Whether you are looking for a unique gift that you can hand to your significant other or you are looking to make a big splash at the next office get together, one of the best possibilities you can consider is a gourmet chocolate gift. If you have ever gone to your local chocolatier, you know just how expensive these types of gifts are. Instead of spending an inordinate amount of money, why not learn the basics of gourmet chocolate gifts and make your own?
- Types of chocolate. The first thing that a person needs to understand when it comes to gourmet chocolate gifts is the types of chocolate used. There are five basic types of chocolate that you can choose from: unsweetened chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, milk chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and white chocolate. Unsweetened chocolate is basically a chocolate that has had no sweetening added and should only be used for baking. Bittersweet chocolate, a slightly sweet dark chocolate, contains a high amount of cocoa solid compared to a low amount of sugar. Bittersweet chocolate is another type of chocolate that is perfect for cooking and baking. Semisweet chocolate is the "classic" dark chocolate. When you go to the store and by a "dark chocolate" candy bar, this is actually a semisweet chocolate. On average, semisweet chocolate contains between 40% and 60% cocoa solids. Milk chocolate is what most people think of when they think of chocolate, and is seldom used for baking (unless in cookies). Finally there is white chocolate, which is not really chocolate at all. Rather, white chocolate is a mixture of cocoa butter, sugar, milk, and vanilla that actually "mimics" the taste of chocolate.
- Fudge. Contrary to what people may like to think, fudge is not actually a type of chocolate. Rather it is a chocolate flavored soft candy made from sugar, milk, butter, and (of course) the flavoring. Fudge is a staple among many gourmet chocolate gifts.
- Dipped. A classic addition to any gourmet chocolate gift basket, bag, or box is to dip something into a type of chocolate. Among the best types of chocolate to use are semisweet, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. Simply heat the chocolate up enough so that it melts and then dip or pour the chocolate over the item you wish to have covered. Some suggestions would be fruit, pretzels, nuts, and other kinds of candy such as gummy bears.
- Varieties. When making a gourmet chocolate gift, make sure that you provide a variety. Providing a variety allows others to experiment while showing off your newfound skills.
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