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Organic A-nonnie Chocolate?  This thread currently has 3,420 views. Print Print Thread
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Carol the Dabbler
Wednesday, November 16, 2005, 1:48am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kyosha Nim
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Is there such a thing as organic unsweetened chocolate? Or organic chocolate sweetened with something that's at least a Neutral for me?

All of the organic chocolate that I know of is sweetened with "sugar" (an Avoid) or "cane juice" (which I take to be like Sucanat, another Avoid). I would love to find some organic chocolate bars (or organic chocolate chips) sweetened with barley malt or maple or rice syrup, or even honey or fructose. (Dunno about molasses!)

Failing any of the above, I could make my own candy with unsweetened organic chocolate -- if I could find any! I thought it would be easy. Rapunzel makes "baking chocolate" and Green & Black's makes "cooks' chocolate," which I assumed would be unsweetened -- but they're both sweetened with cane juice.

Any suggestions?


Carol

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Don
Wednesday, November 16, 2005, 1:57am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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You can buy organic cocoa powder.

Rapunzel Pure Organics Kokoa Cocoa Powder
http://www.rapunzel.com/products/rapunzel/rapunzel_baking_kokoa.html

You can order it from this source:
http://www.azurestandard.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=shp.ProductDetails&ProductCode=BP147


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Lola
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try ground cocoa plain and add Veg Glycerin,,,,,,mix well.......it becomes like a paste......you can add nuts to that....a teaspoon of that or two will give you the choc 'fix' you need!! )


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
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Whimsical
Wednesday, November 16, 2005, 2:38am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Kyosha Nim
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Hi Carol,

I make my own chocolate sometimes - you can find my recipe here.


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Carol the Dabbler
Wednesday, November 16, 2005, 3:04am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Thanks, Don & Lola. I've already tried something like that, and it's good, but somehow it's just not the same as actual chocolate. I guess it's mostly the mouth-feel.

Kate, what sort of texture does your recipe have?  It sounds more like fudge than like a chocolate bar, but I like fudge too.  Can I substitute ghee for the butter?


Carol

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Vicki
Wednesday, November 16, 2005, 3:22am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Ghee is great with the chocolate.  My heart pounds if I eat sugar, so the ready made chocolate bars are off limits for me.  Dagoba Organic "PrimaMateria" 100% Unsweetened Chocolate is one source of organic unsweetened chocolate chunks but check your local health food grocery store first.  Ask an employee because they often keep these chocolate chunks in odd places like near the cheese.  You melt this and add your compliant sweetener.  Lecithin or ghee helps.  Then add nuts, seeds, dried fruit, herbs, spices or flavors to customize it!

Carob powder is much sweeter than cocoa powder.  It took some time but I weaned myself off of chocolate and on to carob.
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Carol the Dabbler
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Vicki -- I checked out Prima Materia on the internet, and it's apparently just the chocolate solids, with no cocoa butter in it, which is why you've found that it help to add ghee or lecithin.  My main objection to carob chips is that they lack the mouth-feel of chocolate chips, so I imagine that I might have the same problem with PM -- and it looks like I'd have to order several pounds of the stuff at once.  (I figure if anybody made carob chips with cocoa butter, I'd really like them.)

I like carob in some things -- I use one part carob powder with two parts instant grain-coffee powder.  The bitterness of the grain coffee makes the blend taste a lot more like cocoa than the carob does by itself.


Carol

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ISA-MANUELA
Wednesday, November 16, 2005, 7:16am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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oooo yum-yum and please this part in form of white choc.... I ow the reply to Chanur since her last easter lamb.... and I couldn't find the right address here in Switzerland
Don.... what do you think.... is this the right address? should I get my right thumb in hmmmmmmmmm hope it fits and thanks
hey man of US... you become more and more vivide in your area.... whats here the matter ? h I am curieuse..you knowed this

oooo....aaaaa. I've got it dearle.... you  made a big deal with yourself and now hoppp
this is the result... hey just great btw.

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Carol_the_Dabbler  -  Wednesday, November 16, 2005, 7:19am
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Whimsical
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Kyosha Nim
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Hi Carol,

The chocolate is a bit more like fudge - you need to refrigerate it to keep it from getting really gooey.  I have never used ghee to make this, but you could try with 1/2 to 3/4 the amount of butter called for.  I imagine it might make it more wet, so you might need to add more nut or flax meal to balance that out.  I think I will try it with ghee - I'll let you know how it goes!  


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Carol the Dabbler
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I finally decided what the heck, I'll get some non-organic unsweetened chocolate from the grocery store, and try sweetening it with maple syrup or something to make my own chocolate chips/chunks for cookies.  Fortunately, I read the ingredients before I actually bought it.  It contains milk solids!  This is good ol' reliable Baker's brand unsweetened chocolate.  Doesn't anybody make plain unsweetened chocolate -- organic or otherwise?


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Lola
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fished this out for you, hope you find what you need! )
-dagoba has a bit of sugar....
http://www.dagobachocolate.com/store/product.php?productid=12&cat=3&page=1
http://www.chocosphere.com/Html/Products/dagoba.html
.

-Prima Materia on the internet, and
it's apparently just the chocolate solids.

-http://www.enjoylifefoods.com
have allergy free chocolate chips......need to check ingredients...
-Dove dark chocolate promises
-Sunspire does produce a dairy & corn free
chocolate chip:

Ingredients: Organic chocolate (organic sugar,
organic unsweetened chocolate, organic cocoa
butter, organic vanilla beans, soy lecithin)

Available from: http://www.veganessentials.com/catalog/sunspire-organic-semi-sweet-chocolate-chips.htm
-Rapunzel Foods http://www.rapunzel.com
organic Swiss chocolate, organic
cocoa
-Endangered Spieces Chocolate Company
http://www.chocolatebar.com?

Rainforest Bar:

http://www.chocolatebar.com/tek9.asp?pg=products&cid=&grp=6



''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
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Carol the Dabbler
Monday, December 12, 2005, 9:48pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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My goodness, Lola, thanks for all that info!

