Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chocolate and Bacon Delight

It seems that the unlikely duo of chocolate and bacon is catching on in popularity. Knott's Berry Farm served up some tasty funnel cakes with the flavor combo after questioning their customers in an online poll. So many people requested bacon and chocolate, so they gave it a whirl.

Keep your eyes open for this delicious duo in more places and let us know when you find something new and delicious in the chocolate world!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Cacao Beans

Okay chocolate lovers!! Here are some photos of cacao beans for you. They are actually fairly easy to grow. I bought a pod on eBay once and grew lots of little cacao plants from it.

A little roasting and some grinding and oh how yummy it is!!!

Please answer our Chocolate poll question at the top of the right sidebar.

Monday, March 15, 2010

How Chocolate is Made

Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which are fermented, then dried, then roasted in order to bring out their flavor. After roasting, the beans are cracked into cocoa nibs. The nibs contain 53% cocoa butter and 47% cocoa solids.

Next, the cocoa butter is separated from the cocoa solids. The nibs are ground into a thick paste (cocoa mass or chocolate liquor). Then, the paste is pressed so all the cocoa butter is squeezed out. What’s left is 100% pure cocoa solids.

The differences between chocolates depend on the flavor profile of the beans used, the proportion of cocoa solids to sugar to cocoa butter, and the amount of refining and processing. In the US, to be labeled as dark chocolate, it must contain at least 35% chocolate (total amount of cocoa solids and cocoa butter). In the UK, it must contain at least 42% chocolate. Milk chocolate must contain 10% chocolate and 12% dairy.

In less expensive chocolate, the cocoa butter is replaced by other fats. Since these fats have a higher melting point than cocoa butter, chocolate made with them doesn’t melt in your mouth the way that high quality chocolate does.