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11lb block of dark chocolate?? HELP!

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Hi! My husband and I received an usual wedding gift: a solid bar of dark chocolate weighing 11lbs. It is intense. We tried breaking some off with a knife but it is messy. Think of a slab of ice; shavings flying everywhere. I get the impression from what I could find on the internet that the block is for professionals who would need several pounds of chocolate at once. Do you have any advice? We have invited friends over to try and eat it, but Id rather be able to use it or break down without losing half of it. Vegan recipes appreciated as well!

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  1. Keep in wrapper. Wrap in butcher paper. Or a towel. Then SMASH IT WITH A HAMMER!!!

    1. http://forums.egullet.org/topic/64558...

      I loved the against the pavement tip (block wrapped ahead of time of course) but it will make the job easier if you have a harder surface to hit against.

      1. You have a few of options.

        1) wrap it up and use a pick/screw driver and a hammer, like you would do for a large wheel of cheese. This will help you get more uniform pieces that can then be frozen, melted or broken down further.

        2) wrap it up and go at it with a heavy rolling pin.This wil give you random size chunks

        3) wrap it and slam it against a counter or other heavy object to break it in half

        4) shave it down. This will take a long time but would be a fun way to eat it with your friends. You can also shave down a bunch and melt it for chocolate fondue. Add fruit, chunks of brioche or croissants for dipping.

        1. Rent a REALLY big chocolate fountain??

          1 Reply
          1. re: PotatoHouse

            ROFL, PotatoH!

          2. Got an old knife/......use it as a chisel (mine, I use like you would be slicing and a mallet to break off hunks...BIG hunks!) Freeze most of it!

            From there, figure out what you wanna do......have fun!

            1. An inexpensive chocolate fork would do the trick, no need to invest in a fancy one if you aren't doing it for a living.

              http://www.chocolateman.com/pc-239-6-...

              1. I'll take some! Haha, I would definitely say brownies, ganache for truffles (you can freeze it for months), fudge (ditto), flourless chocolate cake...

                You can also drop it from counter height onto a plastic-lined floor to break it into better pieces. I use my butcher knife to break up big chocolate blocks too

                1. I'm curious - what percentage is it? Oh, and cool gift!

                  1. Get one of these -
                    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

                    I have a small (tiny) chocolate business and buy slab chocolate all the time. Use the chipper with a mallet to break off chocolate as you need it. My chocolate comes wrapped in plastic, in a cardboard box. I keep it all year, in my dining room, and just unwrap, chip off what I need, and rewrap and put it back in the box.

                    Don't freeze it!!

                    Learn to make truffles and ganache, and my husband is guilty of breaking off chunks to snack on.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: jeanmarieok

                      What happens if you freeze it?

                      1. re: chowser

                        Cocoa butter separation, bloom, possible freezer burn, and the chocolate gods frown on you and send the carob monster to haunt your dreams.

                        1. re: Booklegger451

                          So true. You can take a dreamy room temp piece of dark chocolate and turn it into wax just by placing it in cold.

                          1. re: Booklegger451

                            Thanks. I've never done it before but have read that it's easier to chop if you freeze first.

                            1. re: chowser

                              I'd imagine that it'd be hard to break up frozen. Just remember that you're dealing with something with a crystal structure, and that you can get it to crack with a sharp blow (hence the wedge and mallet or the chocolate fork). Just don't hack at it with a knife like you're trying to chop wood... that never works well. Single sharp blows parallel to an edge or perpendicular to a corner should work best. You may need to use a soft mallet to whack a wedge... I use a rawhide mallet and a big honking Korean cleaver.

                              You can also just attack it with a vegetable peeler if you need a smallish amount to melt or snack on.

                              1. re: Booklegger451

                                The biggest I buy is Trader Joe's pound plus bar. I normally just whack it across the counter top and that works fine. I use a chinese cleaver to break it into smaller pieces. I've never had an 11 lb block of chocolate, though. I can imagine that being hard to break apart.

                      2. Gently melt some of it, mix with heavy cream, you will have a chocolate ganache.