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Old 11-02-2004, 08:16 AM   #11
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Merstar, I, too, am a dedicated fan of Scharffen Berger cocoa. Wonderful stuff! There's just something about Lindt that just doesn't "fit" me...can't put my finger on it, but Guittard and even Valrona (a second in my mind) are higher choices in bars for me.

Anyway, Darkstream, as aluded to in kansasgirl's wonderful additions here (ahem, as always!), I can offer this basic ratio:

Gelatin at 1/2 tablespoon (3.5 g.) per 3 US cups (24 fl. oz.) of dairy liquid. A higher ratio (3.5 g. to 16 fl. oz) is required for gelling of fruit juices.

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Old 11-02-2004, 04:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Audeo
Merstar, I, too, am a dedicated fan of Scharffen Berger cocoa. Wonderful stuff! There's just something about Lindt that just doesn't "fit" me...can't put my finger on it, but Guittard and even Valrona (a second in my mind) are higher choices in bars for me.
I know what you mean about Lindt - I've tried the 70% bittersweet, and while it's pretty good, it seemed one-dimensional. I much prefer Scharffen Berger 70% bittersweet and Ghirardelli bittersweet and semi-sweet. I haven't tried Guittard yet, and I dislike both Valrhona and El Rey.

BTW, have you ever tried Pernigotti cocoa powder from Italy? It's a Dutch processed cocoa and is supposed to be fantastic. It's the next on my list to try - Williams-Sonoma sells it. I've been using Droste whenever I need Dutched cocoa, and I love it, but I want to try the Pernigotti and see how it compares. Apparently, it's deeper and richer than Droste. We shall see.

Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces.
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Old 11-03-2004, 08:50 AM   #13
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Lindt Excellence 85% Cocoa

Dark Extra Fine

Lindt & Sprungli AG, Kilchberg, Suisse


Kansagirl seems to have located a supply in the US.

Do you know what Dutch Process cocoa is, and how it is different?

What is buttermilk, is there a substitute, what is the fat content?

I will have to check if I can use whole milk. I have been told not to drink or put it in
tea or coffee. But a trick I use is to add (genuine) dried skim milk powder to semi
skimmed milk. This makes it a lot thickert and creamier, without the fat. I may well
give it a try.

The egg substitute I have at present is an Australian product called Orgran No Egg. It
works OK for egg crumbing cutlets, but I have not tried it really in baking, since I can
have a few eggs. Just not egg instensive dishes. I says it is used for baking, fillings,
batter and custard, so I guess it should work.

It appears to be for vegans and extreme dietary malfunction. It contains potato starch,
tapioca flour, vegetable gum, calcium carbonate and citric acid.

Do I need an ice cream machine for these recipes? I WAS going to treat myself to a
Gaggia, but after cream and sugar went out the window, I thought it pointless. But if it
would make a really good job, it might be more of a neccessity than a luxury.

I will certainly give them a try using the old whip it and freeze it method and see
what happens.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 11-03-2004, 03:40 PM   #14
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Darkstream, my apology for the time in responding, but having read your query this morning, I knew my response would be lengthy, and certainly improved by a long nap. Twelve-hour shifts do take their toll...

I have not tried the Lindt Excellence. I’ll explore that and appreciate the reference, as well as kansasgirl’s source! Merstar, I have not tried Pernigotti yet (have seen it…), but it is definitely on my radar screen, so thank you for the recommendation also. (I use the Valrhona Dutch-Process now…and not nearly as often as the Scharffen Berger natural….!)

Darkstream, as I understand it, Dutch-processed cocoa is neutralized, if you will, by being treated with an alkali. It doesn’t react, therefore, with baking soda and must be used in recipes calling for baking powder (unless there are other acidic ingredients in sufficient quantities). It easily dissolves into liquids.

Natural cocoa powder is very bitter and has a much more intense flavor (IMO). It is acidic and when used in recipes with baking soda acts as a veritable leavening agent, too. I prefer natural to Dutch-processed in brownies and cookies and certainly in icings, whereas I prefer dutch-processed in most cakes.

Now on the subject of buttermilk…

There is no butter, per se, in buttermilk, and it is lower in fat than sweet milk. Old-fashioned homemade churned buttermilk is the slightly sour liquid that remains after butter is churned, (i.e., milk from the butter or buttermilk). It was usually flecked with tiny spots of sweet, creamy butter that didn't quite make it to the top to be skimmed, but was surprisingly low-fat. The flavor of buttermilk is very similar to plain yogurt and really tastes best when well-chilled. (By the way, plain yogurt is a natural substitution for buttermilk in equal proportions…1 cup yogurt for 1 cup buttermilk, and visa versa.) It is thicker in texture than regular milk but not as heavy as cream.

