Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Baking with Chunks

Apologies for the lack of posts recently, if you do continue to see me missing from time to time on Kalena's Kitchen, I'm probably inking/printing something, working on photoshop, or cutting paper in the studio! Back to the chocolates, here's a little peep into the chocolates in my fridge. A dear friend and I used to bake mountain-heaps of cookies during our teens; it's my friend's mom's secret recipe for choc chip cookies and I remember buying loads of Hersheys mini chocolate chips.

Ever since I got fixated on home made truffles, I tapped readily into my supply of couverture chocolate and chop chunks out of blocks and buttons. Ummmm... uuuummmmMMMMmm... It's so true that you can't skimp on chocolate for chocolate desserts. It just gives the extra "Om" and gratification which chocoholics crave. Chunks (if not over overbaked) also gives rich liquidy centres, retaining fudge like qualities in chocolate cookies.

I am a big fan of some Valrhona chocolates, and I admit I stock up quite excessively (often blowing the monthly grocery budget, shhhh... *classified* to my husband). I don't take much milk and white chocolate, but I do keep a little so I don't need to make another trip when some good recipes come by. To allow myself (and some chocolate-loving friends who are guinea pigs for new recipes) to constantly try all at one time, I save little pastilles in containers, label them with a big smile like it's part of a prized collection. Everyone has a personal favorite, it's interesting to guess who might like what.

Ever since I started working with flavoured truffles, I can't stop thinking about chocolate pairings:- Guanaja with white tea? Too subtle? Caraibe with expresso, ahhh, dark and smoky indeed. Araguani with caramelized nuts? Should I try to accentuate or balance the bitterness? Which one goes well with rose? The questions go on and on. I am closer to grasping why there are plentiful flavours offered in our epicurious environment today. The endless possibilities with chocolate present ample room for creativity and fuels the sense of adventure pervading a chocolatier's kitchen. (even a pseudo one!)

As much as I love experimenting, the sentimental side cries for the classic and traditional. It's weird how some flavours just grow on you, and you almost feel bad to "turn your back on them". Ekks, sorry to sound so freaky, I am well aware of my longtime tendency of personifying my favorite things. I still whip out batches of plain old truffles from time to time; they are the familiar sights of comfort food in the fridge. When I run out, I reach for bars and buttons of couverture chocolate. All forms and textures, all yummy~~~

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