not before. Whole Nuts will take up more space in the measuring cup than chopped Nuts, so you will have an inaccurate amount of chopped Nuts if you measure them before chopping.



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How to Roast and Skin Nuts

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How to Roast and Skin Nuts


How to Roast and Skin Nuts ~ Easy Chocolate Cake
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How to Roast and Skin Nuts

Nuts are a great addition to many Candies. Their crunch can offset chewy or soft candies, while their slightly savory, slightly sweet flavor is a good counterpoint to Sugar and Chocolate. Hazelnuts, Almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, and macadamias are the most common nuts called for in candy recipes, although others can also be used. Because some recipes require Skinning Nut, Storing Nut, Chopping Nut or Roasting Nut, knowing how to prepare nuts for candymaking is essential for successful nut confections.


How to Roast and Skin Nuts

* Hazelnuts: Hazelnuts are commonly sold with their thin, papery skins still on the Nuts, so they need to be skinned before they can be used. The skins are not harmful, but their taste and texture are not desirable in candies or other baked goods. To skin them, first toast them by spreading the Nuts in a single layer on a a baking sheet. Bake them at 325 degrees until they give off an aroma, and their skins are brown and split. This should take about 7-10 minutes, depending on the amount of Nuts. Check the Nuts every few minutes while toasting, and shake or stir the Nuts so they toast evenly. Remove them from the oven when they are fragrant and brown, and allow them to cool at room temperature. Once they are cool enough to handle, rub the Nuts between two clean kitchen towels. The skins will come off with the friction, leaving clean and toasted Nuts. A small amount of skin remaining on the Nuts is normal.

* Almonds: Almonds are sold in various states of preparation: whole, sliced, or slivered, blanched or natural. It is easy to find whole Almonds that have been skinned, but these are typically more expensive than “natural” Almonds, so if cost is a consideration, you might want to skin them yourself. To skin whole Almonds, drop them in boiling water and let them cook for 1 minutes, then drain the Nuts and let them cool. Once they are cool enough to touch, pinch the Nuts between your fingers and the Nuts will slide out of the skin. To toast Almonds, spread them in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees until they are light brown and fragrant, about 5-10 minutes depending on the amount of Nuts. Check the Nuts frequently and stir them to ensure even toasting.

* Other Nuts: To toast walnuts, pecans, pistachios, macadamias, and other Nuts, follow the same procedure as for toasting Almonds: spread them in a single layer on a baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees until they are light brown and fragrant, about 5-10 minutes depending on the amount of Nuts. Check the Nuts frequently and stir them to ensure even toasting. Always cool your Nuts before chopping them. Nuts have a great deal of oil that has been brought to surface by the heat, and the oil must be allowed to be reabsorbed, or the Nuts could turn greasy during chopping.



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A Guide to Cream

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A Guide to Cream


A Guide to Cream ~ Easy Chocolate Cake
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A Guide to Cream

Standing in front of the dairy case can be a daunting experience—who knew there were so many different types of Cream? Understanding their differences is key to selecting the right cream for your needs. Cream is obtained by skimming the top layer of butterfat from milk, and it is categorized by its fat content below.

* Half and Half: half milk and half cream mixed together, with a fat content between 10-15%. It adds a richness milk does not, but is not thick enough to replace cream in recipes that call for cream. It will not whip like cream, either.

* Light Cream: fat content between 18-30%, also known as coffee cream. Light cream will not whip.

* Whipping Cream: made specifically for whipping, contains 30-36% milk fat. Often contains stabilizers and emulsifiers to ensure it keeps and holds its form when being whipped.

* Heavy Cream: also called heavy whipping cream, has a fat content between 36-40%.

* Manufacturing Cream: has a fat content over 40%, and is generally not available in retail stores. It is primarily used in professional food service.

* Aerosol Cream: comes in aerosol cans and contains cream, emulsifiers, stabilizers, and nitrous oxide, the propellant used to squirt it out of the cans. Although it has its uses in dessert preparation, it is not used in candy making.

