More About Chocolate
Bittersweet Chocolate: A blend of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter and just enough sugar to soften the bitterness.
Semisweet Chocolate: Same blend as bittersweet - but extra sugar gives it a slightly sweeter taste.
Milk Chocolate: Made with more sugar than semisweet - plus milk or cream and vanilla flavoring.
White Chocolate: A blend of cocoa butter, milk, sugar and flavoring - without any chocolate liquor.
Equivalents: 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder plus 1 tablespoon solid vegetable shortening = 1 square baking (unsweetened) chocolate.
MELTING Top Of Stove: Place chocolate squares in heavy saucepan over lowest heat or in top of double boiler over simmering water. With wooden spoon or spatula, stir constantly, until chocolate is melted. Microwave: Place squares in microwave-safe bowl (do Not cover); microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Remove and stir; if only partially melted, repeat microwaving.
To Make Chocolate Leaves: Brush a nontoxic real leaf with coating of melted chocolate. Refrigerate. After chocolate hardens, remove leaf. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To Make Chocolate Cups: Evenly coat inside of foil muffin liner with melted chocolate. (A small brush works perfectly with this). Refrigerate. After chocolate hardens, remove liner. Refrigerate until needed.
To Make Chocolate Curls: Pour melted chocolate into foil lined pan. Refrigerate until hard. Use cheese slicer to form curls. Refrigerate until needed.
To Make Chocolate Squiggles: Place melted chocolate in a zipper-lock plastic bag; cut tip off one corner of bag with scissors. Squeeze designs on wax paper, using even strokes; refrigerate. Let shapes harden before using to decorate cakes, cookies or candy.
Chocolate starts as a bean from the tropical cacao tree. When roasted and ground, the beans become chocolate liquor (a paste); when cooled, this becomes baking chocolate. Chocolate liquor is also processed into cocoa butter and cocoa powder.