Just a Little More Chocolate

Hello again, friends!

As this blog has slowly but surely progressed, we have discovered that chocolate truly has many fascinating uses and interesting characteristics, from each chocolate bar’s flavor profile, to how we can manipulate it into a shape we need for just about anything, like this little guy . . .

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(Hey there! Remember me from last time?)

Allow me to formally introduce Purdue, my dear owl-shaped showpiece and, in fact, my very first showpiece. He was made with modeling chocolate and decked out with a bow tie, a top hat, and white chocolate eyes and beak. He sits on top of a tempered chocolate half-egg shell, accompanied with branches and roses as well (he is, of course, an elegant owl). Like all other owls, he likes to sit amongst his favorite branches and observe his surroundings.

Following his creation, I now look back and believe, all in all, I had tried my best with creating Purdue and his habitat. I feel that the roses were fairly well-done and that the branches I made for Purdue to sit around fit in with the theme of a natural habitat. That being said, I wish that I had not only added more details to the branches, but also polished Purdue so that there were not any smudge spots on him. I also wish I had placed pupils on his eyes. Again, however, it is my very first showpiece, and I’m sure it will not be my last time to practice making such things.

Now that we have discussed how we can use chocolate for anything besides eating, we can briefly focus our attention on one of the many brands of eating chocolate –  in this case, Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate. Founded in the early 1990s, this company was started by a husband-wife team (made up of Craig Sams and Josephine Fairley), who tasted a sample of chocolate made from organic cocoa beans (this sample was sent to Sams, who was the founder of Whole Earth, an organic foods company) (us.greenandblacks.com, About Us, Our Story p. 1). Afterwards, they went to Belize, bought cocoa beans from some Mayan farmers and started to make their chocolate from these Trinitario cocoa beans (us.greenandblacks.com, About Us, Our Story p. 2). The company has grown ever since, featuring chocolate bars from straightforward 70% dark chocolate to their first award-winning chocolate, the Mayan Gold bar (us.greenandblacks.com, About Us, Our Story p. 3).

Wish to know more? Here are some facts to start you off:

  • Green & Black’s was sold to Cadbury in 2005, creating a lot of negative press involving the companies and also Kraft Foods (Milmo, p. 1).
  • Green & Black’s was named the “coolest food brand” by a company called CoolBrands in 2011 (us.greenandblacks.com, About Us, Our Story p. 4).
  • The Mayan Gold chocolate bar was the first FairTrade chocolate bar to be sold in Britain (Smithers, p. 1)
  • The company claimed to be planning to convert all of their products into FairTrade products (Smithers, p. 1)
  • Green & Black’s also sells beverages (Smithers, p. 1)
  • The chocolate produced from this company contains no GMOs (genetically modified organisms) (“James”, p. 1).
  • The company is, at least, fairly popular in the UK (Media, p. 1).
  • Throughout its lifetime, the company has partnered/worked with several others such as Pret a Manger and airway businesses (Burkitt, p. 1).
  • With these partnerships, the company has increased their product lines from just chocolate bars to miniature bars and ice cream (Burkitt, p. 1).
  • Green & Black’s 70% chocolate bar rivaled Lindt’s bestselling product in between 2003 and 2005 (Burkitt, p. 1).

With all of this said, there is a vast world of chocolate to be explored (and tasted, of course). There is always much to learn from chocolate companies and how they feel about their products. This is a perfect excuse for eating different chocolates – after all, beans are good for you, right?

green-and-blacks-organic-chocolateThank you all for reading this – I hope you have enjoyed it and I hope to see you next time.

See you later!

Sincerely,

Lisa

References:

About Us | Green & Black’s. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2016, from http://us.greenandblacks.com/about-us#

APA Citation Style, 6th edition: APA. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2016, from http://libguides.gwumc.edu/c.php?g=27779

– Subject Guide is Gisela Butera

Burkitt, H. (2012, July 5). Green & Black’s take a niche into big league | Marketing Articles, Market Leader 2007. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from  https://www.marketingsociety.com/the-library/green-blacks-take-niche-brand-big-league

Dark Chocolate: The Best and Worst Brands. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2016, from https://healthyeater.com/dark-chocolate-best-and-worst

  • Author goes by “James”

Marketing Green & Black’s: Organic plus luxury adds up to the taste of success. (2006, April 16). Retrieved February 22, 2016, from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/marketing-green-blacks-organic-plus-luxury-adds-up-to-the-taste-of-success-358129.html

Milmo, C. (2011, January 17). Cadbury deal turns sour for Green & Black’s. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/cadbury-deal-turns-sour-for-green-amp-blacks-2187044.html

Smithers, R. (2010, January 27). Green and Black’s to go 100% Fairtrade. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/jan/28/fair-trade-ethical-living

[Untitled online photograph of Green & Black’s chocolate bars. Retrieved February 22, 2016 from http://www.genconnect.com/green-and-blacks-organic-chocolate-from-bean-to-bar-video/

and http://www.genconnect.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Green-and-Blacks-Organic-Chocolate.jpg]

The Many Uses of Chocolate

Chocolate seems to be in (and on) everything we eat these days. While some of its current uses may not sit well with some people, a few of chocolate’s purposes, such as covering confections when it is tempered, are quintessential to today’s dessert/food scene.

Tempering chocolate can be a tricky task. Trying to get that clean “snap” of broken, shiny chocolate makes most baking students cringe.