* "Whipped Topping" or "Dessert Topping": usually does not contain cream at all, but instead is a mixture of hydrogenated vegetable oils.



Related : A Guide to Cream By Elizabeth LaBau, About.com Guide ~ Baked Ziti Recipe, Easy Chocolate Cake
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A Guide to Sugar

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A Guide to Sugar


A Guide to Sugar ~ Easy Chocolate Cake
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A Guide to Sugar

One thing most candy recipes have in common is their copious use of Sugar. It’s important to know the distinctions between different types of Sugar products, so that your Candies are successful.

* Granulated Sugar: This is derived from either beets or sugarcane, and when a recipe calls for “Sugar” or “white Sugar,” it is referring to granulated Sugar.

* Brown Sugar: This is granulated Sugar with molasses added. It comes in “light” and “dark” varieties; light brown Sugar has a milder flavor and is usually recommended for candy making. Brown Sugar should be packed down in a measuring cup while measuring. Generally, brown Sugar should not be used to replace other Sugars.

* Superfine Sugar: Also called caster Sugar. This is granulated Sugar with a very fine texture. It is useful when making candy centers because it dissolves quickly and doesn’t produce a grainy texture. Superfine Sugar can be used in place of regular granulated Sugar without adverse results.

* Powdered Sugar: Also called confectioner’s Sugar or icing Sugar. This is very fine-textured Sugar with cornstarch added; it needs to be sifted before use. Do not use powdered Sugar to replace any other Sugars in candy recipes.

* Corn Syrup: Also known as glucose. Corn Syrup is produced from cornstarch and comes in “light” and “dark” varieties; in confectionery light is generally preferred. Corn syrup prevents other Sugar from crystallizing and makes cooked candies firmer, so is often used in cream fillings and fudges.

* Invert Sugar: Liquid Sugar. It improves the shelf life of many candies. Only use invert Sugar if a recipe specifically calls for it.

* Honey: Any mild bee’s honey can be used in recipes that call for honey. The honey should be liquid, not of the “creamed” or “honey spread” varities.

* Molasses: A by-product of the Sugar refining process, it is a thick dark syrup with a distinctive taste.



Related : A Guide to Sugar By Elizabeth LaBau, About.com Guide ~ A Guide to Sugar, Easy Chocolate Cake
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How to Use Chocolate Transfer Sheets

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How to Use Chocolate Transfer Sheets


How to Use Chocolate Transfer Sheets ~ Easy Chocolate Cake
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Easy Chocolate Cake

Easy Chocolate Cake

How to Use Chocolate Transfer Sheets



Assemble Your SuppliesPicture Of

Easy Chocolate Cake

Have you ever seen a cake wrapped with a seamless band of glossy decorated Chocolate, and wondered how this effect was accomplished? This seemingly complicated decorating trick is actually very easy to do, and requires only a few special ingredients. This tutorial will show you How to use Chocolate Transfer Sheets to wrap a cake in Chocolate and create Chocolate cut-outs to decorate the top of your cake. There is an additional tutorial with several different examples of using transfer sheets to decorate cakes, cupcakes, and dipped cookies or candy.

To begin, you will need to assemble several specialty ingredients. First, you will need one or more Chocolate Transfer Sheets, which are acetate sheets embossed with Cocoa Butter and Cocoa Powder food coloring. When the wet chocolate is spread on the sheets, the design transfers to the Chocolate, producing a lovely visual effect. Chocolate Transfer Sheets are often sold at cake decorating stores and on the Internet.

You will also need Chocolate Flavored candy coating, or Molding Chocolate. This candy product is flavored like Chocolate, but has vegetable or palm oils instead of cocoa butter. You can use Tempered Chocolate instead, but it is more time-consuming and less predictable. It is wise for beginners to use them with candy coating, a much more reliable substance, to achieve consistently good results. Candy coating is often sold at cake decorating and craft stores, with Wilton Candy Melts being one of the most popular brands. The amount of candy coating needed will vary depending on your project, but you will probably want at least 12 ounces to wrap a small cake.

