Archive | April, 2014

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Praline Chocolate [ Belgian Chocolate ]

I always love Belgian Chocolates! So I wonder where it came from and what is the story behind it…oooh by the way if you are wondering what is “Praline Chocolate” it is also called Belgian Chocolates by Americans.

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Belgian pralines

Pralines, commonly known as “Belgian chocolates” or “chocolate bonbons” in English-speaking countries, are chocolate pieces filled with a soft fondant center. They were first introduced by Jean Neuhaus II, a Belgian chocolatier, in 1912. There have always been many forms and shapes in Belgian pralines. They nearly always contain a hard chocolate shell with a softer (sometimes liquid) filling. The filling can be butter, liquor, nuts, marzipan, or even a different kind of chocolate. They are usually wrapped as a gift. Today, Belgian pralines are still very popular in Belgium, as well as in other countries. The largest manufacturers are Neuhaus, Godiva, Leonidas and Guylian.

What is Praline? You wonder…

Praline can refer to confections made from nuts and sugar syrup, whether in whole pieces or a ground powder, or to any chocolate cookie containing the ground powder or nuts. Belgian pralines (often called Belgian chocolate) are different; they consist of a hard chocolate shell with a softer, sometimes liquid, filling. French pralines are a combination of almonds and caramelized sugar. American pralines also contain milk or cream and are therefore softer and creamier resembling fudge.

Europe

As originally inspired in France at the Château of Vaux-le-Vicomte by the cook of the 17th-century sugar industrialist Marshal du Plessis-Praslin (1598–1675),early pralines were whole almonds individually coated in caramelized sugar, as opposed to dark nougat, where a sheet of caramelized sugar covers many nuts.Although the New World had been discovered and settled by this time, pecans and chocolate-producing cocoa (both native to the New World) were originally not ingredients in European pralines. The European chefs used local, easily available and relatively cheap ingredients: nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts.

The powder made by grinding up such sugar-coated nuts is called pralin, and is an ingredient in many cakes, pastries, and ice creams.When this powder is mixed with chocolate, it becomes praliné in French, which gave birth to what is known in French as chocolat praliné (chocolate praline). The word praliné is used colloquially in France and Switzerland to refer to these, known simply as “chocolates” in English, i.e. various centres coated with chocolate.In Europe, the word praline is used to mean either this powder or the paste made from it, often used to fill chocolates, hence its use by synecdoche in Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium to refer to filled chocolates in general.In the united kingdom, the term can refer either to praline (the filling for chocolates) or, less commonly, to the original whole-nut pralines.

In Europe, the nuts are usually almonds or sometimes hazelnuts.

America

French settlers brought this recipe to Louisiana, where both sugar cane and pecan trees were plentiful. During the 19th century, New Orleans chefs substituted pecans for almonds, added cream to thicken the confection, and thus created what became known throughout the American South as the praline. Pralines have a creamy consistency, similar to fudge. It is usually made by combining sugar (often brown), butter, and cream or buttermilk in a pot on medium-high heat, and stirring constantly, until most of the water has evaporated and it has reached a thick texture with a brown color. Then it is usually dropped by spoonfuls onto wax paper or a sheet of aluminum foil greased with butter, and left to cool.

Pralines and cream are a popular ice cream flavor in the United States and Canada.

Pretty interesting huh? Yeah!

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Japanese Mochi Truffle Chocolate

Mochi - literally means “Rice Cake” made of mochigome a short-grain japonica glutinous rice. The rice is pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki.While also eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time. Mochi is called môa-chî (麻糬) in Taiwan.

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Mochi is a multicomponent food consisting of polysaccharides, lipids, protein and water. Mochi has a heterogeneous structure of amylopectin gel, starch grains and air bubbles.This rice is characterized by its lack of amylose in starch and is derived from short or medium japonica rices. The protein concentration of the rice is a bit higher than normal short-grain rice and the two also differ in amylose content. In mochi rice, the amylose content is negligible which results in the soft gel consistency of mochi.

Traditionally, mochi was made from whole rice, in a labor-intensive process. The traditional mochi-pounding ceremony in Japan is Mochitsuki:

  1. Polished glutinous rice is soaked overnight and cooked.
  2. The cooked rice is pounded with wooden mallets (kine) in a traditional mortar (usu). Two people will alternate the work, one pounding and the other turning and wetting the mochi. They must keep a steady rhythm or they may accidentally injure one another with the heavy kine.
  3. The sticky mass is then formed into various shapes (usually a sphere or cube).

