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Bean to Bar: the short-chain chocolate – Italian Cuisine

Raw, 100% cocoa, only from selected crus or raw stone-worked. But above all handmade products, starting from cocoa beans

Chocolate is an Italian product, we have a long tradition, but the raw material that composes it comes from far away and in the vast majority of cases, in the form of semi-finished products. But the trend is the supply chain chocolate, produced from the raw ingredient, the cocoa beans.

Bean to bar: what it means

It means working the chocolate following all its phases, from the cultivation of cocoa beans to the processing of the tablets that we find on the shelves. The large confectionery industries tend to start from semi-finished products, such as cocoa mass and cocoa butter, while the tendency to want to control every ingredient, along the entire supply chain, buying it and processing it from raw is becoming increasingly common. The beans then arrive in Italy still raw, as just picked, carefully selected in the areas of origin and then cleaned, dried, toasted and processed to make them a raw mass, the base of the chocolate. From here we start the process of concaggio and temperaggio, mixing with other ingredients and putting into shape in tablets or chocolates. Here it is the latest evolution of high quality artisan chocolate, thousands of kilometers from the plantations in the lands of origin and with all the tradition of Italian master chocolate makers.

Fondant, for connoisseurs

To choose it, the extra dark is the one that contains at least 45% of cocoa powder but even richer in properties, and taste, is the extra bitter that contains 70-80% cocoa. These are the finest chocolates that enhance the aromas and aromas of the various varieties. In fact, cocoa is not all the same, there are different varieties, production areas and processing methods, which make it a prized product, to be tasted like a wine. Where to find these products so special? From Eataly, which selects products of excellence in its stores, such as these.

Raw stone worked

The Leone Pastilles are a real institution, but few know that this Turin company is also specialized in chocolate – made with an ancient method. The recipe of raw chocolate with stone recalls the ancient formula used in the '700 to serve fine chocolates in the cup. With 70% cocoa beans, toasted in the Leone laboratory, it is produced without added cocoa butter, raw cane sugar, vanilla beans, Ceylon cinnamon sticks.

Raw chocolate

There is a new way to produce and taste chocolate. It was born from an idea of ​​Daniele Dell'Orco, anthropologist, researcher, specialized in the food sector and the conservation and enhancement of agricultural and wild biodiversity. The cocoa beans are harvested and toasted below 42 ° C in order to maintain a delicate and clean aroma, a stronger acidity and a higher humidity than traditional chocolate. At the same time it keeps intact all its beneficial properties, antioxidants, minerals, enzymes and amino acids such as magnesium, vitamin C, serotonin and phenylethylamine. Cacao Crudo is the first company in Italy to produce raw chocolate and is available at 80%, 90% and 100% flux, with only one ingredient, Criollo cocoa, simply reduced in pulp by mechanical cold processes.

100% chocolate

For chocolate lovers, the 100% tablets are the highest expression of the aromatic richness of cocoa of different varieties since it has only one ingredient: cocoa beans (without cocoa butter, sugar, milk or added flavors). They produce it in a few, like Andrea Slitti, considered one of the most renowned chocolatiers in the world. Its 100% cocoa mass cocoa bar is made from the finest cocoa from Central America. Domori instead uses Trinitario cocoa, an aromatic cocoa, very special as its production is only 8% of the world cocoa harvest. It is a hybrid created recently among Forastero cacao, the most widespread for its resistance, and prized like a Criollo, with notes of flowers, caramel and cream of milk. With this type of cocoa, Domori produces different tablets with different percentages, such as the 90% Trinitario tablet, with an intense flavor, or 100%.

Chocolate and bubbles

Guido Gobino is one of the most prestigious names in chocolate art, on an international level. For two generations they have specialized in typical Turin products such as Gianduiotto, the Gianduia Chocolate cream to spread and the Chocolate with Hazelnut. Since the Nineties, they have given life to the "Giandujotto Artisan Workshop" which enhances the historical extrusion method, without the use of molds, and are committed to creating true artisanal chocolate for connoisseurs. The Chontalpa assorted tablets are made entirely from cocoa from the Tabasco region of Mexico, from which derives a dark chocolate with an intense taste, extra bitter, which marries beautifully to a liqueur, rum or even a sparkling sparkling wine like a prosecco.