Finally, you will need an offset metal spatula to easily spread the Chocolate in a thin, even layer. You might also want a pastry bag and tips to finish decorating the cake.




Spread the Chocolate onto the Sheet
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We will first discuss how to make Chocolate cut-outs for decorating cakes and cupcakes. Begin by melting the candy coating in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the coating for 45 seconds and stir gently. Continue to microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until the coating is melted and smooth.

Depending on your needs, you may not need to use the whole transfer sheet, so if necessary, cut the chocolate transfer sheet to your desired size. Place it on your workstation with the textured side face up and the shiny side face down on the counter.

1. Spoon some of the Melted Chocolate onto the transfer sheet in even intervals. Remember that it is going to be spread in a thin layer, so apply it sparingly. You can always add more later if you need to.

2. Using the offset spatula, spread the Chocolate in a thin layer over the entire sheet, so that all of the edges are covered. It’s okay if the Chocolate goes past the edges. Allow the Chocolate to sit for 5-7 minutes, until it begins to set around the edges but is not fully hard or brittle.




Cut the Chocolate With A Knife
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Once the Chocolate has begun to set but is not yet hard, you can cut it into your desired shapes. One of the easiest ways to do this is to use a large sharp chef’s knife. Simply press the knife down into the Chocolate and create squares, rectangles, or triangles. If you find that a large amount of Chocolate is sticking to the knife, or is being “dragged” through the cuts, wait another minute or two for the Chocolate to set further. After you have made the cuts, let the Chocolate set completely at room temperature, or speed up the process by carefully placing the sheet in the refrigerator.




Use the Shapes to Decorate Cakes
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Easy Chocolate Cake

Once the Chocolate is hard, carefully peel the Chocolate pieces from the transfer sheet. You can use these beautiful shapes to decorate the tops of cakes, cupcakes, or plated desserts. The cake pictured above was decorated with chocolate transfer sheet cut-outs and wrapped in an outer layer of Chocolate. You can learn this wrapping technique by viewing this photo tutorial showing how to wrap cakes in Chocolate.




Use Cookie Cutters to Cut the Chocolate
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You do not have to limit yourself to cutting the Chocolate with a knife. You can produce almost any Chocolate shape you can imagine by using cookie cutters. Sharp, well-defined metal cutters work best, as some plastic cutters have edges that are too wide and dull to be effective. Once again, wait until the Chocolate is at the intermediate stage between melted and fully hardened, and firmly press the cutters into the Chocolate all the way to the bottom.




Decorate Cupcakes With Chocolate
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After the cuts have been made, allow the Chocolate to set completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator before carefully popping them away from the sheet. Use them to decorate cakes, cupcakes, or other pastries. This method typically produces more waste, as the Chocolate that surrounds the cut-out shapes is often oddly formed and unattractive. If the Chocolate is dark, you can save it and re-melt it with additional candy coating. The small amount of cocoa butter and coloring from the transfer sheet will not be visible once it’s re-melted.




Pipe Chocolate Onto the Sheets
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Easy Chocolate Cake

You can also create free-form decorations and custom designs with Chocolate Transfer Sheets by using the candy coating to pipe words or shapes directly onto the sheets. To create this effect, place some melted candy coating into a paper cone or pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. The coating should be well-melted and free of lumps (even small bits of Chocolate can clog the narrow tip) but not so hot that it flows uncontrollably.

Carefully draw or write your desired design directly onto the textured side of the transfer sheet. It is best not to make it too thin or fragile, otherwise it might break upon removal from the sheet.




Decorate With Piped Shapes or Words
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Allow the Chocolate to set completely at room temperature or in the refrigerator before carefully peeling it away from the sheet. I like to use this technique to make abstract shapes for topping cupcakes—I love the added height and dramatic look it gives ordinary cupcakes. You can also use this technique to spell out words. Imagine how nice a cake would look with “Happy Birthday” spelled out in glossy, gorgeously decorated letters.




