|Back to Back Issues Page|
Is that love I smell? Nope, it’s chocolate Valentine’s Fondue- Fun with Fondue, Issue #60
February 11, 2019
Did you know that chocolate releases the same chemicals in the brain that love does? It also amplifies those love feelings, hence why it is the perfect treat for Valentine’s Day. (For this and more information about the effects of chocolate on the brain, you can read http://www.medicinehunter.com/chocolate_love_drug).
Whether you are spending the day with friends, family, a special someone, or alone, you can enjoy chocolate fondue to help release those endorphins and feel the love. (I actually prefer eating chocolate alone because I want it all for myself, hehe.)
Monthly Recipe Recommendation
Want to wow your special someone? This White Chocolate, Almond, and Amaretto fondue recipe will do just that!
Some dipper ideas include: Almonds, strawberries, mango slices, coconut macaroons… really any fruit, cookie, or even doughnuts!
Monthly Fondue Tip
What is your favorite type of chocolate: white, dark, milk? What’s the difference anyways?
You can have chocolate fondue with most of them, but here's what you need to know so you can pick the one that best suits your needs:
Cacao and Cocoa
Cacao is the actual cacao bean without the shell. You can buy cacao nibs (crunched up pieces of bean) or ground cacao (powder). It's the healthiest form of chocolate but it's quite bitter.
Cocoa powder is created by expelling the fat (cocoa butter) from chocolate liquor with a hydraulic press, and then letting it harden before crushing it into powder. Cocoa powder is often used in low-fat cooking because it retains the chocolate flavor but has most of the fat removed (but it still contains some).
Here's a recipe that uses cocoa powder: https://www.bestfondue.com/how-to-make-chocolate-fondue.html
Unsweetened, Bittersweet, Semisweet, and Baking Chocolate
Unsweetened chocolate is made by letting chocolate liquor cool and harden. It's a popular type of baking chocolate because people can add the exact amount of sugar and fat that they want.
Bittersweet and Semisweet chocolate are pretty much the same and contain at least 35% chocolate liquor and varying amounts of cocoa butter and sugar.
Bittersweet/Semisweet Baking Chocolate is sweeter than unsweetened baking chocolate. The labeling can be misleading because, as opposed to regular "bittersweet/semisweet chocolate", "Bittersweet/Semisweet Baking Chocolate" contains NO additional cocoa butter (so no extra fat).
Here's a fondue recipe that uses semisweet chocolate: https://www.bestfondue.com/chocolate-rum- fondue.html
Dark, Milk, and White Chocolate
Dark chocolate is cocoa with added fat and sugar, but no milk (or at least much less milk than milk chocolate). The US has no official definition for dark chocolate. Typically, dark chocolate contains 70% to 99% cocoa but the ratio of cocoa butter to solids may vary. Some inexpensive commercial brands will even sell chocolate with as little as 45% cocoa and label it as "dark", so be sure to read the ingredient list carefully.
Milk chocolate in the US contains at least 10% chocolate liquor (25% cocoa solids in most of Europe), plus cocoa butter and sugar in varying amounts, and at least 12% milk (milk, cream, milk powder, etc). The amount of milk and cocoa (and their quality) will vary greatly. Read the labels and know where your ingredients come from.
White chocolate can't technically be called "chocolate" because it doesn't contain chocolate liquor. White chocolate contains at least 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk, and sugar in varying amounts.
Here are some recipes:
Dark chocolate: https://www.bestfondue.com/dark-chocolate-fondue-recipe.html
The Bottom Line?
Pick whatever flavor you like best, but if you want "healthy" chocolate, aim for at least 70% cocoa and read the label to pick the brand with limited to no additives.
Remember that the ingredients are listed in descending order of weight, so there's much more of the first ingredient than the last one, so you can easily compare the sweetness (or healthiness) of various brands using their food label.
Food For Thought
- Cassandra Clare
That's it for now. Enjoy your chocolate and Valentine’s Day!
Feel free to visit the site and browse through the collection of fondue recipes.
You'll hear back from me next month as we all plan for that special Valentine’s Day.
Until then, be careful with open flames, and have fun with fondue!
P.S. New to meat fondue? Get the complete guide to hosting a Greek-Inspired beef broth fondue dinner today!
P.P.S. Or try fondue bourguignonne. Get the complete guide to hosting a French-Inspired beef oil fondue dinner today!
|Back to Back Issues Page|