As you mention, several of them definitely contain a sweetener that's not approved for A-nonnies.  I had checked out the Prima Materia before, and as you say, it's just the chocolate solids, which I think means no cocoa butter, so the mouth feel would not be the same.

I will check out the rest.  Thanks again.


Carol

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Lola
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hope you find something you like....
organic cocoa powder is your best bet, I think.......
this one seems compliant
http://www.goraw.com/products/home.php?cat=2


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
DNA mt/Haplo H; Y-chrom/J2(M172);ISTJ
The harder you are on yourself, the easier life will be on you!

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Victoria
Tuesday, December 13, 2005, 1:55am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Dagoba has an organic cocoa powder that has pieces of unsweetened chocolate in it, according to their customer service specialist who emailed me in response to my request.  (Like you, I have been searching for an organic, unsweetened chocolate).



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Carol the Dabbler
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At this point, Victoria, I'd settle for a non-organic unsweetened chocolate, as long as it doesn't contain any of my Avoids.

I had been thinking all along that if I couldn't find a compliant organic chocolate, I could always relax my standards for the sake of an occasional treat -- so it was quite a shock to find out that my fall-back plan was flawed.  I can't figure out why good ol' Baker's unsweetened chocolate has milk solids in it!  I had assumed that it was just dark chocolate without any sweetening.

Now I'm trying to think how I could make chocolate-chip cookies with cocoa instead of chocolate.  Maybe if I make fudge (such as Whimsical Kate's Omega-3 Chocolate), scoop out little morsels with a small measuring spoon onto waxed paper and freeze them, then mix them into the cookie dough at the very last minute, so they maintain their integrity -- well, that might be sort of like chocolate-chip cookies....


Carol

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Lola
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just melt cocoa powder and compliant sweetener on a double burner, add lecithin
and some ghee until you get the right consistency.
drop the hot choc liquid onto a parchment paper or aluminum coated tray, let cool so it solidifies, put in the freezer and cut into chips.
(don t have quantities, sorry..)


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
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Victoria
Tuesday, December 13, 2005, 8:21pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Hey, I hear you, Carol!
If you come across something that works, please share it with us!  We have had this discussion before in the Forum, by those of us who love chocolate, and want to hold to our blood type food choices.  There are few options.  I can't believe how wide-spread the use of sugar is!!  Even Organic companies put sugar in everything.  It's not just the non-organic nature of sugar that is a problem.  For those of us whose relationship with sugar is AVOID, it is really disruptive to our bodies!!  Really!
On a recent cross country plane trip, I took some homeopathic remedies that were to prevent jet lag.  They were much larger tabs than the usual tiny pellets, and I was aware while I was eating them that there was quite a bit of sugar that I was consuming.  I got very sick the day after I arrived, and was sick the whole time I was with relatives. . . aching body, chills, runny nose, fatigue.  I would have preferred the jet lag.  I won't eat sugar.  It's not worth it to me anymore.

Lola,
That recipe idea of yours sounds like it has possibilities.  Have you ever tried to make something like that, to see what the end texture is?  It seems at least, that we are able to get unsweetened cocoa powder!
http://www.dagobachocolate.com/store/product.php?productid=20&cat=6&page=1

And Organic cocoa nibs:
http://www.dagobachocolate.com/store/product.php?productid=22&cat=6&page=1
They suggest grinding these cocoa nibs and adding sugar.  My health food store sells maple sugar, which is finely powdered just like sugar.  I wonder.......This might be good, using a little coffee mill , adding maple sugar, and then as Lola suggested, adding lecithin and ghee.



Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
~Mary Jean Irion
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Lola
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here!! found that choc recipe.....)
think it was GCG who posted it once, don t remember:

chocoloate
make it into a bar, just melt an unsweetened
dark chocolate bar over a double
boiler, or in the microwave for 20 seconds
at a time, and stire in the
vegetable glycerine, gently but quickly.  The large bars take at least two
Tablespoons of glycerine, adjusted to taste.  Then add any nuts, fruit, etc.
you'd like. Put it on a paper plate, or wax paper, and keep in the fridge.  
It will set up great, but stays set best if kept refrigerated.
...


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
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Carol the Dabbler
Tuesday, December 13, 2005, 10:21pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Thanks, Lola.  Now all we need to do is find an unsweetened dark chocolate bar.  I'm following up on a tip, and will let you all know in a few days if it pans out....


Carol

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gulfcoastguy
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Yes I posted that recipie a while back. Roughly one 8 ounce bar of unsweetened chocolate, 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract, between 3 and 5 tablespoons of vegetable glycerine, chopped appropriate nuts and dried fruit. Melt chocolate, add vanilla and glycerine and stir, add nuts and fruit, spread out on wax paper and refrigerate till it hardens. Becarefull  of the amount of dried fruit if you are a nonnie, especially dates, also check and see if the dried fruit is sweetened with corn syrup or sugar.
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Lola
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thanks GCG! )


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
DNA mt/Haplo H; Y-chrom/J2(M172);ISTJ
The harder you are on yourself, the easier life will be on you!
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Carol the Dabbler
Friday, December 16, 2005, 1:03am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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OK, Victoria, et al., there's good news and there's bad news.  First the bad news: I still have not found any organic unsweetened plain chocolate.

But the good news is that a tip from Vicki has panned out -- the Ghirardelli Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar has precisely one ingredient: unsweetened chocolate.  No little bitta sugar.  No milk solids.  Just chocolate.

I think I'm going to melt little pieces in individual cups and try sweetening them with different things to see what gives the best taste and texture.  Then I can go a little bit crazy.  Chocolate with crispy rice!  Coconut haystacks!  And the ultimate: chocolate-chip cookies!!!


Carol

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Victoria
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Well, thanks to the stand-by, Ghirardelli!  It may not be organic, but at least it's something!

