C is for…favorite foods

Well, favorite foods does not start with a “C“, but cheese and chocolate do:

I tell the students in my introductory food science class, we have an online discussion about favorite foods, that my favorite foods are cheese and chocolate but NOT together.

I had Brie at lunch yesterday with a pear:

And I also ate some Dubliner:

Dubliner is nice and crumbly but the flavor is only good if the cheese is unheated. For some reason the nutty flavor that characterizes Dubliner is destroyed by heat.

The most versatile cheese has to be cheddar. I like mature sharp cheddars, preferably from England, which are so crumbly that you cannot use a cheese slice to cut them. Cheddar can be eaten with fruit, on bread, in a toasted sandwich, or it can be used in cooking. Cheddar retains its flavor when heated. In fact, heating enhances the flavor in someways.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to buy English cheddar in the US – or at least at a reasonable price. So I use Canadian Cheddar for eating, as that is the closest to English and I use New York sharp or Wisconsin Sharp for cooking:

A couple of weeks ago, a friend invited me to learn how to hand dip chocolate. She does this every year, giving out hand dipped chocolates as Christmas gifts. She has all the gadgets, including a chocolate temperer:

That is me you see getting chocolate every where. You are meant to just get two fingers on one hand covered in chocolate, but I couldn’t manage to do the dipping without chocolate get all over my fingers and hands.

The temperer melts the chocolate and heats it to the appropriate temperature needed to temper the chocolate. It also keeps it at the temperature while stirring it. More about how and why to temper chocolate is at Cooking For Engineers, even though he does not have a chocolate temperer. My friend has outgadgeted an engineer.

After five hours of dipping, I had an aching back and a table full of chocolates:

We made fondant and ganache. Some of the fondant was flavored with mint, piña colada, pineapple pieces or dried cherries. The ganache was flavored with orange oil. It was delicious. The pina colada fondant was covered with chocolate and rolled in dessicated coconut.

Here are more picture, just in case you have not seen enough:

I still do not want to eat cheese and chocolate together. A chocolate cheesecake might be one way to mix my two favorite foods, but it seems a lessening of the two rather than an increasing. The best way to mix them, is to go to a Fondue restaurant, like the Melting Pot, and to eat cheese fondue s your started followed by chocolate fondue for dessert.



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