Made from cocoa beans that grow mainly in West Africa due to the Colonial Europeans heavy appetite for chocolate. The cocoa tree has had more than one cameo in history; the Mayans (the guys who predicted the world’s end in 2012) seem to have been the first civilisation to discover the magical ingredient that was chocolate. They used it for ceremonies and also daily life.
The ancient civilisations made drinks from the cocoa beans which had different additives like chilli peppers, honey, vanilla. Apart from that, the cocoa beans were also used as a currency in barter trade. The fact that it could only grow in some parts of the Western world, made it valuable.
So, when the Europeans went over to the Americas and discovered the cocoa plant, they immediately hijacked a canoe full of the cocoa beans and reserved it for royalty. They too made modifications to the recipe and added sugar, honey, and vanilla. I would love to go into the details of how Chocolate is produced however, we didn’t learn the entire process in culinary school. All I can say is that e-how.com is an incredible resource and here’s the link… http://www.ehow.com/how_2041142_make-homemade-chocolate.html
Companies like Nestle, or Lindt got into the Chocolate game early enough and have developed better and cheaper means of producing chocolate. Some of which include Child Labor.
So, in our modern society, we reserve chocolate for deserts, fruits, and sweets. And any good patissiere will tell you that moulding, and manipulating chocolate is an absolutely paramount skill. Without it, you can not make desserts that warrant you to post a picture on Instagram or Snapchat, to show off to your followers, with tags such as #foodporn or #chocolateaddict.
I rarely indulge in chocolate, but when I do, I always add salt to the chocolate. There’s a lady who introduced me to the delight that was Kit Kat and Popcorn. The salt always draws out the sweetness and the raw chocolate flavour that the unfermented seeds have. It calmly balances the nearly diabetes inducing sweetness of the vanilla and sugar, as well as creating a tantalizing development of tastes on the palette. From salt, to sweet and everything in-between.
I’d love to share my chocolate chip cookie recipe with you. The best part is that, they are crispy on the edge and chewy in the middle, giving them and almost cake like texture.
- 1 egg + 1 yolk
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons)
- Using a wooden spoon, Cream Butter and sugars, until the mix resembles a glossy light brown color,
- Add egg and yolk, as well as vanilla essence and mix well,
- Add dry ingredients in 2 parts and fold in; then add in your chocolate chips
- Use an ice cream scoop and set cookie dough on parchment paper and throw in a pre-heated oven at 220 degrees C for 10 – 12 mins,
- Leave to cool and Enjoy.
Cheers guys, till next #TastyTuesday.