Baking with bittersweet chocolate?
May 31, 2009 9:47 AM   Subscribe

Chocolate-loving bakers: What can I do with five pounds of bittersweet chocolate baking squares?

I scored a 5-lb. bag of dark chocolate petite baking squares (bittersweet) and need ideas on what do make. Recipes for cookies, breads, and muffins preferred. (If you have a butt-kicking hot chocolate recipe, though, I'd love to hear it.)

I just took two loaves of chocolate bread out of the oven. NOM.

Five POUNDS, people. I can go find recipes, but I'd like some road-tested and MeFite-approved suggestions. Thanks in advance!

P.S. I'd freeze some of it, but I hear that chocolate develops a bloom. Does this matter if I'm just going to cut it up and bake with it anyhow?
posted by MonkeyToes to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Yes, you can freeze it - it might bloom, but it shouldn't affect the taste, just the appearance. However, you don't need to freeze it.

Ideally, block chocolate should be wrapped properly and stored at a constant temperature of 55 to 60 degrees F with a relative humidity of about the same or 55 to 65% -- with neither temperature and humidity varying much. A wine cellar is a perfect place to store chocolate in as it is temperature and humidity controlled, or in a cool, dark place. The refrigerator is not recommended because it is a moist environment. However, if your kitchen is particularly hot and humid, and you can't find a cool, dark place to store you chocolate, placing chocolate in the freezer is still a better choice than refrigerating it. If refrigerated, there's a good chance the chocolate will "bloom"-- that's the cocoa butter starting to separate out from the chocolate, and it forms a thin layer of cocoa butter on the surface. They're totally fine to eat if they bloom, they just don't look gorgeous. Stored under perfect conditions, unsweetened and dark chocolate will last for up to 18 months in good home kitchen conditions; milk and white chocolate for 6 to 12 months. - More information on storage.
posted by insectosaurus at 10:00 AM on May 31, 2009

Nigella Lawson's brownie recipe is a good sink for large amounts of chocolate!

And chocolate Guinness cake for when it gets too sweet (sorry, you'll have to scroll down the page to get the recipe; I much prefer the Green & Black's version to the Nigella versiona in this case):
posted by Coobeastie at 10:00 AM on May 31, 2009

Best answer: This isn't baking, but candy making, but you could make Ganache. Which can be turned into hot chocolate, truffles, frosting, all sorts of stuff.

It's also pretty simple. (Good Eats Episode Transcript, The Art of Darkness 3)
posted by royalsong at 10:05 AM on May 31, 2009

Oh, this: Salted Chocolate Caramels.

So amazingly good.
posted by cooker girl at 10:28 AM on May 31, 2009

Ooh, ganache. It's really nice to have a tub of ganache in the fridge, either whipped or not.
posted by Lexica at 10:49 AM on May 31, 2009

Chocolate cornflake cookies use a lot of chocolate, and are delicious! I've only ever made them with milk chocolate, but I don't see why bittersweet wouldn't work. I usually use one of those big squares (maybe 5"x5"x2") of baking chocolate per batch...not sure what that works out to be in pounds.

Note: The recipe linked is way more exacting than you really need to be. Just melt a good amount of chocolate in a large frypan/wok/etc, and keep (gently) stirring in cornflakes until all the chocolate is on the cornflakes, and not in the bottom of the pan. Then scoop out cornflake blobs onto a cookie sheet and let cool.
posted by gueneverey at 10:52 AM on May 31, 2009

You could look into renting or buying a chocolate fountain for your next party. You'd melt the chocolate in the microwave with some chocolate to thin it, and then, yum. Or make a regular chocolate fondue and dip in fruit, marshmallows, pieces of cake, etc.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:56 AM on May 31, 2009

(sorry, I meant, "with some vegetable oil to thin it")
posted by pseudostrabismus at 10:59 AM on May 31, 2009

Best answer: This recipe for chocolate cake will use up a pound of it - I use bittersweet in it all the time and it just makes it BETTER. And it is oh my god so delicious.
posted by fuzzbean at 11:05 AM on May 31, 2009

What can I do with five pounds of bittersweet chocolate baking squares?

Send some to me?

....Okay, okay, fine.

The ganache recipe listed above is the very basic "truffle" recipe -- take that ganache, mix some other stuff in if you want, form it into lumps and roll it in cocoa powder (or coconut or chopped nuts or crushed candy canes, or, or, or...) and presto, you have truffles. Or -- make it into lumps, freeze it for about an hour, melt even more chocolate, and then roll the frozen lumps of ganache in the melted chocolate and -- you have truffles which have the chocolate coating and the creamy center.

Homemade candy tends to make very impressive gifts because people don't realize how easy it is. And even if they do, hey, it's chocolate, so they'll still love it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:42 AM on May 31, 2009

Chocolate covered everything--strawberries, nuts, pretzels, bacon?
Try a website like epicurious which has endless ideas that sometimes border on outrageous but are always delish.
posted by allymusiqua at 1:26 PM on May 31, 2009

Best answer: One of my absolute favorite chocolate recipes is these Belgian brownies, which are really more like cupcakes. So amazingly delicious, and easy to make. I like sprinkling some fleur du sel on them before I put them in the oven.
posted by cowboy_sally at 2:03 PM on May 31, 2009

And something that's an acquired taste: chocolate coated lemon or orange peel. Sounds awful, but it's anything but.
posted by x46 at 3:14 PM on May 31, 2009

I like these Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies - I just chop a chocolate block up into small chunks. Or from the same site, the "Winning Hearts and Minds Chocolate Cake is very good too.
posted by AnnaRat at 5:10 PM on May 31, 2009

Send some to me?

....Okay, okay, fine.

Was poised to type exactly what the Empress said.

Turn it into a party- get a couple recipes you like, and get friends to bring recipes, bake with friends then have a bake-off!
posted by SaharaRose at 5:57 PM on May 31, 2009

Make a ton of Chocolate Crackle dough, then freeze it. Whenever you want cookies, take out a properly shaped cylinder, cut, roll and bake. 10 minute cookie countdown!
posted by beerbajay at 12:40 PM on June 1, 2009

Hazelnut chocolate cake

melt 7oz bittersweet chocolate w/one cup butter, let cool
add in 3/4 cup sugar
beat together 4 eggs and 1 1/2 tbsp coffee liqueur, add to chocolate mixture
add in 3/4c ground toasted hazelnut, 1/4c flour, 1 1/2 tbsp ground coffee
pour into 9" cake pan
bake 25min @ 350

One of my favourite cakes, which conveniently takes about 3 minutes of work (plus a 15 minute wait for the melted chocolate to cool: do not skip that step). Note that dark chocolate cakes like this taste better the next day. You should at the very least make it the morning of.
posted by jeather at 5:45 PM on June 1, 2009

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