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Best Chocolate Recipes and Tips

An A to Z guide to choosing, storing, preparing, and cooking fresh produce and recipe ingredients.

  • How to Choose Chocolate
    Chocolate should be evenly colored and slightly shiny. A light powdery coating means the chocolate is old or has not been stored properly. Good chocolate should break cleanly, not crumble or splinter. White chocolate is not true chocolate; it contains cocoa butter but none of the chocolate liquor the other chocolates have. The percentage on chocolate's packaging tells you how much of it was derived from the cacao bean (in the form of chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder). Generally, the higher the percentage, the more intense the chocolate flavor.

  • How to Store Chocolate
    All chocolate should be stored wrapped in a cool, dry place. Dark chocolate can last up to 10 years, but milk chocolate and white chocolate (because they contain milk solids) keep no longer than 9 months.

    How to Prepare Chocolate
    To melt a block of chocolate, chop it with a chef's knife, place in a heatproof bowl, and set the bowl over a pot with about an inch of simmering water. Stir the chocolate occasionally; remove the bowl from the pan when just a few small chunks remain (the residual heat will melt it).

  • How to Use Chocolate
    Try stirring a small chunk into your favorite chili to impart a rich, mole-like flavor.

    Jenny Rosenstrach

    Real Simple Chocolate Recipes:

    See all Chocolate recipes »

  • How To: Melt Chocolate

    How to melt chocolate for chocolate-covered strawberries, chocolate-dipped cookies, and more. Watch this video to see how to melt chocolate properly.

     

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