the Chocolate Lover's Diary

A diary concerning all kinds of chocolate. Here I'll comment on chocolate websites and post test protocolls as well as write about other subjects tied to my favourite pastime. I'll test chocolate of all varieties, from the cheap bars at the shop around the corner to the criollo pralines from Fortnum & Mason.

Location: Uppsala, Uppland, Sweden

Indoor gardener and christian chocolate lover with too many interests at hand. In my non digital life I spend most of my time playing in the SCA.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

How to make good hot chocolate.

You need

  • milk approx. 2dl/person
  • fine chocolate, at least 71% - 88% is the ideal
  • optional: vanilla sugar
  • optional: cinnamon stick

Heat the milk until it on the verge of boiling. Add 2 (88%) or 3 (71%) pieces of the fine chocolate and the cinnamon stick if you chose to add it. Lift the cauldron of the heat and whisk the milk untill the chocolate has disolved. Using a mechanical latte mixer is helpful, and almost the only way to avoid getting little segments of undisolved chocolate floating around in the milk. The sight is not unappetizing, but will irritate your inner perfectionist. The latte mixer will also cover the surface of the chocolate with soft froth, which is a plus. Remove the cinnamon stick before you serve the chocolate. If anyone complains over bitterness give her/him a small spoon of vanilla sugar for the drink - the vanilla softens the possible harshness of the chocolate.

If you're only cooking for one or two persons it's quite possible to heat the milk in the cups in the micro. Be careful with the latte mixer though - it's an adventure to use in a full cup.

I've used this recipe, minus the cinnamon and vanilla suger, where ever the chocolate tested is tested as hot chocolate.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Some notes from the brown book

Well, since we take down our notes in swedish I'm not sure of some of the english opposites to the special terms used by chocolate lovers. Hope you'll understand anyhow.

Two chocolate bars bought at the shop down the corner


Click: Blunt to bad
Bitterness: Marked but not exagerated
Sweetness: High level
Mouth feeling: Soft, somewhat harsh
Hot chocolate: -
Allergy friendly: No (contains traces of nuts)

Everyday chocolate trying to be posh.

Mörk choklad

Click: Good
Bitterness: Non-excistent
Sweetness: High
Hot chocolate: Not good. The melted pieces forms lumps in the hot milk and refuses to disolve no matter how hard you whisk it.
Allergy friendly: No (contains traces of nuts)

Good as everyday godies, good for baking

Saturday, October 16, 2004

How it all started

Recently a new chocolate shop opened in Uppsala. It's called "Anneli K Patisseri" and it sells handmade chocolates and has a big assortment of the finest chocolate bars. The owner has won a pretigious prize for her lagavulin chocolate, but makes up the selection of the day after what she feels for at the moment. You can never be sure to find the chocolate you tasted yesterday if you take a new turn at the shop today. On the other hand you will never be disappointed. My husband and I has taken the habit of buying one pice each every saturday and so far we tasted more normal things like pear and raspberry truffles (or chocolates - most often the truffle serves as filling) to more adventurously flavoured pieces like chili and lagavulin (of course). Somewhere in the middle of this range are lichee and macademia filling.

However, the selection of chocolate bars are more stable, and a couple of weeks ago we decided to taste them all. Since we're not billionaires but have plenty of patience, we buy one (1) chocolate bar every week, take it home, taste and take down notes in a book with chocolate brown covers.

It struck me that our notes could be helpful to more than us, and I decided to start this blog. Here you will primarily read our notes on dark chocolate, perhaps with a few recipies added when I feel like it. We sometimes buy chocolate from other places for comparison (ie Coop wich is something similar to Wallmarts, or from the small video shop down the corner), and in those cases I add a note on origin.

Enjoy, and remember that chocolate is for everyone!