Commercial buttermilk is actually cultured, a fermented milk typically made from low-fat or skim milk. (Therefore, it typically has less than 80 calories per 1 cup serving, but do check each carton to be certain, since that depends upon the milk used to make it.)

It can also be made at home by combining a portion of cultured buttermilk (as a starter) with milk (whole or 2% is easiest) in a 1-4 part ratio, into a sterile and large mason jar and left at room temperature for 24 hours or so to clabber and thicken, then shaken vigorously to redistribute the curds. It stores in the refrigerator for much longer periods than regular milk, due to its acidity. Home cooks frequently make a substitution of sorts by combining 1 cup of whole milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar. By no means is the taste the same, but it works in a pinch to deliver sourness and thickness. Since buttermilk freezes well (but will need to be shaken well when thawed), I have made my own batch of buttermilk (by the above method) a couple of days before using it in baking. (I do believe that I have admitted to enjoying complexity from time to time here…) But it is so convenient to run down to the store and grab a pint…

Buttermilk is also one of the rising stars in healthcare, especially in diets targeting elevated cholesterol levels and lowering fat intake. It is much more easily tolerated by those who are lactose-intolerant and has the same digestive health benefits as yogurt (since the active bacteria are similar) to quell a queasy stomach and treat a host of GI disorders. But it is in cooking and baking where buttermilk gets its best reputation by adding moisture (pancakes and biscuits), by adding zesty tangs to dressings (our very popular Ranch Dressing for example), and by its acidity being a natural tenderizer in marinades. I personally love our very southern Chicken-Fried Chicken first dipped in buttermilk, then into flour…no eggs are necessary. Oh, and buttermilk is the basis for many a toothy cheese!

Low-fat cultured buttermilk (the most common of all here in the states) has the following typical composition for a 1 cup serving size (8 fl. Oz.):

Calories – 80 (this varies, so check!)
Fat – 1.25g.
Sodium – 135 mg.
Cholesterol – 7 mg.
Total Carbs – 12 g.
Potassium – 360 mg.
Calcium – 275 mg.
Protein 9 g.

Compare that to whole milk at 3.5% milk fat:

Calories – 160
Fat – 8 g.
Sodium – 125 mg.
Cholesterol – 35 mg.
Total Carbs – 14 g.
Potassium -
Protein – 8 g.
Calcium – 300 mg.

I would like to state the fact that I am not a nutritionist by any stretch of the imagination. All of this and other nutritional information has been taken from various textbooks and periodicals, mostly on the subject of diabetes and general nutrition that I have collected over the years. So please do verify your own stated nutritional information for accuracy in that product and not rely solely on my notations herein.

On the subject of ice cream machines, I do believe the Gaggia Geletiera is the crème de la crème of the makers! This might be very dangerous for you, as once you have tasted real homemade ice cream from a quality maker, you will never want store-bought ice cream ever again!!!

I recommend that you take the plunge and get one if you enjoy making ice cream and gelatos and the like. It would certainly allow you to make same within your own dietary restrictions. I use mine (not a Gaggia!) frequently for sorbets and ices and they are so darned convenient to have when the mood strikes…and so much faster and convenient.

I very much look forward to hearing the results of your low-fat ice cream trial – please do let us know!
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Old 11-03-2004, 06:19 PM   #15
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Well it seems like Audeo covered most of it!

Regarding cocoa, I often prefer the natural kind to that which is Dutch processed. I think that it has a much more intense flavor, and something about the 'dutched' kind tastes off to me.

I get nearly all my chocolates from HEB Central Market in Houston. They have a really varied supply of all kinds of chocolates for baking and eating. You can buy the Valrona cocoa and chocolates in bulk too, and that is nice. I have to say that although Lindt is a nice 88% chocolate, I am really prefering the entire line of Dolfin chocolates. They have a great 88% chocolate, as well as others that are combined with really unique spices. Some include dark choc. w/ orange, milk choc. w/ Ceylon cinnamon, milk choc. w/ masala spices (my favorite), and dark choc. w/ ginger. Check out their website - dolfin.com.

I have never had a problem using egg subs. for baking - I think they work fine. They are also great for making ice creams, especially for those who are worried about consuming raw egg products.

I would definitely get an ice cream maker. They are great for gelatos, sorbets, ices, etc. Ice cream does not have to mean 'unhealthy', it takes some creativity to produce quality products. Good luck!

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