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Category: Chocolate & Sweets Facts & History

  1. What temperature does chocolate melt at?

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    What temperature does chocolate melt at?

    Generally speaking chocolate starts to melt from 30 to 32 C, just a little bit lower than your body temperature (that’s why chocolate tastes so good, when you melt it on your tonque!). But the exact melting temperature depends on the content of the chocolate you are melting (or try not to melt!).

    Before we go into the scientific explanation of chocolate melting, what you probably want to remember is that white chocolate melts at the lowest temperature, milk chocolate somewhere in the middle, whereas dark chocolate takes the longest to melt.

  2. Chocolate truffle making tips

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    Chocolate Truffle Making Tips

    When I run my chocolate making courses, I get often asked questions about chocolate truffles and working with ganache. So in this chocolate blog post I wanted to look at commonly asked questions and give you the answers with simple solutions.

    But first of all, if you don't know how to make delicious chocolate truffles at home you can check out this recipe. Now that you have made your first batch of homemade chocolate truffles we can start with the questions!

    Chocolate truffle making tips

    How do you keep truffles from melting?

    The best way to prevent your chocolate truffles from melting when you are working with them is to wear catering gloves and form your chocolate truffles first with your fingertips and then roll them gently in your palms to finish shaping them into a smooth ball. It’s also useful to chill your chocolate truffle mixture before you work with it (1-2 hrs is fine or overnight if you have the time).

    When you finish making your chocolate truffles, chill them for a few hours and then store them in a room temperature (anything around 18 C is ideal).

  3. Why do you need to temper chocolate?

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    Why do you need to temper chocolate

    This is a question I often get asked by my students at my Chocolate Courses. It’s a fair question. Tempering chocolate is quite complicated process, and it can be very frustrating if you think you’ve tempered your chocolate enough and you end up with a bloomed chocolate bars. Don’t worry; I’ve been there too!

    So, why melting your chocolate is simply not enough?

    If you just melt your chocolate without tempering it properly, you’ll end up with a chocolate that will bloom (you’ll get white streaks and lines running across your chocolate, when it finally sets). It will also take a long time to set and it will melt very quickly when you touch it.

    It’s not going to make a ‘snap’ when you break your chocolate bar and it will even taste slightly grainy. Saying that it’s perfectly safe to eat chocolate that hasn’t been tempered properly, but the look is not great, and the texture won’t be probably as smooth as if you temper your chocolate well.

  4. Is cocoa a fruit?

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    Is cocoa a fruit?

    When we’re running our various chocolate making courses we often  get asked lots of questions from enthusiastic chocolate makers about every aspect of the chocolate making process. And, of course, it’s a pleasure to share our knowledge with so many keen and eager course attendees and chocolatiers to be. Sometimes the questions are technical and detailed– such as those about the tempering and the chocolate crystallisation process. Others are more general, but equally practical, like when do we get to eat it all?

  5. Chocolate Movies

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    Chocolat film

    What’s your favourite chocolate treat when you go to the cinema or settle down at home to watch a film? With me, it’s a Bounty because after I’ve licked away the chocolate, I can silently slowly chew the coconut to enjoy the flavour and try to make the bar last as long as possible. A Crunchie bar, on the other hand, is just too, well crunchy, and every bite can be heard three rows back.

    Buying my favourite chocolates and candy to enjoy a film or tv programme got me thinking about my favourite movies. For many of us, the cinema experience just isn’t complete without diving down into a bag of Revels or Minstrels whilst staring up at the big screen at the same time.

  6. History of Chocolate Timeline

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    Cocoa Beans - chocolate timeline

    Here at Cocoa and Heart, we’re fascinated by all things chocolate. And chocolate itself and how it was first cultivated in Central America as a bitter drink and then brought over to Europe and gradually developed into a chocolate bar for eating, has a fascinating history all of its own. Here are some of the key dates in the History of Chocolate Timeline.

    1,500 BC: The people of Central America begin to drink chocolate. The cacao tree may have been cultivated earlier than people first thought. Linguistic links to the words cacao and chocolate can be traced back to the Olmec peoples which pre-dates Maya and Atzec civilisation by several hundred years.

    900 AD: Maya Civilisation: Pottery cups found in the tombs of Maya nobility contain symbols for cacoa and images for its preparation.     

  7. Why are chocolate coins used at Christmas?

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    Giving Chocolate Coins for Christmas is a seasonal festive tradition. But what exactly is its origins and what form has it taken over the ages? As a child, I can remember receiving wrapped up shiny and glistening coins in my Christmas stocking. The temptation was always to bite them before unwrapping them. Big mistake!

    Unwrapping the giant coins was always harder than it seemed as well. Maybe, my eager hands were all festive fingers and thumbs. Or perhaps, I tried to heed my Mum’s instructions to look after the wrapper. I doubt Mum’s entreaties to keep the nice shiny paper, had much effort on my as I picked away furiously at the silver foil paper to get to the milk chocolate inside. Either way, the coin itself was probably a sticky mess long before I actually got round to eating it.

  8. Traditional Sweets & Chocolate Quiz

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    Traditional Sweets - Glass Jar of Sweets

    Traditional Sweets & Chocolate Quiz

    The best thing about running chocolate classes and making our own chocolate, is that our work involves a lot of chocolate and sweet tasting! We also love history, so what better way to combine these two together, than by putting together this chocolate quiz.

    And if you are after a longer chocolate quiz, why not try my Chocolate Advertising Slogans Quiz with 30 different chocolate slogans to test your chocolate memory! 

    Now, back to this chocolate quiz! So, obviously we can't see into your front room, so we rely on you not to cheat and take this quiz very seriously!!!

    Pen and paper ready, off you go!

    1. What chocolate bar was advertised as during World War II as giving war time volunteers ‘two hours of endurance capacity’?
    2. Which bar was advertised in 1936 with the slogan ‘Don’t be angry, have a bar of chocolate’?