Are you able to eat maple syrup?  I don't have my book handy to check it?  If so, maple sugar is great in chocolate.

Tonight I bought some Organic Dagoba cocoa powder, which contains organic cocoa and unsweetened chocolate.  It just looks like regular cocoa, but maybe the chocolate in it gives it a bit more flavor.  I thought I'd play with it a bit.



Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
~Mary Jean Irion
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Carol the Dabbler
Friday, December 16, 2005, 10:25pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Yes, maple syrup is a Neutral for me (and I love the flavor).  I'll definitely try that, and probably honey and stevia, and maybe even molasses.

Speaking of molasses -- I've been having trouble finding regular (not blackstrap) molasses.  Even the non-organic kind seems to be scarce these days, but I have not been able to find any organic regular molasses (or Barbados molasses, as some companies call it).  Wholesome Sweeteners (the Sucanat people) used to produce organic Barbados molasses, but it's no longer mentioned on their web site.  All that seems to be on the store shelves now is blackstrap.  Can anyone tell me what's going on?


Carol

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Victoria
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That's interesting Carol, because it used to be the other way around.  When I first discovered Blackstrap in the 70's, it was hard to find, and mostly the available ones were Barbados and other regular molasses.
Those are avoids for me, anyway, so I'm happy to stick with the Blackstrap.  The sugar content is much higher in the regular molasses.



Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
~Mary Jean Irion
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geminisue
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If the urge for chocolate is just to great to handle , take your little finger on your right hand close it into the palm . Tell yourself please relase my craving for chocolate, when it is released your little finger will go up again.  Tell me how it works for you.
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Victoria
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Hey chocolate lovers,
I took a desperate leap and found a way to consume chocolate without the fat AND without the sugar.  Most of you will most likely think "YUK, What the point then?"  Well I really wanted some chocolate, not having eaten any for about a year and a half.  You see, the cocoa butter fat doesn't do my cholesterol any good.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I bought some Dagoba unsweetened organic cocoa.  It contains only cocoa and ground unsweetened chocolate, which gives it a small amount of fat, thus improving flavor in my opinion.

I put a spoonful of the cocoa in my mug, dissolved it in hot water, then added Roasted Dandelion Root tea bags, added more hot water, steeped for 10 minutes, and voila!  It was amazingly good.  It tasted a bit like a mocha without the sweetener.  Of course, you guys could add sweetener....I just chose not to use it.  It was actually a little creamy.   I got quite a buzz though...much more caffeine than green tea, let me tell 'ya!



Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
~Mary Jean Irion
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Lola
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glad you found something you enjoy!! )


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
DNA mt/Haplo H; Y-chrom/J2(M172);ISTJ
The harder you are on yourself, the easier life will be on you!
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HealthNut
Tuesday, December 20, 2005, 3:47am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator
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I just bought this dark chocolate bar that is really good. Not sure if it is what you are looking for or not but just thought I would share it anyway. It is by Endangered Species The Rainforest bar. I don't see where it is organic but it is 70% cocoa. The ingredients are chocolate, unbleached water-filtered beet sugar, cocoa butter, mint oil, soy lecithin, pure vanilla. It tasted very good.
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Carol the Dabbler
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Quoted from HealthNut
I just bought this dark chocolate bar that is really good. Not sure if it is what you are looking for or not but just thought I would share it anyway. It is by Endangered Species The Rainforest bar. I don't see where it is organic but it is 70% cocoa. The ingredients are chocolate, unbleached water-filtered beet sugar, cocoa butter, mint oil, soy lecithin, pure vanilla. It tasted very good.


The problem with most chocolate bars (as far as non-secretors are concerned) is the sugar.  Typebase4 does not specifically mention beet sugar, but so many kinds of sugar are Avoids for most nonnies that I'd place my bet on beet sugar being an Avoid as well.

The bar you mention sounds like a high-quality product (and would probably be fine for an A-secretor), but unfortunately high-quality items with good flavor can still be Avoids for some types.

Do you happen to know what your secretor status is?



Carol

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Victoria
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I just got a reality check from my body. It's amazing how we change when we haven't indulged in something for a long time. I had not eaten chocolate for a LOOOOOOOONG time, and it never occurred to me that the Dagoba Cocoa would hurt me in any way. Was I mistaken!!

I was kept awake most of the night with a throbbing headache, stiff neck, the pain returned in my shoulder, elbow and even my hand. My fingers and right hand are still painful even today. I don't think I can be in the Chocolate club any more.....so sad.....weeping, but smiling anyway, because my body speaks so quickly to tell me what it wants and doesn't want!




Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
Let me not pass you by in quest
of some rare and perfect tomorrow.
~Mary Jean Irion

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Quoted from Victoria
I was kept awake most of the night with a throbbing headache, stiff neck, the pain returned in my shoulder, elbow and even my hand.  My fingers and right hand are still painful even today.  I don't think I can be in the Chocolate club any more.....so sad.....weeping, but smiling anyway, because my body speaks so quickly to tell me what it wants and doesn't want!



You're lucky, Victoria!  Many people either don't get immediate feedback from their bodies or don't recognize it when they do.  My own feedback is generally more diffuse, so I'm often not sure how to interpret it.  But I keep trying....

Tonight I made my first chocolate-chip cookies since starting the BTD.  I melted one of the unsweetened Ghirardelli bars, added some maple syrup, and made my own "chips."  The cookies were good, but I'm not sure I'm enough of a chocoholic to bother making them very often.  Back when I could just open a bag of chocolate chips, they were my most-frequently-made cookie.

We'll see how I feel in the morning!



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Maple syrup is so fantastic.  It's one of my favorite flavors, although at the present time, I do better without any sweeteners except for a tiny amount of Blackstrap, which might not make such a good chocolate chip cookie.  Let us know how you feel.
 
When we start making all our own meals and desserts, I think a lot of things fall away because they take so much time, and that encourages us to simplify.  There's always the occasional treat, though!!



