Chocolate gifts

Written by : John Parks

The first step to making your own chocolate from scratch is roasting the cocoa beans. Roasting cocoa beans is pretty much like roasting coffee beans, only with some more specific requirements. You have the option of either roasting the beans in your own oven or use a coffee bean roaster Roasting the beans first not only gets rid of the contaminants that could be on raw cocoa beans, but most importantly, it brings out the flavor that everyone is familiar with. It’ll take anywhere from 5 to 35 minutes at 250 – 350 degrees F. Start roasting the beans at a high temperature, and then gradually bring it down. When the beans start to crack, you’ll know the process is complete.

The second step is the crack the beans into small nibs, while removing the husks by hand. If you did a good job of roasting the beans, the husks should be very easy to remove. You can speed up the process by stirring the nibs with your hands while blowing the husks away with a hair dryer. If you find yourself working with a large batch of beans, a special purpose-grinding mill can be bought for around $100.

The next step is to grind up the nibs and turn them into a cocoa liquid. To do this, hand-feed the nibs one handful at a time into a food processor or an electric cocoa grinder. A mix of cocoa liquid and husks will come of out the spout, so keep repeating the process until only the husks come out. The biggest challenge is finding a food processor that is powerful enough to do this, as most ordinary juicers, coffee grinders and food processors won’t be able to handle liquefying the nibs.

Now you’ll have to conch and refine your chocolate. This is a process that affects the taste, texture and smell of your chocolate. Normally, these processes have to be done separately, but both can be done at the same time with a good wet grinder. The way you’ll conch and refine largely depends on the type of equipment you use. After this, you’ll have to “temper” the chocolate, so that it’ll gain a shine and be hard enough not to melt in your hand. You can do this by hand or with a special tempering machine for larger quantities. All you have to do is to spread the melted chocolate out on a hard, non-porous kitchen top and bring it back together until the chocolate cools down to a thick and gooey mess. Do this as many times as needed until the chocolate comes to a shine. All that is left to be done is to pour the chocolate into any mold and cool it down. Then it’s “bon appetite”!

Making chocolate from scratch is a learning process; so if this is your first time, don’t expect that very first batch to be perfect. In the long run, practice makes perfect and you’ll even end up adding your own twist chocolate making by adding ingredients of your own or using different techniques.

Published At: Isnare Free Articles Directory

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Belgian chocolates provide many options that can meet everybody’s needs when talking about chocolates. Belgian chocolates have become the food of the champions, the indulgences of wealthy people, the sole favorite of the average masses, and the lures of lovers.

Yearly, Belgium can produce about 172,000 tons of chocolates from 2,000 chocolate outlets all over the country. So, the supply is unlimited for your gift baskets.

Belgian chocolate basketChocolate gift baskets are increasingly becoming popular. Belgian chocolates have soothing tastes that fits any age group. Belgian chocolate gift baskets can work effectively because most everybody is a chocolate lover.

Some people just love chocolates with particular flavors and some don’t care about the brands anymore as long as it is chocolate. People have different reasons why they like chocolates. Some like its sweetness, some like its bitterness, some like its nuts, and some like its caramel fillings. Others may prefer white chocolates.

Different varieties of Belgian chocolates in gift baskets can satisfy chocolate lovers all day. Belgian chocolate gift baskets suit all types of occasions.

Most kids also love to receive such gifts during special occasions. Rose or heart shaped Belgian chocolates are perfect for your gift basket if it is intended for your girlfriend.

She could never resist such a wonderful treat. In addition, Belgian chocolate baskets can be combined with a bottle of wine if you are planning for a romantic evening.

Chocolates are known to be aphrodisiacs. It is associated with simple sensual pleasures upon consumption. Some studies revealed that serotonin as well as other chemicals such as phenethylamine is responsible for mild sexual stimulation. Furthermore, giving chocolate gifts to your sweetheart is a traditional ritual of courtship.

There are also different methods when packing Belgian chocolates in gift baskets. It depends on the receiver. There are also chocolates in gift boxes already with finest materials. If you prefer this, you don’t need to make the basket gift wrapping.

One good idea to make Belgian chocolates gift baskets really especial is to send it to someone you do not know really well. The recipient can be surprised that such an expensive gift is given to them. Likewise, you do not have to worry whether the person likes your gifts or not.

Low calorie Belgian chocolates are fine for health conscious people who are afraid of calories. They can appreciate it well since you are also concerned with their health as well as never deprive them of enjoying chocolate treats.

Recently, some research claims the highly medicinal benefits of eating chocolates.

You can try the most sublime confection of chocolates called Belgium pralines. These chocolates are beautifully sculpted in shells concealing a central filling of surprising flavors and textures.

Many chocolate manufacturers still make Belgian pralines by hand. There are also luxury chocolates which provide the best ever tasting chocolates ever manufactured. However, this is not a good gift for allergy sufferers and diabetics. Instead you can select from chocolates that are dairy-free, sugar-free, and which suits diabetic people.

The creation of Belgian chocolates is truly a genius undertaking. The manufacturers really see the importance of chocolates in the lives of many people even from the past centuries until now.

These treats make people happy regardless of whatever reasons. So, never fail to incorporate chocolate gift baskets into your lives and continue the tradition in touching other people’s lives. It is only a matter of giving chocolates.

Written by R. Roberds

Many brides and grooms take it upon themselves to distribute chocolate wedding favors to their guests as a token of appreciation. But why should the bride and groom be responsible for showering their guests with gifts? (more…)