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Also Known as
Black Chocolate or Plain Chocolate
Dark Chocolate is made by processing a mixture of cocoa, fat-like cocoa butter and sugar. It has more of cocoa, with little or no milk, which is what gives it a dark colour and intense flavour. The percentage of cocoa in these chocolate slabs ranges from 70% to 99%. For home use, it is reasonable to buy 70% dark chocolate. Higher the percentage of cocoa, the bitterer the chocolate tastes and higher is its price.
Dark chocolate is used commonly in baked confectionaries and desserts.
Chopped dark chocolate
Cut the chocolate vertically with a sharp knife into ½ -inch thickness and then cut horizontally to form chunks of ½”x ½”. Chopped chocolate is added to cakes to get chunks with a fudgy or gooey mouth-feel.
Dark chocolate cubes
To make dark chocolate cubes, place on a chopping board. And using a sharp knife, cut lengthwise along the the chocolate slab to get three equal halves. Join the halves with your non-working hand, and cut breadth wise at ½ inch or 1 inch regular intervals to make dark chocolate cubes. Cubes are used mainly to make truffles , chocolate sauce etc.
Grated dark chocolate
Take a grater and slide the chocolate from top to bottom to get thin strings of chocolate. Use this to garnish and decorate desserts.
Melted dark chocolate
• Method 1: Take a double boiler and put chunks of dark chocolate in the bowl. Keep stirring continuously with the help of a spatula and heat for a few minutes until it melts.
• Method 2: Put the chunks of chocolate in a bowl and microwave on high for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove and mix well. If it is still not molten, microwave on high for a few more seconds.
• Use this in cakes, cookies, mousses, etc. as a garnish and decoration.
How to select
• Most supermarkets and specialty stores sell dark chocolate these days. It is also available in cafes and cake shops.
• Buy from a trusted store.
• Read the text at the back of the packet to check the percentage of cocoa and learn how sweet or bitter the chocolate will be. Match this with your recipe requirement.
• Make sure the chocolate is not soft and molten. If the chocolate is soggy, you should use it within a few days.
• When buying, always check the expiry date.
• Dark chocolate does not expire too soon and can sometimes last for a few months or even years from the time it was made, if stored properly.
• Chocolate is used in cold and hot beverages, to make Chocolate Milk and Hot Chocolate.
• When included as a cooking ingredient in cakes, desserts, sauces etc, dark chocolate gives an intense chocolaty flavour.
• Dark chocolate is best used in conjunction with other ingredients like vanilla, to make tasty treats such a chocolate cookies, muffins and mousses.
• Dark chocolate is ideal to use in cooking as it gives the chef greater control over the consistency and sweetness of the dish.
How to store
• Store in an airtight container with the wrapper at room temperature.
• It can also be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
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