The Chocolate of Modica between craftsmanship and technology – Italian Cuisine

170413Tasting a bar of Chocolate of Modica it means making a real sensory experience, jumping back in time. An "ancient" chocolate, from another time, a piece of history to melt in your mouth. But forget the shine of the classic tablet and the buttery on the palate.

Today, this unique chocolate in the world, which obtained IGP only a few months ago, is the first Geographical Indication product to have the Digital Passport.
The project, initiated with the Consortium of Chocolate Protection of Modica PGI, was created by the State Poligrafico under the supervision of CSQA Certifications and the Foundation Qualivita.

170483In practice it is a solution, on a voluntary basis, aimed at the products of the agri-food chain with the aim of allowing companies and consumers to immediately check the authenticity information of the product. Thanks to digital technology, with a personalized mark applied to each package, connected to the free APP Trust Your Food, the consumer will be able to access the Digital Passport of the Sicilian artisan specialty, verifying in a simple way traceability and genuineness of his purchase.

A solution designed to support the systems of traceability conventional and that protects consumers thanks to a more immediate control of the entire agri-food chain of quality. The chocolate typical of the baroque city, in this case, has been the forerunner of a system that addresses the many products with the IGP brand.

170407The characteristics of black gold are modic
The "food of the gods" made in Modica is a unique product, which is still handcrafted today thanks to a clever mix of simple and unmistakable ingredients. The preparation based on cocoa beans and sugar was practiced since 1600. Its main feature, the graininess, is given precisely by processing at low temperatures.
In fact, Modica's chocolate does not come from the conch, but the cocoa paste obtained from roasted and ground seeds but not deprived of the contained cocoa butter, is dissolved "cold", ie at temperatures below 40 ° C.

With this process the sugar crystals do not melt and remain intact in the dough, they determine the uniqueness of the product that seduces the palate with its characteristic aroma and the granular and raw consistency.

The combinations
In the small town of Ragusa, the Chocolate Museum of Modica managed by the Protection Consortium, it reconstructs an eighteenth-century workshop, where the master chocolatiers amalgamate cocoa, sugar and spices to obtain bars with an irresistible aroma.

To perpetrate the history of such a special product, which has also been a driving force for tourism and trade in all of Sicily, today there are about forty manufacturing companies, above all family-owned, but not all of which are members of the Protection Consortium. At one time, the recipe included the use of cinnamon, vanilla and probably also jasmine.

170410Currently the artisans of this long tradition offer many different types of aromas including salt, ginger, chilli and unusual combinations typical of the island, from citrus to wine.

The measures of the rod
Eye also to the dimensions, the standard measures of one Modica Chocolate bar, provided for by the specification, are precise: length 13 cm, width 4.5 cm and height 1.2 cm. The weight is 100 grams at the origin and is strictly wrapped in greaseproof paper.

Mariacristina Coppeto
February 2019
Cover photo: ChocoModica website
Cathedral of Modica: Pixabay

S’more Ice Cream Pie – Who’s Your Daddy’s Favorite Celebrity Dessert Chef?

Trick question; he doesn’t have one. That type of thing is
more for women and food bloggers. In fact, your dad may not even have a
favorite dessert, but if he had to pick one, I think a lot of fathers would go
with s’mores – the campfire classic that inspired this frozen Father’s Day

S’mores are a simple, yet brilliant treat that represents
everything most males, dads or otherwise, seem to love. It’s made over a
crackling fire, the building of which triggers the release of all kinds of
manly neurotransmitters in the brain. The same goes for sharpening sticks with knives,
impaling things, and burning stuff.

And while you’re not experiencing those primitive pleasures
here (except for the blowtorch, which is never not awesome), I think just the
connection with the venerable s’more alone will be enough to have dad loving
this pie.

If not, there’s always the crispy, buttery graham crackers,
chocolate ice cream, and toasted marshmallows to make him proud of you anyway.
Whether you make this for Father’s Day dessert or not, I really hope you give
this a try soon. Enjoy!

1 1/2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
6 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (28-oz) container chocolate ice cream
2-3 handfuls mini marshmallows, or enough to cover the top