Belgian chocolate can be described more as a culinary tradition that date backs to the 19th century, when Belgium was under the reign of King Leopold II. During this time, Belgium gained access to a wide variety of cocoa plants, which began to provide the raw material that is used in the production of some of the finest and best Belgian chocolate, even today. Reports on Belgian chocolate history state that the import of raw cocoa continued even during the times of colonial conflict, which then led to the development of the huge Belgian chocolate industry. The techniques that were used in the manufacture of some of the best Belgian chocolate bars were originally borrowed from the Swiss chocolate makers. As a result of this, gourmet Belgian chocolate emerged, which had its own distinct blend, as it combined chocolate of good, rich quality, with nuts and other flavors, to create several new varieties of chocolate.
Praline chocolate is one of the most common examples of fine Belgian chocolate. As the 20th century progressed, the Belgian chocolate industry grew and starting having an impact on confectioners around the world, especially in Europe and North America. Belgian chocolate is now regarded as being one of the best in the world and what is probably even more noteworthy, is that people can come across a wide variety of unique chocolate recipes with each town in Belgium. Hence, in today’s world there are many chocolate makers that make use of the traditions that were used in the authentic Belgian chocolate recipes.
There are numerous varieties of Belgian chocolate that are famous. Due to the growing awareness of health and fitness, as well as the effect that chocolate can have on a person’s overall health, varieties like dark Belgian chocolate and sugar free Belgian chocolate are in fairly high demand. In fact, just about any chocoholic or connoisseur of chocolate will appreciate the distinctive flavor and texture of dark Belgian chocolate, in which, a blend of pure Belgian cocoa is used, along with unique Belgian chocolate recipes. The best quality dark Belgian chocolate contains a minimum of 70% cocoa, which is slightly higher, in comparison to dark chocolate that is made in the United States. Avid chocolate lovers also state that sugar free Belgian chocolate of a high quality is so good, that it is hard to tell if it is really sugar free or not.
Belgian chocolate recipes
Belgium is not only famous for the unique taste and flavor of the chocolate it produces, but also for the innovative recipes that the chocolate is used in, which includes Belgian chocolate cups, and so on. Given below are a couple of classic Belgium chocolate recipes:
Belgian chocolate truffles
• Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate: 1 pound and 8 ounces
• Cognac: 2 ounces
• Cocoa powder: For dipping
• Invert sugar: 3 ounces
• Milk chocolate: 1 pound and 2 ounces
• Unsalted butter of good quality: 8 ounces
• In a large bowl, place the butter and begin to cream it, till it becomes light and fluffy. After a few minutes, add the invert sugar to the butter and continue creaming them together.
• Melt the milk chocolate using a double boiler, or a microwave oven and once the chocolate reaches the temperature of 95 degrees F (34 degrees C), add it to the butter, along with the cognac. Mix the ingredients well, till they are all combined.
• Allow the mixture to set for a few minutes until its consistency is firm enough and it can be piped into even molds. It is best to avoid placing the truffles in a refrigerator; instead they should be left in a cool area, till they become a bit firm.
• Use a double boiler or the microwave oven to melt the bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. Dip the truffles in the melted chocolate till they are covered properly, before taking them out.
• Stick a fork into the chocolate, taking care not to pierce the truffle cream. Then dip the truffle into the cocoa powder for a minute or so, making sure that the entire truffle is covered with cocoa powder. Shake off any extra cocoa powder before placing the truffle in the refrigerator.
Once the truffle has been set, it should be served at room temperature, for a full flavor experience.
Belgian chocolate flourless cake
• Belgian chocolate bars (broken) or dark Belgian chocolate: 16 ounces
• Light brown sugar: 1 cup, packed
• Organic white sugar: ½ cup
• Strong coffee, hot: ¾ cup
• Unsalted butter at room temperature: 2 sticks
• Unsweetened cocoa powder: 2 tablespoons
• Eggs: 8 large
• Vanilla extract: 1 tablespoon
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line the bottom of a 10 inch spring-foam pan, with some buttered parchment.
• Crush the chocolate, by grinding the broken pieces in a food processor. Once the chocolate has been crushed add the white sugar as well as the brown sugar and continue to pulse the ingredients together, till the mixture within the food processor resembles an even sandy grain.
• Slowly, pour the hot coffee, preferably through the feed tube and then continue the pulsing once again. This time, the chocolate should melt, because of the hot liquid.
• To the same food processor, add the butter along with the cocoa and pulse all the ingredients once again.
• Add the eggs and the vanilla to the mixture and process the ingredients all together, till they form a smooth and creamy batter.
• Pour this batter into the lined pan and wrap the outside with a big piece of foil. Place the pan at the center of the oven and allow the cake to bake for around 55 minutes or more. Once the cake is ready, it should be puffed and slightly cracked. The toothpick test can be used to check if the cake is done or not.
• Allow the cake to cool, before serving it at room temperature.