Press Transfer Sheets Onto Dipped Candies
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Easy Chocolate Cake

All of the techniques above are intended for producing cake and pastry decorations. But you can also use transfer sheets to decorate Chocolate-dipped treats. This method works best with a flat surface, so I recommend using it for dipped sandwich cookies, or caramel, toffee, or ganache squares. The example above uses Chocolate cream-filled sandwich cookie, which are excellent dipped in Chocolate!

Begin by cutting your transfer sheets into small squares slightly larger than the objects you will be dipping. You will need one transfer sheet square for each dipped item. Dip a cookie or piece of candy in the melted chocolate, and place it on a baking sheet covered with waxed paper or foil. While the Chocolate is still wet, place the textured side of a transfer square onto the top of the Chocolate and gently use your finger to press down and make sure that the entire surface of the Chocolate is contact with the sheet. Repeat this process with the remaining Candies and transfer squares.




Your Dipped Items Are Now Decorated
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Place the baking sheet of dipped goodies in the refrigerator to set the Chocolate for about 20 minutes. Once the Chocolate is firm, peel the transfer sheet from the top. The result will be a gorgeous, glossy decoration that makes even the simplest Chocolate-dipped cookie or caramel look professional. If you have used candy coating, your treats should remain stable at room temperature. Enjoy making beautiful desserts with your newfound skills!



Related : How to Use Chocolate Transfer Sheets By Elizabeth LaBau, About.com Guide ~ How to Use Chocolate Transfer Sheets, Easy Chocolate Cake
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Bitter Chocolate

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Bitter Chocolate


Bitter Chocolate ~ Easy Chocolate Cake
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Bitter Chocolate

Unsweetened or Bitter Chocolate is Chocolate without any type of sweetener added. It is often used in baking and other projects in which the cook wants to personally adjust the level of sweetness. Bitter Chocolate is also the base for all over Chocolate products, since it is Chocolate in its pure and unadulterated form. As most people who have tried to nibble on a piece of Baking Chocolate know, Bitter Chocolate is indeed bitter, and highly unpalatable.

Chocolate Making starts with harvesting the pods of the Cacao plant, Theobroma cacao, native to South and Central America. The pods are split apart to yield the cacao nibs, which are in turn fermented and then ground into a paste called cocoa liquor. The cocoa liquor is processed to yield a wide assortment of Chocolate products.

When processed properly, cocoa liquor yields approximately half cocoa butter and half solids. This is what is turned into Bitter Chocolate. Many nations have laws which dictate the composition of Bitter Chocolate, along with other Chocolate products, so that consumers know what they are buying when they read a label. The cocoa liquor can also be treated in other ways, which include the separation of cocoa butter and cocoa solids for use in products such as cocoa and White Chocolate.

To make Semi-Sweet or Bittersweet Chocolate, Chocolate producers add a small amount of a sweetener to Bitter Chocolate to temper the intensely bitter flavor. The addition of larger amounts of sugar results in sweetened Chocolate. The Unsweetened cocoa liquor can also be blended with milk to make Milk Chocolate , and other seasonings such as Vanilla or chili powder can be added for specific desired flavors.

By using Bitter Chocolate as the basis of Chocolate Candies and other desserts, cooks can control the level of sweetness in the final product. Bitter Chocolate may also be of a higher quality, since the Chocolate producer cannot hide shortcomings behind milk and additives. It is also highly shelf stable, and can keep for several years if tightly wrapped and stored in a cool dry place.

Several things can impact the flavor of Bitter Chocolate. Different types of cacao beans have different flavors, and the handling and processing of the beans can alter the Flavor as well. Mishandling may cause any sort of Chocolate to become rancid or soured, which is why it is important to buy Bitter Chocolate from a reputable source.