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I've been exploring the uses of Blackstrap lately.  The same bottle had been kicking around in the back of my fridge for years because I thought the flavor was too intense.  But I've tried some of the recipes and ideas from the Blackstrap thread (on the Eat Right forum, I believe), and find that using a judicious amount makes a huge difference.  (I'm not ready to try it in chocolate-chip cookies, though!)

The hot drink (6 oz hot water + 1.5 T Blackstrap + 1 T lemon juice) is delectable.

I also enjoyed a tablespoon of Blackstrap in 2/3 cup of plain (goat-milk) yogurt.  Yummy!


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There's something so satisfying about blackstrap molasses!  It has a rich taste, full flavor.....tastes like food instead of empty sugar.  

That's a surprising twist on the hot drink, Carol.  I've never heard of adding lemon to the Blackstrap.



Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
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Victoria -- that's CrystalIda's recipe, based on an idea passed along by Dancer from the "kind man" who provided the bottle of molasses, all reported somewhere around the middle of the Blackstrap sticky-thread on the Eat Right forum.  Do try it!


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To recap, here's my progress-to-date on the quest for A-nonnie-compliant chocolate chips:

The only plain chocolate I have found -- by which I mean that the only ingredient is chocolate -- is the Ghirardelli Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar, which is sold in upscale grocery stores.  Everyone else's baking or cooking chocolate (including the organic brands) contains either some sort of sugar or (in the case of Baker's brand Unsweetened Baking Chocolate Squares) milk solids.

I was accustomed to making a batch of chocolate-chip cookies with half a bag of chips -- 4 or 5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate -- so I figured that one 4-ounce bar of Ghirardelli's would be just about right for one batch.  According to the bags, the chips I'd been using contained about 65 grams of sugar per 1/2 bag, so I melted a bar of Ghirardelli in a double boiler and stirred in 1/4 cup of maple syrup (which, according to the bottle, would contain about 53 grams of sugar).  There were two problems with this batch:

a) As any experienced candy maker will tell you, melted chocolate stiffens immediately when any liquid is added.  This makes it hard to work with.

b) I was surprised to discover that my result was not nearly as sweet as semi-sweet chocolate.  I hadn't taken the weight of the sweetener into account.  Four ounces of chocolate plus 53 grams (dry weight) of maple sugar comes to more like 6 ounces, and 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate would contain more like 100 grams of sugar, or twice as much as I had put in.

For my next attempt, I tried Stevia Extract Powder, because I had some in the pantry, and because it isn't a liquid.  Half a teaspoon is roughly equivalent to half a cup of most sweeteners, so that's what I used.  Again, I melted the chocolate in a double boiler and stirred the stevia in thoroughly.  I poured the result into a lightly oiled plastic sandwich box and let it cool, then turned it out onto a cutting board and chopped it into roughly chocolate-chip-sized cubes.

The cubes were about the same sweetness as health-food-store chocolate chips, but it was a non-sugary sweetness, so for out-of-hand eating, the taste took a little getting used to.  In a batch of cookies, they were actually pretty good, much better than the ones made with my undersweetened first batch of "chips."

For my next attempt, I'm going to use enough maple sugar (as soon as I can get some) to equal the sweetness of half a cup of the syrup.  Will keep you posted!


Carol

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Thanks for the update, Carol.  We had the same experience with adding maple syrup to unsweetened Ghirardell's chocolate bar.  It was not nearly sweet enough.  

Are you able to find maple sugar where you live?  If and when I try this again, I think maple sugar is a better possibility than the syrup.



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Victoria -- You took the words right out of my keyboard!  You must have been posting your message while I was revising mine (see above) to include the rest of my account-to-date.


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nice try! )


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
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It's just that great minds run along the same bike path!    



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Once we finish our run along the bike path, we can fuel up again with some chocolate-chip cookies!


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Plamil here in Europe has some new products like one that was sweetened with xylitol aka birch tree sugar. Xylitol seems to suit me very well in modest amounts. Unfortunately these sugar free alternatives apparently can't be certified as organic. Plamil Ingredients List


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Quoted from lola
try ground cocoa plain and add Veg Glycerin,,,,,,mix well.......it becomes like a paste......you can add nuts to that....a teaspoon of that or two will give you the choc 'fix' you need!! )


I'm at that time of the month where all I can think about are sweets and compliancy sometimes goes out the window.  I was on my way to the store to get some Junior Mints when I remembered this post.  I went to WF and bought some Cocoa Powder and vegetable glycerin.  I mixed them as Lola recommended, added some nuts and Wow!!  I'm satisfied!  So glad I tried this first.  

I also experimented with adding ghee, blackstrap, cinnamon, peanut butter...just doing different combinations, and they were all good.  Glad I foud something sweet to get me through the PMS cravings!


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Carol, I think you will have better success if you add some fat like ghee to your melting.  Remember, a regular chocolate bar has cocoa butter and lecithin to keep it smooth.
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Thanks for the idea, Vicki.  My quibble with the stevia batch was really more the flavor, though -- I didn't think it was quite good enough for eating straight.  But the texture wasn't bad.  What I'm starting with is actually a chocolate bar, not cocoa powder.  It has absolutely no sweetening, but it does contain the usual amount of cocoa butter, so the texture is fairly "melty," and I suspect that sweetening it with maple sugar will make the texture even better.  (But I'll keep your suggestion in mind, in case it still seems lacking -- goodness knows, ghee never hurt anything!)

I have the maple sugar on order from the buying club, by the way, and it should be here in early February.  The Ghirardelli baking chocolate was on sale a while back at Wild Oats, so I'm well stocked on that already.

Further adventures lie ahead!


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Only a little bit of added fat is needed.
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connect,
what joy!!! )


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connect,
what joy!!! )



Lola,
Is there any drawback to unsweetened cocoa powder?


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I do not see why there would be, no.

did you check the value for cocoa bean in typebase?


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
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I understand overconsumption of cocoa may increase the level of copper. High copper may lead to pain in joints and such.


