Got the chocolate, now what?
March 5, 2008 11:48 AM   Subscribe

I received about a pound of dark chocolate from Guatemala and I need ideas for how to use it.

It is about four flat disks of dark chocolate which came wrapped in a cloth bag with a label around it that reads "Chocolates Azotea". It is from Antigua, Guatemala. The package also reads, "ecologically grown". I took a little bite of one of the disks and let's just say I reckon that's not for plain eating. I think I have to bake something with it but can anybody give me ideas as to how to use this? Hot chocolate? Cake? I'd love to hear your ideas if you have any. Thanks.
posted by mamaraks to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Shaved, it will be excellent on ice cream or other treats. Pulverized, it will create outstanding hot chocolate. Add cayenne and maybe cinnamon for authenticity, though. Included in recipes (brownies, fudge, cake, mousse, ice cream, etc), it will make lots of mmmms.

For a really nice treat, break off a few grams at a time and keep it in your mouth while you sip coffee.

Basically, it's high octane goodness right from the source. Use it sparingly, and you'll be happy!
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:03 PM on March 5, 2008


Heat some milk on the stove top, and grate some of the chocolate into it. Stir it until it melts. You'll gain about 10lb's drinking it, but it will definitely be worth it. Make sure to add some sugar, and possibly vanilla, to it, to make it more palatable. I'd perhaps add some Cointreau, too.
posted by Solomon at 12:05 PM on March 5, 2008


Here's a delicious, easy chocolate-banana mousse recipe.

2 cups chocolate
1 cup non-dairy milk
1 package silken tofu
1 banana, chopped

Place chocolate and the non-dairy milk in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Place melted chocolate/"milk" with tofu and banana in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Chill for two hours in the refrigerator. Eat.
posted by babysingsing at 12:13 PM on March 5, 2008


Mole!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:21 PM on March 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Second the chocolate mousse. My so-easy-I-make-it-every-month recipe is:

Ingredients:

6 oz. really good dark chocolate
6 eggs
6 tsps of liquor (dark rum , orange liqueur, whatever strikes your fancy) - this is optional

Method:

Separate the yolks and the whites of the eggs. Keep in separate bowls. Beat the whites of the eggs together until stiff, and then put them in the fridge (this helps them stay stiff).

Break up the chocolate slab into little squares/pieces and melt the chocolate over low heat on the stove (double-boil is best).
When the chocolate is melted, beat in the egg yolks. (If the mixture gets too think, start adding the egg whites to loosen up the mixture). Add in the stiff egg white. Then add in the booze and blend together until smooth.
Pour the mixture into individual bowls or glasses or a serving bowl. Place on the top or middle shelf of the fridge to cool for at least 4-5 hours, preferably overnight.

Ready to serve!
posted by darsh at 12:31 PM on March 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


The chocoholic in me is imagining that chocolate be made into a mountain of truffles.

That reminds me of this recipe from the NY Times' Mark Bittman on ganache - the primary element of the chocolate truffle. You can use the ganache as an icing or cake layer.

Or, you can do what I would and eat it straight from the bowl.
posted by chan.caro at 12:38 PM on March 5, 2008


HASSENPFEFFER! Another recipe, and even one that's a hassenpfeffer/mole hybrid-ish. Yum!
posted by jujube at 12:38 PM on March 5, 2008


You just need to develop a taste for dark chocolate. I love the pure stuff. Just put it in your mouth and chew.

It's a bit of a waste to cook anything with it although all the suggestions so far are fine. Plain old brownies with an excellent choclate like that would turn out top-notch. Perhaps the Canadian classic, Nanaimo Bars. Those are great when you use a really great unsweetened cholocate.
posted by GuyZero at 1:07 PM on March 5, 2008


Heston Blumenthal's chocolate and blue cheese molten cake.
posted by minimal at 1:20 PM on March 5, 2008


Make chili! Seriously.
posted by BorgLove at 1:23 PM on March 5, 2008


Truffles! Garnish and enrobe with whatever you like--get creative!
posted by youarenothere at 1:29 PM on March 5, 2008


And here are some savory chocolate cooking ideas.
posted by youarenothere at 1:36 PM on March 5, 2008


Oh, gosh. A pound really isn't that much, when you consider all you can do with it. I'd probably use some of it to make a home-churned dark chocolate ice cream, some for truffles.

Whatever was leftover, I'd melt down and spread real thin over a piece of saran-wrap, then let it cool and peel off the backing. I would then have a sheet of thin chocolate that I could break into shards. Such shards can be used as edible utensils for eating vanilla ice cream, creme brulée, or anything else sweet and semisolid.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:56 PM on March 5, 2008


Aztec Chocolate Bark seems appropriate.
posted by dosterm at 2:01 PM on March 5, 2008


Hey, so just in case you don't have an ice-cream maker, David Lebovitz has a recipe here that doesn't require one. I haven't tried that, myself, but every ice cream recipe of his that I've made has turned out splendidly.

Also, dosterm's suggestion of chocolate bark reminded me of Almond Roca. When I was a kid, my great-uncle Greg used to make it for the whole family each Christmas, and it was always a huge hit. As the next-oldest Greg in the family, it fell to me to keep up the tradition, and everyone still loves it. Here's the recipe I use:

2 cups sugar
4 sticks butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
roughly 10 oz of chocolate, melted in a double-boiler
about a half-pound of roasted and salted almonds

1. cover a baking sheet with either a sheet of waxed paper or one of them new-fangled Silpat things.

2. Pulverize the almonds. You can do this by hand (I've done it with a hammer, but that's a bitch) but the best way is to toss them into a food-processor for a couple minutes (note: that is significantly less badass than using a hammer).

3. Melt the butter in a real big pot. Move it around a bit with a whisk.

4. Add the sugar and vanilla to your melted butter. Over medium-high heat, WHISK THE HELL OUT OF IT. And you can't stop, and you won't stop. Your arm will get sore. PUSH THROUGH THAT PAIN, MY FRIEND.

5. After somewhere between five and ten minutes, this toffee-mixture will darken. Here's the real trick -- too light, and the toffee may end up soft and crystallized. Too dark, and it'll taste like burning. You want to take it off the heat right as it's beginning to hit the skin tone of the center of Beyoncé's forehead in this picture. Remember that cooking's got inertia; it'll continue to darken a smidge after you take it off the heat.

6. As soon as you've removed it from the heat, immediately pour the toffee onto your prepared sheet from step 1. Let it cool and harden. You may notice that some of the butter's separated, and is sitting on top of the toffee in a clear oily layer. That's not a huge problem; just mop it off with a paper towel or something.

7. Once the toffee's hard, spread half your melted chocolate over one side of it, like you're frosting a cake. Sprinkle half your pulverized almonds from step 2 onto that melted chocolate, then press them into the chocolate with your hands. Let the chocolate cool and harden.

8. Flip that sheet of toffee over, and repeat step 7 on the other side. What you've got now are the layers:
-crushed almonds
-chocolate
-toffee
-chocolate
-crushed almonds

9. Once the whole thing is cool, break into irregularly-shaped pieces, each one about an inch by an inch.

You can store this in the fridge, but it keeps at room temperature pretty well, too, which makes it a really excellent candy to send people in the mail.
posted by Greg Nog at 2:41 PM on March 5, 2008


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