Chocolate Tasting Techniques

First of all start with an empty stomach. This has never been too much of a stretch for me, I am always willing to sample chocolate before dinner. Next, have the chocolate at the recommended 66-77 °F. Finally allow the chocolate to sit in your mouth for a few moments. This will help to release the principal flavors and aromas. After the chocolate has set for a few moments chew it slightly to release the secondary aromas. Resting the chocolate against the roof of your mouth will allow all the flavors to be enjoyed.

Fun Fudgy Cookies

1 ½ Cups flour
1⁄8 tsp salt
1 Cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ Cup Butter
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ Cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 °F

Combine flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside. Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Remove from heat and cool. Beat together until smooth butter, sugar and eggs. Beat in melted Chocolate. Gradually add the flour and salt to the wet ingredients. Stir in nuts.

Drop by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until slightly set. Cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer to wire rack. Frost cookies while still warm.

Frosting

1 oz semisweet chocolate, melted with cream
3 Tbls heavy cream
1 Cup powdered Sugar
1 tsp vanilla ( I use Madagascar Bourbon, Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. This is a very aromatic vanilla that lends itself well to baking and home made ice creams. I have found that it's pure flavor and flecks of vanilla bean give my baking a gourmet flair.)

Mix vanilla in with cream and chocolate mixture. While this is still warm beat in powdered sugar. When smooth and still warm spread over cookies.

Shauna Hanus is a gourmet cook who specializes in creating gourmet meal plans. She has extensive experience cooking with easy to find grocery items to create delightful gourmet meals. She is also the publisher of a no cost bi-monthly gourmet newsletter. Her newsletter is always fun and informational packed with tips and trivia you can use everyday. http://www.gourmayeats.com

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