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Chocolate Molds

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Chocolate Molds


Chocolate Molds ~ Easy Chocolate Cake
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Easy Chocolate Cake

Easy Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Molds

Chocolate Molds are molds which are designed to be used in candy-making, for the production of both filled and solid Chocolates. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes which can be used to produce a dizzying array of Chocolates. The best Chocolate Molds are made from silicone or metal, both of which have very high heat resistance. Less expensive Chocolate Molds made from plastic are also available, but they must be used carefully, as the heated Chocolate used in candy-making can melt the molds if it is not handled properly.

When cooks make filled Chocolate using a Chocolate mold, they brush Melted Chocolate into the mold to create a thin shell of Chocolate. Many cooks like to make several layers, ensuring that the Chocolate is thick, and allowing the Chocolate to cool completely between layers. Once the shell is set, the filling can be added, and more Chocolate can be carefully poured in to seal the filling. After the Chocolate cools, the mold can be inverted and gently tapped to allow the Chocolates to fall out, at which point they can be decorated and packaged.

Solid Chocolates are made by pouring Chocolate into the mold, rapping it sharply on the counter to remove air bubbles, and then allowing the Chocolate to cool completely before inverting the mold to allow the solid Chocolates to come out. Many molds designed for solid Chocolate come in decorative designs like trees, animals, plants, and so forth, with the details being preserved in the molded Chocolate.

In addition to being used for Chocolates, Chocolate Molds can also be used for a variety of other candies. For stickier recipes, the molds may be dusted with cornstarch or Cocoa Powder to ensure that the candy comes out cleanly and in one piece. Silicone molds are also useful for sticky recipes, since they can be gently peeled away to encourage the candy to pop out.

Molds are only one of an assortment of Chocolate making supplies. To work with Chocolate, people also need a good candy thermometer to monitor the temperature, along with spatulas and Double Boilers. Many people also like to temper the Chocolate they use in candy-making, in which case tempering equipment will be needed as well. For people who are just starting to work with Chocolate, Tempered Chocolate can also be purchased from cooking supply companies.

Chocolate making can be a messy process, but handmade Chocolates tend to be a big hit as gifts and at parties. While the initial cost of Chocolate Molds can be moderately expensive, they can be utilized for years, making them an excellent addition to the kitchen for people who suspect that they will be making a lot of Chocolates and Candies. Numerous recipes for filled and solid Chocolates can be found on the Internet.



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The History of Chocolate

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The History of Chocolate


The History of Chocolate ~ Easy Chocolate Cake
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Easy Chocolate Cake

Easy Chocolate Cake

The History of Chocolate

The History of Chocolate of the world's most favorite foods is filled with intrigue, political maneuvering, and innovation. The path from a fermented alcoholic drink to a candy bar at the corner store has been marked by numerous twists and turns, and even today, the world of Chocolate is filled with secrets, ethical controversy, and constant new developments. Chocolate is a multibillion dollar industry, and it should come as no surprise to learn that The History of Chocolate is closely intertwined with the history of colonial expansion, the Industrial Revolution, and even wars.

Most people are aware that The History of Chocolate begins in South and Central America, where Native Americans have been using the beans of the Theobroma Cacao, or cacao plant, for centuries. The first evidence of the use of Chocolate for culinary purposes dates to around 1400 BCE, when the Mayans apparently fermented the pulp which surrounds cacao beans to create an alcoholic beverage. By the first century CE, the Mayans were using the beans, fermenting them and then grinding them with ingredients such as cornmeal, Vanilla beans, and chilies on a metate to create a spicy, bitter paste which could be whisked with water to create a drink known as xocolatl.

Mayan xocolatl would not be to the taste of most modern consumers. The Mayans exclusively drank their Chocolate, blending their ground cacao beans with water and then pouring the drink back and forth between two cups to develop a densely foamy drink. Chocolate was so revered in Mayan culture that it was used in religious ceremonies. Most Mayans had a cacao tree growing in their back yards, making chocolate accessible to all members of Mayan society. The wealthy, of course, had special drinking dishes for Chocolate, complete with elaborate decorations which included depictions of growing, harvesting, and preparing cacao beans.

