The great guide to chocolate

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The great guide to chocolate

At this time of year, there’s no way to avoid surrendering to your chocolate cravings. So we didn’t. Abigail Donnelly conjured up seven new incarnations, from malted waffles and a macaroon-based butterscotch tart to jammy èclairs with your name on them.

Chocolate loves… almonds, apricots, bananas, beetroot, cardamom, citrus, coconut, peanuts.

Try: chocolate cardamom crème caramel and chocolate malted waffles (both pictured below).

Chocolate recipes: cardamom creme caramel

Chocolate recipes: waffles

Branch out from these usual suspects, and pair chocolate with the following:

Smoky bacon – especially candied – works a treat dipped into dark chocolate and scattered with sea salt. Capers
The briny tang of these green guys with white chocolate? Magic.
The Fat Duck’s Heston Blumenthal famously tops his cauli risotto with a disc of chocolate jelly.
At Thomas Keller’s Per Se in New York, thyme ice cream is topped with a salted dark chocolate disc and hot olive oil is poured over to transform it into a sauce.
Dark, bitter chocolate adds richness to spicy, tomato-based dishes.

Try: chocolate and raspberry banana cakes (pictured below)

Chocolate recipes: cakes

New chocolate flavours

We’ve come a long way since salted chocolate. Meet the new slabs on the block:
Brown butter
You’ve had brown butter chocolate chip cookies, right? The nutty richness is now heading for the sweet spot in bars, slabs and bonbons.
As the world wakes up to the versatility of these spicy notes, chai chocolate is a perfectly logical combo. Locally, CocoaFair has a 45% milk choc infused with the Indian tea blend.
Coconut milk
As plant-based eating heats up, it makes sense that chocolate made with coconut milk (instead of dairy) would make an appearance. Bonus: the flavours are a match made in heaven.
This sesame seed paste is the new peanut butter. Expect to see it all over Instagram.
Spirulina, goji berries, matcha, chaga mushrooms … folks are flipping for chocolate imbued with the powers of so-called “superfoods’”.

Abigail Donnelly recommends adding a shot of espresso to chocolate cake batter for a roasted flavour.

Try: chocolate sesame fondant

Chocolate recipes: sesame fondant

Top your chocolate recipes with dramatic chocolate curls and shards

Get your desserts Insta-ready (#chocolategoals) with some dramatic chocolate curls and shards

To make chocolate curls, carefully run a potato peeler down the thin side of a chocolate slab to create small curls.
Keep them on a chilled plate to prevent a meltdown.

To make shards, spread melted chocolate onto a sheet of baking (not wax!) paper. Lay another sheet on top and roll up. Chill until set, then pull on the opposite ends of the paper to break the choc into shards.

Try: butterscotch brittle tart (below)

How to melt chocolate…

…Without making a hot chocolate mess.
– The trick is not to get water or steam into the chocolate, so never use a lid to hasten melting.
– If you’re melting chocolate in a double-boiler, bring the water to a boil, then switch off the heat and add
the chocolate to the top bowl instead of heating it up at the same time as the water.
– If water or steam comes into contact with the chocolate and it seizes, try adding a small teaspoonful of hot water and whisking vigorously until it comes together again. Unfortunately, this method will only work for sauces or icing.
– If the chocolate remains lumpy, let it set, then break it up to use as chocolate chips or chopped pieces.

Try: chocolate eclairs with cherry jam (pictured below)

The real deal

Buy the right chocolate and you’ll be supporting local farmers and families where cocoa is farmed. Woolies is sourcing more certified sustainable cocoa for its chocolates by partnering with the international UTZ Certified programme. The retailer is currently sourcing 100% UTZ Certified cocoa for all its private-label boxed chocolates, slabs and bars, and is also committing to sourcing 100% UTZ Certified cocoa as an ingredient in all Woolworths-branded foods by the end of 2018.

Try: chocolate fridge cake (below)

Browse more chocolate recipes here.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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