Chocolates

Chocolates

by Louis Simpson

Once some people were visiting Chekhov.
While they made remarks about his genius
the Master fidgeted. Finally
he said, “Do you like chocolates?”

They were astonished, and silent.
He repeated the question,
whereupon one lady plucked up her courage
and murmured shyly, “Yes.”

“Tell me,” he said, leaning forward,
light glinting from his spectacles,
“what kind? The light, sweet chocolate
or the dark, bitter kind?”

The conversation became general
They spoke of cherry centers,
of almonds and Brazil nuts.
Losing their inhibitions
they interrupted one another.
For people may not know what they think
about politics in the Balkans,
or the vexed question of men and women,

but everyone has a definite opinion
about the flavor of shredded coconut.
Finally someone spoke of chocolates filled with liqueur,
and everyone, even the author of Uncle Vanya,
was at a loss for words.

As they were leaving he stood by the door
and took their hands.
In the coach returning to Petersburg
they agreed that it had been a most
unusual conversation.

Nama chocolate

Green tea chocolate

TROUBLESHOOTING:

The two most common problems of working with chocolate are separating and seizing.

1) Separation (oil came out of the chocolate) happens when you get the chocolate too hot. Dark chocolate should never be heated above 120 degrees F (Milk chocolate and white chocolate should never be heated above 110 degrees F). When chocolate gets too hot, the cocoa butter separates from the solids, and there is no way to salvage it (although you can bake with it and it tastes fine). The best way to prevent separation is to use gentle heat (simmer on lowest heat) and stir frequently. Since we’re not using a double boiler in this recipe, make sure you do not bring the heavy whipping cream to a full boil. Remove from heat as soon as you saw bubbles around the edges of the saucepan.

2) Seizing happens when moisture is introduced to melted chocolate (even a tiny amount of liquid or steam). It happens all the sudden from a smooth bowl of liquid chocolate to a lumpy, grainy mass of chocolate.

To learn more details and how to fix the overheated or seized chocolate, please read HERE.

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