Mochi can also be prepared from a flour of sweet rice (mochiko). The flour is mixed with water to a sticky opaque white mass that is cooked on the stovetop or in the microwaveuntil it becomes elastic and slightly transparent.

But as the curiosity of people continue to expand and new recipes are being discovered and accepted in our modern world, Japanese – Americans were not satisfied by just Mochi itself. Giving Mochi a new and exciting flavor that will bring some twist to a hundred year old Japanese tradition…what else could it be? Of course none other than Chocolates!!!!

Chocolate Truffle Mochi was influenced by Japanese-Americans.

Japanese Americans may have assimilated well into western culture, but they did not abandon their culinary heritage. Instead, they have created new dishes blending traditional Japanese ingredients with those of other cultures. Mochi is a fine example of this.

Now how to make JAPANESE MOCHI TRUFFLE CHOCOLATE you may ask?

You will be needing these:

2 cups mochiko flour
4 Tbsps butter
1 cup cocoa powder, divided use
1 3/4 cups milk
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided use
3 cups dark chocolate chips
1 can sweetened condensed milk

First, make the chocolate truffles: In the top of a double boiler, heat the sweetened condensed milk over medium-low heat. Pour in the chocolate chips. When the chips are melted and blended into the milk, remove from heat. Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and stir. Allow mixture to cool slightly. Using a small scoop, form little balls (about ½ inch) and place on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Freeze until ready to use.

Then, make the mochi: In a small pot, blend together the butter, sugar and 1/2 cup cocoa powder. Whisk in the milk, stirring constantly. Bring this mixture to a boil. Then, remove from heat and add in mochiko flour, stirring to avoid lumps. Return to heat and cook for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1 tsp. vanilla extract and blend in. Allow to cool for about ten minutes.

Coat a clean work surface with cocoa powder. Pour on the cooled mochi (should still be pliable and just slightly warm. If it is too hot, it will melt the truffles!) Remove truffles from freezer. Pinch off a bit of mochi and roll into a ball, flatten with palms and then place a truffle in the center. Wrap the cocoa mochi around the truffle and seal carefully by pinching the mochi together. Roll lightly in cocoa powder and place this seam side down on in a paper cupcake or candy liner. Continue until all truffles are wrapped in mochi. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled. Then, remove from the refrigerator and store covered.

You can make them any size you like or add additional flavors to the truffle mixture such as coffee, orange liqueur or even wasabi powder. Surprise your mochi-loving friends with this rich and decadent chocolate treat with an Asian flair.

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Scientific Explanation for Chocolate Haters – Part II of the Article – Is there such thing as Chocolate Haters?

As we continue our talk about people who hates chocolate, aside from it is a matter of choices, it has a scientific explanation as well..

A book called In Utero: Mom’s Diet explained that the cause would probably came from pregnancy of mothers. In a study at Philadelphia’s Monell Chemical Senses Center, one group of pregnant women drank carrot juice during their third trimester, another drank the juice during the first two months of breastfeeding, and a third avoided carrots altogether. Later, the babies whose mothers had consumed the orange veggies preferred carrot-flavored cereal more than the other kids did. Additional research suggests that when women experience severe morning sickness—which can cause sodium loss—their babies tend to be born with a higher penchant for salty foods.

Another book states that Taste buds are just one reason why love some food and hate others. Black coffee. Hot peppers. Truffles. Oysters. The world is full of polarizing flavors and foods, beloved by many, despised by just as many. Why is that? Scientists have untangled some — but not nearly all — of the mysteries behind our love and hatred of certain foods.

1. Genetics: People experience bitter flavors differently, as the combination of bitter receptor genes varies for each person. And almost everyone lacks the ability to detect at least one scent, meaning that the chemical that gives truffles their distinctive odor might strike you as either offensive or earthy. Or you might be among the 25% who can’t smell it at all.

2. Experience: Did you know babies are predisposed to liking the foods their mothers ate while they were pregnant and later while breastfeeding? Exposing children to a wide range of foods can start even before they’re born.

3. Culture: Not many people like extremely bitter or spicy foods the first time tasting them, but they can come to tolerate and even crave them with repeated exposure and by being around people who enjoy these foods.

4. Gender: Women are more likely to crave sweets and men are more likely to crave salty foods. This should come as no surprise if you’ve ever seen an advertisement for chocolate.

