Why Your Recipe Calls for Cocoa Powder Instead of Chocolate

From deep, rich cakes and cookies, to brownies and other treats, the ingredient that brings some of your favorite chocolate desserts to life might not be what you expect. Instead of chocolate, these sweets often start with a hearty dose of cocoa powder. But do you know why?

Source: This Is Why Your Recipe Uses Cocoa Powder Instead of Chocolate

If Ruth Wakefield of the Toll House Inn had known that, we’d never have the chocolate chip cookie.  Well maybe we would, but I bet Nestle would be making a lot less money from chocolate chips.

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Ponder the Physics of Chocolate Fountains During Your New Year’s Revels

New Year’s revelers will be heading out to all kinds of parties tonight, and chances are a good percentage will be tempted by the presence of a chocolate fountain—just a teensy bit of indulgence before those resolutions kick in. Perhaps those with a scientific bent could find themselves pondering, just for a moment, the complicated physics involved in all that chocolaty goodness.

Source: Ponder the Physics of Chocolate Fountains During Your New Year’s Revels

I’m going to the wrong parties… 😦

Those Extracts In Your Cupboard Have Many Uses Beyond Baking

It’s a tale as old as vanilla extract: You buy a bottle of it (or of almond, or anise, or any other kind of extract), it gets shuffled to the back of your pantry shelf, and then you buy another.

And before you know it, in a fervent pantry clean out session, you uncover an extract windfall. And then what do you do?

Source: How to Use Up a Heck of a Lot of Extracts

Couple additional options:

  • If you have kids, you can add it to your playdough (homemade or store bought) or rice.
  • They can be used pretty easily to make flavored syrups for cocktails. Just dump the extract in before (or after honestly) you boil the syrup down.

A Foolproof 5-Ingredient Ice Cream, No Cooking Required

A spectacular summer ice cream recipe with just two steps and five ingredients.

…while most recipeswith or without eggsrequire some cooking, today’s creamy blackberry lemon ice cream does not. Instead, it relies on sweetened condensed milk to thicken the mixture.

Source: Only 2 Steps and 5 Ingredients Stand Between You and This Ice Cream

Summer ice cream?  Ice cream is always in season.

Couple of points to be made:

  1. The recipe calls for half-and-half – effectively off limits for lactose intolerant, and depending on strictness – vegetarianism.  There is vitamin K in half-and-half too – we don’t get out unscathed either.
  2. Evaporated milk is not condensed milk.  Or, I need to find a recipe that uses evaporated milk… 😉
  3. All traditional ice cream has a custard base (cream, milk, sugar, and egg yolks). For more information on that, see this NYTimes article.  The difference between frozen custard and ice cream is mainly two things (and one of them is not a non-custard base): 1) milk fat percentage; and 2) serving temperature.

Make Tea Ice Cubes to Supercharge Your Smoothies

Tea’s distinctive flavors—woodsy and vegetable or ripe and sweet, pleasantly astringent or perfumed—add layers to sweet and savory dishes that no other ingredient can touch. Sure, you may have heard of green tea ice cream and tea-smoked duck, but a pinch of tea leaves can do so much more. Here are some ideas to make full use of its grocery potential.

Source: 7 Ways to Cook with Tea Leaves

Coffee cubes make for delicious Vietnamese iced coffee.