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Chocolate Snob

Written by Victoria Dwek on Monday, 10 September 2012. Posted in News Updates

Not Just Any Chocolate

 
It only makes sense that my kids like matzah and melted cheese because they’re copying me. Or sliced apples...or rice cakes...or iced coffee. It’s the same thing when it comes to my less healthy habits: dessert. As much as I anticipate the final course, that was only if the dessert was something vanilla and creamy. So that means that I have to fight with my kids over the white halves of the black-and-white cookies. They request that I buy vanilla sandwich cookies over the ubiquitous chocolate, and if the ice cream shop layers a birthday cake with vanilla on the bottom and chocolate on top...well, that cake is going to cave in. Because of all this, I get along much better with chocolate-loving guests who are happy to enjoy the halves of things myself and my kids just don’t want.
 
 
Photo by Dan Engongoro
 
But this was all before I learned that there’s a difference in chocolate quality...and it makes a huge difference in the taste. In the past, whenever I’d purchase the ingredients for a chocolate dessert, I’d look for the cheapest baking bar I could find. No more...now the best possible quality chocolate is my little secret to heavenly chocolate desserts (that even I love). When I started tasting chocolate desserts with the right kinda chocolate, I was converted.
 
Why was I so fooled before? In the United States, chocolate doesn’t need to contain all that much chocolate to earn the name. Your “chocolate baking bar” is likely mostly fat and sugar. To ensure quality when baking with chocolate, look for a % on the package. The % represents how much of that bar actually comes from the cocoa bean. 70% or 72%  a bittersweet bar or about 62% for a semi-sweet bar which contains more sugar. Not all are created equal.
 
 
Want to prove me right? I’ve picked some of my favorite chocolate selections on Cookkosher. First, there’s the Chocolate Candy Crunch. I love crunchy, toffee like treats and it takes good quality chocolate to make that candy go from OK to gourmet. If you are a sweet and salty lovers you will appreciate this easy Chocolate Pretzel Ice Cream. Or, keep it simple with classics like an intense Chocolate Fudge Pie or Chocolate Molten Cakes
 
 
The folks at Scharffen Berger (my personal favorite brand) want to get you started by giving away an Essential Scharffen Berger Baking set, which includes all the products you see above (Retail value $50). Simply leave a comment, sharing your favorite chocolate dessert, and one of you will be the winner!
Giveaway ends midnight, September 27, 2012
 
Prize sponsored by Scharffen Berger, opions are my own. 

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About the Author

Victoria Dwek

Victoria Dwek is the Managing Editor of Ami Magazine's Whisk, where she gets to chat with all her reader friends about cooking and baking, and share all her fun experiences in the culinary world. 

Comments (19)

  • Amelia613
    10 September 2012 at 22:50 |

    My favorite chocolate recipe is Hot Fudge Cake (we always double it and serve it with some whipped up Rich's Whip)

    1 Cup Flour
    ¾ cup sugar
    2 T cocoa
    2 t baking powder
    ¼ t salt

    ½ cup parve milk
    2 T melted margarine

    1 C brown sugar
    ¼ cocoa

    1¾ C Hot water


    Mix flour, sugar, 2 T cocoa, baking powder and salt together.
    Stir in milk, and margarine
    Pour into ungreased pan
    Mix brown sugar and ¼ cup cocoa together and sprinkle over batter – DO NOT MIX IN
    Pour hot water over
    Bake at 350 for 45 minutes

    Above is for 9” pan; double and put in 9 x 13

  • ezehkef
    10 September 2012 at 22:52 |

    love chocolate in all its forms. i sometimes put plain cocoa powder into my coffee. would really enjoy getting this set of baking chocolate.

  • cappuccino
    11 September 2012 at 01:44 |

    Chocolate souffle/chocolate molten cakes. They're my favorite. Whenever I go out to eat, I order that for dessert. I have no interest in even trying anything else out :)

  • trachtmj
    11 September 2012 at 02:48 |

    I love a black forest trifle...makes a great presentation and is really delicious. For a kosher dessert I make a chocolate vinegar cake which has no milk and uses margarine instead of butter...no eggs either for a low cholesterol touch. Also, death by chocolate cookies are a winner.

