Dark Chocolate

What is Dark Chocolate? Glossary | Uses, Benefits + Recipes | Viewed 29964 times
Also Known as
Black Chocolate or Plain Chocolate

What is Dark Chocolate?

Dark Chocolate is made by processing a mixture of cocoa, fat-like cocoa butter and sugar. It has more of cocoa, with little or no milk, which is what gives it a dark colour and intense flavour. The percentage of cocoa in these chocolate slabs ranges from 70% to 99%. For home use, it is reasonable to buy 70% dark chocolate. Higher the percentage of cocoa, the bitterer the chocolate tastes and higher is its price.

Dark chocolate is used commonly in baked confectionaries and desserts.

How to select Dark Chocolate?
• Most supermarkets and specialty stores sell dark chocolate these days. It is also available in cafes and cake shops.
• Buy from a trusted store.
• Read the text at the back of the packet to check the percentage of cocoa and learn how sweet or bitter the chocolate will be. Match this with your recipe requirement.
• Make sure the chocolate is not soft and molten. If the chocolate is soggy, you should use it within a few days.
• When buying, always check the expiry date.
• Dark chocolate does not expire too soon and can sometimes last for a few months or even years from the time it was made, if stored properly.

How to use Dark Chocolate?

To become a pro at handling chocolate, you need to know few basic recipes of how to go about. Below are few recipes which will guide you.

1.      Tempered Dark Chocolate recipe throws light on how to melt chocolate perfectly in a double-boiler, so you get a smooth sauce without any charring or burning.

2.      Chocolate Sauce one of the handiest things to keep in your larder, as it lends itself to everything from ice-creams and puddings to pastries and milkshakes too.

3.      Chocolate Ice- Cream an ideal mix of fresh cream and milk, this will be the best Chocolate Ice-Cream you have ever tasted.

4.      How To Make Homemade Chocolate Chips a simple recipe that tells you how to make homemade chocolate chips. It requires a little patience but is not difficult, and it is definitely worth the effort because it tastes so good.

• Dark chocolate is used in cold beverages like LatinoChocolate milkshake and also in hot beverages like Hot chocolateElaichi hot Chocolate.
• Makes awesome cookies like Chocolate chipsChocolate Cookies.
• Dark chocolate makes an excellent  Classic chocolate fondue starter.
• When included as a cooking ingredient in cakes, desserts, sauces etc, dark chocolate gives an intense chocolaty flavour Chocolate Brownie Mousse Cake, Black ForestTruffle cakeMousse cakeBrownie
• It is best used in conjunction with other ingredients like vanilla Sizzling Brownie, cream cheese Chocolate Chessecake to make tasty treats.   
• Dark chocolate is ideal to use in cooking as it gives the chef greater control over the consistency and sweetness of the dish.
• Try lots of all time favourite such as MuffinsIcecreams Mocha cup and Mousses  recipes with Dark Chocolate.  

How to store Dark Chocolate?
• Store in an airtight container with the wrapper at room temperature.
• It can also be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Chopped dark chocolate
Cut the chocolate vertically with a sharp knife into ½ inch thickness and then cut horizontally to form chunks of ½”x ½”. Chopped chocolate is added to cakes to get chunks with a fudgy or gooey mouth-feel.
Dark chocolate cubes
To make dark chocolate cubes, place on a chopping board. And using a sharp knife, cut lengthwise along the the chocolate slab to get three equal halves. Join the halves with your non-working hand, and cut breadth wise at ½ inch or 1 inch regular intervals to make dark chocolate cubes. Cubes are used mainly to make truffles , chocolate sauce etc.
Grated dark chocolate
Take a grater and slide the chocolate from top to bottom to get thin strings of chocolate. Use this to garnish and decorate desserts.
Melted dark chocolate
 Method 1: Take a double boiler and put chunks of dark chocolate in the bowl. Keep stirring continuously with the help of a spatula and heat for a few minutes until it melts.
• Method 2: Put the chunks of chocolate in a bowl and microwave on high for 20 to 30 seconds. Remove and mix well. If it is still not molten, microwave on high for a few more seconds.
• Use this in cakes, cookies, mousses, etc. as a garnish and decoration.