are some interesting facts about chocolate.
wish to thank www.chocolate.org for the source of this information).
is chocolate made?
cut the fruit of the cacao tree, or pods open and scoop out the beans.
These beans are allowed to ferment and then dry. Then they are cleaned,
roasted and hulled. Once the shells have been removed they are called
nibs. Nibs are blended much like coffee beans, to produce different
colours and flavours. Then they are ground up and the cocoa butter is
released. The heat from the grinding process causes this mixture of
cocoa butter and finely ground nibs to melt and form a free-flowing
substance known as chocolate liquor. From there, different varieties
of chocolate are produced.
kinds of chocolate are there?
on what is added to (or removed from) the chocolate liquor, different
flavours and varieties of chocolate are produced. Each has a different
chemical make-up, the differences are not solely in the taste.
Baking chocolate is simply cooled, hardened chocolate liquor. It is
used primarily as an ingredient in recipes, or as a garnish.
Semi-sweet chocolate is
also used primarily in recipes. It has extra cocoa butter and sugar
added. Sweet cooking chocolate is basically the same, with more sugar
Milk chocolate is
chocolate liquor with extra cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla added.
This is the most popular form for chocolate. It is primarily an eating
White chocolate is
somewhat of a misnomer. In order to be legally called 'chocolate' a
product must contain cocoa solids. White chocolate does not contain
these solids, which leaves it a smooth ivory or beige colour. Real white
chocolate is primarily cocoa butter, sugar, milk and vanilla.
Note: There are some products on the market that
call themselves white chocolate, but are made with vegetable oils instead
of cocoa butter. White chocolate is the most fragile form of chocolate;
pay close attention to it while heating or melting it.
Decorator's chocolate or
confectioner's chocolate isn't really chocolate at all, but a sort of
chocolate flavoured candy used for things such as covering strawberries.
It was created to melt easily and harden quickly, but it isn't chocolate.
is the history of chocolate?
Mayans and Aztecs of South America took beans from the
"cacao" tree and made a drink they called "xocolatl." Aztec Indian legend
held that cacao seeds had been brought from Paradise and that wisdom
and power came from eating the fruit of the cacao tree. The word "chocolate"
is said to derive from the Mayan "xocolatl"; cacao from the Aztec "cacahuatl".
The Mexican Indian word "chocolate" comes from a combination of the
terms choco ("foam") and atl ("water"); early chocolate was only consumed
in beverage form. Christopher Columbus is said to have brought back
cacao beans to King Ferdinand from his fourth visit to the New World,
but they were overlooked in favor of the many other treasures he had
chocolate was introduced in 1674 in the form of rolls and cakes, served
in the various chocolate emporiums. By the 1990's, chocolate had proven
its popularity as a product. Annual world consumption of cacao beans
averages approximately 600,000 tons.
with chocolate. Chocolate is a very tricky food to cook with. Temperatures
that are too high can scorch it, temperatures too low can cause it to
harden unevenly. It must be watched very carefully. But if you can master
the art, you can create some breathtaking results. Below are some things
to know about cooking with chocolate.
What is tempering?
In order for chocolate to cool into a hard candy and
not a mushy goo, it must be tempered. This is a process where the chocolate
is slowly heated, then slowly cooled, allowing the cocoa butter molecules
to solidify in an orderly fashion. Once you've got a complete melt,
letting the chocolate cool slowly while stirring it or working it will
encourage the cocoa butter to arrange itself in a way that is particularly
useful for making candy. This is 'tempering' the chocolate.
are a couple of ways for encouraging the cocoa butter into its stable
arrangement. In the interests of hygiene we keep the liquid chocolate
in a sealed bag, which can be manipulated safely and without mess to
bring about the proper 'crystallisation' of the cocoa butter molecules.
techniques are to Stir the molten chocolate, 'seed' the molten chocolate
by putting in little pieces of solid chocolate. The molten cocoa butter
then will do a kind of follow-the-leader and arrange itself after the
fashion of the solids. Which is what you want. The hazard with seeding
your chocolate is that you might get little air pockets associated with
the solid pieces. Traditionally, small batch chocolate is tempered on
marble slabs. Just pour it on and work it with a spatula until it becomes
kind of slushy-mushy.
next tricky step is to maintain enough heat to keep the chocolate molten,
but not heat it up so much that it forgets how to arrange itself. Overheating
the chocolate will make the cocoa butter separate from the cocoa solids,
and that's a bad thing. Indication that you're overheating the chocolate
is either chocolate bloom in the hardened chocolate or out and out separation
of cocoa butter in the chocolate soup.
is this white, blotchy stuff on my chocolate? A white, filmy residue
on chocolate is called a bloom. It occurs when some of the cocoa butter
in the chocolate separates from the cocoa solids, usually when the chocolate
is stored in a warm area.
has been the subject of many stories and myths throughout history. Some,
are based on fact, others are not.
Can I give chocolate to my pet? NO.
theobromine in chocolate that stimulates the cardiac and nervous systems
is too much for dogs, especially smaller pups. A chocolate bar is poisonous
to dogs and can even be lethal. The same holds true for cats, and other
there caffeine is in chocolate? YES. Although
there is less caffeine in chocolate that there is in a cup of coffee,
people who are avoiding caffeine should unfortunately stay away from
chocolate as well. There are about 30 milligrams of caffeine in your
average chocolate bar, while a cup of coffee contains around 100 to
chocolate cause acne? NO.
This is another myth about chocolate. While some people
might be allergic to chocolate, or some of its ingredients, doctors
have disproved the belief that chocolate causes acne universally for