5. Texture: Although science cannot yet fully explain why, some people simply hate gritty, slimy or creamy foods, no matter their flavor. Case in point: natto, the slippery fermented soybeans pictured above.

“We as primates are born liking sweet and disliking bitter,” said Marcia Pelchat, who studies food preferences at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia. The theory is that we’re hard-wired to like and dislike certain basic tastes so that the mouth can act as the body’s gatekeeper.

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hmmmm…most of the time I’ve been wondering why some people hate chocolates but now this new knowledge puts an end to those mind boggling issues. Right?? So come on people Let it go!!! ^_^

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How to make Traditional Super Easy Chocolate Ice Cream?

Well usually Summer is the best time for ICE CREAM (whatever flavor it is) as long as it is ICE CREAM. You can never go wrong with ICE CREAM. Although some enjoys it even winter or cold seasons, I don’t know…but most people prefer eating that when the weather is awesomely HOT!! Just like me! (Hihihi)

Why I keep saying ICE CREAM and typed it in bold letters? Hahaha

Of course! We’re gonna learn how to make some ICE CREAM! Not just any scrumptious flavored Ice cream but CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM! (everybody clap your hands!) So come on! It’s easy!

OK Let’s start! First what you gonna need is

  • 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
  • 200 g Dark Chocolate
  • 1 cup of Milk
  • 2 cups of Thickened Cream
  • Sugar

Procedures:

Start up by placing 2 cups of Thickened Cream into a sauce pan and cook it for medium heat. Then add the 200g Dark Chocolate (chopped into pieces) and sift  in the 1/2 cup of Cocoa Powder. Last but not the least 1 cup of sugar and stir in a low heat until it completely dissolved.

Once the mix was dissolved, let it stand for 20 mins and then placed it in the fridge for about an hour until it is completely cool.

Now to make an Ice Cream, we need to use a Ice cream maker. I highly recommend you buy one, it will only cost you $30 to $40 and you can also use it for making yogurts! It is really simple, you just have to turn it on and then placed/pour the cooled mixture and let it mix for 20 minutes (After 20 minutes check your Ice cream and when you got the color you desire then it is perfect!) then place it into your freezer for few hours and your ice cream is ready!

Scoop and then serve with Chocolate syrup topped with whip cream and cherry or strawberry! There you have it! Your very own Traditional Chocolate Ice Cream!

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Is there such thing as Chocolate Haters?

Sad to say…YES! We do have those kind of people. They exist.  But let’s not judge them immediately. Let’s give them the so called “Benefit of the doubt.”

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First let’s talk about some random bloggers who wrote these things about Chocolates (for peace sake, we did not include their sites on this article.)

Someone says...“I really kinda feel sorry for the chocolate lovers: they also go for the chocolate flavor! Ignoring and missing all the other good and beautiful tastes that God has created.”

One girl says….“I’ve never really given a damn about chocolate, it’s weird brown skwooshy food that melts. What’s the big deal? What I truly hate though is when people (particularly women, which is annoying as it makes me embarrassed of my own sex) declare loudly “OMG I NEED CHOCOLATE!” Erm, no, you don’t. Now Milky Bars, I love, and like you I’m always being told that they’re not chocolate. In which case, I hereby declare my love of solidified milk and vast quantities of sugar.”

Another lady says…“LOVE YOU! I hate chocolate AND coffee and for some reason people are always shocked when I say that, they mock my taste, etc. I had yet to meet somebody who didn’t like chocolate, I feel so much better now. Thank you for writing this. Chocolate haters unite.”

Hmmmm….for Chocoholic people the reaction you can get when reading this will be, “The Horror!” or “Those aren’t humans at all!”

From what we think here at Chocolate Lovers dot info, the reason behind this is simply a “matter of choices” although  there’s a possible scientific explanation about this type of behavior, but it’s definitely a “Matter of Choices” which everyone has the privilege of…

Whatever reason they have for hating chocolates and for whatever reason WE have for loving such a wonderful food, it’s up to us! No need to forced those who don’t eat Chocolates to try one since their hate might grew larger and instead of helping them you’ll only make them hate it more, just let them be…mind your own business! For those who hate chocolates, there’s no need to hate it that much, we understand your feelings and we totally respect that.

