March 28, 2013

this is yummy #2

The quality of the ingredients we use in cooking is all-important in determining the quality of the end product. What, then, affects the quality of chocolate? First and foremost it is the proportion of high- quality cocoa beans in the blend. Chocolate that is referred to as "fine" is made from a blend containing at least 40 percent high-quality beans. The technical name for the type of chocolate used to make those yummy chocolate products is "couverture". Couverture contains cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar, vanilla, and lecithin, and despite not being considered a healthy food it's still too delicious to avoid [Why, why all the bad stuff tastes so good?]
By the way, white chocolate is not really chocolate at all. It is made from cocoa butter, which lacks the components that give cocoa its color and taste. It contains no other elements of the cocoa bean, and for this reason legally must be called "white confectionery coating."
My point here is: Know your Chocolate. Plus, knowing just a few good chocolate-based recipes might bring you to a whole new level of Domestic Goddess. My all time favorite is Chocolate Ganache, without which every French patisserie would go broke. It is easy to work with, it's soft but not runny. It gets hard but not rock-hard when refrigerated. You can spread it on a cake and in between. It is so delicious that can dramatically improve any dessert . It is decadent and versatile, everyone loves it. If that is not enough, you may enjoy simply gobbling it with a spoon without feeling guilty [just kidding.]  
Makes 3 cups
1/2 cup milk
3 fl oz cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
6 1/2 teaspoons glucose syrup (I bought mine at Michael's, every craft store seems to have it)
12 oz couverture, finely choppedor grated  (I use 65% cocoa Doncello brand, but any other will also work fine, just look for high cocoa content on a label)

1. Mix the milk, cream, sugar, water, and glucose syrup in a saucepan.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and remove from the heat.
3. Add the finely chopped or grated couverture and stir until it has completely melted.
The finished ganache keeps well in the refrigerator. It can be reheated in a microwave (stir every 15 seconds utill soft and workable). The original recipe is from The Chocolate Bible by Christian Teubner 
{Photo by 'corsets and TRAINS'}

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