10 Secrets about Cooking with Chocolate

How to cook with chocolate like a professional pastry maker...

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  1. Keep chocolate in a dry place at room temperature, protected from exposure to the sun and dampness.
  2. Do not preserve cooking chocolate in the fridge; it will lose its moisture.
  3. Preserve chocolate in air-tight containers, as it is very sensitive to foul smells.
  4. If you need to melt chocolate, it is easiest just to melt it in the microwave oven.
  5. If you choose to melt your cooking chocolate in a in a bain marie, never allow the temperature to exceed 50-60º C.
  6. To use a Bain Marie, create heat by creating steam. Place a metal bowl inside a sauce pan containing water in such a way that the bowl does not touch the sauce pan.
  7. During melting, do not allow any water inside. It will make the chocolate hard, thereby destroying it.
  8. Use care when melting white and milk chocolate. Overheating will cause either variety to curdle.
  9. When melting chocolate, stir it slowly but continuously until it is fully melted.
  10. When a recipe involving cooking chocolate includes alcohol, add the alcohol after the greasy ingredient of the recipe (ie. butter).

    When cooking with chocolate, bear in mind that...
    Varying with regards to percentages of cocoa powder, there are many different varieties of chocolates available on the market. If a recipe requiring chocolate does not specify the exact percentage of cocoa powder, steer clear of cooking chocolate with high consistencies of cocoa powder. Most recipes are intended for cooking chocolate containing 54% cocoa powder. If you have bought  chocolate with high quantities of cocoa, you must either reduce the quantity of cooking chocolate or increase the quantities of the other ingredients. Otherwise, the results of your labors will be much too thick. In general, reduce the quantity of cooking chocolate by 5% when cocoa powder consistency is 65% and by 10% when it is 70%. Or raise the quantities of the other ingredients accordingly.
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