Chocolate Chips

Chocolate chips are small rounds  (1/8″ to 1/2″)  of bittersweet, semisweet, milk or white chocolate that contain less cocoa butter than other chocolates.  On average, they contain 25 to 30 percent cocoa butter, and typically contain vegetable fat.  Why?  Because this renders them able to withstand moderate oven heat so they retain their shape in cookies, brownies, muffins and other baked goods without appearing to melt – although the cocoa does in fact melt.  They just aren’t as fluid as much as most other chocolates.  This is probably the only time when you’ll be glad that your chocolate doesn’t melt very well.

Chocolate chips should not be substituted for other chocolates or be melted unless instructed in a recipe.  When they melt, they become thick, muddy and grainy, and difficult to use.  I have seen them used successfully in cooking recipes such as sauces, fudge and chocolate pudding, but as a rule you shouldn’t substitute them in any baking applications that call for melted chocolate i.e. batters.

 

 

 

 

 

The original chocolate chips were, as lore has it, invented by Ruth Wakefield in 1930 at the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts.  She cut up chunks of a Nestlé semisweet yellow label chocolate bar and added them to a rich butter cookie dough, and hence toll house cookies were born.  Nestlé later bought the rights to her recipe, which is on the bag of Nestlé chocolate morsels, which still come in a yellow label bag, and the recipe is still printed on the back of the bag.  Since then, many variations and permutations of chocolate chip cookies have been invented, all delicious and all attributable to Ruth Wakefield’s invention.

Toll House Cookie recipe:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/original-nestle-toll-house-chocolate-chip-cookies/

Nestlé Toll House morsels (a.k.a. chocolate chips) are mainly found in the U.S., although I have occasionally seen them for sale at Wal-Mart in the Toronto area.  However, there is no shortage here of brands and qualities of chocolate chips, listed here from most to least expensive:  Callebaut bittersweet, semisweet, milk or white chocolate chips (at Whole Foods), Ghirardelli bittersweet, semisweet or white (Lindt outlets and some supermarkets), Hershey’s/Chipits (semisweet, mini semisweet, mint semisweet, milk chocolate and white chocolate – in supermarkets and at Costco), Baker’s (same flavours as Hershey’s – in supermarkets), President’s Choice semisweet (Loblaws/Superstore/No Frills/Zehrs/Fortino’s), etc.

If you’re interested in making your own chocolate chips, then I highly recommend this website where “Laura” demonstrates her method.

www.heavenlyhomemakers.com/making-homemade-chocolate-chips-in-detail

Although I work with chocolate quite a bit both at home and at culinary school, I can’t yet brag about having made my own chocolate chips.  Maybe one rainy day in the future…  I note that she uses coconut rather than vegetable or palm oil, which most of the large-scale manufacturers seem partial to.  One of the comments on Laura’s blog mentions using expeller-pressed coconut oil, which doesn’t taste like coconut at all.  There is a link to an online source for this product at the end of the comment (see “Jennifer – April 21, 2012).  I would think that the flavour of the chocolate would come through better if the oil didn’t have its own distinct flavour or aroma.

Here are some recipes that feature various types of chocolate chips.  I think you’ll enjoy them.

Jacques Torres’ Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies

Jacques Torres’ Secret Chocolate Chip Cookies

http://www.marthastewart.com/314346/jacques-torress-secret-chocolate-chip-co

Suggested wine pairing:  Amarone (Italian Red)

Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Waffle Cookies

Bittersweet Chocolate Chip Waffles Cookies

http://justhelen.net/2012/04/bittersweet-chocolate-chip-waffle-cookies/

Suggested wine pairing:  Cabernet Sauvignon, ruby port or muscat

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/white-chocolate-macadamia-nut-cookies-iii/

Suggested wine pairing:  Viognier, a dry white wine with peach & apricot flavor, or any sparking rosé

White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

White Chocolate Cranberry Blondies

http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/White-Chocolate-Cranberry-Blondies

Suggested wine pairing:  Viognier, Prosecco, an Italian sparkling white wine with aromas of pear and lemon, or any sparkling rosé

Milk Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes

Milk Chocolate Chip Buttermilk Pancakes

http://joythebaker.com/2008/12/milk-chocolate-chip-buttermilk-pancakes/

Suggested wine pairing:  Muscat, a sweet wine with spice, honey, and fruit

Magic Mint Chocolate Bark

Magic Mint Chocolate Bark

http://www.meals.com/Recipes/Magic-Mint-Chocolate-Bark.aspx?recipeid=143921

Suggested wine pairing:  Syrah/Shiraz or Merlot

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