Adventures in Cooking: Chocolate
When I was making my grocery list this week, I realized that I had’t done hardly any baking since Trey and I got married. That struck me as odd since I’m generally a much better baker than I am a cook, and I baked for Trey several times while we were dating. In an effort to remedy this situation, I quickly scanned through my Pinterest list of recipes and picked out one that looked both delicious and simple: HolyCrapTheseAreAmazing Cookies.
When I returned from the grocery store, I set about making our apartment smell heavenly. The beginning of the recipe was incredibly simple: mix corn syrup and sugar over medium heat until boiling, add peanut butter, add cornflakes, make little balls on wax paper, done! Except for the chocolate drizzle. For that you have to melt chocolate. Now I had melted chocolate a few times before while making Scotcharoos (really my aunt’s specialty, but she lives 9 hours away and isn’t always on hand when a chocolate/butterscotch craving hits), but there’s no drizzling in that recipe. I proceeded in the same manner, however, with short bursts in the microwave and stirring in between. I got the chocolate to a smooth, melted state, but it came off of the spoon in globs instead of a thin good-for-drizzling line. I assumed I just needed more heat to truly liquefy the chocolate and was rewarded with a large cloud of smoke pouring from my microwave followed by a terrible stench.
I still had more chocolate, though, so I decided to melt it on the stove where I could better keep an eye on it. The chocolate got to the same melted-but-not-drizzly state as before. I kept stirring and turned up the heat a little bit, but instead of getting thinner, the chocolate started to thicken and I felt I was on the verge of another smoking pot of wasted chocolate. I took it off of the heat and consulted the internet, source of potentially accurate information on all subjects.
The first lady I came across used a bowl on top of a pot of boiling water, and her chocolate came out super liquid-y. The process looked a little too complicated to me,but she did explain that you could use vegetable oil to smooth out slightly singed chocolate. The next page was a little more helpful on the drizzling aspect. It suggested using a plastic bag to get pretty lines, but had nothing to say about the melting process. Finally the third page went into much more detail on all areas of the process. Apparently the chocolate I was using didn’t have a high enough percentage of cocoa butter, so it would never get super liquid-y. Once it melted it was as thin as it was ever going to get, so heating it more just ruined it.
With a little vegetable oil, I was able to save the batch of chocolate from the stove, and Trey agrees that the cookies came out quite yummy