10 POUNDS of Chocolate!
Over the holidays, I happened to be the recipient of one of those Trader Joe's 10 lb. bars of chocolate -- the dark one (I think it's semi-sweet, not bittersweet). Anyhow, somebody brought it to a party I had a couple of weeks ago, and I ended up chopping it up (no easy task) into about 1 lb. chucks and putting it in the freezer. Every time I open my freezer now, I'm faced with this daunting amount of chocolate! What should I *do* with it all?? Any and all suggestions welcome :-)
for a simple quick decadent delight - put some small pieces of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate between some good white bread - almost any type and heat in a panini press or if you don't have one, make it like you would a grilled cheese sandwich in a pan (substituting chocolate for cheese - no tomatoes or bacon though). scrumptious.
Dana, you might try Epicurious' Double Chocolate Layer Cake...uses over 1 lb. of semisweet chocolate and is the most intense chocolate cake I've ever eaten. Link for recipe below. Tip: If you don't have two 10" cake pans as the recipe calls for, use THREE 9" or 8" pans...this is a very large cake. Have some friends over to help you eat it...they will thank you.
REMOVE FROM FREEZER ASAP!!!
And store in a cool, dark, dry place (i.e. sealed tupperware away from light)
Chocolate chunk cookies (nicer than tiny chips)
Hand rolled truffles covered in cocoa, nuts, etc.
Make a ganache and dip strawberries for choc. covered strawberries
And so on
Just don't freeze please. :)
Why no freezer? I always thought that was the best place to store chocolate for the long haul . . .
Will remove the chocolate from the freezer if the concensus is such that I should, but I live in a climate where the temperature swings often, and other than the fridge (or freezer), I don't really have a "cellar" or the like to guarantee consistant temperature for perishable things like chocolate. I could stick it in my pantry, but I would guess that on a hot day (I live in LA, so even in winter) it could go up to 70 or 75 in that area.
So, I guess I need storage tips as well as recipes! Keep them coming! :-)
Wow, what I would give to be in your lucky shoes!
Here are some ideas for food that's heavy on the chocolate. I'm sure I or other 'hounders can offer recipes if you choose what you want:
-chocolate fondant cake
-real hot chocolate (I started doing this recently and was shocked how much chocolate it takes to make a great tasting, rich mugful. It's a fast and easy way to use up chocoate)
Recipes, please! Especially for hot chocolate (using the chocolate chunks) and fondue -- there was a thread down the way about how chocolate fondue seized, so an explicit recipe would be welcomed by me, a chocolate, and fondue, novice! Thanks!
ETA: Well, I'm not really a chocolate novice, just a novice on how to cook and or bake it! :-)
I would take a chunk, melt it slowly, add some milk or creamer and an additional flavor or two (nuts, raisins and peanut butter also work). Then I would put it into a mini cupcake foil and refrigerate. They become sort of fudgy and are awesome for a quick chocolate snack.
Also, you could melt some with some cream/milk and drizzle it over fruit, cakes, etc.
I think the chocolate in the freezer (fridge might even be better) is okay if you are going to cook or heat it again and not doing something special (like fondue) with it.
Short way: put a chunk (I'm going to say about the size of 4 Hershey's kisses just because everyone knows how big a kiss is) in a mug, half cover with milk/cream, melt in microwave, stir/whisk, fill with milk, whisk the milk til frothy, put back in microwave til hot.
Stovetop way (muuuch better, and not really more time-consuming if you're making more than one cup:
Throw in enough chocolate for everyone by doubling the amount suggested above. Of course, how much chocolate you like is a completely personal choice. Cover with some milk/cream/half and half, and put over a double boiler and let the chocolate melt slowly. When it's melted, whisk it together until it's a thick, creamy consistency.
At this point I usually throw the rest of the milk in the blender or use a milk frother because it saves me whisking time later. You can skip this if you like. Add your cold milk into the chocolate mixture. Whisk like crazy until milk is hot, but don't let it boil. Add some vanilla extract--it makes a big difference.
There are recipes with more complicated steps out there, but when I tried them it just tasted the same. I also like things really creamy and found that using just half and half gives me the same thick consistency as that of my favorite hot chocolate place, Cafe Madeleine in San Francisco.