DO pay attention to cacao percentages. They tell you how much of the chocolate is made from the cocoa bean (including the chocolate liquor and the cocoa butter). The rest can consist of anything from sugar and milk to flavourings and emulsifiers. Pro tip: Don’t try to make ganache with chocolate containing more than 60 per cent cacao; the cream will separate from the chocolate.
DO boost the chocolate flavour with espresso. Up the chocolatiness of your recipe by adding a shot of espresso or 1-2 teaspoonfuls of espresso powder. It brings out the chocolate flavour without adding a strong coffee taste.
DON’T be afraid to use chocolate that looks like it’s covered in white dust. This ‘bloom’ is just cocoa butter that has collected on the surface when the chocolate grew too warm. It doesn’t affect the flavour of the chocolate, and it’s still perfectly safe to eat.
DON’T melt chocolate too quickly – it will burn and affect the flavour.The best way to melt chocolate is in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water, ensuring the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. You can also do it in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each 30 seconds.
What is tempering?
Tempering is a process used when making decorative chocolate shapes or moulded chocolate. It gives a sharp, crisp “snap” and a glossy finish, as well as helping the chocolate keep for longer.