It would be hard to locate a person who does not like chocolates. A majority of people are aware that chocolate has been a refined product, which is obtained from cocoa beans. However, have you ever given a thought to how many chocolate types have been made available? You would be astonished to know that there have been a wide number of enticing kinds of chocolates.
Cocoa powder is the unsweetened powder of cocoa beans which is slightly defatted. The powder caters an intense chocolate taste. This has been made available in two varieties. One would be the Dutch processed, which is alkalized and the other would be the natural variety. The powder is light brown and offers a pronounced flavor. On the other hand, the alkalized variety has been darker, less acidic and milder.
Care for you Chocolate
Chocolate should be stored in a cool, dry place at around 65-70 degrees F. It should not be stored in the refrigerator, as moisture would change the appearance and texture of the chocolate. High temperatures would cause a bloom or cloud on the surface of the chocolate. This bloom would not affect the freshness or taste of the chocolate. However, the appearance would change dramatically. It would be caused when the cocoa butter crystals migrate and melt on to the surface of the chocolate.
Chocolate has the tendency to absorb various odors of any food around it. It is yet another reason not to store chocolate in the fridge. Do not store chocolate in the same cabinet as onions, as it would affect the taste of the chocolate. You have to be careful that the storage container and various preparation utensils should be clean and odorless.
Most chocolate would keep for approximately a year when stored properly. The darker varieties would last longer. However, filled chocolates should only keep for about one month.
Do not add water to chocolate unless the recipe calls specifically for it. Water would harden the consistency and texture of the chocolate. Keep this principle in mind while melting chocolate. You should not cover melting chocolate with a lid, as steam would collect on the lid and fall into the chocolate. You could use a light cloth cover if the need arises.
As chocolate has been very delicate to heat, you would be required to melt chocolate very slowly. It should be removed from heat when you intend to melt the chocolate. Always remember, chocolate should be heated on a low heat or it would quickly become an unappetizing mass. You should make use of a double boiler or place the saucepan encompassing chocolate on top and another saucepan having boiling water on the stovetop. Remember that chocolate would continue to melt even after you remove it from the heat source. Therefore, you have to be extra careful not to overcook it.
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