We couldn’t agree more to this statement given by some random blogger…

“i think it makes sense that not liking chocolate and not liking coffee would go hand in hand. and it is ridiculous for people to try to get you to eat it just because THEY like it. (i’m not a hater of either coffee or chocolate, but not a huge fan, either…give me pecans or caramel, mmmm). it’s like when my brother-in-law tried to share his crawfish with me. NO THANK YOU! please don’t waste your time trying to get me to eat it, just enjoy it on your own.”

Make sense??

Watch out for part II of this article ^_^

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Chocolate that describes you!

Sound’s familiar? “You are what you eat!”

Simple. It is what it is. When you indulge yourself often on a certain type of chocolate or someone closed to you loves to eat a particular chocolate then expert says you can tell yours as well as other people’s personalities from that…

Here’s a run-down of the types of chocolate, so pick one and scroll down to see if it matches yours!

1. Bitter chocolatePowerful. If you picked bitter chocolate, chances are you have an intense personality – powerful and dramatic. A true visionary, you are excited about the future, respected for what you do and what you stand for and materialistic at times. A problem solver, you are also energetic, make decisions quickly and are open-minded. Friendships are important to you and you don’t like to be alone.

 

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2. White chocolateCreative. If you picked white chocolate, you’re the creative sort who goes for the path less trodden. Unconventional and fascinating, you’re dreamy and probably don’t do what’s expected of you. You might have been told off in school for day-dreaming and can come off as flaky, but the truth is, your whimsy and artistic side is an inspiration to those who know it. A thinker, you love being by yourself and don’t like forced social situations such as parties full of strangers.

 

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3. Milk chocolateMellow. If you picked milk chocolate, you’re a sweet, innocent sort who’s easily satisfied. Not one for the overly intense or dramatic, you’re a child at heart who sometimes longs for the past. You have an inborn sense of fairness and are a career-minded person, love working, being part of the action, being successful and in-charge. When bored, you feel helpless. You may come across as withdrawn and slightly aloof.

 

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4. Dark chocolate - Classy. If you picked dark chocolate, it’s not surprising that you are sophisticated, modern, and refined. Despite that, you are not a fussy person. A down-to-earth sort, you are lovable, tolerant, understanding and a true friend. You enjoy living a full life, filled with adventure and lots going on. More of a do-er than a thinker, you feel a bit lost when things are quiet.

 

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Pretty cool huh? So which one best describes you??

Source http://www.bubblews.com/news/760341-what-is-your-chocolate-personality

 

 

 

 

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Make your own Chocolate Lollipops!

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Chocolate lollipops are made using melted chocolate poured into candy molds, and are then frozen.

Most crafting stores carry a large variety of holiday and seasonal molds, along with a large selection of different colored chocolate wafers, allowing for complete customization.

Ingredients:

  • Chocolate wafer melts (color(s) of your choice)
  • Candy Mold(s)
  • Fine paintbrush
  • Toothpicks
  • Lollipop sticks
  • Treat bags
  • Ribbon/Plastic Ties Large microwaveable container or double boiler

Step 1: Choose your method for Melting the Chocolate:

Be sure to separate the different colors of chocolate so that they don’t run together when they have melted

Microwave: Place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat it on high power at 10-second intervals, stirring each time, just until it’s completely melted.

Double Boiler: This method allows you the most temperature control, and is best for higher-quality chocolate. Set up your double boiler with a small amount of water in the bottom pot. The water should not be touching the top pan–and warm it over medium-low heat. Bring water to a a boil, then add chocolate. Stir the chocolate occasionally, just until the mixture is smooth, then remove the pan from the heat.

Slow Cooker: A slow cooker, set on low heat, is great for melting chocolate and keeping it at the right temperature while you work. Stir chocolate occasionally to prevent from getting too hot. If chocolate appears to be getting too hot and thickening, turn off the slow cooker, remove the insert, and stir in a couple of pieces of not-melted chocolate to cool it down.

Step 2: Filling the Mold

Choose your mold – make sure it is clean and dry.

If you want to make your lollipops using one solid color, skip to the next paragraph. If you want more detailed/multi-colored pops, use the paintbrush and apply the different colors of chocolate to “paint” the details on the inside of the mold. Use a toothpick to fill in very small areas, such as “eyes”. Be sure to fill the areas completely. You can check this by holding the mold up, and looking underneath it for any “clear” spaces. Be sure to rinse your brush between the different colors.