  • Broccoli
    15 September 2012 at 20:52 |

    I love chocolate in any shape or form!
    Even a warmed up chocolate chip cookie or chocolate chip bar with vanilla ice cream - and when it's topped with warm runny chocolate sauce, what could be better!

  • Chanee
    15 September 2012 at 23:28 |

    My treat is chocolate mud pie with a crispy base.

  • schoenbc
    16 September 2012 at 00:55 |

    Favorite chocolate dessert? A simple chocolate mousse - what could be better?
    12 oz chocolate
    8 eggs separated (use 6 yolks, 8 whites)

    Slowly melt the chocolate. Let cool a bit, but while still warm beat in the egg yolks. Beat egg whites until stiff. Fold in to chocolate/egg yolk mixture. I also add about 1/2 tsp almond flavoring and a few sprinkles of cinnamon.

    By adding 4 eggs and 10 oz margarine, you can make a chocolate mousse cake.
    After melting chocolate, and cooling a bit, beat in the 10 oz of margarine (or butter). Beat egg whites until stiff, and fold into chocolate mixture.
    Place 3/4ths of mixture into ungreased springform pan and bake at 350 for about 45 mins to 1 hour. Put rest of mousse into refrigerator.
    Cool - center will sink. When completely cool, spoon remaining mousse into center of cake.
    Keep in refrigerator until ready to serve.
    (Again, you can add any flavorings you wish.)

  • laydee
    16 September 2012 at 03:05 |

    my favorite chocolate desert is molten hot chocolate cakes from fresh & easy. they're so easy to make and so good! and of course, nothing can top a good brownie

  • AidelK
    16 September 2012 at 03:34 |

    I adore ScharffenBerger chocolate; I'm one of their best customers. I don't splurge on too many ingredients, but this chocolate is definitely worth it! My favorite recipe is one that I found inside a ScharffenBerger box, Chocolate Orbit Cake. Here is the link to the recipe on their website: http://www.scharffenberger.com/chocolate/recipes/cakes/chocolate-orbit-cake/
    It works for Pesach, and it's delicious all year round.

  • sugarspice
    16 September 2012 at 07:02 |

    I love chocolate in any shape or form... For a quick chocolate fix I'll stick graham cracker, chocolate & marshmallows into the microwave for instant s'mores....

    Do I need to post a "real" recipe in order to qualify for the giveaway?

  • alibarnett
    20 September 2012 at 16:18 |

    Fondue!!

  • serenevich
    20 September 2012 at 17:05 |

    My favorite chocolate dessert is chocolate soup!

  • njmom
    25 September 2012 at 01:52 |

    My favorite would have to be hot fudge sauce over ice cream!

  • wmnnrd
    25 September 2012 at 03:33 |

    this is tough - but i think I'll go with chocolate pecan pie

  • Sweeper2000
    27 September 2012 at 02:57 |

    Truffles are my favorite chocolate dessert.

  • cindk
    27 September 2012 at 04:35 |

    I just created a new recipe using Sharfenberger's cocoa powder -- and the best thing is, it's gluten free, pareve, and vegan!

    Strawberry Chocolate Oat Muffins

    6-8 strawberries

    Chocolate powder, to taste (about 1/4 c)

    3/4 cup corn starch

    1/2 tsp baking soda

    ~ 2 cups oats

    ~ 1 tsp brown sugar

    a heaping cup of sugar

    3/4 cup oil

    1 tsp salt

    So delicious! But brownies are always good, too.

  • cjsorel
    27 September 2012 at 10:59 |

    Love to make a cocoa cola chocolate cake with butter cream middle then covered in ganache

  • Mimi
    27 September 2012 at 16:31 |

    Yum Chocolate! It's always a good time to eat brownies.

  • sarahpascal
    25 October 2012 at 08:43 |

    I like chocolate chip biscottis. Thanks for the great post! I got some great recipes from your website.

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