I’m a typical polymath. My intertests are very wide and include everything and anything ranging from protozoa, classical dance (theory as well as practice ), astrobiology to herbalism and unusual design. Why making chocolate then?
So why on Earth have I turned into making chocolate?
If anyone asked me (which never happened) why my choice fell on chocolate, I would have to answer in a slightly prententious tone, that it was actually chocolate, that chose me.
But first thing’s first.
I hate baking. I seem to be unable of producing a single piece of a decent cake of any type.
Once dough is in the oven, the creative part of the process is complete. The results are not known and oftentimes cannot be predicted until 40-60 minutes later, once one gets to open the oven and face their (in my case not so much of a) masterpiece.
Chocolate however is a completely different story. It can be played with almost indefinitely until the desired form is obtained.
It all started three years ago. My friend was having a birthday. I didn’t know what to get him, so I decided to make some rum balls. Since it was my first time ever, I was heavily improvising and – this will come to you as a shocker – I heavily screwed up.
Being in a hurry for the party, I decided to dip my Frankenstein balls (pun intended!) in melted chocolate , and this is how my first ever chocolates were created.
So fasten your seatbelts.
Here’s my recipe for sweet success : 40% rum, 30% dark chocolate, 20% biscuits, 10% almonds. Recommended as a remendy against any kind of depression.
To be honest, I believe mainly the first and the second ingredient do the job, the latter two are optional.
Contrary to what it may seem, chocolate is not a simple medium to work with.
Throughout the years (yeah, been advancing in age) , I have come to the conclusion that, when cooking with chocolate it’s best to begin with prayers for prosperity to all kinds of gods you could possibly think of (the more gods, the higher the chances of succeeding, just sayin’).
My advice is a result of two properties of chocolate, which many aspiring chocolatiers try to battle on a daily basis.
Those are :
- chocolate doesn’t appreciate water. Just one drop and velvety texture will turn into a lump mass. This is because the main flavor carrier in chocolate is cocoa butter. And fats, as we know, do not dissolve in water.
When working with chocolate, take extra care to ensure that all tools are completely and utterly dry.
- chocolate does badly react to high temperatures
Unfortunately is it rather easy to overheat chocolate, so when melting it, make sure you have a candy thermometer on hand
- Burned chocolate in its structure resembles mud or slurry and is unsuitable for any kind of pralines or coating (unless it’s used for the filling). Incorrect chocolate tempering (more on the subject coming soon) can surprise you with one more unpleasant side effect. Badly tempered chocolate at room temperature will melt faster than a snowman taking a holiday in Bali.
So why do we love chocolate anyway?
Me trying to answer this question is one of the ideas behind starting this blog. This issue is much more complex than the banal statement “because it is sweet”.
I will try to find an exhaustive answer to this question.
Please join me on my journey. And in a meantime, check out my Instagram to see some of my chocolaty results.