The chocolate tip hunt is over, and we received hundreds of really useful tips. Here's the winning tip, and some other ones we really liked.
Many said 'don't eat it all' and others insisted you buy 50% more than the recipe calls for so you have enough to nibble on!
There were also some other great tips that we thought were too good not to share. But remember, these tips have not been verified by our food editors, so follow at your own risk.
They do look pretty good, though!
The winning tip was sent in by Vicky Verwey - thanks Vicky, your copy of Willie's Chocolate Bible is on its way.
To use chocolate in dough mixes (like chocolate Panettone / Pandoro etc.) prevent the chocolate from just mixing with the dough by scooping tiny little balls of melted (but not too runny) chocolate onto wax paper (smooth side up) on a baking tray.
Pop it in the freezer for a few minutes until hard then use a ladle or butter knife to lift the chocolate balls from the wax paper.
Your dough must be ready before you do this then quickly mix the little chocolate balls in your dough and bake your dough in the oven...
Voila! You have your scrumptious dough with little 'surprise' chocolate pieces inbetween instead of a chocolate flavoured dough.
- Use the best quality you can afford - it makes all the difference. The higher the cacao content - 70% - 80% - the better - numerous readers
- Adding gelatine to melted chocolate will allow you to mould it into your desired shape. You can place it in the fridge and it won't go hard; just soft enough to play with - Kelly Bradfield
- Don't use a grater, you'll loose too much goodness to the metal. Rather use a small paring knife and shave off the amount you need - Tandy Sinclair
- To prevent sweet pastry tarts from getting soggy after adding your cream and fruit once the shells are baked, allow them to cool slightly then add melted chocolate to the base to precent the tart going soggy the next day - Renuka Lallbahadur
TIPS FOR MELTING CHOCOLATE WITHOUT SPLITTING/SEIZING
- Use your hairdryer! - Alma Dionisio
- Melt it on defrost in the microwave, checking often - numerous readers
- If it splits, add 2 T of cold water and beat it in - Cheryl Terblanche
- If it splits, beat it with as much elbow grease as you can muster up. It will eventually come together again - Candice A
- Chop chocolate into really small pieces. Melt in a double boiler or glass bowl over boiling water. DON"T let the water or steam come into contact with the chocolate as this causes splitting.
If it does split, stir through a spoonful of vegetable oil (not butter, as it contains water) - Erica van Wyk & Avinia Naidoo
BRINGING OUT THE TASTE
- Add a pinch of salt - numerous readers
- Add a few black peppercorns when melting chocolate - Elize Labuschagne
- Add a pinch of paprika for extra zing - Maya John
- Add a pinch of chilli - Warrick Asher
- Add a pinch of chilli and a shot of brandy for chocolate fondue - Michelle Lawrence
- Add a dash of real vanilla extract for a lovely smooth, rounded flavour - Thea-Mari de Villiers
- Add caramelised fennel or salted caramel - Astrid Wendelstadt
MAKE YOUR OWN CHOCOLATE
Mix together 3 T of cacao, 3 T of sugar and 3 T of cream and cook for a few minutes - Tetyana Bryndzya
MORE CHOCOLATE DELICIOUSNESS
Readers' quick chocolate recipes
How to make chocolate decorations
How to smoke chocolate
All about chocolate ganache