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Quoted from lola
I do not see why there would be, no.

did you check the value for cocoa bean in typebase?


I checked, but can't find it in the typebase...........


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Earlier in the thread, we were discussing making eating chocolate with unsweetened choc. bars, and I had success tonight with this recipe:

1/3 of a big bar of unsweetened Ghiradelli Chocolate (baking chocolate)
approx 3 Tb. maple sugar (to taste)
Walnuts, Almonds, or other nuts and/or raisins etc.

Melt the chocolate in a heavy skillet or pan on low heat
Stir in the maple sugar and mix well.  Add more to taste.  Stir for a bit to dissolve the granules.
Then mix in any nuts or dried fruit that you like.

Scrape it all off onto a saucer and either eat warm with a spoon!    or cool and break/cut into pieces.

Quite good, actually.  It was made during a chocolate attack with nothing else available, and I was unwilling to run to the store.



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nice choc fix try!! )
happy you enjoyed it!


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
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Quoted from Victoria

1/3 of a big bar of unsweetened Ghiradelli Chocolate (baking chocolate)
approx 3 Tb. maple sugar (to taste)
Walnuts, Almonds, or other nuts and/or raisins etc.


Victoria -- Was the Ghirardelli bar the 4-ounce size?  And would you say that adding 3 Tbsp of maple sugar resulted in semi-sweet or sweetie-sweet chocolate?  (Or what?)

I'm glad to hear that the general principle works, and your experience may save me some trial and error when my maple sugar arrives next week.

Thanks!


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Proto -- If you eat chocolate as an occasional treat, there should be no problem.  If you're eating it regularly, then you should check into the copper question via a Google search -- and let us know what you find, OK?

Connect -- The closest to cocoa powder on Typebase is chocolate (http://www.dadamo.com/typebase4/depictor5.pl?113), which is neutral for everybody.  I believe that cocoa is basically just chocolate with the cocoa butter removed, so I would feel fairly comfortable assuming that it's also neutral for everyone.  No guarantees, of course.


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Quoted from Carol_the_Dabbler


Victoria -- Was the Ghirardelli bar the 4-ounce size? And would you say that adding 3 Tbsp of maple sugar resulted in semi-sweet or sweetie-sweet chocolate? (Or what?)

I'm glad to hear that the general principle works, and your experience may save me some trial and error when my maple sugar arrives next week.

Thanks!


Gee, I don't know about ounces, Carol, and the bar is gone now  
It was a big bar.  In my mind, I'm imagining about 5 or 6 inches long.  But maybe they have a really Giant bar, and this was not THAT BIG!

Good luck.  You have to stir a bit to melt the maple sugar granules.




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Victoria
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Oh, last part of your question, Carol.  3 T per 1/3 bar resulted in a semi-sweet,
NOT bittersweet,
NOT sweetie-sweet!

Bar.




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Looks like cocoa is not only high in copper - like 5mg per 100g of cocoa powder but also generally speaking high in cadmium. African organic cocoa may be lower in cadmium apparently because their soil isn't as volcanic as that of Central America. There is at least one brand of Organic Malagasy chocolate in Europe and it seems that the American River Chocolate Company uses organic Tanzanian chocolate in their sauces. Unfortunately both these manufacturers use sugars that are unsuitable for a nonnie.


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Quoted from Carol_the_Dabbler
Proto -- If you eat chocolate as an occasional treat, there should be no problem. If you're eating it regularly, then you should check into the copper question via a Google search -- and let us know what you find, OK?

Connect -- The closest to cocoa powder on Typebase is chocolate (http://www.dadamo.com/typebase4/depictor5.pl?113), which is neutral for everybody. I believe that cocoa is basically just chocolate with the cocoa butter removed, so I would feel fairly comfortable assuming that it's also neutral for everyone. No guarantees, of course.


Thanks Carol~


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Is vegetable glycerin a sweetener?

Are there carbohydrates, if so how many?

Where do you buy it ?

Thanks!
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Victoria -- Thanks!  As far as I recall, the Ghirardelli web site mentioned only the one size, and it's the only size I've seen, and it measures -- let's see now -- 7-3/8 inches long.  So it sounds like we're on the same page there.

I had estimated that I'd need about half a cup of maple sugar for the whole bar.  Three tablespoons per 1/3 bar works out to 9 tablespoons for the whole bar, and half a cup would be 8 tablespoons.  So we're in the same ballpark on that part as well.

The maple sugar should be here next Tuesday [*fingers crossed*].

Sue -- Yes, it can be used as a sweetener.  No, it's not a carbohydrate.  (Those who are better-versed than I can explain what it is.)  And you can buy it in health-food stores.  Look for bottles of Pure Vegetable Glycerine in either the baking-supplies section or the skin-care section (it's also a good moisturizer).  If you don't see it, ask -- the store may have come up with a third category for it.


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Have you thought about Agave syrup for the sweetener?  It's thicker than veg. glycerine and has almost a maple syrup taste.  It's what Dr. D. uses in the Unibars because it metabolizes slowly and doesn't make you blood sugar rise.  You can get the agave syrup (I bought the light) at Whole Foods.  It doesn't have any aftertaste at all.  I'm a real chocoholic.  I'm wondering if the choc. I've been eating is what's contributing to my achy knees.  I never thought about the copper.
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The reason that I'm wanting to try maple sugar (as opposed to maple syrup) is that adding any liquid at all to melted chocolate makes it thicken up immediately, so that it's hard to continue working with.  Considering how little chocolate I eat, it's not likely to cause any imbalances, as long as I avoid any Avoids.

Agave nectar is definitely good stuff.  And it definitely has no aftertaste.  I find that it doesn't taste quite "right" in some recipes, though, due to that very fact.  I never realized that sugar had an aftertaste until I tasted agave nectar.  It's sweet, and then it just stops.


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Quoted from Victoria

You have to stir a bit to melt the maple sugar granules.



Well, the maple sugar was delivered to the buying club right on schedule.

