Read these 24 Chocolate Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Dessert tips and hundreds of other topics.
Nut Goodie Bars
12 oz. pkg. semisweet chocolate chips
12 oz. pkg. butterscotch chips
2 cups peanut butter
2 cups salted peanuts
3-oz. pkg. vanilla pudding and pie filling mix (not instant)
1/2 cup light cream
7-1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Melt chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in heavy saucepan, stirring until smooth. Add peanut butter and mix well. Spread half of this mixture into a buttered 15x10" jelly roll pan and refrigerate. Stir peanuts into rest of chocolate mixture and set aside.
In large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in pudding mix and cream. Cook and stir until mixture begins to thicken - do not boil. Remove from heat. With mixer, beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until blended and smooth. Carefully spread over chocolate layer. Refrigerate 30 minutes to set.
Drop remaining chocolate-peanut mixture by spoonfuls over chilled pudding layer and carefully spread to cover. Refrigerate until firm and store in refrigerator.
Here's an easy way to temper chocolate, so it remains firm at room temperature after melting. Take 1/4 cup of the chopped chocolate or chips and set aside. Melt remaining chocolate, remove from heat, and stir until smooth. Add the reserved chocolate and stir constantly until the mixture is melted and smooth again. This allows crystals to form, which is the goal of tempering.
Be careful when melting chocolate or it can seize, which results in a grainy mess. The lighter the chocolate, the higher the chances of this happening, so be especially careful with vanilla milk chips. The most important thing to remember is that chocolate melts better and faster at lower temperatures. Never let your chocolate get above 115° F.
After Dinner Chocolate Cups
Use these cups to serve a favorite after-dinner liqueur for a very elegant presentation.
3 1-oz. squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
8-10 miniature foil cups
In small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolate, stirring constantly. Brush melted chocolate inside foil cups until about 1/8" thick. Refrigerate 5-10 minutes until chocolate is set. Repeat with another layer of chocolate. Refrigerate until chocolate is very firm. Carefully peel foil from cups and store in refrigerator or freezer until just before serving. Then fill with your favorite liqueur. Be very sure there are no holes or gaps in the chocolate before filling with the liqueur - you don't want it dripping on your guests!
11 1-oz. squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
1-oz. square unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. hazelnut liqueur, if desired
1 cup finely ground hazelnuts
In small saucepan over low heat, melt chocolates, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. In another small saucepan, heat cream and butter just to a boil. Stir cream mixture into melted chocolate and blend well. Add liqueur, if using. Refrigerate 2 hours until mixture is firm and easy to handle, stirring occasionally.
Roll into 3/4" balls, then roll in nuts. Store in refrigerator.
To make edible chocolate designs, melt vanilla or chocolate flavored candy coating over low heat. Cool for a few minutes, then pour into a small heavy duty plastic zipper bag. Cut a tiny opening in one corner of the bag and squeeze the bag to drizzle designs onto waxed paper. You can also draw designs on paper and place it under the waxed paper so you have lines to follow. Let cool and harden and peel carefully off the waxed paper.
This is a handy substitution for recipes asking for baking chocolate since most people have cocoa and shortening in their pantry. It is also less expensive.
3 level tablespoons of cocoa + 1 tablespoon shortening or oil = 1 square (1 oz.) unsweetened baking chocolate.
What if your recipe calls for melting chocolate along with water or some other type of liquid? That's fine, as long as the liquid is mixed with the chocolate from the beginning of the melting process. It won't seize with this technique, but adding even a drop of liquid in the middle of melting will cause this problem.
Satin Fudge Sauce
4 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup butter
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 5-oz. can evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine all ingredients except vanilla in heavy saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm over ice cream or desserts. Store in refrigerator.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|