The Mayans established a vibrant trade in Chocolate, exchanging the beans with other Native American peoples who lived in regions where cacao trees could not be cultivated. When Aztec culture began to rise in the 12th century, the Aztecs picked up the habit of drinking Chocolate, and it became a drink for the Aztec elite, the only ones who could afford the treasured beans. In fact, cacao beans were even used as currency by the Aztecs, who would trade the beans for everything from fruit to slaves.

After Columbus traveled to the New World in 1492, he returned with a ship laden with a variety of trade goods, including some cacao beans, describing Chocolate as a “divine drink which builds up resistance and fights fatigue.” The Spanish Court, however, failed to realize the value of Chocolate until another conquistador, Herman Cortez, conquered the Aztec empire and established cacao plantations, shipping the beans back to Spain. In Spain, Chocolate became a drink of the elite and high-ranking church officials, and Spain held a monopoly on Chocolate for over 100 years.

The Spanish were dissatisfied with Chocolate as it was prepared in South America. They found the drink too bitter, and they disliked the foamy texture. As a result, the Spanish came up with the brilliant idea of adding sugar and cinnamon to their Chocolate. They also developed a special utensil, the molinillo, for stirring Chocolate. Spanish explorers expanded their holdings in South America specifically for the purpose of maintaining the Chocolate monopoly, establishing large plantations for cacao cultivation and using slave labor to produce the crop.

Chocolate remained Spain's little secret for quite some time. Other Europeans were so unaware of the value of Chocolate that when Spanish ships were attacked by English pirates, the pirates routinely destroyed cargoes of cacao beans, thinking that they were worthless. While Europeans certainly realized that Spain had stumbled across a number of treasures in the New World, it wasn't until the 1600s that the craze for Chocolate hit the rest of Europe.

With an increased desire for Chocolate in places like France, England, and the Netherlands came an increased demand for Chocolate production. Numerous countries colonized regions which would be suitable for cacao production, and established large plantations of cacao, sugar, and other South American crops which could be cultivated by slaves and sold at an immense profit. Even with increased production, Chocolate was still extremely expensive, and its consumption was restricted primarily to the elite, who consumed it in trendy Chocolate houses.

As Chocolate spread across Europe, various countries created their own formulations, adding ingredients like milk to make the drink more palatable. However, Chocolate remained firmly in liquid form, served in exotic and elaborate Chocolate pots which paired with beautiful china customized for the service of Chocolate.

The History of Chocolate took a dramatic turn in the Industrial Revolution, when the development of mass production techniques made the once-elite beverage accessible to a much larger segment of society. In 1828, inventors developed a technique for pressing cacao beans to separate the cocoa solids and cocoa butter, using a hydraulic press, and this changed the nature of Chocolate production quite radically. Prior to the development of the hydraulic press, Chocolate was sold in the form of a crumbly, very high-fat mixture which was hard to use and digest. With the development of the press, consumers could purchase cocoa powder, an inexpensive, easily handled alternative.

However, Chocolate was consumed primarily in liquid form until the 1800s, because no one had succeeded in making an edible form of solid Chocolate, and Chocolate cookies were not yet wildly popular. Eating Chocolate was introduced in the 1830s, and it would have been a grainy, bitter affair until the 1870s, when Chocolate manufacturers finally came up with conching.

When Chocolate is conched, it is ground for hours or days to create a smooth product with a very uniform, creamy texture. Conching allowed the market for eating Chocolate to explode, as consumers — for the first time — could eat quality Chocolate bars. It also allowed Chocolate companies to create a variety of Chocolate coatings and dips, enabling the production of candy bars coated in Chocolate, a perennial favorite.

Industrialization of the Chocolate industry also brought attention to its dark side, however. Many Chocolate companies were accused of using child and slave labor in their plantations and factories, and the growing labor movement began to agitate for reform both at home and abroad. In response to public concerns, chocolatiers also began to speak out about the working conditions involved in Chocolate production, with some companies like Cadbury's pledging to eliminate ethically unsound labor from the production of Chocolate as early as 1910.