I got all set up this afternoon, filled the bottom of the double boiler with hot water, measured out my 1/2 cup maple sugar, and oiled a plastic ice-cube tray.  Then I lightly toasted 1/4 cup of coconut so it'd be ready too.

My idea was to melt the whole 4-ounce bar, then mix "enough" of it with the coconut, figuring I'd still have some chocolate left so I could try it plain as well -- thus the ice-cube tray instead of one big container.  And that's exactly what I did.

Then I noticed the half-cup of maple sugar still sitting there.

Scraped everything back into the double boiler, coconut and all.  Added the maple sugar.  Stirred.  Stirred some more.  Stirred a while longer.  Kept right on stirring.  Still gritty.  I finally got tired of stirring and spooned it into the tray anyhow.  I'll eat it, but it's not quite what I had in mind.

Victoria, I notice that you say, "Melt the chocolate in a heavy skillet or pan on low heat."  Maybe my double boiler doesn't get quite hot enough.  Or maybe the coconut interfered with the sugar dissolving or melting or whatever it's supposed to do.  Any advice?

Next time, I'll be sure to add the maple sugar to the melted chocolate before I get fancy!


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Yeah, I kinda think the maple sugar should go in with the chocolate at the very beginning, and keep the heat really low for a while so you can stir without the chocolate getting TOO hot.  You can always add your condiments after you are satisfied with the maple sugar texture.

Mine didn't completely dissolve smoothly either, but it was almost melted.  The grittiness was very finely textured when I was satisfied with it, not coarse, and honestly it didn't bother me.  But it did take some time over low, low heat, just enough to soften the chocolate enough to be able to stir.  I got impatient, otherwise, I think more time would have allowed the maple sugar to completely dissolve.

If you put maple sugar in a cup of warm water, it would also take a while to dissolve.  I think time and warmth is more important than stirring.  It won't be rushed.



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Thanks for the feedback, Victoria!

I'm thinking that since there isn't much water in chocolate, maybe the sugar doesn't so much dissolve as melt, which would take a higher heat, perhaps too high for the chocolate.  Maybe it would work better to melt the sugar by itself first, as though one was about to make hard candy, then take the pan off the burner and stir in the chocolate.  I'll check out some hard-candy recipes for the technique and maybe give that a try next time.

There has to be a way to do this.  I mean, the candy companies do it all the time.  (Which is why normal people don't have to do it at home!)

One thing that did work really well, though, was the plastic ice-cube tray.  I spread just a tiny bit of oil in each of the cups (which may or may not be necessary, but I'm a coward), distributed the chocolate into them, and let it cool overnight.  This morning, the little cubes just popped right out when I twisted the tray -- homemade Chunky Bars!


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Chocolate nibs are an alternative without the sweetener.
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I had never heard of chocolate nibs, so did a Google search, and found out that they're pieces of cacao bean.  Those wouldn't melt, would they?


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Quoted from Carol_the_Dabbler


I'm thinking that since there isn't much water in chocolate, maybe the sugar doesn't so much dissolve as melt, which would take a higher heat, perhaps too high for the chocolate. Maybe it would work better to melt the sugar by itself first, as though one was about to make hard candy, then take the pan off the burner and stir in the chocolate. I'll check out some hard-candy recipes for the technique and maybe give that a try next time.

There has to be a way to do this. I mean, the candy companies do it all the time. (Which is why normal people don't have to do it at home!)


You have a good point about the lack of water in the chocolate.  I haven't made any more to test this theory, but I'm wondering if it would help to warm the pan only enough to melt the chocolate, add the maple sugar, and keep the heat at that temperature for quite a while, just to give the maple sugar time to decide to melt.

And chocolate nibs will not melt.  They are more like the texture of ground coffee beand.



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Carol, you may need to learn about tempering chocolate if you're goal is to do this without the help of a little ghee or other fat.

Check out the tips here:  http://whatscookingamerica.net/chocolate.htm

Quoted Text
   

Remember, chocolate is an oil-based product, and oil and water don't mix. Be careful not to drip any water into the chocolate. One drop of moisture in the chocolate makes it tighten and become unsatisfactory for dipping. Thoroughly dry all spoons, whisks, and bowls used for stirring or melting chocolate.

If chocolate starts to harden after melting, add enough vegetable oil to liquefy.
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Victoria -- I have found one recipe (in Joy of Cooking) that involves melting sugar with no liquid.  It says to put the sugar in a skillet over low heat and stir constantly until it caramelizes.  So you're right, low heat is sufficient.  I think my problem was that the coconut has less heat capacity than either chocolate or sugar, so the effect was almost as though it lowered the temperature of the mixture.  I have no idea what the relative heat capacities of sugar and chocolate are, so I think I will try melting the sugar by itself first, since the recipe claims that will work, then add the chocolate and let it melt, then add anything else.  If you get around to trying your method (melting the chocolate first) before I try mine, let me know how it turns out!

Vicki -- My chocolate did indeed "tighten" when I used maple syrup, but not with either of the dry sweeteners (stevia and maple sugar).  I suspect it helps that I'm not using the chocolate for dipping, just for making sweetened chocolate (with or without added nuts, etc.), which is apparently a less tricky procedure.  I'll keep your advice in mind, though, in case I decide to use a liquid sweetener again sometime.


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I sampled some dark chocolate that was sweetened with maltitol. I suppose maltitol doesn't have a rating, but since it is made from sprouted grain it could be ok. At least I haven't felt myself more ill than I normally do By day that is, because last night I woke up with a need to visit toilet and while there experienced nausea. Taking some ginger and nutritional yeast seemed to take care of that. Some milk fat - clarified butter? - has been  added to the list of usual ingredients. Cocoa content is at 44 per cent.  A link to their site. I'm afraid no organic products are featured and some of the graphics they use are not PC.



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Here is a list of corn ingredients:  http://www.cornallergens.com/list/corn-allergen-list.php
Maltitol is on the list.  Corn being an avoid for non-secretors.


