Man, the industry publicity machine is really slipping when a chocolate obsessive like me doesn’t learn that it’s National Chocolate Day until 2:20pm on the day of! Anyway, I suggest the following activities to celebrate this most solemn of holidays:
- Go find someone selling “French” or “Belgian” chocolate and point out why that’s a flawed characterization. (It’s mighty hard to grow cacao in France…)
- Buy some artisan chocolate and share it with a friend
- Post your favorite undiscovered chocolate as a comment to this post, and I’ll work on getting a profile up on the blog.
- Fire up your melangeur and build a batch of 70% dark chocolate using your favorite cacao. Don’t have one? Head over to Chocolate Alchemy and start equipping your own CacaoLab!
I’m recognizing the holiday by working on obtaining a vacuum oven so that I can start making milk crumb, the vital ingredient in making Cadbury-style milk chocolate. It’s a way of drying and concentrating milk into a crumbly/powdery cake that can be used to make milk chocolate. The process also caramelizes some of the milk sugars, resulting in some really nice flavor components. Really interested folks can check out a description of the process in “Advances in Food Research.”