This lesson in baking with chocolate provides information about chocolate, storing tips, a substitution chart, and lots of links to chocolate-based recipes.
Welcome to my Cooking with Friends series! This spring, as I work on cookbook projects that keep me very busy, I’ve invited some of my favorite blogger friends to share recipes with you. I hope you’ll have just as much fun cooking and baking with them as I do.
Today, I’m welcoming Charmian from The Messy Baker. As a cookbook author and culinary instructor, Charmian is passionate about creating from-scratch recipes and turning regular recipes into DELICIOUS ones. Today, she’s teaching us a lesson in baking with chocolate. Enjoy!
With Lent over and Mother’s Day looming, chocolate is never far from my thoughts. I’m a big fan of dark chocolate but have a sister who prefers milk, and a long-time friend who only wants white. Together we can share the chocolate box without argument, even though we know the others are wrong.
My blog, The Messy Baker is proof of my obsession. One Mother’s Day I celebrated with a drip-all-you-want recipe for Cherry Cointreau Truffle Puddles. Christmas presented an opportunity to share an elegant Salted Chocolate Humble Pie. My go-to potluck dessert is a pan of Deep Dark Cherry Chipotle Brownies. And when I interviewed the one and only Mary Berry, I chose to share her recipe for Chocolate Roulade, even though a classic vanilla Victoria Layer Cake is her favourite.
For all the enthusiasm chocolate generates, it creates just as much confusion.
Substituting one kind for another can lead to disappointment. Here’s how to interpret what your recipe needs:
If your chocolate has a white film, or bloom, don’t panic. Bloom is harmless, doesn’t affect the taste, and will disappear when the chocolate is melted. It is, however, evidence you need to reassess your chocolate storage. A cool, dry place away from spices is a good place to start.
Things don’t always go as planned. Don’t panic. You just might be able to pull off that dessert.
If you don’t have: 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
Substitute: 3 tablespoons natural cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon butter, vegetable oil, or shortening
If you don’t have: 1 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
If you don’t have: 3 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
Substitute: 3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder and omit the baking soda
If you don’t have: 3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
Substitute: 3 tablespoons natural cocoa powder plus a pinch of baking soda
If you don’t have: 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Information excerpted from The Messy Baker: More than 75 Delicious Recipes from a Real Kitchen by Charmian Christie ©2014.
Because, sadly, we can’t survive on chocolate alone, make sure to check out these favorites from the blog to round out your meals:
Breakfast: Caramelized Dutch Apple Baby
Lunch: Smoky Navy Bean Soup
Side: Zucchini Fritters
Dessert: Concord Grape Pie
Charmian Christie is the author of the award-winning cookbook The Messy Baker (HarperCollins © 2014). She’s messed up the kitchens of Canada AM, Steven and Chris, and various culinary studios across the country. Canadian Living, the Toronto Star, and Calgary Herald named The Messy Baker a Top Cookbook for 2014. Charmian lives in Guelph, Ontario in a draughty stone house with her husband, two cats, and more measuring cups than she cares to admit.
Make sure to follow Charmian through her blog and on social media:
All photos in this article: © Charmian Christie.