The Chef Within
Making chocolate chips from scratch
So why would any sane person want to make their own chocolate chips? Only one reason I can think of and that is food allergies. The inspiration for this experiment came from a co-worker whose son is allergic to soy lecithin. Soy lecithin is in so many food products, including chocolate chips. She had asked me one day if one could make chips from scratch and the question so intrigued me that I gave it a shot. Here are the results. This post serves as an excercise for anyone who has to be careful with food allergies and would like to substitute/recreate/conjure comporable ingredients.
Cooks frequently substitute unsweetened chocolate baking squares by melting shortening and then adding cocoa. With that in mind I attempted to make a sweetened chocolate version using the same technique.
I used butter, instead of shortening, thinking that would improve the flavor.
That was melted in a small pan…
and then to that I added some powdered sugar and unsweetened cocoa powder.
I used powdered sugar thinking the granulated might turn out grainy. If I were to do this again I might try the granulated, just to see.
FYI – I used the following ratio of ingredients, which once again, may not be perfected but was merely a starting point. The ratio was 4:8:6, in this order…butter:cocoa:sugar and I happened to use tablespoons for the measure.
If I were to repeat this I would try less butter and a little more sugar. Just a thought but it demonstrates how you might think through and adjust as you are trying to find alternatives that work for you.
Once the mixture was ready I poured it on a sheet of parchment and spread it out a bit. I didn’t want the sheet too thin or the chips would be too thin. I was trying to find a balance. Once the chocolate hardened…
I broke and cut it into smaller pieces and then placed it in the freezer to get super firm. I mixed the cookie ingredients and then added the frozen chips last so they would withstand the mixing. They were baked as usual.
When they came out of the oven there were some edges that were somewhat melted so I took an offset spatula (or a knife) and brought them back to the edge of the cookie for a more even shape.
The first bite or two was a bit of a shock to the palate, just because they aren’t exactly what you might expect from chips but honestly, they grew on me. I like dark chocolate and this was a pleasant combination for me. I took the platter of cookies to work with a note of explanation for any who dared sample. The cookies got a thumbs up!