Monday, 20 February 2012

Addicted to Chocolate!

Addicted to Chocolate!
An undeniable force of temptation, many of us crave it, battle our willpower over it, justify eating it by saying, “It’s nutritious, it has anti-oxitdants”!!  Well not exactly all chocolate...  My name is Margie and I am addicted to ‘Mars Bars!!
By:  Chef Margie Arosh
From anti-depressant to aphrodisiac to blood thinner do we need any more excuses to eat chocolate?  And as for the myths that it will give you acne or is high in caffeine, they are simply not true.  You would have to eat 12 chocolate bars to equal the amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee.  It is no wonder that chocolate is one of the most loved foods in the world.
Chocolate is produced from the seeds of the tropical cacao tree.   The anti-oxidant rich nibs inside the seeds are roasted, ground and liquefied, resulting in pure chocolate liquor. To this vanilla and sugar are added and it is ‘conched’-or pressed, cooked and then ‘tempered’.  Tempering chocolate is done by cooling the chocolate in several stages. This allows the cocoa butter to stabilize and produces a snap and shiny finish. This is very important in the making of handmade chocolates, truffles and chocolate dips.  White chocolate is not really chocolate as it does not contain any cocoa solids.  Sugar and milk are added to cocoa butter to make this delectable treat.
As a student at George Brown I was taught how to make warm Chocolate Molten Lava cakes.  It was love at first sight!  The decadent chocolate oozing out of a warm cake it was heaven….  
Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes
·       8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
·       3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
·       5 tablespoons sugar
·       Sugar or cocoa for dusting ramekins
·       3 large eggs
·       3 large egg yolks and whites separated
·       1/3 cup of all purpose flour
·       1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
·       8 squares of bittersweet or your choice of chocolate

Preheat oven to 375°F. Generously butter eight 3/4-cup soufflĂ© dishes or custard cups. Sprinkle inside of each dish with sugar or cocoa powder.
Stir chocolate and butter in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth or melt together in the microwave.  Remove from heat.  Using electric mixer, in a large bowl beat eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and 5 tablespoons sugar until thick and pale yellow, about 10 minutes.  In a separate very clean bowl, using a mixer or by hand whish egg whites until frothy and stiff.  Slowly drizzle and fold in warm chocolate mixture into egg mixture.  Slowly fold in flour and carefully fold in egg whites.
Fill each ramekin 2/3 full and push Chocolate Square down in the centre.  
Place soufflĂ© dishes on baking sheet.  Bake cakes uncovered until edges are puffed and slightly cracked but center of each moves slightly when dishes are shaken gently, about 15-20 minutes.  To de-mold, run a sharp knife around the outside of the cake and invert carefully over a plate.  Serve with berries and whipped cream.
Yield: 8 Cakes

Double Chocolate Brownies
·       ½ cup or 1 stick unsalted butter
·       5 oz (140 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
·       2 cups sugar
·       2 tablespoon cocoa powder
·       1 teaspoon vanilla
·       1/4 teaspoon salt
·       3 large eggs
·       ¾ cup all-purpose flour
·       3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter or spray an 8 inch square baking pan.  You may also line pan with parchment or foil, allowing it hang over ends of pan for easy removal.  Grease parchment or foil well.
Melt remaining butter with chocolate in a large bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth.  Remove bowl from heat and whisk in cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and salt (mixture will be grainy), then add eggs 1 at a time, whisking after each addition until batter is smooth.
Slowing stir in flour, add chocolate chips to batter, stirring until just combined.
Spread batter evenly in baking pan and bake in middle of oven until top is firm and edges just begin to pull away from sides of pan, about 20 minutes (do not overbake).
Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes, then carefully lift brownies from pan by grasping both ends of foil and transfer to rack to cool 10 minutes more. Cut into 16 squares and lift brownies off tray with a spatula.
Yield: 16 Brownies

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