In the late 1800s, numerous manufacturers marketed their eating Chocolate as a healthy addition to the diet, targeting mothers and children especially. All sorts of claims were made about Chocolate and human health, with Chocolate packaging including detailed descriptions of all the benefits Chocolate conferred. The idea of Chocolate as a health food was so firmly entrenched that manufacturers sold “breakfast Chocolate,” eating Chocolate designed to be consumed at breakfast, and Chocolate was considered a vital part of rations for soldiers during the Civil War in the United States.

The History of Chocolate and the military continues to this day. Many major military conflicts have spurred unique developments in the world of Chocolate, in an attempt to produce Chocolate which could be integrated into wartime rations. In the Second World War, for example, Mars Incorporated introduced M&Ms to American GIs, and in the First Gulf War, confectioners vied to produce a Chocolate which wouldn't melt in the heat of the Middle East.

In addition to World Wars, the 20th century also saw an explosion of confectionery wars. Mars and Hershey in particular have battled for Chocolate supremacy since the 1940s in the United States, with counterparts like Rowantree and Cadbury's duking it out overseas. Industrial espionage was such a huge problem in the Chocolate industry in the 1960s that it was parodied in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In the 1980s, with the breakdown of the Soviet Union, major Chocolate producers saw further possibilities for expansion, engaging in extravagant advertising campaigns targeted at Chocolate-starved residents of Asia and Eastern Europe.

Today, two thirds of the world's Chocolate comes from West Africa. The Chocolate industry continues to struggle with ethical issues like child labor, fair working conditions, and the environment. Several Chocolate companies have even been accused of manipulating national governments in the quest for a stable supply of Chocolate, much like United Fruit did in South America with bananas. In response, products like Certified Fair Trade Chocolate have arisen, and a number of Chocolate companies have corporate responsibility programs which are designed to allay consumer fears about the source of their Chocolates.

Consumers have also been struck with fear by a number of cacao disease scares, which have periodically threatened the world's supply of Chocolate. Diseases which affect cacao plants tend to spread rapidly, decimating Chocolate crops across an entire region. In addition to potentially affecting overall supplies of Chocolate, such diseases could have a serious impact on the flavors which consumers have grown to know and love. Chocolate companies each produce their own unique blends for the products they make, and small deviations in these blends are often very noticeable. For this reason, several producers have large experimental plantations where they work on breeding disease-resistant plants and developing new strains of cacao beans.

Candy producers continue to be extremely careful about revealing their production secrets. Many Chocolate factories are closed to the public, and access to the factory floor is tightly controlled, with even executives admitting that they don't know precisely how their products are made. Innovation in the field of Chocolate continues as well, with candy producers big and small putting out a plethora of new Chocolate products every year, ranging from gourmet Truffles to new candy bars. Competition between major manufacturers is fierce, with companies vying to produce the next big Chocolate sensation, much to the delight of many consumers.

The opening of the 21st century has also revealed new horizons in The History of Chocolate, with gourmet chocolatiers creating unique and distinctive Chocolate blends. Chocolate aficionados have also been able to choose from a wide assortment of regionally sourced Chocolates focusing on rare and unusual beans. A number of smaller Chocolate companies also specialize in regional delicacies which have become cult favorites.



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Chocolate Maker

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Chocolate Maker


Chocolate Maker ~ Easy Chocolate Cake
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Easy Chocolate Cake

Easy Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Maker

A Chocolate Maker is a person who produces Chocolate out of freshly harvested Cacao beans. The profession is often confused with being a chocolatier, a person who Flavors already prepared Chocolate with other ingredients, such as flavor extracts, citrus zest, or nuts, and molds it into individual pieces before decorating them. Chocolate Making is generally a long scientific process that requires precise techniques to ensure the most flavorful product.