Once you have painted all of the details you can fill the mold with one solid color. You can use a spoon, funnel, or squeeze bottle to fill the mold. After you are done filling the mold, tap it several times on the table to get rid of any air bubbles.

Step 3 Add the Stick!

If you are making a lollipop, add the sticks to the mold. The stick should be placed on the lower half of the mold. Spin the stick to cover it with the chocolate.

Step 4 Let the Choclate Harden

Put the filled mold in the refrigerator or freezer until candy has set. This takes approx 15 minutes. If you aren’t sure they are done, check the underside. The chocolate generally has a frosted appearance against the mold. If there are any dark spots, there may be some soft spots, and you should freeze/refrigerate it a bit longer.

Step 5 Removing the Pops

Turn over the mold about an inch above a flat surface covered with parchment or waxed paper. After gently flexing the mold, the candies will fall out, or loosen enough that you can easily remove them.

Step 6 Fin!

Place the completed pops into treat bags. Tie each bag with a pretty ribbon or sandwich bag tie.

Have Fun!!

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Chocolate Fountain ^o^ – Why it is so popular?

A chocolate fountain is a device for serving chocolate fondue. Typical examples resemble a stepped cone, standing 2–4 feet tall with a crown at the top and stacked tiers over a basin at the bottom. The basin is heated to keep the chocolate in a liquid state so it can be pulled into a center cylinder then vertically transported to the top of the fountain by a corkscrew auger. From there it flows over the tiers creating a chocolate “waterfall” in which food items like strawberries or marshmallows can be dipped.

Basically found in Parties and Tea Parties ^^

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History

Chocolate fountain machines were invented by Ben Brisman and popularized in 1991 by a Canadian company called Design & Realization,.They did not become very popular until Design & Realisation began displaying these fountains at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago, starting in the early 1990s. Jay Harlan (an entrepreneur and former Marriott catering executive) collaborated with D & R to introduce the chocolate fountain to the U.S. hotel and resort industry. Jay Harlan’s company (Buffet Enhancements International) began distributing the D&R fountain in the U.S. in 2001. It wasn’t long after 2001 that Buffet Enhancements copied and improved the D & R fountain idea and began manufacturing their own American-made version. In 2003, the savvy West Coast company Sephra of California stepped into the marketplace and started selling their own high-end Chinese manufactured fountains. Sephra modified and enhanced the design of the chocolate fountain to make its operation easier and to make clean-up more simplified. Sephra introduced a variety of accessories for their fountains and they added several size options to accommodate even the grandest of catering events. Because D & R’s fountains were copied and heavily advertised in the U.S. and abroad, it wasn’t long before chocolate fountains were the popular choice for catering events from coast to coast.

How did it became so popular?

Originally, the market was entirely commercial, with chocolate fountains costing thousands of dollars and requiring significant upkeep. The popularity of chocolate fountains grew to a point of demand at a consumer retail level as people who had seen commercial models at catered events inquired about purchasing their own fountains. Then, at the end of 2004, the Hellmann Group began marketing the Nostalgia Chocolate Fountain for personal use. Sephra followed close behind, introducing a line of high-end home chocolate fountains in 2005. These new personal-use models were targeted to be priced for everyday consumers and easy to use.

This expansion into the retail market caused the demand to peak drastically. As a result, the catering industry saw more requests for chocolate fountains at events. Flavoring oils such as mint, orange, and cappuccino were developed to give the chocolate extra taste. Caterers began adding food coloring to white chocolate to make it coincide with special holidays or events. Caterers and home users created special recipes for a variety of fondues that would flow well in a fountain; some of the more popular recipes included caramel, cheese, maple syrup, ranch dressing, and BBQ sauce. Because of the growing practice of using chocolate fountains for other types of fondue, chocolate fountains became interchangeably referred to as “fondue fountains”.

Today, commercial chocolate fountains are a common fixture at well-to-do galas, weddings, and catered parties; while home chocolate fountains are more commonly seen at birthday parties and friendly gatherings festival.

New models often incorporate more than one flavour of chocolate and a ‘cup’ design in place of the traditional tiered models. These models are designed to cater to new customer desires, to decrease the amount of chocolate needed and chocolate wastage.

The Jean-Philippe Patisserie at the Bellagio Casino in Paradise, Nevada is home to the world’s tallest chocolate fountain.

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Wow!! This fountain look good in my kitchen huh? hahaha

 

 

 

 

 

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