For the Chocolate Lovers!!!

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By Chef Ed Dychauco

Pots and Pans

Thursday, February 13, 2014


CHOCOLATES!

This is one sure item that doesn’t need any introduction.

Who hasn’t heard of chocolates? And who hasn’t tried chocolates? It would truly be a mortal sin not knowing what chocolate is!

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For this extra special time of the year for our beloved (although I feel we all should make every day special!), chocolate plays an important, if not the most important role in our lives, aside of course from the ever popular red roses/flowers, teddy bears, cakes and other gift items.

It comes in dark, bittersweet, semi-sweet, dark sweet, milk, white, covertures, Gianduja and as candy coating. And remember, the darker the chocolates, the better it is, the more anti-oxidants there is, the better it is for our bodies!

Chocolates can come in different forms, sizes, flavors, colors (?), and even the way it is used, prepared, made and presented.

Widespread use for this sweet item is molded and made into candies. Or, we call them plainly, chocolates! And as such, it has evolved into so many eye-popping and mouth-watering confections.

Chocolate bars is available in various sizes (bite sized to several pounds per bar!), shapes (heart is of course on top of the list!) and thickness, plain or flavored, filled with nuts (like almond, peanuts, cashew, macadamia, pecans, walnuts, pistachio, hazelnuts), dried fruits (raisins, apricots, plums, cherries, cranberries, etc.), crème (vanilla, chocolate, custard, caramel, crème brulee or fruit-crème like passion fruit, raspberry and other fruit-based jellies) or alcohol-infused blends/liqueur-filled(bourbon, gin, whiskey, rum).

It can also be made minty (my favorite!), added with sea salt, orange/lemon, chili (yes, chili!), peanut butter, and many more.

Chocolate clusters are made with dried fruits and/or nuts and has irregular shapes.

Chocolate lollipops and bars can also be made at home with the right ingredients and tools. It is a best seller for home-based entrepreneurs.

Chocolate Bonbons are confections made with fruits, hard candies, or the like and dipped in chocolates, thereby coating the “round” little balls. Guess these delicious hand-made Rum balls fall into this category.

Chocolate Truffles on the other hand are made with chocolate ganache, then dipped in chocolate and can be rolled in nuts, sprinkles, sugar, confectioner’s sugar or plain cocoa powder.

Chocolate-dipped delights includes fresh fruits like strawberries, cherries, dried fruits like pineapple, jackfruit and the latest craze – durian which are coated well and then left to set. This can also include cookies and baked products like biscotti, lace cookies and pretzels.

Fudges are sweet, creamy, soft and rich which is made from butter, sugar & milk. Variations of this confection can include peanut butter, maple and of course, chocolate! Hot fudge on the other hand is more liquid in consistency but thick. This is used over ice creams, particularly in sundaes & parfaits.

Don’t confuse fudge for those chocolate coating which are used as dips in ice cream, polvorones, and some cookies because they don’t contain much cocoa solids.

Chocolate spread like Nutella, Hersheys, Cookie Butter and Philadelphia cream cheese which combine very well with bread as filling, used as topping, baked or plainly eaten as it is.

Think of a chocolate fondue or chocolate fountain and make use of all imaginable dips! Fruits, cookies, nuts, brownies, cakes, chips, marshmallows and the list go on and on.

Baked products that incorporate chocolates (cocoa powder or real chocolate bar, chocolate chips) into the batter or dough comprises breads, cakes, brownies, cookies, flans, rolls, cupcakes & muffins, pancakes while others can use this as dips, topping or drizzle it all over the baked items like brioche/enzaymada, monkey bread, doughnuts, cheesecakes, eclairs, bars, pudding and all those mentioned above.

What about our champorado, chocolate drinks (topped with mini marshmallows), coffee, and shakes? We have commercially available chocolate syrups, chocolate powders, instant choco mixes that do the trick.

Notably, the more popular eating chocolates we love are the imported brands like Nestle, Ferrero Rocher, Hershey, Lindt, Toblerone, Cadbury, Ghirardelli, Godiva, Guy Lian, Ritter Sport, Russell Stover and See’s.Locally, we have Goya&Ricoa (curly tops!). Unfortunately, Serg close many years ago.

On the brighter side, we have our own Tableya and it is being produced all over the country by back yard small & medium cottage industries. That should suffice for now for our personal demand for locally produced pure organic “chocolates” which is super doper good for cakes, cookies and hot drinks!

And to list some favorite chocolates in the market, we have Hershey kisses & bars, M&M’s, Kit-kat, Reese’s, Nestle crunch, Snickers, Milky way, Dove’s, Raisinets, Twix, MrGoodbar, Symphony, Krackle, Skor, Baby Ruth, Mars, Malteesers, Three Musketters, and a lot more!

Who can forget Oreos, by the way?

But I surely have fond memories of choco-mallows, choco-crunchies, pretzel choco sticks, knick-knacks, nips, choco-mucho, choco pillows, cloud nine, big bang, nips, choc-nut and many, many more which are proudly Pinoy made!

How about you? How do you like your chocolates? Maybe this 14th would be extra romantic enjoying your chocolates under the moon with your love one since it is the full moon!

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone!!!!

[Email: potsnpans1976@yahoo.com]

[Website: www.potsnpans1976.weebly.com]

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 13, 2014.

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