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Quoted from Vicki

-- corn ingredients--
Well, their supplier couldn't say exactly how they make their maltitol The source is either wheat or maize maltose. In my experience corn maltodextrin seems to produce headache, but maltitol does not. Perhaps that's because maltitol is more alcohol like stuff and it is said to be free of allergens ie. proteins.


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Quoted from proto

The source is either wheat or maize maltose. In my experience corn maltodextrin seems to produce headache, but maltitol does not. Perhaps that's because maltitol is more alcohol like stuff and it is said to be free of allergens ie. proteins.



It may also depend on how pure it is.  If it's been purified down to nothing but maltitol, then the "corn" part may not matter -- sort of like soy lecithin being OK even where soy is an Avoid.

Of course, maltitol itself may turn out to be an Avoid for some folks.




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Quoted Text
Maltitol is
one of the polyalcohols obtained by catalytic hydrogenation of monosaccharides. Its only warning on the product is that excessive intake may have a laxative effect. We have no ABO rating for it... proceed with caution.


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OK, I finally ate the last of the batch I made on February 8.    (Dud chocolate turns out to be the best cure yet for chocolate cravings.)

So now I'm gearing up for another batch.  I'm planning to make chocolate-chip cookies for the vegetarian-group meeting on April 7, so this one better turn out -- will keep you all posted!



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Oh, so we're back here again, are we, Carol! ?  
Well, you eat some for me, ok?  Since our last conversation on this topic, I have (at least for now) stopped trying to find a compliant chocolate, because I have found that the cocoa itself stimulates me more than a cup of coffee.  This is even if the ingredients are all neutral.  Too bad on that, cause I sure like the stuff.  
I tried the last time just mixing 2 tsp. unsweetened Dagoba awesome cocoa powder into some hot water and sipping it like a cup of cocoa.  It was actually amazingly delicious, and for the next 10 hours, I felt like I had electricity running through my body!



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I don't tolerate chocolate terribly well, either, Victoria.  Actually, I don't tolerate any stimulants terribly well -- cheap date, that's me!

That's why I'm planning to make the chocolate-chip cookies for a group.  I can have a few, which I will enjoy, but I don't have to worry about what to do with the rest of them.

Mom bakes big batches of cookies and puts them in the freezer until she has company.  (Mom invented will power.)  I know myself too well to even try that!


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Not even green tea for you, Carol?



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Not unless you want to see me flapping around the ceiling!


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Quoted from Carol_the_Dabbler

Not unless you want to see me flapping around the ceiling!

I have a similar issue...I drink decaf coffee and decaf green tea, but last week I had a cup of White tea and wondered why I was so wired!


It is not my responsibility to convince anyone of anything.
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Drea,
White tea is supposed to have less caffeine than green tea, and it's advertised to be drunk all day.  I don't drink green tea after noon, but I once tried a cup of White tea before dinner, and I hardly slept that night!

Carol,
I hear you about being a cheap date!  That's why I usually end up cooking a meal for my sweetie and me.  It gets too silly trying to find something.....ANYTHING that I can eat off most menus.  Although I have found a couple of better quality restaurants that I get to go to for an occasional date.  $20 a plate, plus wine, although I don't get dessert.  Lots of lamb, beef and salmon for this B to choose from!



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I have succeeded in making a significantly higher quality of dud chocolate!

I started with one 4-ounce Ghirardelli Unsweetened Chocolate Baking Bar and 1/2 cup of maple sugar, same as last time (except no coconut this time).

As planned, I started by melting the maple sugar.  It took longer than expected and needed constant stirring, so my arm got pretty tired.  Also, by the time all of the sugar had melted, some of what had melted earlier had stuck to the sides of the pan and had rehardened.

But I forged ahead and started adding broken bits of chocolate to the melted sugar.  About this time, it occurred to me that the sugar on the sides of the pan might have stayed melted if I had been using a larger burner, so I turned on a larger burner and moved the pan over.  Apparently the burner wasn't hot enough yet, because the melted chocolate immediately stiffened up.  I kept stirring in hopes that it would re-liquify, but no dice, so I finally transferred the blob into an oiled plastic container to cool.

The "finished product," rather than resembling a good semi-sweet chocolate bar, is more like a batch of dud fudge -- the flavor is fairly pleasant, but the texture is grainy.  This is a major improvement over gritty -- but not at all what I was aiming at.

Even though I can avoid the cool-burner problem by simply starting out on a large burner after this, I am coming to the conclusion that chocolate is much more temperamental than I had assumed.  If I side-step one hurdle next time, I'm likely to discover another hurdle just beyond it.  Referring to the Joy of Cooking, I found that such stiffening (known as "seizing") can be remedied by adding a small amount of vegetable shortening to the mix.  The book is adamant that one must not use butter, but I am guessing that's because butter contains a significant amount of water, and any liquid will cause chocolate to "seize."  Using ghee should avoid this.

Vicki, are you still there?  I capitulate!  I kept assuming that your ghee was intended to make the chocolate more melty -- but now I suspect you were telling me how to avoid "seizing," and I was too dense and stubborn to understand.  After this, I will make things easier on myself, and include a little ghee!

But not right away.  I still have a batch of dud fudge to finish up.


Carol

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Carol_the_Dabbler  -  Saturday, March 25, 2006, 12:21am
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you never stop trying, Carol!!
bravo all the same!
and thanks for sharing!


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This series of fiascos has a silver lining, Lola -- by the time I actually figure out how to make good semi-sweet chocolate, I'll be so sick of the whole business that I'll never want to eat the stuff again!


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Tip for breaking any addiction:  Try and make a healthy version of it!  


Carol, have you tried the whole business over a double boiler?



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I'm pretty sure that I used a double boiler the first time or two, before I started using maple sugar.  How about you?  And if so, did the sugar melt?


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I only did it the one time, and it was in a heavy skillet.  Like you, I ended up with a product that tasted great, but still had some maple sugar grainy texture to it.  I'm not eating chocolate at this time, so my experiments have been shelved!



