are lots of flavors of chocolate but milk chocolate is the favorite
chocolate for millions of people. Today should be spent consuming
and savoring generous amounts of your favorite milk chocolate treats.
Milk chocolate is chocolate with milk
powder or condensed milk added. The U.S. Government requires a 10%
concentration of chocolate liquor. EU regulations specify a minimum
of 25% cocoa solids. In the 1870s, Swiss confectioner Daniel Peter
invented the process of solidifying milk chocolate using condensed
milk, which was invented by Henri Nestlé in the 1800s.
Hershey process milk chocolate,
invented by Milton S. Hershey, founder of The Hershey Company, is
able to be produced more economically, by being less sensitive to
freshness of the milk. Although the process is still a trade secret,
experts speculate that the milk is partially lipolyzed, producing
butyric acid, which stabilizes the milk from further fermentation.
This compound gives the product a particular sour, "tangy"
taste, to which the American public has become accustomed, to the
point that other manufacturers now simply add butyric acid to their
landmark chocolate events occurred in 1879 in Switzerland: Rodolphe
Lindt invented the conching machine, enabling the production of the
smooth, velvety chocolate we know today. And Daniel Peter, a
chocolate manufacturer, made the first milk chocolate, by
substituting powdered milk for the whole milk or cream that had been
used previously, with unsuccessful results. Powdered milk had been
invented by his neighbor, Swiss chemist Henri Nestlé. So while the
Spanish were responsible for bringing cacao to Europe from the New
World and Englishman Joseph Fry created the first chocolate bar, the
Swiss have full ownership of smooth, silky milk chocolate.
a taste more of sugar and milk than cacao, milk chocolate was first
made for children. The typical milk chocolate on the market today
consists of no more than 33% cacao (cocoa
solids), but many companies drop that percentage even lower,
sometimes to the teens, since sugar is cheaper than cocoa. Another
reason for cheap milk chocolate is that a high ratio of milk and
sugar mask any irregularities and bad tastes that poor cacao beans
often possess. Thus, manufacturers can buy the cheapest, lowest-grade
beans (which are still more expensive than sugar and milk solids) and
hide their off-flavor with blankets of milky sweetness. That means
that the remaining portion of the bar is comprised of milk solids and
sugar, and that's why inexpensive chocolate bars taste like no more
than sugar: They are! By law, the FDA enables manufacturers to use as
little as 10% cacao (also known as cocoa solids or cocoa liquor),
no less than 3.39% milk fat, and no less than 12% of total milk
solids. The remaining ingredient is sugar, so an inexpensive
chocolate bar can be about 75% sugar. (The formula, or "recipe,"
is up to the manufacturer, as long as the percentages do not drop
below the FDA's minimal requirements.)
no one need eat bad milk chocolate. The greatest chocolate producers
in the world make milk chocolate bars that are as good as it gets.
Using the best cacao beans, the most meticulous processing techniques
and the finest recipes, they create eye-opening milk chocolate. This
chocolate is so good that those chocolate lovers who ran from
cloying, characterless milk chocolate long ago will return to the
honor of National Milk Chocolate Day, pamper yourself with some
chocolate from Hershey, Cadbury,
Nestle, Dove, Godiva, or one of the many different manufacturers of
the delicious treat. Happy National Milk Chocolate Day!
Today is National Crème Brûlée Day.
Crème brûlée (French for "burnt cream"), burnt cream,
crema catalana, or Trinity cream is a dessert consisting of a rich
custard base topped with a layer of hard caramel, created by
caramelizing sugar under a broiler, with a butane torch or other
intense heat source, or by pouring sugar on top of the custard. It is
usually served cold in individual ramekins. The custard base is
normally flavoured with just vanilla, but it can be enhanced with
chocolate, a liqueur, fruit, etc. Sometimes the hardened sugar on top
will be caramelized, by igniting a thin layer of liqueur sprinkled
over the top.
Crème brûlée is undoubtedly one of the
most frequently ordered restaurant desserts today. The exact origins
of this dish are unknown and very much in contention, with the
English, Spanish, and French all staking claim. The earliest known
reference to the dessert is in François Massialot's 1691 cookbook.
In the early eighteenth century, the
dessert was called "burnt cream" in English. In Britain, a
version of crème brûlée (known locally as 'Trinity Cream' or
'Cambridge burnt cream') was introduced at Trinity College, Cambridge
in 1879 with the college arms "impressed on top of the cream
with a branding iron", although some cookbooks claim much
earlier British origins for the dessert.
Crema catalana (Catalan 'Catalan
cream') or Crema de Sant Josep, is Catalan version of Crème brûlée.
It is usually served on Saint Joseph's Day (March 19). The custard is
flavoured with lemon or orange zest and cinnamon. The set custard is
chilled and immediately before service, sugar is sprinkled over the
top and caramelized with a specially-made iron or blow torch,
resulting in a hot, crunchy caramelized top contrasting with the
cool, soft custard. Catalans claim that their crema catalana is the
predecessor of France's crème brûlée, though many regions lay
claim to the origin of the dessert. The chief difference between the
two is that crema catalana is not baked in bain-marie as crème
Continue reading "Crème brûlée is a straighforward, unpretentious creation that is simple, comforting and sure to impress your guests" »
What's not to like about a milkshake
with a dose of caffeine? These days it seems like there is a
national food day for everything but since I love food I figure why
not celebrate them even if they seem a bit ridiculous! Today is
National Coffee Milkshake Day. You can make a delicious, simple
coffee milkshake at home, spike it with a little liqueur and make it
a grown-up milkshake or go to your local Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks
and order one - whatever strikes your fancy!
Continue reading "National Coffee Milkshake Day is today so treat yourself to a grown up milkshake" »
With its temperate climate and
abundance of farm-fresh dairy and produce, it's no surprise that
California has the market cornered on some of the best ice creams in
the country. Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco serves small-batch ice creams
that vary according to season. Some of the innovative flavors are chocolate soy, roasted banana, salted caramel and lavender honey
lavender that comes from hives less than a mile away from the store.
Cones are made with organic ingredients, and seasonal desserts like
the springtime sundae, made with crème fraiche ice cream,
strawberries and sugar cookies, are impossible to resist. Bi-Rite
uses compostable cups and spoons and local organic fruits.
Sam's Sundae is an adventure of
sweetness like you've never been on before. It is made of chocolate
ice cream with organic bergamot olive oil, maldon sea salt and
hand-whipped whipped cream. The Bergamot olive oil is citrus-based
so it is sweet and fruity and complements the chocolate really well.
The indulgent chocolate ice cream is super intense like a frozen
chocolate mousse or ganache and is made on the premises. To make
their ice cream, they use Straus Family Creamery organic dairy,
German cocoa, salt and vanilla. It is blended and churned well so
that it is a true chocolate flavor and the sea salt then accentuates
the sweet and chocolate flavors.
Forbes Traveler lists the Bi-Rite
Creamery as one of America's Best Ice Creams. On the Food Network show, The
Best Thing I Ever Ate - Sugar Rush, Aida Mollenkamp said Sam's
Sundae was her favorite sugar rush.
If you are in the San Francisco area, celebrate National Ice Cream Sundae Day with a Sam's Sundae at Bi-Rite Creamery or support your local ice cream parlor and indulge in a delicious ice cream sundae.