The process of Chocolate Making begins with the harvesting of Cacao Beans, husked seeds that grow on the cacao tree. The Cacao Beans, also referred to as cocoa beans, are then removed from the husks and heated to dry out the beans and enhance their natural flavors. Once the beans are heated, a Chocolate Maker may process them into a powder or liquid, or shape them into a block.

Pure Cacao Beans have a bitter taste, even after being heated, so one of the main duties of a Chocolate Maker is to mix the pure cacao with other ingredients to sweeten it. Chocolate is typically classified by the ratio of pure Cacao Beans to sweeteners. If the product contains no additional ingredients, it is classified as Unsweetened Chocolate or baker’s chocolate and is usually only used for desserts that already contain other sweet ingredients. Chocolate Makers can sweeten pure cacao by mixing it with sugar, butter, or milk; however, the exact ratios of pure cacao to sweeteners may vary depending on the specific Chocolate factory’s sweetness classifications. For example, Milk Chocolate is one of the sweetest Types Of Chocolate and may contain less than 50 percent pure Cacao Beans, while the rest of the mixture is made up of sugar, butter, and milk.

To become a professional Chocolate Maker, a person will typically be required to take courses at a culinary or pastry school. The coursework will often focus on not only the process of making chocolate, but also the chemistry behind the products and the history of chocolate. Once an aspiring Chocolate Maker completes a Chocolate Making educational program, he or she can find employment at Chocolate factories as a laboratory technician, a position in which he or she may help develop new chocolate recipes or oversee the production of large amounts of Chocolate for national Chocolate or candy companies. Chocolate Makers may also be able to work at smaller, artisan Chocolate companies to make gourmet Chocolate by hand.



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Chocolate Chips

Easy Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Chips


Chocolate Chips ~ Easy Chocolate Cake
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Easy Chocolate Cake

Easy Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Chips

Chocolate Chips are small, round, processed dollops of Chocolate that are uniform in size and used for baking. Baking Chocolate chip cookies is the most well-known use for Chocolate Chips. However, Chocolate Chips may also be baked in muffins or cakes and can also be sprinkled on top of a warm cake to form a sort of instant chunky frosting. The main types of Chocolate Chips include bittersweet, semisweet, milk and white.

Bittersweet Chocolate Chips are dark in color and contain more cocoa than the other varieties of Chocolate Chips. They have some sugar added but are not very sweet. Bittersweet chocolate chips are the perfect choice when a rich, intense Chocolate Flavor is desired.

Semi-Sweet Chocolate chips are the most common type available today. They contain Cocoa Butter and a mix of Unsweetened Chocolate and sugar. Semi-Sweet chocolate chips are much sweeter than the bittersweet variety, but not overly sweet. The semisweet variety of Chocolate Chips is versatile and can be used in many recipes.

Milk Chocolate chips are quite sweet and creamy in texture. They are lighter in color than Semi-Sweet chocolate chip due to the milk solids. White Chocolate chips also contain milk solids and are extremely sweet. White chocolate is technically not Chocolate at all since no Cacao beans are used in it. White chocolate chips are often used for color and flavor contrast in deserts using other types of Chocolate Chips or Chocolate.

Chocolate Chips are uniformly round in their size and have a peak on top. Mini Chocolate Chips have the same look but are smaller in size. They are good for smaller cupcakes or mini desserts. Chocolate chunks are larger rectangular pieces of Chocolateschocolate chip and not chip-shaped. They make a chunkier alternative in favorite desserts such as chocolate chip cookies.

Unlike Chocolate baking squares and other Chocolate that melts easily, Chocolate Chips are made to hold their shape when baked. Chocolate Chips have hardly any cocoa butter and that is why they do keep their shape. Chocolate Chips are not usually good for melting as they may be lumpy and some types may even have a gritty texture after melting. All types of Chocolate Chips should be stored in a cool, dry area.



Related : Chocolate Chips By Wisegeek Guide ~ Chocolate Chips, Easy Chocolate Cake
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