Kitchen Wis­dom: Riches in Store

Martha Stewart Living - - Contents - TEXT BY CLAIRE SULLIVAN

Our fa­vorite choco­lates for bak­ing, drink­ing, and sa­vor­ing by the square— or chip.

There’s a lot more to choos­ing choco­late than de­cid­ing be­tween milk and dark. From sweet, creamy rec­tan­gles that melt in your mouth to bit­ter shav­ings bound for brown­ies (the higher the co­coa per­cent­age, the more in­tense the fla­vor), here are our fa­vorites, in ev­ery form. SIP­PING AND BAK­ING COCOAS

These pow­ders come in two forms: Dutch process and nat­u­ral. The for­mer is milder, less acidic, and ideal for hot co­coa or pud­ding; we like Val­rhona Dutch-process co­coa pow­der (above; $20 for 16 oz., ama­zon.com). The nat­u­ral kind is strong and bit­ter. To give oomph to cakes, like red vel­vet, we whisk in Scharf­fen Berger unsweet­ened dark- choco­late nat­u­ral co­coa pow­der (below; $9 for 6 oz., shop.scharf­fen­berger.com).

CHIPS AND BLOCKS FOR BAK­ING

Give cook­ies and quick­breads dots of deep fla­vor with chips, which keep their shape in the oven. Pick a size to suit your sweet tooth: Guit­tard Semi- Sweet

Reg­u­lar chips, 46%, or Su­per Cookie choco­late chips, 48% ($4 for 12 oz. and $4 for 10 oz., re­spec­tively, www.guit­tard.com). For melt­ing and stir­ring into brownie bat­ter, use sliv­ers of Calle­baut Choco­late unsweet­ened co­coa-solids block, 100% (far right; $11 for 16 oz., for­mag­giok­itchen.com).

BARS WE LOVE TO EAT

Their co­coa con­tent varies, but each of our picks is 100 per­cent sub­lime for snack­ing. From bot­tom left: Pump Street Rye Crumb, Milk & Sea Salt bar, 60%, $15, the­meadow.com; Jelina Choco­latier milk choco­late, 36%, $ 50 for 8 bars, ama­zon.com; Chapon Choco­latier cho­co­lat lait, 52%, $ 14, the­meadow

.com; and Marou Flaiseurs de Cho­co­lat Ba Ria dark choco­late (in wrap­per and above), 76%, $9, barand­co­coa.com.

An off­set ser­rated knife makes chop­ping a dense block fast and easy on the wrists.

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