When you used the double boiler, did the sugar melt then?



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I haven't used the double boiler at all since I got the maple sugar.  I may have used it only the first time, with the maple syrup.


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Update:

I still haven't gotten myself psyched up enough to try making a batch of homemade semi-sweet chocolate with ghee.  I do have a couple bars of the Ghirardelli baking chocolate left, though, so I'll presumably get around to it one of these years.

Meanwhile, I have relaxed my standards a little more, and am using Sunspire Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips from the health-food store.  They're not organic (but then neither is the Ghirardelli baking chocolate).  The ingredients are "Whole Grain Malted Barley and Corn, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin (and Emulsifier), Pure Vanilla."  I'm not real happy about the malted corn, but it hasn't been tested yet, so it could be a Neutral for A nonnies (after all, sprouting makes wheat OK for us, and malting is sprouting).  The flavor is mellow, not nearly as sweet as regular chocolate chips (about 8 grams of sugar per ounce, as compared to about 16 grams in Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels).


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Please let us know how they turned out.

Alia


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Quoted from Alia_Vo
Please let us know how they turned out.



If you mean the next batch of homemade semi-sweet chocolate "chips," that won't be until I'm stricken with an uncontrollable urge to try again.  Eventually.

If you mean what I've been using the Sunspire chips in, they turned out great!  So far, I've made several batches of Crispy Brown Rice treats with them, and am looking forward to chocolate-chip cookies.



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Carol,
Any of your latest culinary cooking experiences with using chocolate that you care to share with us--this information may help forum members.

Alia


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I apologize for this really long post.  

I contacted a place on the web called Chocosphere (www.chocosphere.com).  I talked to the owners, a husband and wife who were both very nice and willing to talk at length about the sources and the purity of the chocolate they sell.  They have an organic 100% chocolate bar or block made by Dagoba.  It has nothing but chocolate in it.  They have spent a lot of time talking directly with the owner of Dagoba and feel very good about him and the company.  Dagoba is a fair trade company that tracks the source of the raw materials assuring that only humanely treated fairly paid people are used to maintain, harvest and process the crop.   The sources are guaranteed to be organic.  Because of this extra effort the product is more expensive but I think it is worth it.  

Lola mentioned the Prima Materia chocolate earlier in the thread.  It turns out that Prima Materia is the complete chocolate from the bean both cocoa butter (fat) and the cocoa solids with nothing else added.  And it is organic.  

Go to:
http://www.chocosphere.com/cgi-bin/webstore/web_store.cgi
About a quarter of the way down the page you will find the chocolate bar Dagoba Organic Prima Materia Chocolate.  Here is the description: "A 100% cacao-content bar (no sugar or other additions) for eating or culinary applications. Careful bean selection and blending ensure a palatable astringency. Powerful flavor, not for the faint of heart. USDA certified organic. Kosher Dairy, KSA."

About the note that says “Kosher-Dairy, KSA”:  The owner told me it is a disclaimer about being packaged in a facility that also packages products containing dairy.

Scroll to the bottom of the page and look for Prima Materia 100% Brick.  It is like the bar but in a 2 lb scored block.

Also notice the Dagoba "Unsweetened" Organic Hot Chocolate about halfway down the page.  The description says it can be made with milk but the owner of Dagoba, whose name apparently is Dagoba drinks it in hot water like coffee!  Here is the description:  "A unique chocolate beverage that is all about Cacao and Chocolate, nothing else! Fair Trade Certified, Dagoba Organic Unsweetened Hot Chocolate is made from the finest varietal cacao beans from Latin and Central America. These beans are blended to create a perfect balance of flavors and texture, promising a rich, decadent and exquisite drink. Prepare this special, intense chocolate drink with hot milk. Enjoy the pure chocolate flavor, or feel free to add a sweetener of your choice."  


I ordered all three of these, they are on the way.  I am going to try sweetening it with maple crystals which I think is just dried maple syrup.  I think I will also try drying agave nectar in my dehydrator to use as sweetener.     

By the way... for Star Wars fans, the name Dagoba is not pronounced like Yoda's planet.   The planet Dagobah is pronounced DAY-go-bah.  Dagoba the chocolate maker is pronounced dah-GO-bah.      
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you ll have a feast!


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I tried the 100 % Dagoba chocolate bar a while ago. It is very different to the chocoloate I used to eat, but I liked it. It lasted for a long time in my fridge.
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Quoted from Curious
It is very different to the chocoloate I used to eat


Hello Curious, from your post it sounds like you don't eat chocolate anymore.  Do you react specifically to chocolate?    Of course, if this is too personal please ignore it and accept my apologies.   Were you able to replace it with something?... skydiving, alligator wrestling?    It would take something REALLY intense to take my mind off chocolate.  
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there are a few chocolate ideas on the recipe base......
you might want to check those out and find a compliant one for you.


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
DNA mt/Haplo H; Y-chrom/J2(M172);ISTJ
The harder you are on yourself, the easier life will be on you!
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Vicki
Thursday, November 22, 2007, 3:11pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Sun Beh Nim
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Organic 100% cocoa powder is available from Equal Exchange...the label says it is processed in the same facility as processes wheat and soy.  
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Curious
Friday, November 23, 2007, 4:21am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from shazamda


Hello Curious, from your post it sounds like you don't eat chocolate anymore.  Do you react specifically to chocolate?     Were you able to replace it with something?... skydiving, alligator wrestling?    It would take something REALLY intense to take my mind off chocolate.  


Shazamda, I used to eat gourmet chocolates (the very expensive ones), but I stopped eating them because they would have all sorts of avoids in them. But I still eat chocolate, predominantly the Lindt 85% one - it has some sugar and vanilla, so I only have a little bit. A 100 g bar lasts for weeks in my fridge.
Alligator wresting could be great, but no alligators where I live. I guess I have replaced the chocolate with fruits, at the moment mangoes are my favorites - the mango season has just started
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