Thursday, April 17, 2014

RECIPE :: Earth Day Chocolate Bars

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Earth Day Chocolate Bars
by Kimberley 

Earth Day Chocolate Bars

April 22 is Earth Day around the world and every year I find a few activities and recipes to celebrate the day with my daughters. Last year we started seedlings for vegetables and made a vegetarian dinner. This year, I am making them a treat to celebrate, recognize and teach the importance of thinking about our impact on our planet. 

One cause that is close to my heart is ethically sourced chocolate. Earth Day is a great opportunity to buy good quality chocolate and talk about why ethically sourced chocolate matters to the planet. From growing practices, harvesting, and processing, chocolate can have a significant impact on people's lives. Chocolate is also one of the most traded commodities in the world so I believe that every time we purchase organic Fair Trade chocolate we are making a difference.

I use organic Fair Trade chocolate in all of my products and home baking. I bought some delicious dark chocolate pistoles (melting chocolate) and used a well-loved chocolate bar mould that I have, and whipped up some chocolate bars for gifts. This is easy, fun and the results are delightful.

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Recipe for Chocolate Bars

Using chocolate or candy moulds is the easiest way to make chocolate treats. All you need is a mould (available at craft stores and kitchen supply stores, or online) and good quality chocolate. 

Temper your chocolate according to the package- each brand has a different temperature that is best for melting. You can also find this information online. 

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The method of tempering chocolate is that you melt it, bringing it to a desired temperature, and then cool it down slightly before pouring it in the mould. This allows the chocolate to set at room temperature and stay set, rather than needing to refridgerate it. 

Do not use chocolate chips. Try to find couveture chocolate, pistoles, or a block of good quality baking chocolate. Many gourmet food stores carry a variety of these with many options for organic and Fair Trade. 

Once your chocolate is melted pour into mould. The plastic one I have used here does not need to be prepped, simply pour the chocolate in and allow to sit at room temperature until set through. Ensure it is kept from heat and sunlight.

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Pop the chocolate bars out and you are ready to wrap and give. You could also add flavourings such as spices, nuts, or dried fruit when the chocolate is melted to create a variety of chocolate bars.

Enjoy this treat and have a great Earth Day!

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Bake Like a Pro tip

Candy thermometers are an affordable kitchen tool that have many uses. You can use it for candy making, tempering chocolate, or deep frying. Essential for candy making, such as caramels or marshmallows, candy thermometers help you cook with precision every time. It is a great investment for your kitchen!

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Guest Contributor: Kimberley Mulla

My Mom gave me my first cookbook when I was six years old. I have been baking & cooking ever since.

I specialize in artisan marshmallows & confections. I want to sell a product that I would feed my children. The ingredients are simple, often local, organic & fair trade as well.

I love making marshmallows. Every single one. It brings me so much joy to create something unique, tasty, and delightful.

You can follow Kimberley

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