While we desire to attain such qualities for confections like candy bars, it may seem like a lot of effort for what seems to be only an exterior quality of the food item. However, if you see the end result, it is truly worth it.

With all of this said, is tempering chocolate really necessary?

Well . . . yes. 

Allow me to explain.

The whole point of tempering chocolate is mostly scientific – within any kind of couverture chocolate (what you should use for tempering), there are several kinds of cocoa butter crystals that “build” chocolate’s structure after it solidifies (The Cooking Geek 1). Most of them (Forms I, II, III, and VI) are unstable, resulting in chocolate that melts too easily when held for a few seconds (the least unstable crystal, Form VI, melts at temperatures up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit, lower than the temperature of an average human) (1). The goal of tempering chocolate is to get the first stable cocoa butter crystal (Form V) after finishing the tempering process (The Cooking Geek 1; Corriher 1). Obtaining these crystals means you now have the “snap” when you break the chocolate and it will not melt as easily when you hold it at room temperature (you have then obtained Form VI cocoa butter crystals, the most stables crystals in chocolate) (The Cooking Geek 1).

Now that we know why chocolate is tempered, how exactly do we temper this modern-day version of liquid gold?

Well, there are two different methods to temper it, but for this post I’ll show you how to do this via the seeding method. This method is very easy and less taxing than tabling chocolate (when you scrape chocolate onto itself on top of a marble slab to cool it down).

To temper chocolate by seeding . . .

  1. Set up a double boiler on top of the stove (make sure the water is simmering, not boiling). Chop 1 lb. of couverture chocolate into chunks; reserve 5 ounces for later use.
  2. Place the other 11 ounces into the bowl used for the double boiler. Melt the chocolate, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it reads 122 – 131 degrees Fahrenheit on a digital thermometer if using dark chocolate (113 – 122 degrees Fahrenheit for milk and white chocolates).
  3. When this range has been reached, immediately take the bowl of chocolate off the heat and bring it back to the counter (take care not to burn yourself or get water into the chocolate – the chocolate will bunch up and become unusable if there is water in there).
  4. While stirring, gradually add up to the full 5 ounces of leftover chopped chocolate into the bowl and cool the mixture to 80 – 84 degrees Fahrenheit for dark chocolate (78 – 82 degrees Fahrenheit for milk and white chocolate). Make sure to melt all of the chocolate you added before you add any more. Also, if you reached the temperature range before all of the chocolate has fully melted, just remove the unmelted pieces and set aside.
  5. After this, place the bowl of chocolate back onto the double boiler and reheat it while stirring to 86 – 89 degrees Fahrenheit for dark chocolate (84 – 86 degrees Fahrenheit for milk and white chocolate).
  6. Once the temperature range has been reached, take the bowl off the heat and test to see if the chocolate is properly tempered. To test it, spread a little of the chocolate onto the back of an offset spatula and let it sit on a flat surface at room temperature until it has set (about 5 minutes) (Corriher 1). If tempered correctly, the chocolate should shine. Then, bend the offset spatula to see if the chocolate breaks evenly and hear if the chocolate snaps. If nothing happens, temper the leftover chocolate again with 5 more ounces of chopped chocolate.

Now that you have successfully tempered chocolate, you can use it for any confections that sit out at room temperature, like truffles and chocolate-covered nuts. With tempered chocolate, your treats will now be as good to look at as they are to eat.

Another use for chocolate is to make modeling chocolate. This is a mixture of heated corn syrup and melted chocolate kneaded into a mass and left to set. It is then used like fondant for showpieces and cake decorating, from shaping flowers to forming figures (however, do not use it to cover a cake) (Craftsy 1).

 

I made both of these in lab. The tempered chocolate was used in knackerlis (chocolate discs with nuts):

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And modeling chocolate for my first showpiece, an owl:

 

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For some more examples of modeling chocolate uses, check out these links:

http://www.instructables.com/id/Modelling-Chocolate-Roses/?ALLSTEPS

http://www.sweetdreamscakeapp.com/2013/10/11/sculpting-jungle-animals-out-of-modeling-chocolate/

http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/03/how-to-use-modeling-chocolate/

 

I hope, dear readers, that you have enjoyed reading this and, hopefully, see the potential in chocolate.

Thank you all for sticking with me! See you again soon!

Sincerely,

Lisa

 

All cited information:

Corriher, S. (n.d.). Food Science: Why Temper Chocolate? Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.finecooking.com/articles/food-science-why-temper-chocolate.aspx

– Comes from the 31st Issue of Fine Cooking

 

M. (2013, October 11). Sculpting Jungle Animals Out of Modeling Chocolate | Sweet Dreams Cake App – IPhone, IPad, IPod Cake Decorating App. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.sweetdreamscakeapp.com/2013/10/11/sculpting-jungle-animals-out-of-modeling-chocolate/

Modelling Chocolate Roses. (n.d.). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.instructables.com/id/Modelling-Chocolate-Roses/?ALLSTEPS

-cluracon created this post

Tempering Chocolate. (2012). Retrieved February 08, 2016, from             http://thecookinggeek.com/tempering-chocolate/

W. (2014, March 05). Conquer Cake Decorating Fears: How to Use Modeling Chocolate. Retrieved February 08, 2016, from http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2014/03/how-to-use-modeling-chocolate/